City Council Meeting February 19, 2008

Littleton City CouncilFebruary 19, 2008 

Unscheduled Appearances  

Tom Kristopeit asked the Council to support the grant money requiring a match from the City to refurbish the Bemis House.  

Jill Schneider, President of Western Welcome Week, asked the Council to support the restoration of the Bemis House which they currently occupy. 

Paul Bingham supported the two previous speakers. 

Bruce Wolf supported the previous 3 speakers. 

Cassandra Medrano invited the public to help raise money for academic excellence by eating at No-No’s Café.  No-No’s will be donating 10% of the coupon sales that evening to Heritage High School February 26, 27 28 and March 4, 5 and 6. 

Pavlos Stavropoulos said he was confused about the difference between a study session and special meeting.  At the February 8th meeting there was considerable time spent discussing whether the meeting was a special meeting or a study session.  If it was a study session then decisions could not be made and minutes were not required.  At their February 12th meeting he thought it was a study session but some of the material for that meeting was labeled Special Meeting.  He referred to the Legislative Rules and Procedures and learned that all study sessions are deemed special meetings.  Because every study session is a special meeting he isn’t sure what all the discussion at the workshop was about.  Rule 19 states that the minutes of the preceding regular and special meetings shall be reviewed at each regular meeting.  He would appreciate some clarification particularly because rule #2 is moot since all study sessions are special meetings. Stavropoulos was also concerned that he Council might be using the label of a study session to keep the public from providing input since their rules state that study sessions shall be open to the public but not a forum for the public.  He is concerned that business can take place at special meetings/study sessions but the public is barred from providing input. 

Doug Clark said all meetings on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays are special meetings and they are wrapped up in the Open Meetings Law.  Council can take action but they have to take minutes when action can take place.  No action can take place in a study session.  Clark referred to the upcoming interviews for board and commission openings – they are study sessions and minutes will not be required.  He admitted that their rules are confusing and need fixing. 

Stavropoulos said all study sessions are special meetings and require minutes.  Clark said the council had decided to provide more detailed minutes of their study sessions but they do take longer to prepare. 

Peggy Cole said the workshop was not publicized as a special meeting because of the historical nature of the extra large study session.  She hoped that it would be promoted as a special meeting next year. 

Carol Brzeczek said she intended to discuss the same matter with them that Pavlos just covered and she thought it was very important to clarify the matter so the public understood the differences between the three types of meetings and so each council member had the same understanding of the three meetings. 

Brzeczek also asked the Council to label their agenda items more clearly.  The agenda item “Contractual Services” was very misleading – it was not about contractual services but about contributions made to organizations with taxpayer’s money.  She suggested another charitable contribution that would not require a single dollar – do what Jose Trujillo suggested they do over a year ago – use all travel miles accumulated by council members and staff and donate them to our military personnel serving where they could be used to reunite families during R&R.  If not that, at least capture the miles and use them for future travel by the council and staff.  Also, all travel should be paid for using a city credit card in order to collect miles for donation or future use. 

Brzeczek suggested that when the Council is reviewing their rules and procedures that they consider allowing the public to address them in regular meetings and special meetings on any subject that was before them.  Their current practice was to list items on the General Business portion of their agenda and that did not allow the public to be involved in the process.  The public has to use the unscheduled portion of the meeting to address those topics and the public has no idea what direction the council’s conversation will take.   

Brzeczek then said she did not know what direction their discussion on “Ethics” was going to take (under General Business) but she suggested that they review the Ethics Code that was created last year because she did not think it went far enough to meet the requirements of Amendment 41 that the voters passed.  Any taxpayer money spent on council member’s participation in the Littleton Leadership Retreat was not acceptable and any other conference attended by council or staff should only be paid for by the taxpayer’s if there is a direct benefit to the taxpayers.  She did not object to council members attending those functions as long as they paid for their own expenses. A business owner from downtown Littleton approached the Council but I did not hear her name and she never identified her business.  She was asking the council to initiate a forum for the downtown merchants to help them market downtown.  There is not one sign that indicates shopping in downtown.  She is hoping that the staff will be available to help explain some of the restrictions that they just do not understand – such as CDOT’s regulations on signage on Santa Fe Drive.  She was asking for some art in the entry ways into Littleton – there’s no lighting to draw people into downtown. 

Jim DuBose agreed with the previous speaker and relayed an anecdote about a new member of the community that made three attempts to find downtown Littleton before actually finding it.  Her first trip landed her in Woodlawn. 

Consent Agenda  Contractual Services – $58,150.00 was approved to contribute to the following charities.

Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health                             $ 8,000

Bega Sister City Committee                                     $ 750I

nter-Faith Community Services                                              $20,000

Littleton Chorale                                                     $ 750

Littleton Symphony                                                                $ 400

Young Voices of Colorado                                        $ 500

Littleton YMCA Youth Program                                             $ 750

Metro Mayors Youth Awards                                   $ 500

Arapahoe Santa Claus Shop                                      $ 800

Town of Littleton Cares (Meals on Wheels)                            $ 5,000

Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter                         $ 3,000

Doctors Care                                                            $ 5,000

Rocky Mountain Stroke Assoc.                                               $ 500

Arapahoe Rescue Patrol                                           $ 1,500

Littleton Housing Authority Sneaker Fund                               $ 3,500

Main Street Players                                                  $ 1,000

Neighborhood Resource Center of Colorado                             $ 200

South Suburban Buck Blitz                                        $ 2,000 

Approved on a 7/0 vote.  

 Police Radio SystemThe police radio system was pulled from the consent agenda.  Peggy Cole asked why a lease purchase rather than buying the equipment out right.  Doug Farmen said there would not be a lot of reserves left if they did so and the interest rate was 3.5% (fixed rate) which is less than what they can make on their money.  Cole asked if more money could be transferred into the special project fund and Farmen said yes – it was a decision for council to make.  Currently there is 1.4 million transferred into the Special Projects account for the 2008 budget.   Clark asked about the additional cost of $40,000 over what was presented to them at the budget meetings.  Chief Coogan said it was the identical system but the portable units were a different model.  The portables specified earlier this year only had a battery life of less than 10 hours and the police work 10 hour shifts.  Rather than issue two batteries to each policeman they decided to purchase a different model that would last for the length of the shift.  The new models can also transmit data which they think will be needed in the future. Clark asked to postpone the decision until March 4.  Cole seconded.  Clark wants to know why they need to transmit data and he did not like something on the Consent Agenda that was different than what was presented earlier. Jim Taylor thought the written explanation was adequate and he did not see any need for the delay.  Motion passed 5/2 with Ostermiller and Taylor dissenting. 

RTD and Shopping Cart Intergovernmental AgreementCole pulled the Intergovernmental Agreement with RTD providing money to Littleton for the Shopping Cart from the Consent Agenda asking why approval was being asked for 6 weeks after the contract started.  Phil Cortese said it got lost in the shuffle with Julie Bower’s departure.  It was a routine matter and the check comes each month.  Motion to approve was passed 7/0. 

Zoning HearingA small lot located at 5595 S. Curtice Street was before Council with a request of a zoning change from R-5 Residential Multi Family District to CA-Central Area Multi Use District.   The small lot, because it is adjacent to a CA zoned property, can request the zoning change. Brad Uhlig, Planning Commissioner who removed himself from the hearing before the Planning Commission, represented Christa McDonald of T2 Technologies – the owner of the property.  He addressed concerns that were raised by the Planning Commission who turned down the zoning change on a 4/3 vote. Rather than spend the time writing up the minutes from the Public Hearing I am including the minutes from the Planning Commission meeting as they are representative of the comments made at the council meeting. 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of November 26, 2007

PUBLIC HEARINGS: a. 5595 S. Curtice St. Rezoning from R-5 to CA(Case No. REZ07-0001)Ms. Dickinson, Senior Planner, presented exhibits A-I into the record and proceeded with a brief history of the property. The applicant has requested the property at 5595 S.Curtice Street be rezoned from R-5, Residential Multiple-Family District, to CA, Central Area Multiple Use District. Currently the 0.249 acre parcel has an existing single family residential structure with a storage shed west of the house. The proposed project would change this from a residence to an office. The current zoning does not allow for general office even though it does allow for medical offices. She explained the property is on the perimeter of the R-5 District immediately adjacent to the CA District. Ms. Dickinson stated the current COMPLAN does not support the proposed rezoning of this property as it is located within the Central Area Neighborhood of the COMPLAN specifically the Sub Neighborhood 3 which is within the area to be preserved as R-5 for residential uses. She shared staff’s concern that considering this rezoning on the basis of changed conditions opened the door to other R-5 zoned parcels to be rezoned a little at a time without evaluating the overall impact of allowing more intensive uses allowed in the CA districts. She shared that the City’s Long Range Planner confirmed that the Citizen Advisory Committee thought that rezoning of this area should be considered after an evaluative public process that considers possible impacts to existing and future development and uses. Ms. Dickinson stated staff does not have a recommendation for the proposed project and requests direction from Planning Commission and Council as to the manner in which the rezoning of the R-5 area in downtown should be handled. 

Questions of StaffCommissioner Valdes inquired why there wasn’t a recommendation by staff. Ms. Dickinson replied there was the concern of piecemeal rezoning of the R-5 district. She restated the COMPLAN is very clear the R-5 should stay as is.

Commissioner Valdes then asked about 5599 S. Curtice Street. He was told that that address was part of the original CA district.  Discussion followed regarding other addresses in the area as to current uses and zoning district. 

Applicant PresentationKristin McDonald, 4700 W. Wagon Trail, Littleton, CO, one of the owners of T2 Technologies, reported the neighbors are enthusiastic about the proposed project. She met face to face with 42 area residents and contacted 100 through pamphlets. She shared their consulting practice would have low impact on the neighborhood. There would be less client traffic than there would be if it were a medical office. Ms. McDonald informed the commissioners the 1905 house had been renovated in 2004 and they don’t have any plans to change anything. At this time they would be in compliance with parking spaces per code even if they did lease out some of the building. She felt the rezone is justified due to changed and hanging conditions. This could potentially change the character of the neighborhood. When the current COMPLAN was written Littleton was an outer ring suburb and now it has developed a more urban feel with lightrail and the businesses provide character. Ms. McDonald further felt the proposed project was an alternative to high density residential development and a great way to use the property. Mark Rudnicki, 6062 S. Aberdeen St, Littleton, CO, architect for the project handed the commissioners a copy of a study done by T-2 Technologies comparing parking for various uses to be entered into the record. He showed where 7 spaces could be provided without adding additional fill at the west end of the site abutting Skunk Hollow. He compared the needs if the site were a multi-family dwelling, retail, restaurant or general office. The 1,708 sq. ft. existing building has a parking requirement of 6 spaces. Parking underground at this site is not economically feasible so low key office is the best use. 

QuestionsChair Bagley asked if a site development plan needed to be done and if this was speculative at this point. Mr. Rudnicki answered yes; this is not related to the rezoning issue.Chair Bagley then asked if the property would have potential if included in the CA district that it could be included in the historic district since it was built in 1905. Mr. Rudnicki answered yes; if it was the parking requirement could possibly change.

Commissioner Ciarlelli inquired about the traffic expected at their offices. Ms. McDonald replied 3 -4 per week with no deliveries or foot traffic.

Chair Bagley commented that this would be true as long as they own the building. It could change dramatically if someone else were to go into the property.

Commissioner Valdes inquired about the parking shown on the drawings. Mr. Rudnicki replied that parking would be reviewed after the rezoning was approved as part of the site development plan. At this time there is a gravel drive and landscaping in the rear of the parcel.

Commissioner Iturreria asked for a summary of the applicant’s justifications for change. Ms. McDonald listed them: On a dividing barrier between R-5 and CA; a variety of changes such as light rail has had an impact; and the significant residential development which is an alternative in R-5.

Commissioner Knight inquired about 5589, 5580 and 5590 if they were single family or multi family and if they had been contacted. Ms. McDonald said yes, the ones they had talked were responsive. Ms. McDonald shared the resident of 5570 had parking concerns.

Commissioner Kostoff asked why they wanted to have their business in this property rather than one that was already zoned CA. Ms. McDonald replied they had alternative but they owned this property and it is a suitable location. 

Public Comments

Gene Baker, 5160 W Maplewood, Littleton, CO a seven year resident shared his support of the project. He felt the area is vital to the economic health and vitality and there would be increased activity downtown. He encouraged the commissioners to approve the rezoning. 

Tom Belzer, 3137 Rockbridge Dr, Littleton, CO owner of 5539 S Curtice expressed his concern regarding parking but didn’t feel the impact would be that great with this proposed project. 

Commissioner’s CommentsCommissioner Bockenstedt said he had visited the site and thought it was a fascinating small neighborhood.

Commissioner Ciarlelli expressed his support for the application to rezone; the on site parking; traffic would be less as clients than as patients; and there had been significant outreach with no meaningful objections.

Commissioner McAllister agreed the division between zones seems to be arbitrary. The trend seems to combine work and live and this is consistent with what we see as more desirable these days. It also does provide some economic benefit to the downtown area, therefore, could support the rezone.

Commissioner Valdes asked why the city had not provided a recommendation. Ms. Roberts explained that the current COMPLAN states: “That the boundaries of the area zoned R-5 be amended to exclude the one-half blocks facing both sides of Nevada, between Powers and Berry, and the balance of the R-5 zoned area be preserved for  permitted residential uses.” The draft Littleton 2030 comprehensive plan states: “Consider expanding the CA zone to areas throughout the downtown.” She continued that the Citizen Advisory Committee thought that such rezoning should be done after careful consideration to possible impacts to existing and future development and uses.

Commissioner Iturreria expressed his approval of the project but did have concerns that they were looking at the rezone from R-5 to CA on a piecemeal basis. He felt the request may be premature because the new COMPLAN is not in place and he must go with facts available at this time.

Commissioner Knight expressed his agreement that they should look at the whole rather than piecemeal. He had no objection to what was proposed for the building but did have concern with changing the entire district one at a time may set a bad precedent for other homeowners who come in wanting the same thing.

Commissioner Kostoff expressed his agreement with what had already been said and that he liked the concept as presented but had concerns what could happen in the future if they opened the floodgates.

Chair Bagley commented he was generally comfortable with the intent and that staff did not provide a recommendation as this is not normal and wants to it look at it comprehensively. He asked if the applicant had proposed general office use through the PD process and could that have happened? Mr. Bailey replied No; due to the size of the site it does not meet the minimum site requirement. Chair Bagley added he liked the intent expressed by the applicant and was sensitive to the issue that all of a sudden it is all changing and there is a domino effect. He expressed his desire to look at the entire area and wanted more facts and  nformation from staff. Chair Bagley expressed his desire to have a discussion with the other commissioners regarding tabling this item to a date specific to allow staff to provide more information. Issues of parking downtown, uses in this area, use the old COMPLAN or the new COMPLAN and the need to be thoughtful about this. He encouraged commissioners to have an open discussion before having a vote. This discussion included the following topics:

􀂙 There is a process in place to change an entire district from one zoning designation to another by petition.

􀂙 Code does specify a property must be at least 4 acres in order for it to change zone designation if it is not on a boundary of two zones.

􀂙 CA District promotes business in downtown while R-5 is meant to be a transition between downtown and residential.

􀂙 Density differences between the CA and R-5.

􀂙 Since staff is asking direction from planning commission and council should this be tabled to a date specific and ask staff for further information?

􀂙 Would this be a precedent setting decision?

􀂙 Using the current COMPLAN or look to the new COMPLAN still in the review stage for a decision guide. 

MOTIONChair Bagley moved to table a decision until January 14, 2008 and provide specific direction to staff to provide more information, seconded by Commissioner Ciarlelli.Discussion regarding if January 14 is too short a deadline due to the holiday season.  Other discussion centered on whether the burden of more information should come from staff or the applicant. Mr. Bailey pointed out that to table to a date certain must be approved by the applicant. If the applicant does not approve the tabling there must be a vote on the application. 

Motion Failed 2-5Yes – Chair Bagley and Commissioner CiarlelliNo – Commissioners McAllister, Valdes, Iturreria, Knight and Kostoff 

MOTION:Commissioner Ciarlelli moved the Planning Commission approve Resolution No. 07-14, seconded by Commissioner McAllister. 

Motion failed 3-4Yes – Commissioners McAllister, Kostoff and CiarlelliNo – Commissioners Valdes, Iturreria, Knight and Bagley 

Back to the Council Meeting

Taylor was the first to comment saying that there was a fallacy in the zoning regulation that would allow a medical office use and not general office use.  The neighbors did not have objections to the request and the office use of the residence would not interfere with parking in the neighborhood. Mulvey said they are still using the 1981 Complan and he can see how people would like to see the change but he couldn’t go along with it. Ostermiller said if the property was rezoned for general office use it could be sold for any number of uses and once it is rezoned that’s it.  It is premature.  The CA zone has been made a priority in the Complan process and he does not buy the changing conditions argument for one lot.  As long as the property is zoned residential it should remain that way until we look at the whole area. Brinkman drove around the neighborhood on Sunday and looked at the property and neighborhood.  It only firmed up the need for them to look at this area.  She could not support the request tonight. Clark agreed with Ostermiller.  He said the “changing condition” argument is an escape clause out of the Complan and it is so circular that it is almost meaningless.  The Electron property was rezoned from commercial to residential stating changing conditions (the proximity to light rail) and the same reason is now being used to justify changing a residence to office use and sighting the Electron property as a changing condition for this one.  It completes the circle.  It is a meaningless device to escape the Complan.  Motion failed on a 1/6 vote with Taylor casting the only Aye vote. 

Ordinance ChangeThe current Ordinance states that the council will hold the interviews for board and commission openings in an executive session which is in violation of the Open Meetings Law.  The word executive was changed to open.  Motion passed 7/0 

General BusinessThese are agenda items that the public is unable to comment. 

Approval of an Ambulance Contract with Action Care Ambulance Inc. for Back-Up Transport Services for Littleton Fire Rescue.Chief Zygowicz presented the contract renewal with Action Care. Taylor asked if the Action Care personnel were as well trained as Littleton’s staff.  The Chief said they have to meet the same state requirements that we do and Littleton does quality assurance checks on a monthly basis.  There is always a Littleton paramedic looking over their shoulder and every patient that is handed off to Action Care has been approved by Littleton Paramedic. 

Brinkman noticed that the contract was to be reviewed year by year with a 5 year cap.  She wanted to know where we were in the process.  The Chief said the original contract was rewritten in 2005 – language was added and tightened up. 

Mulvey asked if they went out for a bid on the contract and the Chief said no. Mulvey was concerned that other ambulance services did not have an opportunity to bid. 

Ostermiller asked where’s managements stand on putting this out to bid. The Chief said the original intent was to go out to bid but Action Care has performed well and they were not sure what other companies had to offer Littleton.  Any issues with Action Care had been taken care of in a quick manner and they haven’t seen the problems with Action Care that they experienced with 2 previous companies. 

Clark asked how they can issue a contract without going through a bid process.  The Chief said they had talked to the attorney and they were told that they did not have to go out for bids. 

Brad Bailey, acting city attorney, said that was accurate that they did not have to go out for bid on professional services. Clark asked for further clarification. Bailey said they had to bid purchases of items like equipment, supplies and materials. Cole asked about the supplies provided by Action Care and was told that the patients purchase those and not the City. 

Clark asked when the 2005 contract was approved because he could not find any record of the approval in the minutes from 2005.  Bailey said he would provide the minutes for council.   

Cole asked why the effective date of the contract was this past January – why didn’t the council get this prior to the start of the contract. Chief Zygowicz said they had submitted a letter to Action Care asking for an extension of the old contract in order to make some changes. Cole thought the Council should have been informed of the letter and request. 

Woods said they did have a short temporary extension to the contract and it was discussed with Zygowicz and Mullins.  He saw no advantage for Littleton taxpayers to go out for bids but it was Council’s call. 

Brinkman had her concerns.  The City doesn’t pay so it is not a cost to the City but it is a cost to the citizens.  What are our assurances that the patients are getting the best prices? Mullins said any price increases have to be sent to Littleton Fire Rescue and they did not want to saddle the citizens with over priced services.  We now have a track record with Action Care – how do we compare Action Care to another company that has no track record with us? 

Ostermiller was on the evaluation team in the beginning and sat through hours and hours of listening to the different ambulance services – all they had to offer was promises and we had no idea how they would perform.  We have 6 or 7 years experience with Action Care – the committee made a good choice – I don’t know if it was the best choice but I think it was.  We need to rely on the professionals and he moved to approve the Action Care contract. 

Clark was concerned that it was not put out for a bid and did not see how they could renew a contract when renewals were not allowed by the Charter.  He moved to table the discussion until March 4th. 

Ostermiller said there was a motion on the floor and Clark could not make a motion until Ostermiller’s motion had been voted on. Clark read from the rules that said no motion can be entertained when another is on the floor except a motion to table. 

Clark restated his motion and it died for lack of a second. The main motion passed on a 5/2 vote with Clark and Brinkman dissenting. 

Get Wild on Littleton

Council voted to close Main Street on June 14th for the Get Wild on Littleton event from 4pm to 11pm.  

Council’s Outreach and Study Session ScheduleThere were a series of motions made to approve the Council’s Outreach Schedule and their study session topics.  They follow.

DRAFT

Littleton City Council WorkshopItems Requiring Follow up/ApprovalFebruary 11, 20081.

1.  Adopt Council Outreach Schedule .

2.  Adopt Council Study Session Topics/Schedule.

3. Adopt Items Requiring Follow up/Approval .

4.  Permitted Uses in shopping areas – address in Comprehensive Plan

5.  Staff provide copy of Downtown Parking Study to council – put in 2/14 council packet.

6.  Staff provide memo to council regarding List Serve.

 7.  Staff provide memo to council regarding Pocket Parks. Have all of the funds been spent, have all of the identified sites been acquired?

8. Staff update Senior Resources Directory and include information from the counties.

9. Staff provide council with a copy of the BIA proposals for marketing that were prese

nted during the 2007 budget.

10. Council wants to know if staff can provide information that removes non-working residents from the Census data regarding disposable income.

11. Council wants to know if staff can provide information regarding the types of housing in the city. Do we have enough of each type? If not how many do we need?

12. Council wants more detailed information regarding aging demographics versus disposable income.

13.  Council wants information on whether there are growth opportunities for an aging population.

14. Council would like a “Top 20” list of the types of businesses Littleton lacks.

15. Council wants staff to provide them with the 2007 Workshop information regarding incentives for businesses.

16. Council wants staff to look at moving LFR dispatch to the Spotswood building.

17. Council wants staff to provide information regarding whether partnering with ACC on an events center would generate revenue.

18. Council wants staff to provide actual cost increases/decreases over a five year period on: employee health care, utilities, liability insurance, wages, fuel costs, etc.

19. Council wants staff to provide information on what other metro area cities pay as a percentage of employee health insurance costs.

20. Council Member Ostermiller will provide to council suggested questions for B & C interviews for Library Board, Liquor Authority and Planning Commission.

21. Council Member Brinkman will discuss with Tree Committee her proposal to expand the number of members and its scope to include conservation, park naming, etc.

22. Council wants staff to provide the proposed budget to them at least two weeks prior to the first workshop.

23. Council wants to include the budget for each of the prior years along with the actuals so they can determine if we are over budgeting, if trends can be detected.

24. Council wants staff to provide totals for General Fund line items across departments.

25. Council would like to see the number of FTEs in the proposed budget at the top of the first page for each department.

26. Council will interview all B & C applicants on 2/25, 2/26, and 2/27 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room. All three meetings will be televised. Council will inform each applicant in advance that the meeting will be televised. Council will get questions to each interviewee in advance of the interview. Staff will post the questions on the city website. 

Council Study Session Topics Schedule

March 11• South Platte River use protection/anti degradation (previously scheduled)• Amendments to Building Code (previously scheduled) including solar rebates and energy conservation

April 15• Code Enforcement update (requested by staff)

May 13 or June 10• Feasibility study on cost to move fire administration to Spotswood/Littleton Boulevard, cost of evidence processing storage facility and space reallocation for LPD

June 10• LFR response times at TrailMark 

Other topics by order of priority:

#1 – Open space/water tap fees

#2 – Comprehensive Plan/council identify which Neighborhood Plans are a priority (2/19)

#2 – Comprehensive Plan/council and planning commission determine which Neighborhood Plans are a priority

#3 – Ballot question language review regarding Water Fund#3 – Consideration of a Lodging Tax

#3 – De-Bruce Open Space Tax

#4 – Historic Preservation Board and Downtown Littleton parking

#5 – Ad hoc Citizens Communication Committee – respond to letter from citizens    

Other topics as scheduling permits without priority identified:

• Main Street Historic District – consensual designation and city code issues

• Council financial policies regarding investments

• 311 phone system• Five year budget revenue/expenditure projections – Ostermiller to work with Farmen and bring scope of work outline to council for review

• Commercial and residential properties that paid into Water Fund

• Red light ticketing technology• PDO process• Scrape offs/Pop tops

• Noise issues on Santa Fe and Broadway• Annexation

• LHA Rehab Program, apartment rehabilitation, Section 8 density, redevelopment of existing properties

• Using Mortgage Assistance funds for rehabilitation• Riverfront bonds

• Employee Cost Savings Program with incentives• City owned land for public parking near Colorado Center for the Blind, cost of a pedestrian bridge• Special events noise – concerts, movies, bands at bars with outdoor patios

• Topics requested by city staff 

Accepting the Conditions for State Historical Fund Grant for the Bemis House

A motion was made to accept the contract for $198,483.00 to restore the Bemis House.  The passage of this motion does not mean that the second phase will be funded.  The motion passed 6/0. 

Ethics

Brinkman asked for some clarification on the chronology of the current ethics rules and Amendment 41.  She has been approached and is uncertain about what she can and cannot accept.  For instance she has received a guest card from Hudson Gardens with unlimited use and if she took full advantage of the card it could amount to hundreds of dollars.   Meals on Wheels said they were unable to offer complementary tickets to council members since it was in violation of Amendment 41.  Why does Amendment 41 come into play for Meals on Wheels and not Hudson Gardens?” The Littleton Leadership Retreat – the city will pay for the city council members to go – what’s legal and what isn’t? 

Bailey said Amendment 41 is a dead letter.  Its enforcement is prohibited until it is settled.  The commission is missing the 5th member so the commission is not commissioned.  Last year the council defined what was acceptable and what was not acceptable.  Tickets were on the list but removed.  Hudson Gardens is its own separate property so there is no financial oversight.  Denver Bronco’s tickets – it depend on the givers if it was of substantial value.  If it does have substantial value – situational ethics comes to mind – it depends on who you are, what the gift is and what your job function is.  I have season tickets so a Bronco’s ticket would not be of substantial value to me. Brinkman didn’t understand that statement – the value hasn’t changed just because you have season tickets. 

Clark asked the staff to provide the council with background information on the ethic rules passed by the previous council and the state statute hoping to clarify some of the issues Brinkman brought up.  Clark said they did not put a value limit on gifts they can receive in their code. 

Brinkman said it was a mess and it needed to be revisited.  She does not intend to accept anything and they should not be receiving special privileges that they did not receive as a citizen.  Prior to her election she couldn’t reserve a meeting room at Hudson Gardens and now they want to give her an unlimited pass.  For the City to pay $200 a ticket for members to go to the Littleton Leadership Retreat – that’s big bucks. 

Clark said that is what drove the voters to approve Amendment 41. 

Bailey said for the City to pay for the council to attend the Littleton Leadership Retreat is no different than sending them to the CML Conference or the National League of Cities conference.  (There’s a big difference between the Littleton Leadership Retreat and the other groups Bailey mentioned.  For one, we pay membership dues to the national groups.  Secondly, the Littleton Leadership Retreat is a group of citizens that have formed and meet every two years.  They have no official standing.) 

Cole thought they should separate the different groups and determine guidelines for their travel and training.  She said she and her husband can go to the LPS Spirit of Littleton fundraiser free – does that fall into the same category. Mulvey said he never realized that the City paid for council members to attend the Littleton Leadership Retreat – he has never been to one. 

The next subject was questions to ask the applicants for the boards and commission openings.  It was like building a camel by committee – it doesn’t work very well.  For that reason I am not going to document what took place.  Believe me you would not believe it if I did.  I have included the result of their work below.   

QUESTIONS FOR BOARD AND COMMISSION INTERVIEWS GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why are you interested in serving on the board you applied for?

What skills or experience would you bring to this board?

The council has an attendance criterion – would you be available to meet on the night your board or commission meets?

Would you be willing to serve on another board other than the one you signed up for?

Would you be uneasy, worried, or intimidated by the telecasting of your board meeting on Littleton’s channel 8? 

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS QUESTIONS

The board of adjustments is not supposed to grant waivers or exceptions for self created hardships.

How strictly do you think that ought to be enforced?

BUILDING BOARD OF APPEALS QUESTIONS

What experience do you have in the construction or building industry?

The building board of appeals hears appeals to building code interpretation or application. How strict or absolute do you think building codes should be?

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY AFFAIRS ADVISORY COMMITTEE QUESTIONS

Do you have a business in Littleton – what is it?

What role do you think the City should take in helping businesses?

ELECTION COMMISSION QUESTIONS

Have you ever been convicted of voter fraud?Do you vote regularly?

HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD QUESTIONS

What is your view of the role of historic preservation in Littleton?At what point, if any, is it appropriate to do a non-consensual designation of a building or property?When a building is designated historic, how authentic do you think upgrades or additions to the building have to be, e.g. do the windows have to be historic, or just look like the original, etc.?

LIBRARY BOARD QUESTIONSThe Board serves as the hearing officer in case there is a challenge to a book in the library. Would you be comfortable doing this?What are your views on censorship of library materials?What is your philosophy about the role libraries have in a community?

LIQUOR AUTHORITY QUESTIONSDo you have any conscientious objections to drinking?What are your feelings about limiting the number of liquor licenses granted?

MUSEUM BOARD QUESTIONSDo you visit the museum?What do you like about the museum?

PLANNING COMMISSION QUESTIONS

How do you feel about balancing the public good vs. personal property rights?

The Planning Commission is tasked with revising the Comprehensive Plan.

At what point do you think it is appropriate to involve the citizens? 

Would you believe it took 30 motions to produce the questions above? 

Reports

Woods said South Suburban will be meeting with the people in the neighborhood about renaming Ridgewood Park after Charley Emley.  The contract on the Ensor property has lapsed so Woods will be writing a memo to council asking direction to start negotiations with Ensor on acreage. 

Brinkman reported that the Tree Committee is excited about their expanded charge.  Their next step is to work on their partnerships and discuss the details and scope of their work.  They will create a mission statement, prioritize a list of projects and will be making a presentation to council. 

Clark said they should strive to identify agenda items more clearly for the public. 

Clark suggested that they not make any decisions on board and commission appointments until the March 4th meeting.  That will also solve the question about what type of meeting they are having for the interviews. 

Cole said the meetings were publicized as special meetings on the web site.  Clark said he did not want to take minutes and Taylor agreed.  Clark moved to hold the selection process on March 4th.  Motion passed 6/0. 

(Jose Trujillo went home sick sometime during the meeting which is why there are only 6 votes.)

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2 Responses

  1. Two things concern me about the city council minutes.

    First – the Consent Agenda Contractual Services – $58,150.00 was approved to contribute to the following charities. If I want to give to charities I will; but there is something wrong with being taxed so money can be given to charities.

    Second – Brad Bailey, acting city attorney, said that was accurate that they did not have to go out for bid on professional services. I do not understand why all contracts do not have to go out for bids.

  2. I agree with you – I don’t like my tax dollars being spent on non-profit groups either. I like it even less when the contributions are hidden on the agenda by calling them “contractual services.” But, this has been the practice for several years and unless the public speaks up it will be future practice as well.

    On Competitive Bidding – This is what the Charter says.

    Section 97 – “Before the purchasing officer makes any purchase of supplies, materials or equipment in excess of $1,500 …he shall give ample opportunity for sealed competitive bidding, with such general exceptions as the Countil may prescribed by ordinance, the Council shall not exempt any individual contract, purchase or sale from the requirement of competitive bidding.

    Provisions in this section (97) shall not apply to professional or technical services, or services of regulated public utilities or other governmental agencies.”

    Bailey believes that the contract with Action Care Ambulance Service is a professional service and therefore not subject to the open bid requirements. It appears that some members of the council disagree with him as the contract with Action Care is on the agenda for Tuesday, March 4th to be rescinded. Debbie Brinkman argued that the contract goes beyond professional services because the citizens were being billed for the materials used by them if Action Care was responsible for the citizen’s delivery to a hospital. Brinkman thought it was worth going through the open bid process to ensure that the citizen’s were getting the best services and best prices possible.

    If you have been watching the study sessions on Channel 8 you know that the audio portion of the transmission is miserable – and that is being polite. This is another example of the council not going out for a bid. Kelli Narde assured them that CEAVCO was the only company that would know how to upgrade the community room with equipment compatiable with the other AV equipment. I wonder if we would have a system that worked if we had gone out for a bid. We will never know.

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