Charter Review Minutes, June 21, 2016
CITY CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION
COUNCIL COMMITTEE ROOM
5:30 p.m., JUNE 21, 2016
Members present for roll call: Mike Atcheson, John Beaudoin, Gladys Bratton, Lenny Cacchio, Brad Cox, Michael Dayton, Fred DeMoro, Paula Derks, Jim Devine, Jose Ruiz, Terry Trafton
Members absent for roll call: Ron Williams (arrived at 6:02)
Staff Liaisons present: Brian Head, Denise Chisum, Stacy Lombardo
Call to Order: The June 21, 2016, City Charter Review Commission was called to order by Chairman Bratton, at 5:47 p.m. at City Hall, 220 SE Green Street, in the Council Committee Room. Notice had been provided by posting the meeting notice with a tentative agenda, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, at both entrances into City Hall. A copy of the agenda was also placed on the City’s Web site.
1. Approval of June 7, 2016, Action Letter.
On motion of Commissioner Fred DeMoro and second by Commissioner John Beaudoin, the Commission voted unanimously 11-0 (Commissioner Williams “Absent”), for approval of the Action Letter for June 7, 2016. Motion passed
2. Public Comments
(This is an opportunity for the audience to address the Commission on any items not on the agenda.)
Mr. Rob Stitt stated that in his opinion, the City Attorney seemed to be more involved in the discussions about the City Charter than he would have expected. He also made comments about adding minimum criteria for ethics rules (improper use of phone, facilities, donations and business relations), ethics violations applying to city employees as well as Councilmembers, he voiced his support to mimic the Independence model of ethics and charter violations running through the court system because removal of elected officials without constituent involvement would be suspect, and he supports video recording meetings because he can’t always get out of work in time to attend meetings and if he sees something in an article he would like to see it for himself.
Councilmember Faith told Chairman Bratton that her words on transparency hit home with him and he can see how things brought up in City Council meetings at the last minute can be questioned as not transparent. He said that at the last City Council meeting, he challenged all Councilmembers to pay more attention to that and to get information out earlier. He added that things may come up sometimes but it should be the exception and not the rule. He ended by telling Chairman Bratton that he appreciated her comments on transparency.
3. Commission Comments – None
4. Discussion of Articles
A. ARTICLE V. CITY MANAGER
1) Section 5.2 Powers and Duties –
Suggestion to add a 5.2 (k) - Discussion centered around getting meeting documents in a timely manner. It was brought up that each Board and Commission has different needs and they should be addressed in the group’s by- laws and not in the City Charter. The suggestion was withdrawn.
Section 5.2 (a) Appointments and Removal of Department Directors – No discussion
Section 5.2 (b) Administration of Departments – It was asked, and confirmed, that Parks and Recreation are not under the City Manager.
Section 5.2 (c) Attend City Council Meetings – No discussion Section 5.2 (d) Enforcement of Laws – No discussion
Section 5.2 (e) Budget and Capital Program – It was suggested to align the City Council budget with goals. It was asked how the vision statement relates to capital improvement and the budget process. Suggested language was “The City Manager shall prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program in alignment with the Cities adopted vision statement to the Mayor and Council.” After discussion, the suggestion was withdrawn.
The Commission will clean up all areas of the Charter that state “made available in electronic format” all at one time.
Section 5.2 (f) Finance and Administration Report – No discussion
Section 5.2 (g) Other Reports – It was asked if the word report is too broad. It was stated that the duality of these articles keeps reinforcing the channel that is supposed to exist between Council and staff and that is the City Manager. It tells the Council that this is where you go to get that information and this is who is responsible to give it to you so that Council doesn’t go directly to staff asking for things. Also, listing specific reports would limit the Charter and it would always have to be amended.
Section 5.2 (h) Report of Financial Condition of the City - There was discussion about making changes to this section to clarify its intended meaning. It was ultimately decided to add a comma.
On motion of Commissioner Derks and second by Commissioner Williams, the Commission voted unanimously 12-0, to amend Article V, Section 5.2 (h) – to add a comma and now read “The City Manager shall keep the Mayor and Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the city, and make such recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the city as the City Manager deems desirable”. Motion passed.
Section 5.2 (i) Execution of Documents – No discussion Section 5.2 (j) Other Duties – No discussion
On motion of Commissioner Beaudion and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted unanimously 12-0 to accept Article V, Sections 5.2 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (i), and (j) as written with no amendments and Article V, Section 5.2(h) as amended. Motion passed.
2) Section 5.3. Acting City Manager -The items discussed were the definition of “qualified person” and what would happen in the case of sudden death or disability of the City Manager.
On motion of Commissioner Atcheson and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted unanimously 12-0 to accept Article V, Sections 5.3 as written with no amendments. Motion passed.
3) Section 5.4 Performance Review – The questions were asked if this is actually being done and is this a fiscal or calendar year?
On motion of Commissioner DeMoro and second by Commissioner Cox, the Commission voted unanimously 12-0 to accept Article V, Sections 5.4 as written with no amendments. Motion passed.
B. ARTICLE VI. ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL SYSTEM
1) Section 6.1. Administrative Organization
Section 6.1 (a) Departments, Authorities and Offices – No discussion Section 6.1 (b) Committees, Boards and Commissions – No discussion
On motion of Commissioner Beaudoin and second by Commissioner Trafton, the Commission voted unanimously 12-0 to accept Article VI, Sections 6.1 (a) and (b) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.
2) Section 6.2. Personnel System – It was asked if the word “all” was supposed to be capitalized. There was a conversation about why it says “The personnel code may authorize the City Manager to promulgate regulations” and should it be changed to shall authorize the City Manager to promulgate regulations.
On motion of Commissioner Devine and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted 11-1 (Lenny Cacchio “no”) to amend Article VI, Sections 6.2 to change the word “may” to “shall” so it will now read “The Council shall adopt by ordinance a personnel code providing a comprehensive personnel system for city officers and employees. The personnel code shall provide that all appointments and promotion of city officers and employees shall be made solely on the bases of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination or other evidence of competence. The personnel code shall authorize the City Manager to promulgate regulations dealing with personnel matters. The personnel code and any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be consistent with this Charter.” Motion passed.
C. ARTICLE VII. MUNICIPAL COURT
1) Section 7.1. Jurisdiction
2) Section 7.2. Judges
3) Section 7.3. Court Administration
4) Section 7.4. Traffic Violations Bureau
Judge Altieri provided a handout for Commissioners that included an organizational chart; proposed changes to language in the Charter to remove the Presiding Judge designation and establish a liaison between the court and city; Charter sections and ordinances from Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield all in Missouri. She quoted Missouri state statues as saying the Presiding Judge of the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County has authority over the Lee’s Summit Municipal Court judges and staff. That’s who could settle administrative disputes between the two Lee’s Summit judges. She stated that since Judge Tobin was just sworn in so would that now make her the presiding judge? The Charter language isn’t clear. She suggests having Human Resources instead of the Finance Department as a liaison with the courts.
Mr. Conrad Lamb, Director of Finance, answered a few questions about why the Finance Department has been designated for management assistance for the courts and if there have been any problems with it. He also read a letter provided by Judge Tobin that said he adheres to and respects the policy of the City to never discuss personnel matters in a public forum and he strongly believes part of his duty is to respect the separation of powers doctrine, he does not intend to advise or attempt to influence the honorable citizens who have volunteered to serve without compensation and in a nonpartisan and non-political way, to review the city’s charter.
4. Roundtable – Reminder that the July 5 meeting has been moved to July 6.
Adjournment: The June 21, 2016, City Charter Review Commission meeting was adjourned by Chairman Bratton at 8:13 p.m. at City Hall, 220 SE Green Street, Council Committee Room.
Action Letter by Stacy Lombardo, Public Works Administrative Assistant, Recorder.