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MINUTES OF THE REGULAR BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING

 

City Hall

February 3, 2003

Council Chambers

7:00 p.m.

 

The Mayor led with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Present:          Alderman Boyd, Alderman Marshall, Alderman Leahy, Alderwoman                             Mehler, Alderman Robertson, Alderman Wynn, Alderman Cross.

 

                        City Attorney Murphy, City Clerk/Administrator Seemayer, Zoning                                 Administrator Wolf, Director of Economic Development Shelton                                   and Executive Secretary Williams.

 

Absent:           Alderman Golfin and City Treasurer Reynders.

 

CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA OF THE REGULAR BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING OF FEBRUARY 3, 2003

 

Motion was made by Alderman Wynn, second by Alderman Marshall to approve and adopt the Agenda of the Regular Board Aldermen Meeting of February 3, 2003 as delivered.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes.

 

CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING OF JANUARY 6, 2003

 

Motion was made Alderman Cross, second by Alderman Leahy to approve and adopt the Minutes of the Regular Board of Aldermen Meeting of January 6, 2003.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes.

 

CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING OF JANUARY 16, 2003

 

Motion was made by Alderman Boyd, second by Alderman Leahy to approve and adopt the Minutes of the Special Board of Aldermen Meeting of January 16, 2003.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes.

 

CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING OF JANUARY 27, 2003

 

 

Motion was made by Alderman Leahy, second by Alderman Wynn to approve and adopt the Minutes of the Special Board of Aldermen Meeting of January 27, 2003.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes.

 

POLICE CHIEF SWEARING IN

 

Mayor Kelly said they are very excited about the promotion of Rick Knight to the position of police chief.  He will do a great job for the City and represent the highest standards for the community. 

 

Mayor Kelly asked Public Safety Chair Keith Robertson to come forward and administer the Oath of Office to Rick Knight. 

 

Alderman Robertson administered the Oath of Office to Rick Knight as police chief for Brentwood.  Everyone congratulated him.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT – COMMENDATIONS

 

Police Chief Rick Knight came before the Board and said it is a delight to honor some of the men and women of his department and to be able to honor a citizen and an off duty St. Louis County police officer that helped in solving a bank robbery in September of last year.  These people need to be recognized because they risked their lives.  Officer Boedicker was off duty at the time and a friend of his Ronald Evans also risked his life in a potentially dangerous situation. 

 

In September of last year the dispatcher received a call for a bank robbery that had just occurred at the United Missouri Bank at the Brentwood Promenade.  A description had come out in regards to the suspects.  Officers were dispatched.  In the interim the dispatcher received a cell phone call from Officer Brian Boedicker that had related to the dispatcher that they were following two armed suspects that they felt had just robbed United Missouri Bank.  They followed these individuals driving a black Ford Mustang.  By their own wits and what they saw led them to follow the suspects.  They saw two masked gunmen coming out of the bank at 3:20 p.m. in the afternoon.  They fell in behind the Mustang.  While not being familiar with the streets in Brentwood they were giving Brentwood dispatcher coordinates as to where they were.  Detectives Schultz and Carmen had monitored the radio information.  They saw the car in the 1400 to 1500 block of Brentwood Boulevard, which was going south.  They both initiated a pursuit.  Detective Gibson was also involved in it who could not be here tonight.  Also involved were Officer Giacopelli and Sergeant Elmer Phelps.        

 

The suspects had robbed the bank of approximately $4,400. The pursuit started on Brentwood Boulevard, went all through Webster Groves and Kirkwood, and finally ended in Crestwood.  Officer Giacopelli was involved with the suspects vehicle two times when it hit the right front fender and then the left front fender of the car on two separate occasions as they were trying to allude police.  Detective Schultz who had initiated the pursuit had been snarled in traffic at one time and Elmer Phelps maintained the constant visual of the suspects.  Ultimately the suspects ended up crashing into a yard.  One of the individuals that was driving had inflicted a gunshot wound to his head.  The other suspect was seated in the right front passenger seat.  Elmer Phelps was also involved, along with Detective Schultz, in keeping the driver that had inflicted himself with the gunshot wound alive.  Detective Schultz handcuffed the suspect and Sergeant Phelps tried to create an airway in order to save the man’s life.  Sergeant Phelps is not only doing his job but is definitely a compassionate individual and doing what he has been trained to do.  Hattie Carmen was on the scene.  She was assigned to go to the hospital with the subject that inflicted the gunshot wound.  At the hospital, Hattie Carmen had worked closely with the FBI.  They knew nothing of either one of the individuals.  She worked in contacting family members, friends and trying to find the background of the individual that was still alive at the hospital. 

 

Detective Schultz brought the other suspect back to the station and was able to obtain a confession.  All efforts coordinated and it resulted in warrants being issued for both of those individuals for robbery first and armed criminal action.  The self-inflicted victim passed away at the hospital a couple of days later.    

 

You have to imagine the type of situation that was going on at the time with the dispatchers involved.  They coordinated the pursuit.  Any type of communication has to go through the dispatcher.  Janet Brennan and Jason Oesterreicher were the two dispatchers involved in that. 

 

Police Chief Knight asked Police Officer Boedicker and Mr. Ronald Evans to come forward.  He presented them with citizen recognition awards.  He also asked Detective Barney Schultz, Detective Hattie Carmen, Detective Chris Gibson, Patrolman Joe Giacopelli, Sergeant Elmer Phelps, Dispatcher Janet Brennan and Dispatcher Jason Oesterreicher to come forward and presented them with departmental commendations.  

 

FINANCE DEPARTMENT – CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 

Mayor Kelly said this would be the third year in a row that the accounting office has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  They work very hard to reach this standard every year.  As an elected official in the City there is no higher responsibility than making sure the funds that are given to them by the residents of the City are accounted for and properly used.  The accounting staff takes their jobs very seriously.  They try to excel to the highest level. This award is proof that they try to reach that standard.  They are very proud of them and appreciate the hard work they do for the City.

 

Mayor Kelly asked Finance Officer Susan Zimmer, Assistant Finance Officers Karen Mosby and Jackie Radovich to come forward.  Dottie Higginbotham was unable to attend. She takes part in this award every year as well.  Mayor Kelly congratulated the accounting staff. 

 

BIDS – None

 

HEARING OF ANY MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST UPON REQUEST OF ANY PERSON PRESENT

 

Jim Fiete – 2201 Parkridge came before the Board and said he is representing many of the citizens in the Parkridge subdivision and members of the Parkridge Improvement Association.  Around November 11th 2001, he stood before the Board and asked for their assistance.  The Board gave him that assistance.  They had a problem and it was resolved.  At that point he also made two requests.  They would like to again be involved in the development process, planning and construction phases of any home or homes being built in their subdivision.  That the Parkridge subdivision be maintained with respect to its architectural integrity at least until the City of Brentwood receives the report from the St. Louis University Brentwood Housing Study and can formulate a master plan for the Brentwood community and the many subdivisions in its boundaries.  Once again they face a possible tear down of a beautiful ranch style home at 2006 St. Clair.  The possible builder chooses to tear down a brick home and replace it with two frame homes.  As an association and citizens of Brentwood they ask the Board again for their assistance, leadership and guidance. 

 

Two new homes are going up right across the street from his home.  They are both 100% brick.  That is probably the number one item they would look for in their subdivision, since approximately 98% of the homes are brick.  They would like to maintain that part of the character. 

 

Ed Ellerman - Developer came before the Board and said he is not a resident of Brentwood but a developer who appeared before the Board last spring.  At that time they promised the Board to consult with the neighborhood before they proceeded and to follow the guidelines they were going to present to them as well as the guidelines that were presented at the meeting last spring.

 

He is very pleased to tell everyone that they were able to keep all those promises.  Both of the homes are sold.  One is under construction.  The second one is about to start this week.  When they made those promises last year they assumed a great deal of risk.  They stuck their necks out a little bit but they were very confident that they were going to succeed.  He has had about 30 years of experience in the old town of Clayton and Ladue.  It was their intention to bring a certain level of quality to this area.  They were very pleased with the support they received from the Board and the neighborhood.  In order to achieve this success they took a significantly lower margin than they normally would.  They were hoping at the time and had worked on the idea of getting tax abatement.  Through the fault of no one there has been a problem.  He asked that the Board help to avail them of some of the tax abatement.  The two houses sold for over $600,000. 

 

Mayor Kelly said the Board was aware of the potential project that was going in there.   The residents were concerned that the type of homes that were going to be built there would not fit the neighborhood.  At that time this developer stepped forward and made their proposal, got together with the neighbors and tried to take into account what the neighborhood wanted.  When the developer realized they were going to be making that type of investment into those homes, they started the process of their own 353 Corporation for those two properties.  The problem they are having with setting up their own 353 Corporation is the homes sold a lot faster than they thought they would.  Their construction is going faster than the tax abatement process.  So they wanted to come before the Board to see how they felt about granting tax abatement on the two homes.  It is getting very costly to set up that abatement. The abatement would be approximately $30,000 to $35,000 over a 10-year period per house.    

 

Alderman Leahy asked Mr. Ellerman why his group is trying to form their own tax abatement corporation versus using the 353 Corporation of Brentwood. 

 

Mayor Kelly said they thought it would be faster but it is not. 

 

Tom Kramer – 9055 N. Swan Circle came before the Board and said he is here with his partner Ed Ellerman asking for the Board’s discretion and potential review by a subcommittee or other group. 

 

HEARING OF ANY MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST UPON REQUEST OF ANY PERSON PRESENT

 

Presentation of Recreation Needs Assessment

 

Mayor Kelly said Michele deJong, Director of Parks and Recreation is here tonight.  She has done a great job in leading the Parks Department and the City appreciates the work she has done.  Late last year, Mrs. deJong undertook the process of surveying the residents and trying to get their feel of what they thought the future needs of the Parks Department would be. 

 

Michele deJong, Director of Parks and Recreation came before the Board and introduced the consultants that will give the presentation.  Pat O’Toole with Leon Younger & PROS and Ron Vine with ETC/Leisure Vision Incorporated. 

 

Ron Vine – ETC/Leisure Vision Incorporated came before the Board and said they completed for the City of Brentwood Parks & Recreation a Needs Assessment Survey.  Four Hundred and One (401) surveys were completed.  The survey has a 95% level of confidence with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.  The survey covered a full range of usage, satisfaction needs, barriers, partnership and funding issues.  It was a mail/phone survey.  They also did cross tabs by key factors including each of the survey results by gender and age of the respondent over 18 years of age, and whether they participate in recreation programs right now or not, and if they are using the Richmond Heights Community Center or not.  They made comparisons over the results with their national benchmarks.  Their firm has done more needs assessments for parks and recreation projects than any other company in the country.  Over the last five years they have done needs assessment surveys for parks and recreation projects in 150 communities in 35 states.  Their firm is located in the Kansas City area.  Their largest customer base is the state of Missouri.  They have done over 30 surveys in the state of Missouri over the last four years.  He will refer to national benchmarks.  When he does he would be saying this is how Brentwood relates to the surveys that they have done in those other communities. 

 

Mr. Vine went over the entire Needs Assessment Survey.  The survey is featured on the City of Brentwood website and is also available at the Parks and Recreation Department for viewing. 

 

After the survey was presented, Mr. Vine offered to answer any questions the Board may have.

 

Alderman Boyd said Mr. Vine mentioned that the survey was a combination of mail back as well as telephone. 

 

Mr. Vine said most of the survey was by mail.

 

Alderman Boyd asked if the result has been stratified by ward.

 

Mr. Vine said no. 

 

Alderman Boyd asked what was the process of randomly generating the addresses.

 

Mr. Vine said a firm out of New York does the random sampling.  They specialize in generating random sampling lists.  The firm supplied them the list and they took it from there. 

 

Alderman Leahy said one of the slides showed that 100% of the respondents participated in the program.  He is curious as to why they saw no respondents for non-participation in any of the park program. 

 

Mr. Vine said of all of the people who said “yes”, 100% of them participated in some program.  That particular cross tab was based on whether you participated in the programs or not.  The one right below it was based on whether you use the Richmond Heights Community Center or not. 

 

Alderman Wynn said a city has certain facilities and people use them.  In doing the survey, if other facilities were included would that have changed the figure? 

 

Mr. Vine said it takes into consideration the question in regards to who utilizes your recreational facilities.  They recommend that communities ask that question because there are many other providers.  It is important to understand that if people utilize your system but they also utilize others, which one do they utilize the most.  That question was put in specifically for that purpose.  They measured public facilities.  The usage will not change if you utilize a public facility or not, because you are still going to have the same answer even if others were added.   It may change by the highest priority. 

 

Many of the questions they asked in the survey were driven by the focus groups.  They utilized that from a quantitative standpoint to determine what issues they should test.  

 

Alderman Robertson said in communities that have ice facilities how does Brentwood compare in that respect. 

 

Mr. Vine said he has to go back and look that up.  Not as many communities have ice rinks as some others. 

 

Alderman Leahy said the other skew that he sees in the survey is the fact that they do have the Brentwood Swim Club that allows its membership in it, the partnership with the Maplewood Pool for external outdoor use and Richmond Heights.  Based on those skews, does that explain why the walking trails now seem to be the more desired.  Those facilities are available just within this neighborhood area. 

 

Mr. Vine said last year they did about 40 something parks and recreation surveys.  Nationwide, walking and biking trails is the number one thing people want to develop.  Brentwood usage right now is lower than many communities.  One of the big reasons is that you have not met market need. 

 

Alderman Marshall said one of the slides showed the need for an aquatic center was 20%.  Last year Maplewood opened their pool.  He asked if that number would go down once the novelty of the new pool is gone.

 

Mr. Vine said when the novelty of the new pool goes Brentwood would be headed in the opposite direction.   It is showing that you have an unmet demand in this community for outdoor swimming from a leisure standpoint.  Right now that partnership is only meeting about 50% of that market.  Maybe an alternative strategy would be to market that partnership and see in a couple of years if that usage goes up.  Once people know about it you may not have to build your own because that is meeting the needs the same way Richmond Heights is. 

 

Alderman Boyd said he noticed that schools are not listed on chart Q12. 

 

Mr. Vine said the questions were developed from a focus group.  It was not an intentional oversight.

 

Alderman Boyd asked Mr. Vine if he could run cross tabs on chart Q18 and show what those look like by age groups. 

 

Mr. Vine said yes.

 

Michele deJong on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Division thanked all the Board members for supporting this process and allowing them to go through it.  They are very anxious to start planning for the next five years and using this information to do that. 

 

Mayor Kelly asked if a question was asked on what type of financing residents would support for new facilities.  Would taxpayers support a bond issue in order to build a new facility?

 

Michele deJong said they just asked a combination question of if they thought it should be self-supporting, supported by taxes or a combination of both. 

 

Alderman Boyd suggested taking some of the percentages and stepping them up to actual persons, so that when you look at a 52% figure you would have some idea in terms of the actual population that is represented in Brentwood. 

 

Mr. Vine thought it was a great suggestion.  Their firm just started doing that on some surveys and the clients really like it.

 

INTRODUCTIONS, READINGS, AND PASSAGE OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS – NONE

 

ACCOUNTS AGAINST THE CITY

 

Motion was made by Alderman Cross, second by Alderman Robertson to approve the revised warrant list dated February 3, 2003.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes. 

 

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES AND DEPARTMENT HEADS:

 

Mayor’s Report

 

Tear Downs and Rebuilds

 

Mayor Kelly said with respect to tear downs and rebuilds in the City of Brentwood, last week they received permits to the City for three tear downs and another new home is to be built on a vacant lot.  The City needs to come up with some architectural standards for how they want to proceed.  He is going to challenge the Planning and Zoning Commission to set up a subcommittee to look into establishing some architectural standards for the entire Brentwood community.  That also touches in the line of the developers that are requesting some tax abatement because of the high quality homes they wanted to build in the City of Brentwood.  Real estate sells for a premium in the City of Brentwood.  If the City wants to encourage additional investment and have high quality homes, then the City may need to offer developers some type of abatement so they can go that extra mile to build that type of quality home. 

 

For example, the reason he has an aversion to architectural standards, is in Clayton a disabled resident wanted to build a handicap ramp up to their home, which was going to cost them $15,000 to build.  When it went to Clayton architectural review board so they could incorporate their standards, it was going to cost this resident $90,000 to build the ramp.  Not that they had standards that they could follow, but the architectural review board was putting their opinions on what they thought should be there because they were taking the opinions of the neighbors.  As a City if we want to set up some standards and have some quality to look for then that is something they need to look seriously at as they start to see more of these tear downs and rebuilds within the City.  It is not just developers.  The City is seeing residents tearing down their homes and rebuilding. 

 

Mayor Kelly asked Chairman Geppert if they could set up a subcommittee to look into those architectural standards for the City.

 

Alderman Boyd said the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission being highly skilled in many different areas probably are not equipped to develop the type of standards that the City might be looking for.  They may be very well equipped to survey some of our other communities or find consultant help.  Would the Board consider hiring a professional to help get those standards constructed?  He asked if the Board would be willing to entertain the concept of a moratorium on tear downs until those standards are developed. 

 

Mayor Kelly said you do not want to stifle improvements to the neighborhoods.  It is something the City needs to address as soon as possible.  He does not want to stop people from building new homes in the City.

 

TIF Meeting

 

Mayor Kelly said last week the first TIF meeting was held for the Costco and MLP projects.  The next scheduled meeting is February 20th at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. 

 

City Auction

 

The Parks Department is scheduling a city auction.  It will be some time in May where they will be auctioning off surplus city equipment.

 

Hanley Road Project

 

A steering committee meeting was held for the Hanley Road project last week, which is being headed by St. Louis County Highway, Maplewood, Brentwood and Richmond Heights.  He was asked to serve on that committee.  It is a great project and they are moving forward very quickly to try to get some designs and plans for Hanley Road and also how to fund that project.

 

Metro Link Stop

 

He and Bob Shelton met with County Executive Buzz Westfall to talk about the Strassner extension with respect to the Metro Link stop.  Things are looking very good.  This is a very important and good project, not only for Metro Link but also for that east-west corridor going through Brentwood to help relieve some of those traffic issues on Hanley and Eager Roads.  Metro Link and St. Louis County are excited about the MLP project being a true transit oriented development, which is the first along the Metro Link line in St. Louis.  They are hoping that type of development built along the Metro Link line will help the Metro Link process move along faster in the future.

 

Public Safety Committee – No report

 

Public Works Committee – No report

 

City Engineer – No report

 

Parks – No report

 

Zoning Administrator – No report

 

Ways and Means Committee – No report

 

Planning and Zoning – No report

 

City Attorney – No report

 

City Clerk/Administrator – No report

 

Director of Economic Development – No report

 

Excise Commissioner – Temporary Liquor License Request for St. Mary Magdalen Church

 

Alderman Cross said she has before her an application from St. Mary Magdalen Church for a temporary liquor license for their parish picnic on May 30 and 31. 

 

Motion was made by Alderman Cross, second by Alderman Leahy to grant the temporary liquor license request for St. Mary Magdalen Church for their parish picnic.  Roll call:  Alderman Boyd, yes; Alderman Marshall, yes; Alderman Leahy, yes; Alderwoman Mehler, yes; Alderman Robertson, yes; Alderman Wynn, yes; Alderman Cross, yes.

 

Library

 

Alderman Wynn said the library is getting ready to move to a trailer in the parking lot in March, so the renovations could begin on the library building. 

 

Municipal League – No report

 

Waste Management Commission – No report

 

Stormwater Management – No report

 

Communication

 

Alderman Marshall said he has spoken to one of the school board members about putting the board meetings on Brentwood TV 10. 

 

Facilities Committee – No report

 

Insurance Committee – No report

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion was made by Alderman Boyd, second by Alderman Marshall to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m.  All in favor, none opposed.

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                Pat Kelly, Mayor

 

 

Attest:

 

                                               

Chris Seemayer, City Clerk