Littleton City Council Meeting 7 April 2009




Regular Meeting of City Council

City of Littleton, Colorado

                                                April 7, 2009


1.         Roll Call


2.         Pledge of Allegiance


3.         Agenda


4.         Minutes


a)         Minutes of Special Meeting March 10, 2009


b)         Minutes of Regular Meeting March 17, 2009


5.         Introduce New City Employees


6.         Citizens Appearances


a)         Guest Citizens – Carlos Dominguez – John P. Cernich Life Saving Award


b)         Scheduled public appearances – Margie Munoz, Aspen Grove Update – Margie Munoz reported on several of the summer Aspen Grove Events.


            Paris Street Market will be returning on the first Saturday of the month from 8am to 3pm


            Family Film Night is returning from June 17-August 19 from 6pm to 11pm


            Denver Farmer’s Market will be there every Wednesday beginning June 17 through October 28 from 11 to 3pm


            The 6th Annual American Art and Music Festival will be June 27-28


            October 31 their Halloween Trick or Treat will return


Margie said Café deFrance is expanding and Aspen Grove’s Cart Program is returning so anyone that would like to lease cart space can do so and try out a business idea!


Jim Taylor asked her about the delay on construction and Munoz said the developer did not want to begin construction until it was 50% leased and they are close to closing on 2 deals that would exceed the 50% so they are hoping for construction to begin soon.



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


Arnell Kimmett asked the City Council for a waiver on an enforcement issue.  He has two trailers parked on his large lot on Front Range Road and they are not legally parked by the City’s code.  He has addressed the Council before on this issue and he was waiting to hear back from the Council.  He was sited once more and was to appear in the Court the next day.


Doug Clark said after the Dec. 16th meeting Code Enforcement was under the impression that his trailers were going to be sold after Jan. 1st so nothing was done.  There appears to be a misunderstanding between the City and Mr. Kimmett about the selling of the trailers.  (More on this subject later in meeting)


Carol Brzeczek told the Council that she attended the session put on by Suzanne Staiert, Kristen and Wendy for all Board and Commission members on the Open Meetings Law, the Open Records Act and proper TV behavior for those Boards that are televised.  She thought it was very well done and worthwhile.  She suggested that the Council get a copy of Wendy’s suggestions for those televised because the meetings held in the Community Room are certainly better than they used to be they are still very difficult to hear for those that are watching at home.



7.         Consent Agenda Items


a)         Ordinance on first reading regarding Amendments to Wastewater Utility Ordinance (7-5-25), specifically Industrial Pretreatment Requirements – PASSED 7/0.


b)         A Resolution approving an Intergovernmental Agreement with Arapahoe County for shared services – PASSED 7/0



8.         Second and Final Reading on Ordinances and Public Hearings


a)         Ordinance on second reading adopting the 2008 National Electrical Code with amendments and providing penalties for violations  PASSED 7/0


9.         General Business


a)         Motion to become members of the American Society on Aging – This was a recommendation made by the BIAAC group and Cole brought the matter forward.  The cost of a membership is $425.00 annually. 


Taylor said this is a non-profit organization that advocates for seniors and works to enhance the skills for those that work with the aging community.  We are part of DRCOG, an area agency, which has lots of information on this subject.  He called the Executive Director of DRCOG and learned that no one from Littleton had ever asked them for information on the aging community.  He had a difficult time supporting this motion when we have an agency right here that we have not taken advantage of in the past. 


Cole moved to become a member of the organization, Clark seconded.


Cole said she made the recommendation because BIAAC made the recommendation and she assumed that they did a lot of research before making their recommendation.  Motion passed 4/3 with Taylor, Ostermiller and Brinkman dissenting.


b)         Discussion of Police Department Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Request – Chief Coogan asked for the Council’s approval to participate in a JAG Request for $36,786.  She recommended that if the grant is awarded the money be used to purchase two more license plate readers for the Police Department.  Motion passed 7/0.


      c)         How to proceed with Council’s Workshop decision (Jan. 30) to pay off particular                            financial obligationsCole asked Jim Woods if he would give the Council a report on the economic status of Littleton as compared to the same type of report he gave to the Council at their January 31t workshop.  Cole moved to reconsider the financial status of the City in 3 months and determine whether or not to pay down the debt at that time.  Taylor seconded the motion.  Clark suggested that Cole accomplish her goal outside of making a motion.  Even though there was a second on the motion Clark dispensed the motion because the “chair could not figure out how to restate the motion.”

      d)         Discussion of direction Council wishes to take with the video show – There was a brief discussion on a concern about incumbents using Channel 8 for campaigning for the November election.  The City does plan on having some type of election show for all candidates.

Clark said incumbents need to be careful when it comes to Channel 8 during the election cycle.  The obligation is on the incumbent.

      e)         Discussion of code enforcement for trailer parking – Debbie Brinkman introduced this topic by saying she saw that the Council had three choices.

      1.  They could change the law

      2.  Make an exception in this case, or

      3.  Let the process proceed through the Courts


Jim Thelen stated that the code required all horse trailers and summer vehicles be parked on a hard surface.  You can’t just go in the back yard and dump gravel – it has to be continuous to the right of way or the driveway and it has to have a border.

Clark asked how the codes are enforced as there is a very fine line between enforcing the law and being intrusive and over-reaching by the government.

Thelen said the complaints are either called in or “we” see the violation.  Once the problem is identified the owner or tenant is notified and given time to comply with the violations.  After a period of time if the compliance has not been corrected another letter is sent saying that they will use the fullest extent of the law to resolve the violation.  If it is still not corrected after the 2nd notice a summons will be issued.

Thelen said they are proactive – they do patrol the community but 60% of the violations are reacting to a complaint.

Clark asked Thelen if he had seen the photos of other violations in Kimmett’s neighborhood.  Thelen drove the neighborhood yesterday and saw a motor home that is parked on the grass and will have to be addressed.  Now that he has seen the photos he will address the violations pictured.

Jose asked if the trailers were moved to the driveway would the violation be corrected.  Thelen said yes.

Tom Mulvey thought the code should be enforced.  John Ostermiller hated to see the council interfere with code enforcement.  No action was taken by Council.


            f)          Approval of Judicial Review Process –


Peggy Cole said she was confused and troubled by the process and was not clear about the objectives, guidelines and items in the survey.  Do the items imply objectives thus a performance goal?


Clark said that was one way to look at it.  The process started with the consultant looking at what other city’s and the state’s process for evaluating the Judicial process.  The surveys will be collected in about a year and a peer group will be assembled to compile the results and make comments that will go into a report for the City Council.  The Council will then meet with Judge Kimmel.  There will be a second document, yet to be created, that will be used to evaluate the Judge.  However, they needed to get the survey in place so they can start to collect the data.  Motion passed 6/1 with Cole dissenting.




10.       Consideration of Committee, Commission and Board Matters


11.       Ordinances on First Reading


12.       Resolutions


13.       Comments / Reports


a)         City Manager – There is an Open House at the Littleton Englewood Waste Water Treatment Plant to celebrate the completion of Phase 2.  He also reported that the sewer rates consultant, hired by the outside water districts, would like to talk to Council on June 9th. 


Clark suggested they be scheduled closer to the date the Council sets the rates for 2010.  Taylor said there was no harm in hearing their presentation.  Clark asked Taylor if he wanted to hear the report twice saying he preferred to get the physical report first.  He wanted staff to make it clear to the consultant that they would only be giving their presentation one time.


Woods said they had been following the stimulus money and as a general principle they were not going to be submitting requests for any money that had recurring costs.  Taylor thought the grant money would be helpful in filling up the holes in the police department and 4 years from now we don’t know what the economy will be or we could look for other grants to provide on-going funding.


Woods said to go after the money now would create a mini priority process since none of those discussions had taken place.


Cole said she was concerned and needed to know the total costs – you have to equip personnel too.  She said they needed to be very conservative.


Clark had the same concerns as Woods but beyond personnel. 


b)         City Attorney – Staiert reported that there were about 50 participants in the Boards and Commissions meeting on the Open Meetings Law and the Open Records Act.  She hopes to do the same type of workshop for the Council in November. 


She reported that a study on Court case loads is beginning  – an efficiency study – with results in June or July.



c)         Council Members


Jose provided staff with a report on a wellness program from Kennisaw?.


Brinkman said the Council needed to conduct a more thorough study of each Option under consideration for the police building.  She asked Taylor to join her in meeting with a space needs professional along with Staiert and Kelli Narde.   After interviewing companies they would make a recommendation to Council on a company to contract with and a scope of work.  Taylor seconded her motion. 


Ostermiller asked what it cost to have the space needs assessed for the Museum and the Police Department.  Phil Cortese said he thought the Museum was about $45,000 and the Police study was about $70,000 to $80,000.


Clark said a course of action was set at a meeting a few weeks ago and two weeks later it was changed and this looks like another new process.  It is becoming chaotic at best and he did not want to start a full city space needs when it is about the police.  It is inappropriate at this time.


Brinkman said the Council will be in a stalemate because they will not have the information they need to make a decision.  We are not asking to spend any money – we would like to get it out of the chaotic mess and put in systems for more consensus.  At this point I am not advocating for any option but for a full vetting of all options.  We have space problems – I ran on that platform.  This may not be graceful but we need to get back on track.  It is not a mistake for Taylor and her to meet with these people.


Ostermiller said this started over 3 years ago.  The Police needed a Crime Lab, Evidence Storage, Holding Cells and more space for police staff.  We have a little windfall of money and it looks like we are chasing ideas of how to spend the money.  Space needs for the City does not make sense – it will take care of itself over time.  We need to address the Police.  Now all of a sudden we are looking at how to fill up 67,000 square feet of additional space.  Go do it without the Council’s blessing.


Cole said they have Thelen’s report and they can do some ball park estimates of the financial implications from his report.  It is premature to do anything at this time and she was not comfortable with raising the scope of what they said they would do.  MOTION FAILED 3/4 WITH OSTERMILLER, COLE, CLARK AND TRUJILLO DISSENTING.


Ostermiller said he and Doug Farmen will be updating their 5 year forecast.


Taylor asked the Council to consider funding the National League of Cities Board Meeting in Littleton at the Museum on July 21st.


Taylor gave an hour by hour report of a meeting he attended over two days out of the State – he did not report on how the trip benefited Littleton but we heard what time he had breakfast etc.  If interested you will need to listen to the tape!


d)         Council President Clark said the Council may want to consider changes to the Charter before they have to hire a replacement for Judge Kimmel and if so it should be done before August to make the ballot in November.


Council convened into an executive session to get legal advice about scheduling executive sessions.


e)         DRCOG


14.       Adjournment

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