Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes – February 17, 2009

 

 

Citizen Minutes

Regular Meeting of City Council

City of Littleton, Colorado

I have included parts of the Council Communication under each Ordinance (and elsewhere) to help you understand what the Council is considering.  They are in italics.

 

 

7:00 p.m.                                                                                                                               Tuesday

Littleton Center                                                                                                   February 17, 2009

 

1.         Roll Call

 

2.         Pledge of Allegiance

 

3.         Agenda

 

4.         Minutes

 

a)         Minutes of Special Meeting January 27, 2009

 

b)         Minutes of Regular Meeting February 3, 2009

 

5.         Introduce New City Employees

 

6.         Citizens Appearances

 

a)         Guest Citizens – Virginia Fraser, Recipient of MLK Distinguished Service Award

 

Ginny Fraser was honored for her many years of service to Littleton.  Her most recent award was the Distinguished Service Award at the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.  “The City of Littleton has been so fortunate to have Ginny Fraser as a resident.  Her tireless efforts and activism have benefited many people throughout the country.

 

b)         Scheduled public appearances – Ed Romero, RTD presentation regarding Southwest Extension of Light Rail

 

Ed Romero introduced Susan Woods who talked about the SW Corridor extension of light rail which will extend south of the Mineral Station past C470 and then turn east to Lucent Blvd.  It will be a 2.5 mile stretch of rail that will end at a station with a 1,000 car parking space.  There is a potential for an interim station at C470 and Santa Fe.  There will be a public meeting at the City Center on March 19th from 6-8pm.

 

Doug Clark encouraged RTD to lease some of the property on the south side of Mineral to extend parking for light rail riders at least until the future station is open.  Susan Woods said there have been reports of congestion at that station and the addition of parking may only exacerbate the congestion but she would certainly take the idea back for consideration.

 

South Suburban Foundation presented a slide show on their history and activities.  They will hold a celebration on May 3rd for the completion of the Big Dry Creek Trail.

 

c)         Unscheduled public appearances* (limited to 4 minutes)

 

Bill Hopping invited all citizens to the second “True Grit” meeting on historic preservation which will be held at the Buck Center on the 26th at 7pm.

 

Jim DuBose invited the citizens of Littleton to attend the Pub Meeting on Thursday, February 19th at the Buck Center at 7pm.  Kay Wilmesher will be speaking about the Greater Littleton Youth Initiative.

 

7.         Consent Agenda Items

Consent agenda items can be adopted by simple motion.  All ordinances and resolutions must be read by title prior to a vote on the motion.  Any consent agenda item may be removed at the request of a Council Member.

 

a)         Ordinance on first reading enacting Section 6-4-37 of the City Code pertaining to the possession, manufacture, sale delivery or advertisement of drug paraphernalia – Passed 7/0.

 

The City of Littleton does not have an ordinance prohibiting the possession of drug paraphernalia.  As a result officers must enforce violations under State statutes utilizing the County Court system.  Including this ordinance within the City Code would provide for local control of these matters and improved efficiency of enforcement.” 

 

The ordinance is modeled after the State statue and would carry a possible penalty under the City’s general penalty provision of up to $1000 fine and/or one year in jail.

 

b)         Ordinance on first reading Repealing and Reenacting Littleton City Code Section 6-4-2 pertaining to Criminal Mischief Damage of Personal or Real Property – Passed 7/0.

 

The Colorado General Assembly raised the jurisdictional amount for criminal mischief prosecution in municipalities from less than $400 to any amount less than $1,000. The City Council desires to bring the City Code into compliance with the State Statute.

 

c)         Ordinance on first reading enacting Section 6-4-36 of the City Code pertaining to the dispensing or sale of alcoholic beverages to any person under twenty-one – Passed 7/0.

 

The City of Littleton does not currently have an ordinance prohibiting the sale or dispensing of alcohol to any person under twenty-one. As a result, officers must enforce violations under State statutes utilizing the County Court System. Including this ordinance within the City Code would provide for local control of these matters and improved efficiency of enforcement.

 

The ordinance is modeled after State statute and would carry a possible penalty under the City’s general penalty provision of up to a $1000 fine and/or one year in jail.

 

d)         Ordinance on first reading enacting Section 9-1-12 and amending Section 9-1-2 of the City Code pertaining to the decriminalization of traffic infractions – Passed 7/0

 

The Littleton City Code currently defines all traffic violations as criminal. The code does not differentiate between serious traffic offenses and minor traffic infractions. Each violation, regardless of the nature of the charge, carries the same penalties and processes in the code. The maximum penalty carries a fine of up to a $1000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. Any failure to appear or failure to pay on a traffic violation results in an arrest warrant.

 

This ordinance separates traffic violations into infractions and offenses. Infractions and offenses would be distinguished as follows:

 

Infractions                                                         Offenses

Minor traffic violations                                         Serious traffic violations

Civil                                                                  Criminal

Maximum Penalty: $1000 fine                              Maximum Penalty: $1000 fine and/or 90 days in                                                               jail

Failure to appear results in default judgment         Failure to appear results in arrest warrant

Trial to the court                                                Trial to the court or jury

 

Individuals charged with traffic offenses would still be required to appear in Court.

City staff would institute other alternative processes for those charged with traffic infractions, including offering plea bargains by mail. This would provide greater efficiency in judicial resources, as a percentage of defendants charged with minor violations would choose to accept a plea by mail offer rather than appearing in court. There would also be a savings of staff and police time in entering warrants and processing defendants on warrants for minor infractions.

 

e)         Ordinance on first reading enacting City Code Section 6-4-38 pertaining to the offense of menacing – Passed 7/0.

 

The City of Littleton does not have an ordinance pertaining to the criminal offense of menacing. As a result, officers must enforce violations under State statutes utilizing the County Court System. Including this ordinance within the City Code would provide for local control of these matters and improved efficiency of enforcement.

 

The ordinance is modeled after State statute and would carry a possible penalty under the City’s general penalty provision of up to a $1000 fine and/or one year in jail.

 

f)          Ordinance on first reading Amending the 2009 Budget to transfer funds from the Water Utility Fund to the Special Projects Fund – Passed 7/0

 

The purpose of this communication is to present to the City Council a Budget Amendment Ordinance with changes to the 2009 Water Utility Fund Budget.

 

HISTORY AND FACTS

The Water Utility Fund currently has an estimated fund balance of $11,205,000 (includes an estimated $25,073 or less for January 2009 interest earnings). It was discussed at the Special Council Meeting Workshop on January 30, 2009 to transfer the balance of this fund to the Special Projects Fund. Approval of this appropriation is intended to eliminate the Water Utility Fund in 2009.

 

The Water Utility Fund appropriation is recommended to increase by an estimated $11,205,000.

 

The following accounts would be affected:

 

37.80.850.8500.034.0000 Tr. Out Special Projects Fund $11,205,000

 

With corresponding revenue in the Special Projects Fund:

34.80.840.5910.037.0000 Tr. In Water utility Fund $11,205,000

 

Clark asked if the instruments to pay off the loans would be ready to execute at the same time.  Doug Farmen has the final calculations and they could be ready on March 3rd. 

 

Jim Woods suggested if both actions are to be taken together it should be done on the 17th.  He thought it would be cleaner if the transfer, which requires a 4/5 majority vote, was done separately from the other.

 

Clark and Taylor believed it should be done on the 17th.

 

 

g)         Resolution approving an Agreement with Colorado Department of Transportation regarding Traffic Signals on State Highways within City Limits – Passed 7/0.

 

For the past thirty-four years, the city has entered into annual contracts with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for the reimbursement of costs associated with the operation and maintenance of traffic control devices on state highways within Littleton, per Senate Bill No. 8 of 1974. This law requires the Highway Department to assume the costs of the above functions.

 

Inasmuch as the state does not have the necessary equipment and staff to perform this obligation, the Department of Transportation contracts with Littleton for our performance of these duties. The rate of reimbursement has been negotiated by the Traffic Engineer; this year an amount of $74,712 was agreed upon with the state.

 

8.         Second and Final Reading on Ordinances and Public Hearings

 

9.         General Business

 

a)         Approval of 2009 Contractual Service Agreements

 

City Council annually appropriates funds in its budget for Contractual Service Agreements to be distributed to community and cultural organizations that provide services and programs to the citizens of Littleton. Council has reviewed the requests and directed staff to prepare a council communication for this meeting to formally approve distribution of funds for 2009.

 

Arapahoe /Douglas Mental Health $10,000

Arapahoe House Detox $ 5,000

Arapahoe Rescue Patrol $ 1,500

Arapahoe Santa Claus Shop $ 800

Bega Sister City $ 350

Doctors Care $ 5,000

Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter $ 1,000

Inter-Faith Community Services $20,000

Littleton Chorale $ 750

Littleton Housing Authority Sneaker Fund $ 3,000

Littleton Symphony $ 400

Littleton YMCA Youth Program $ 750

Main Street Players $ 500

Metro Mayors Youth Award $ 500

Rocky Mountain Stroke Association $ 500

South Suburban Buck Blitz $ 1,000

Town of Littleton Cares Meals on Wheels $ 5,000

Western Welcome Week $ 2,450

Young Voices of Colorado $ 500

                                                TOTAL: $59,000

 

b)         Presentation from South Suburban Foundation – see above

 

c)         Discussion regarding June 16, 2009 City Council meeting conflict with CML conference

 

It was decided that the council will meet on that date.

 

d)  Added agenda item – Consideration of a postponed motion from February 3 was that any analysis that will be done on space utilization, in the City Center, include all of the building including firehouse 11 and its relocation.

 

Cole moved to postpone the motion once more since her original motion to postpone was made in order to give the public the opportunity to address the issue.  Since it was not on the agenda there was no public notice.  Her motion was defeated on a 3/4 vote with Brinkman, Trujillo, Taylor and Clark dissenting.

 

The main motion failed on a 2/5 vote with Taylor and Ostermiller voting yes.

 

10.       Consideration of Committee, Commission and Board Matters

 

11.       Ordinances on First Reading

 

12.       Resolutions

 

13.       Comments / Reports

 

a)         City Manager – Woods asked the Council if the staff could proceed on the purchase of a small piece of open space property.  Council did not object.

 

Woods said he received a call from Scott Murphy, LPS Superintendent. The School Board would like to hold an economic summit with ACC, LPS, Littleton and South Suburban to assess the state budget and stimulus and learn what each entity is facing.  March 13th is the suggested date. 

 

Cole thought it was a good idea and so did Clark who suggested that Tom Clark (no relation) from the Chamber Economic Group address the group.

 

b)         City Attorney

 

c)         Council Members

 

Cole said Heron Lake, one of the small lakes recently named, was not accepted because of the similarity in name of another existing lake.  The committee will reconvene to suggest another name.

 

Taylor reported that the Littleton Housing Authority received a clean audit.

 

Brinkman expressed her concern about the upcoming boards and commission appointments.  She has noticed a high absenteeism for some current members who have reapplied.  She understands that they are volunteers but other members are being burdened by the absences.  The handbook states that three absences is cause for removal.

 

Taylor said when he was Mayor he wrote letters to board and commission members that absenteeism will cause your removal and if the members she is referring to were serving at the time he sent the letter they had been warned.

 

Cole thought it was more complicated.  What if they have missed 5 out of 8 meetings in the first year of a three year term?  She thought attendance was important and had noticed some excessive absences.  She thought they should be prompted to resign.

 

Brinkman would like the council to act in unity.

 

Taylor said it does depend on the committee – he is on a committee that meets once a year and if you miss that meeting you have a 100% absence rate.

 

John Ostermiller said it is spelled out in the handbook and the Chair is to notify the Council of attendance problems and we need to follow that procedure.

 

Clark said it had been awhile since he had read the handbook.  Brinkman reiterated what Ostermiller said but added that there are new Chairmen who are learning.  She did not think it was appropriate to keep people on committees that can’t attend 50% of the meetings when there are capable people waiting to serve.

 

d)         Council PresidentClark asked Council members to have their comments on the draft of the workshop to Kelli Narde by Friday.  There will be separate minutes of the workshop that will show the actions taken.

 

Clark asked for a subcommittee to meet with consultant Tom Daugherty to discuss the evaluation of the Court System.  Brinkman, Mulvey and Clark will serve on the subcommittee which will meet next Monday or Tuesday.

 

e)         DRCOG

 

The Council convened into an executive session to discuss the counter offer on the Mineral Ave building.

 

14.       Adjournment

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