Littleton City Council Meeting September 16, 2008

Littleton City Council Meeting

September 16, 2008


Just a reminder to everyone, my minutes are not complete.  I only write about what I think has significant interest for those that read them.  If you are interested in reading the official minutes they are available on the City’s web site.


Anything in italics are my words and not from the meeting.


Unscheduled Appearances

Alan Powers from Action Care addressed the Council.  He expressed his disappointment in the fact that his ambulance company was not selected to continue to provide backup ambulance service for Littleton.  He had heard that his company was not selected because of comments he made during his presentation rather than Action Care’s past performance.  He believes that the rescinding of his contract was not appropriate and against council’s own rules and Robert’s Rules of Order.  He was amazed also because 4 of the 6 committee members were favorable to their contract renewal.  He believes that Action Care is still under contract.


Consent Agenda

EMS Chief Zygowicz complemented Action Care for the service they have provided Littleton over the past six years.


On March 4, 2008 the Council directed staff to send out a RFP for back-up ambulance service.  It was picked up by six companies and four responded.  Rural Metro of Central Colorado was being recommended by the selection committee.


Zygowicz said there were three things left to negotiate in the contract.

1.      The AVL system (automated vehicle location system).  Rural Metro would like to put a screen in our dispatch office and it is believed that doing so would create more work for our dispatchers and while it sounded good for our dispatchers to work with them it really was more work.  Rural Metro would be under contract to meet the 12 minute response time 90% of the time by contract and that is the bottom line.

2.      Rates – Rural Metro’s rates are close to Littleton’s but not exactly the same.  Zygowicz gave a couple of examples where their rates were 3% and 5% higher than Littleton’s and they did not think it was that big of a deal.

3.      Trail Mark – All ambulance services run a dynamic deployment system and to ask them to put an ambulance so close to TrailMark to respond to 52 calls per year is difficult.  This company would like to purchase a home in TrailMark if the zoning would allow it.  Zygowicz said a fixed location is really meaningless – it is the 12 minute response time that is important.  They will adjust their deployment strategy as they get into the market.  They have proposed a “fly car” which is one paramedic in an SUV with all the ALS gear.  It can get to a location faster than a ladder vehicle or other EMT vehicles at a cost of about $290,000.  Zygowicz said if a “fly car” is such a good idea why doesn’t Littleton have one?  But, again, the bottom line is 12 minute response 90% of the time.


John Ostermiller said he was surprised that this document was before council at this time.  The committee (which he is a member) requested that three items be changed in their proposal and if not in the contract the committee needed to reconvene.  The committee has not had the opportunity to discuss these issues and while Zygowicz and Chief Mullin might want to give up on those items the committee may not.


Jim Taylor wanted to hear the answer to Ostermiller’s concern.


Zygowicz said he was instructed to talk to the attorney when and if it was to be negotiated into the contract.


Taylor asked Ostermiller if he would like to table the item.


Ostermiller asked the City Attorney, Suzanne Staiert, at what po9int are these items to be negotiated.


Staiert said anytime now that the process is public.


Ostermiller said he would like to table the item.


Doug Clark restated that TrailMark was a big concern for this council and if there is a tradeoff to be made response time will be what is most important.  He was not certain that the tradeoff the committee made would be what is important to the citizens.  It would not be good to approve a contract that does not fix the TrailMark response time.


Mullin said they would follow any direction council had for them but wanted to clarify if they were being asked to go back and start the RFP process over or go back and negotiate the three items.


Clark said he wasn’t sure since he did not have a motion.  He did recognize that the sequence of events was not ideal and the circumstances have changed.


Ostermiller moved to table the item until October 21, 2008.  In the meantime the stakeholders should meet with Rural Metro and discuss and negotiate the three items.  Taylor seconded.  Cole asked if he meant to table the item or postpone the item. Clark thought Ostermiller meant to postpone.  Motion passed 7/0.


Jim Woods asked for clarification wanting to know exactly what performance standards should be negotiated.  Do the rates need to be exactly the same as the city’s and if not how much difference will they tolerate.


Taylor thought the committee should have some leeway to negotiate and Woods said he was trying to find out where the leeway is – are you going to set a boundary for us.


Clark said he was not concerned about the 3% or 5% difference but more concerned about linking their rates to ours.


Woods said if the dispatching is with us then the City takes on the 12 minute response time.  Another proposal said they would pay us to dispatch – is that the performance standard you want us to take back to the committee?


Ostermiller said it did interest the committee to have Littleton control the dispatching and be reimbursed but they have to decide if that is really what they want.


Clark moved to go into an executive session to meet with their attorney on the issue.  They invited Jim Woods, Suzanne Staiert, Phil Cortese and John Mullin to meet with them.  Motion passed 7/0.


Upon council’s return the committee was asked to address the three issues they had brought up but had not discussed within the committee. The committee will need to come back to council with a recommendation.



Debbie Brinkman wrote a memo to Council proposing the establishment of an “ongoing mechanism to meet with our largest employers in the city.  In particular, I suggest that we host a twice a year luncheon at which we have an open agenda to discuss items of mutual interest.  While the City has had a long standing business advisory committee (BIAAC), this committee has typically represented all facets of the business community including retail, small businesses, large businesses and industry clusters.  More recently, the applications for the committee have been from the smaller businesses in town.  While it is important to hear from all facets of the business community, it is also important that we have open and clear channels of communication to the largest employers in town.”  She then read a memo of support for her idea from Chris. 


Taylor said he thought that is why BIAAC was created and it should be that committee to host the larger business community and report back to Council.


Clark asked Taylor if he supported the concept but preferred BIAAC to do the meeting.


Tom Mulvey said he did not want to step on the toes of BIAAC.  We have Echo Star and Schomp’s on the BIAAC – I don’t think we need it.


Brinkman said she had spoken to Lisa Schomp and Rohan Zaveri (Echo Star) and they both liked the idea.  There were several other large employers in Littleton that were not represented on BIAAC and did not have direct communication with the City.  This would be an opportunity for City Council to create a conversation with these business leaders.  It would be less time consuming and more productive for them.


Clark said he did not see it as a slap to BIAAC.


Taylor suggested a breakfast meeting – it is a time commitment for us.


Brinkman said the objective is to meet – breakfast or lunch – it doesn’t matter.


Woods suggested building it into their outreach calendar.


Ostermiller said they need to do something to get the large employers involved in the City.  BIAAC has always been different from the other boards and commissions in their operations and purpose.  They are to advise the Business and Industry Affairs department and work with them.  He believes they have drifted away from their original purpose.  Gibbons used to present a list of people he would like to have on BIAAC to the Mayor and that way we had the involvement of Echostar and Qwest.  We are losing those people.  We need to get back to the City Code – it needs to be an advisory group to BIA and let staff know what is happening in the business community.    He prefers Gibbons to submit names for BIAAC as in the past.


Clark thought that would be alright if they really are an advisory group but they have been producing an annual report.  If Gibbons want to appoint people to advise him that is okay but that is not what has been happening.  As long as BIAAC functions as they do now I want the City Council to have a say in the membership.


Ostermiller suggested that they not ask for a report and tell Gibbons to use them for advice.  He did support the breakfast idea to get them back into the fold.


Brinkman moved to schedule a breakfast meeting with Council, staff, and selected large businesses in Littleton at the earliest opportunity.  Taylor seconded and motion passed 6/1 with Mulvey dissenting.


Ostermiller suggested November 13th.




Ostermiller said LPS held their first public forum to announce the Facilities Task Force 16 options.  There will be another one Monday, September 22 at Heritage High School at 6:00.


Clark asked if there was Council support to use Channel 8 to inform voters about the two Littleton ballot issues.


Ostermiller thought the Blue Book was the way to go.  Taylor thought they should mail a postcard to as many as each of their $50 allowed by law would allow them to mail.


Clark said if they used Channel 8 they could play the piece the ½ hour prior to the council meetings.


Mulvey thought it was a great idea but how do we notify the citizens.


Brinkman said it could be done on the website.


Clark moved to instruct Kelli Narde to come up with procedures and process to present the pros and cons on Channel 8.  His motion failed 3/4 vote with Jose, Taylor, Ostermiller and Cole dissenting.


Study Session – Decisions are not supposed to be made in a study session.  However, the Regular Meeting was never adjourned so technically they were still in a Regular Meeting even though Clark made it very clear this portion of the meeting was a study session.


Taylor moved to authorize the acquisition of the Murray Property (3.55 acres located at 4829 S. Santa Fe Drive) for $350,000.  Motion passed 7/0.


Taylor moved to approve a resolution to adopt the intergovernmental agreement between the City of Littleton and the Cunningham FPD for the provision of emergency dispatch services for which the Cunningham FPD will pay Littleton $300,000 per year for three years.  Motion passed 7/0.

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