City Council Meeting, June 8, 2021

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This meeting’s video comes with an apology … due to a bit of personal confusion, the public comment section of the meeting is missing as is part of the City Manager’s report.

6-8-21 Council Meeting Recap

Well, it finally happened. Both of us missed the beginning of the council. While the city does record meetings, they tend to have quite a lag in posting. The Observer’s recording starts late in the meeting during the City Manager’s report with Parks Director Dave Musgrave talking, but can be found here on youtube. If we missed anything of note let us know.

The end of public comments was just barely caught in time to understand that not only did Alan Mueller retract his support of the zoning rewriting contract based on the large size of the bid and the city’s failure to have a wider review by all city departments, boards, and commissions that are impacted by zooming to gain their input, but Mueller also chastised the city for their lack of transparency in providing more information about the bidding and how the review was done. The last public comment came from Erica Brooks, who complained that the police report of an alleged assault was wrong.

Manager’s Report

Don Boyce, Public Works Director, spoke on continued work on street improvements and fixing all those potholes. He noted that there seems to be an issue of stormwater damage to city streets and he is working with MSD now.

Parks Director Dave Musgrave reported on the continued work on the pools. He also said he is close to being finished with refining the special events process.

Chief Hampton noted that they are looking at some topics for special meetings. They are almost done with the housing program and have worked with council members Griffin and Lipka. That is expected to be brought to the full council soon.

Chief Hampton also reported that he, Chief Armstrong, and Don Boyce have been working together on speed remediation and the possible use of portable speed tables. Boyce is working on getting pricing and the costs will be brought to council.

Public Hearing for special use permit for the Eyelash Studio at 9191 West Florissant. Elliott Liebson reported that additional information came up that the Planning Commission will need to review so this permit is not ready for a public hearing yet.

Public Hearing for 2021-2022 Budget and 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan (2022-2026). For the fiscal year 2021-22, projected revenue is about $22,073,000 and the summary budget can be seen here.

The discrepancy seen in budgets from 2020-22 is due to the stimulus funding the city has received and anticipates receiving. In 2021, the city received about $3.3 million and in 2022 anticipates receiving about 1.9 million.

Finance Director Alexis Miller also noted that she has finally received on how the stimulus funding is allowed to be used to make up for lost revenue and is working on the numbers for that now.

There will be a resolution at the next council meeting to approve both the budget and the capital improvement plan.

The Council then approved minutes for the meetings of: 1) Special Council Meeting May 24, 2021 2) Council Meeting May 25, 2021 and 3) Special Council Meeting June 2, 2021

Appointments There were no appointments to be made in this meeting, but Councilmember Lipka noted that an application had been received from Rob Chabot for the FSBD (Ferguson Special Business District) Board and that she understood Robin Shively was also interested. Lipka noted that these were council appointments and will need a vote and that a quorum is needed for FSBD to work. Councilmember Burrow also noted that there are two vacancies on CRB (Citizen’s Review Board) and some applications in.

Annual Liquor License Renewals for HollyLou.

The Proclamation for Juneteenth as a Holiday was read.

A Resolution allowing for an amendment to the contract previously awarded to Petroff Trucking was made to allow for the additional scope of the project of demolishing vacant buildings so that two abandoned homes on Burdale and Elkan can be demolished. The motion passed without objection.

A Resolution to award a contract for grass cutting services to WKF (Walter Knoll Florist) was presented. This was covered in a special Observer editorial here. As Acting City Manager, Chief Hampton noted that the contract had been awarded in February by the previous Interim City Manager and that it could not be retracted even though the council had not had the contract presented for approval. The motion passed without objection.

A pair of ordinances for first reading were made for repealing the old ordinance and adopting a new ordinance for fixing the salaries of officers and employees and for part-time employees of Parks and Recreation.

In Miscellaneous, Councilmember Griffin revisited her previous comments about the Use of Force policy at great extent and was asked to go “offline” and discuss with the Consent Decree Coordinator and City Attorney.

Finally, City Attorney Apollo Carey made his comments on transparency in selecting a winning bid that were the subject of the Observer’s last editorial so just go straight to the end of the video if you want to hear his defense against having a process that is transparent with the public.

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Nick Kasoff
Nick Kasoff, the editor of The Ferguson Observer, is a tax professional, landlord, information systems consultant, Libertarian committeeman, and community activist. A Ferguson resident since 2005, he formed the Observer with the help of a strong crew of fellow volunteers, who shared his belief that a regular record of the events and musings of this community was of great importance.