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January 22, 2018

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CITY OF SOUTH BEND - COUNCIL MEETING - January 22, 2018

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1-2. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Williams, Councilor Neve, Councilor Davis, Councilor Little, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts.

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA, CONSENT AGENDA, AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the January 8, 2018 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Williams. Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

Vendors – Check #43740 thru Check #43789 - $189,139.64

4. CORRESPONDENCE

Mayor Struck presented a letter that was sent to the Mayor and City Council from Carol Clements-Newbom who lives at 621 California Street. Her letter addressed nuisance issues with her neighbors at 620 California Street including way too many cars parked on their property, fly problems and a portable toilet in their front yard. She also mentioned a property behind 620 California that always has vehicles on their property that they do repair work on, but the property is not zoned for an auto repair business. City Supervisor Houk explained that since the owners of the 620 California property moved from Raymond in 2014 this has been an ongoing issue. About every two years the city and Police Chief Eastham send letters and request compliance – even tickets have been written – and the owners do the minimum for compliance and then slowly it starts over again and the city is back to square one. City Supervisor Houk has been in contact with the Pacific County Health Department to see what else can be done and a new compliance letter has been mailed. Councilor Neve asked if she could get copies of any letters that are sent and City Supervisor Houk advised her he would see that she get copies. A question was asked why the fines and actions could not be cumulative and Councilor Little noted that it was likely the Judge would throw it out if the case seemed too critical towards the defendant. It was also noted that, unless the owners invite the city or county into the house, no one can enter it for inspection.

5. RESOLUTION #2018-01 – INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF "CASH ON HAND"

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts presented Resolution #2018-01 – Increasing the Amount of “Cash on Hand” explained that it had been 24 years since the amount of cash in the till had been increased. The need for more change has become a necessity. Councilor Neve made a motion accepting Resolution #2018-01 – Increasing the Amount of “Cash on Hand” as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Little.Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

6. DAVE WILLIAMS – PARKS CARETAKER – TABLED FROM JANUARY 8, 2018 MEETING

Prior to discussing the Parks Caretaker contract Councilor Williams stepped out of the council chambers to avoid a conflict of interest. (See January 8, 2018 minutes) Mayor Struck asked if the council had taken time to look over the parks budget for 2018 and if they had any thoughts as to where the budget could be cut to allow for the requested $200.00 per month contract increase which was requested by parks caretaker, Dave Williams, at the January 8, 2018 council meeting. Mayor Struck asked Councilor Buchanan for his thoughts and Councilor Buchanan questioned Mr. Williams’s responsibilities at Cheney Park now that South Bend High School has an agreement with the city with regards to the newly installed baseball field. Mayor Struck explained that some of that, including the maintenance of the restrooms, has yet to be worked out with the school, but those particular restrooms are only open during events not on a daily basis. Councilor Little adamantly believes that Mr. Williams needs the raise. Councilor Neve suggested that the city dump (get rid of) the Parks Caretaker dwelling (trailer house) and give Mr. Williams the $200.00 per month increase. Councilor Neve noted that he seems to do a good job and she sees him working during the summer and he keeps the city looking nice. Mayor Struck noted that removing the dwelling has been discussed but the city hadn’t planned to remove it until possibly the end of the year. Councilor Neve suggested that it be done now! Following a brief discussion which included Clerk/Treasurer Roberts explaining how the contract increase would be handled and that it left NO wiggle room in the parks budget for the rest of the year Councilor Neve made a motion to remove the parks caretaker dwelling (trailer house) within ninety (90) days and to increase the parks caretaker contract by $200.00 per month effective January 1, 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Little. Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-0, Absention-1
(Ayes – Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Neve, Councilor Davis, Councilor Little and Abstention – Councilor Williams)

7. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC

Citizen Linda Buchanan wondered about the planning commission. Multiple questions were asked by Ms. Buchanan about the planning commissions function, how many members were on the commission, when their meetings were held, if they were open to the public and what their authority was. Mayor Struck answered Ms. Buchanan’s questions and suggested that if she had further questions to please come to her office and she would be happy to talk to her further about the planning commission.

8. DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS

None

9. MAYOR’S REPORT
  • Mayor Struck announced that the capital budget finally passed and that freed up the Centennial Fund money which should finally allow the city to finish the Central Avenue Sewer Project that wasn’t completed last year.
  • Mayor Struck provided the council with a drawing that showed the appropriate “Chain of Command” for the City of South Bend and where the council fell within that chain. Mayor Struck also explained what is appropriate and not appropriate when it comes to council members talking to employees about city business or coming onto job sites. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts also explained how the Mayor appointed committees work and what their roll is.
10. COUNCIL COMMENTS
  • Councilor Buchanan reported that he is just learning stuff.
  • Councilor Williams asked if a member of the planning commission had to be from South Bend and he was advised no, they do not have to be from South Bend. They don’t make decisions for South Bend – they make recommendations that are approved by the council.
  • Councilor Neve noted that she was on the planning commission for one or two years and she found it to be pretty interesting if that is something you enjoy.
  • Councilor Neve asked if the ditch at W. First and “A” Street could be ditched. It has a lot of stagnate water in it. City Supervisor Houk advised he would check it out.
  • Councilor Davis noticed the speed monitor on Pacific. Police Chief Eastham advised that the battery is dead now and has asked that the county remove it, but it seemed to work well. His department has again applied for a grant to purchase one, but they have not heard anything back yet.
  • Councilor Little asked about the speed sign that used to be at the white half bridge (Highway 101 near 702 W. Robert Bush Drive). City Supervisor Houk advised that the state took it down and it won’t be replaced.
11. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 6:17 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Monday, February 12, 2018 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.

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