Transcript – Special Council Meeting, 4/22/2021

214

Special Council Meeting 4/22/21

Thu, 4/22 6:28PM • 2:02:50

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

board, ferguson, councilwoman, fire department, citizens, council, fire departments, budget, city, commissions, district, firefighter, people, questions, requires, presentation, retention, year, services, continue

SPEAKERS

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1), Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief), Octavia Spencer (City Clerk), Fran Griffin (Ward 3), Linda Lipka (Ward 1), Toni Burrow (Ward 2), Heather Robinett (Ward 2), Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief), Naquittia Noah (Ward 3), Ella Jones (Mayor)

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  01:14

It might just stay on for the closed door

Ella Jones (Mayor)  01:20

will be excused.

01:26

So, so we weren’t senators and also thank you. moving with the survey. Right.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  02:43

Good afternoon.

02:50

Hello.

03:00

Good evening everyone. I’m here.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  07:28

She’s here.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  07:31

Okay, we have the council

07:33

here now. Okay.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  07:38

Good evening, and welcome to the special meeting of the person City Council. The meeting is now called to order a tape you could you please call the roll.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  07:55

Councilman our meter here. Married. Here, Councilman Nelson. Here,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  08:23

A quorum is present. I’ll just like to share with everyone we will we will like to have like a 30 hard stop. So we have just two or three items, and hopefully we can move through the items have been finished, the closed session two by 830. So that’s the goal. The next item new council members questions and answers to the new council members do you have any questions about Robert’s Rules of Order or anything at this time.

Naquittia Noah (Ward 3)  09:01

Am I right, Rogers had questions regarding the boards and commission just,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  09:05

okay, that would be the next item up. Okay, thank you. The pointer.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  09:15

Agree, regarding the boards and commissions. Okay.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  09:20

Okay, since they don’t have any. Robert Drew’s orders questions then we move to item number three, discussion of boards and commissions, I take you, could you please share some information about boards and commissions and how citizens are appointed, and how council members are.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  09:47

Oh, okay. So, in terms of how council members are typically we will go through the process immediately following the election and the council members would then be sworn I mean that’s what I’m sorry, but then you guys will go through the discussion of who would like to serve as council representative for which board, and then you will go through that appointment process, but in terms of citizens being appointed to the different boards and commissions. Normally, we would appoint to fill vacancies at any time during the year. To fill the unexpired term. But then, so the terms for boards and commissions run from July, one to 30. So, around June so right now when would be when we will start the process to reappoint any of those that are interested in be reappointed to unexpired terms, or to their expired terms I’m sorry if they have another term that they could feel. And we would also the intake applications to feel those new terms they begin July one. So hopefully I made it clear I feel like I stumbled a little bit but yeah so throughout the year, typically you will feel unexpired term unexpired terms to feel vacancies, and we will begin new appointments and reappointments beginning July one so you normally make those appointments in June. Is that what you were looking for.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  11:23

Yes. Okay, said help Phaedra Councilwoman Nelson at council woman no, that does that help.

11:33

Yeah. And we can talk later about this it could have been me. But I know someone submitted an application that I do read your email. But again, you know, it’s not an information that I have to learn to navigate through, so I couldn’t be open looking to applications. We can talk about that. You know, maybe you’ve gotten

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  11:59

it. Okay, because I didn’t necessarily touch on their part. I did send you guys some information today of how to access updated list of boards and commissions, and also any applications that I have pending. They are separated by the particular board. If you guys do have access have issues accessing it let me know. Or if you have someone that has been that is interested in submitting an application that believes that they may have submitted an application, and you don’t see it being here, let’s talk about it, because maybe they dropped it off at city hall with the receptionist and they had made it to me yet or something, you know, I don’t know. But yeah, so we can talk about anyone that you feel has submitted an application that you don’t see it. Okay, because like I said it could be me overlooking. Okay, thank you.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  12:48

This is Tony Bureau Councilwoman nor and Nelson, for you guys if you are interested in finding out anything about the positions that we are holding those that are already here, please feel free to reach out to me to anybody that’s holding the position that you’re interested in joining or whatever. I think everybody would be favorable to answering any questions, because I know once you get to read, you got to wonder what what’s that, really, so please reach out to me I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have. Thank

13:30

you.

13:31

Okay.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  13:36

This discussion is now open about boards and commissions. Oh, excellent people to look at the boards and commissions that you be on and be willing to move around. Nothing is in concrete. Everyone should have an opportunity to be able to be a part of a board and commission, and move around and experience a different boards and commissions. We have at least 22 boards and commissions. And that is a lot of work. We have several boards and commissions, like the traffic Commission. It has four vacancies and traffic is number one item top item people, people are talking about at this time, so if anybody feel like they would like to be the council person on that and start working to get people on that board that would be great. Councilwoman Lipka, you have your hand up.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  14:59

Yes, Ma’am, so two things I wanted to ask, would there be a process of maybe, you know, could we go through first and, and see, you know, the Commission’s that all of us, you know like myself and Tony and Heather and you and Fran that we’re on now, if there’s anything that we want to keep we can go through that and identify the ones that we would like to keep, because I know we’ve got quite a few open. And then, and go from that perspective, maybe identify that first and then move forward.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  15:34

Okay.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  15:38

I’ll start with Gary landmarks. Jones senior citizen West Florida Business District and parts lipca F ni P and the Ferguson special business district Robinet Architectural Review Board of adjustment. Farmers Market. FYI, AB housing Board of Appeals technology Chesky Park, Councilwoman Barbara rose CR CRB, the library, economic development, sales tax, Griffin, building Board of Appeals plan commission and Councilman fry. He had personnel traffic and human rights. So I don’t know who is going to start so I will just jump in and I would like to maintain FSB D and F and IP, and I would like to add the traffic commission. And I would allow so like to add the Future Foundation commission. But those, you know, I’d like to maintain what I have. My preference would be to add those two. And I’m just putting it out on the table. To start the discussion.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  17:09

Okay. Who would like to be next.

17:17

Okay.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  17:19

Okay.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  17:24

So, I don’t see,

Naquittia Noah (Ward 3)  17:27

which I would like to keep Hey, we got

Ella Jones (Mayor)  17:31

to put pension Oh,

17:32

yeah, I have it on mine,

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  17:34

I don’t know, incident is listed on the Council on the Robinet.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  17:38

Yeah, okay.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  17:40

It’s not eat so okay. There are several boards that have just had vacancies for forever.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  17:51

And

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  17:51

I, if somebody can recharge so please, go for it. But I would like to keep the Youth Advisory Board, the Ferguson Youth Advisory Board, and pension. And let’s see. Other than that, like, I’ll keep whatever anybody doesn’t want. But technology and farmers market. Also, because they’re near and dear to me.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  18:24

Okay. Also woman Griffin.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  18:29

I would like to stay on the planning commission, happy, I was hearing by Rand, what days are the personnel boards or what days are those meetings on.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  18:44

So the personnel board only meets upon request.

18:48

Okay,

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  18:48

Well I would be open to serving on that.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  18:57

Okay. Hello, I can go nuts.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  19:01

Men also woman Barbara.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  19:04

I was trying to keep this for your quiet I didn’t know if I was okay. I would like to keep the DRB library. The EDS T which is economic development, and I’d like to have human rights. Really,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  19:29

a woman, no. Okay,

19:31

well parks. I was going to err, human rights, but what else is available, you know,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  19:44

do you want to do human rights, right, to objections.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  19:54

Here you can just add one comment. Normally, like historically when new council members came in, whoever you’re, you’re taking over for whoever you’re like, you’re replacing that seat. You would take on those boards and commissions, but I think we’re, we’re open for discussion for if that could change and we are open for discussion but that’s, that’s how it defaulted before. Okay,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  20:24

metal, metal, Mayor, I didn’t hear your comment I’m sorry

Ella Jones (Mayor)  20:29

I said that Councilwoman Nord had mentioned that she wanted human rights. And I said, I don’t think that will be a problem for you. If she want to keep human. If she wanted to be the council representative by human rights.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  20:48

Now that won’t be a problem at all because if that’s something that you will feel comfortable with coming out the gate, I will most definitely want you to do that. Thank you. I don’t know if you know there’s a girl on there by the name of Tony. She’s excellent writer she’s excellent speaker. If you get with her I think that you could really walk into there like you’ve been there all the time.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  21:12

Okay, Councilwoman Nelson.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  21:19

Okay, what I did here with counseling and Robin instead about taking ownership of what prior. Is that something that has always happened. As far as taking on what the previous council person.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  21:37

When I got on Dwayne, like dumped everything in my lap, that he had Dwayne James does, like it can go either way right like it can. So sometimes it’s just what, what, nobody wants to pick up, Or what what is leftover and again I think we’re all open to, you know what, what people want to do what they feel passionate about and kind of change it up in different ways.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  22:06

So I was looking at economic development.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  22:11

And that’s not something that I’m wanting to give up, as Ellen and I really had a conversation about that previously about filling that role. And we had talked about LFU movie called when you and I talk, when you were filling up some seats over in that thing was human rights I said let me pick those people for because I’ve already talked to people who said okay to that. And so, Councilwoman Nelson, economic development, something I’ve been working on for the better half of this year. And so, that’s something I want to get in place right away because it got a lot of a lot of things going to, as soon as we hit the ground next week is going to be happening.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  22:56

Pedro you’re on mute still oh there you go. Okay.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  23:03

A woman borrowed and now I’m not allowed, really, because, you know, Phaedra feel like she can do something, are like to be the representative. She should be able to have the opportunity.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  23:21

I want to get into a bigger thing about this but you know we already talked about this and we’ve had this conversation. That is something that I have been working on for better point over the year, and I have talked to everybody that needs to be in place and not interested in changing, and that’s part of what that is. Councilwoman Nelson asked the question Is that something that normally happens. And historically, when we come to this point where the person that is already holding that seat is interested in doing that that’s what we have done historically, and I want, I do want to do that. I don’t want to change.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  24:03

Councilwoman Nelson is anything else you’d like available we have seniors landmarks, personnel,

24:22

Mayor. Yes, Mr. Griffin, do

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  24:25

you also no interest in personnel.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  24:29

Okay. Yes she did. Okay. Yeah. In the West Florida Business District they only meet as a call meeting, so they are not meeting at this time, the senior citizens, they meet at least nine o’clock in the morning, so I don’t know if you’d be. You could set your schedule around them are.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  25:04

What about don’t we also be hard for me to do with my full time job. So,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  25:10

yes. Okay, that’s a woman now. So, what are you saying

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  25:15

it would be hard for me to do the seniors. Okay,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  25:18

I will. I can speak to seniors, that’s no problem.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  25:22

What about the housing board of adjustment who was on that one, I don’t see it on my paperwork, oh no I’m sorry it’s robbing it, Nevermind. I apologize, I had to scroll higher.

25:33

My drones.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  25:34

Yes, I wanted to kind of give the new council women an opportunity to kind of select what was available, but I would I do have some interest in that was for same business district.

25:50

If you know,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  25:52

if you, that’s fine West Florida some business Strip District. It’s all yours. No problem, no problem with the West Florida some business district, so I could keep two seniors. I don’t have a day schedule so I don’t have any problems with the seniors, not at all.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  26:17

You see a personnel is already taken correct response, a

Ella Jones (Mayor)  26:24

woman Griffin Did you mention personnel. Okay,

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  26:28

Miss Phaedra if you want personnel, you can have personnel.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  26:34

Councilwoman Barbara, would you like to have a co counsel person or economic development because I know when I first got on Dwayne and I served as CO and council person for the Human Rights Commission.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  26:56

Not at this time where thank you for the request.

27:05

It’s

Ella Jones (Mayor)  27:06

okay. Pedro. I’m sorry, Councilwoman Nelson.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  27:14

Yes Mayor

Ella Jones (Mayor)  27:22

landmarks, they don’t meet that often.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  27:28

What about the architectural board, who’s on that one doesn’t that need to be redesigned. Oh that’s you Robinett

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  27:34

and Alan Mueller’s on that. But there are vacancies, it’s hard to find architects to join that board, so. So like if I could just stop right here and say we have a lot of boards that have a long time and we’ve had these conversations over the last two years that if they’re not boards that are required by state, you know requirements or that there is the opportunity to kind of consolidate some of them that have you know a similar pattern and purview. The other thing is something that I’ve talked about throughout the last couple years is, if one person is on a board, and they want to join another board we have so few volunteers within the community, that if they are not competing or, you know, setting something up for the other board. We should look at how we allow people to be on more than one board and that’s how the farmers market and the technology board got set up because, like you could be on any other board and you could still be part of them so I’m just putting that out there. We don’t have to do that tonight. That can be a working session at some point. But I think we need to, to look at our boards and commissions overall and the number of actual volunteers that we have that sign up to do this and be a little more realistic.

29:14

Okay,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  29:21

so far. What do we, what are those, our selections so far, I take

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  29:32

those that are remaining, or what, what have I noticed that people have been saying, What

Ella Jones (Mayor)  29:37

have noted.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  29:40

Okay, so those that have been touched on were Kassala lepta fsbpt FMRP harvests and farmers market and traffic. No, no, no,

29:51

no, no I’m not.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  29:54

Yeah, I’m not I’m sorry.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  29:56

I’m sorry the Future Foundation, and traffic. Okay, the next one, the forecasting Robinett, I have a purpose and use of youth advisory board, the board and Ferguson farmers market. Councilman Griffin Planning Commission, Wes Morrison business district. Councilman Ribeiro CRB library Edsp economic development, sales tax. Council Noah parks and Human Rights Council Knapp Nelson, personnel, and Mary Jones, senior.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  30:36

So what’s still open. Because we in on my paperwork which is old paperwork. It shows the architectural board has Robin app but you didn’t list that tonight so.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  30:50

So when I said that I would, I would take anything that I currently have, because a lot of these don’t meet anyway and we can figure out what to do with them. I, I, the ones that I want to stay on I listed.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  31:05

But I missed. Okay,

31:06

so

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  31:08

several of the ones that are under my name. don’t meet even once a year.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  31:16

I will always change. I mean, if, if somebody gets in charge of it like a council member, and we see that it’s something that needs to be addressed with the 2040, or other things that are going forward, then that council member can revitalize that I mean go in there and say yeah maybe they only meet once a year or whatever but maybe it’s something that, you know, if we’re going with economic development then architecture board might want to start meeting you know I’m just saying there’s, there is, you have room for growth. If a council member wanted to take that on and work with the rest of the council to, you know, if we create as a council, our objectives as a, as a unit of working women, and a board is sitting there in limbo right now or just kind of in a frozen position, we as the women on the council can revitalize that and get it moving again to to move toward our objectives so I guess what I’m trying to say to everybody on the council just because something doesn’t meet that often if you feel it’s something that you want to kickstart, you can always do that. Like that initiative, you were talking about Ella when you got on council.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  32:27

Okay, so for the ones for the ones that have not, that are still up, even though I know Councilman Robinett you said you would keep it if no one else wanted it but I’ll just note the ones that we have not mentioned. And that’s the Architectural Review Board, board of building Board of Appeals housing Board of Appeals. Landmarks Commission in jetski Park.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  32:56

Pedro you want another park, you already got Halperin.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  33:02

No, no,

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  33:05

dusky Park is the sculpture park. Yeah, no. So, that’s, that’s the significance there.

Naquittia Noah (Ward 3)  33:13

I’ll take effect.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  33:19

You know after that meeting that we all set in last night on this planet parks and planning steering. That seems pretty interesting.

33:28

Miss Octavia.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  33:30

Yeah, some listener,

33:31

Brian, You mentioned you had a housing commission.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  33:37

How housing Board of Appeals Board of Appeals. Okay.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  33:46

What is all that what does that involve exactly do we know.

33:54

Yeah, I’m gonna go to.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  34:22

Did you go. Excuse me. Housing board of appeal. Did you get the meeting today.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  34:33

I think she’s looking it up now.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  34:34

Okay. Oh you’re muted Octavia,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  34:42

you’re muted Octavia.

34:45

You’re still muted.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  34:50

Okay my screen was black. Okay, sorry about that. So it says here and uphold or reverse holy or important the appeals of property owners, where it is allege that there is an error in the code officials order requirement decision or determination and enforcing the city’s exterior appearance coat. And so I mean there’s there’s quite a bit there, but that kind of surrounds, if that helps at all, or

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  35:15

if I miss one. Okay, so maybe that’s fine, I’ll do that.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  35:21

Phaedra. Another thing just to give you a heads up on. We are currently sitting in the 90 day window of approval on the updated building codes, so that’s going, that’s going to directly affect your, your board there because the building codes have just gone to 2018 When we were originally doing like we were doing 2012 What was it John, do you remember what the building code was we’re working with 2000 6009 2009. So we just went to 2018, which is what all of our surrounding neighborhood communities are using. So you’re going to see more activity in that group most likely because there’s going to be a whole new definition of building codes inspections interior, exterior residential and commercial.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  36:12

Okay.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  36:14

Okay, thank you.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  36:16

So, I can get with you want that, if you’d like on the code update.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  36:22

Okay, that’d be great. And I appreciate that.

36:25

Okay. When there’s just

36:32

not much at all.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  36:37

Naqquita you want to. When you look at your list of people who are on that board, Bryce Robinson is awesome, that’s who you want to have a conversation with. He is the curator of those sculptures, and he grew up in Ferguson, I actually, he grew up on around the corner from us, I watched him grew up, he was my daughter. My daughter would be his age right now, but um, yeah, he is definitely who you want to talk to. He’s the one that gets the artwork and everything else he’s awesome you’ll love it.

37:09

Okay, good.

37:13

One of the members from the Parks Board is on Jessica cart so you have to find someone from the Parks Board, Councilwoman know what to put out Jeske Parks Commission, okay. It’s listed, it’s listed, once you go through. Okay, so we have a final list. Well,

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  37:48

the only thing I changed about the list was I added just the report to council want to know. Now, if going with as Councilman Robinett stated, I can assign those that were not mentioned back to the people that had them already. And if that individual is no longer here, then it would go to whoever is now taking that place,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  38:17

which would be landmarks.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  38:20

So,

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  38:22

so landmarks was one of them. Let me go back. So it was the architecture Review Board, board of adjustment. We’ve assigned housing Board of Appeals, then it would be and we’ve also assigned just the parts, we’ll be building Board of Appeals.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  38:46

No, it might be for work that shows Fran on there it shows Griffin.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  38:50

Well, I mean, and that’s what I was saying what I was saying was, oh, that we have not mentioned, if we’re going with, as counsel on Robin this boat, We’re going to assign them to who already has. And if that, if it was one that a council member is not here anymore, then it’s going to go to whoever is taking that individuals place. So for instance we have not spoken on landmarks, and that was Councilman Garrett.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  39:17

So I would, I would, I would like to take landmarks. Okay, I’m giving up a couple others.

39:25

Thank you. So,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  39:28

I’m also woman Lipka.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  39:32

So it was just so forgive me, Phaedra what was the one that you just we were just talking about with the

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  39:41

housing Board of Appeals. Okay,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  39:44

so, Octavia wood building Board of Appeals compliment housing Board of Appeals, I mean, if, if a council members, getting up to speed on the building codes with those to complement each other. I’m just curious.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  40:00

And so, let me read a snippet from building Board of Appeals in hopes to answer the question, and it says, and perhaps it may, it says to hear and uphold a reverse wholly or important. The appeal of an owner, or any other person who claims that the true tenant of the code, or the rules legally adopted have been incorrectly interpreted that the provisions of the code do not apply, or that the equally good or better form of construction can be used, so perhaps they do go hand in hand, I don’t know if they compliment each other but perhaps they go hand in hand, but it is one that may be impacted by the update to the code. And it is one that currently has not met in a number of years. So and that’s my

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  40:58

thing like I know I know Miss Mildred, Miss. Miss, I’m sorry, Miss Nelson and Miss Noah are new to the council but I actually want to give them an opportunity to sit on a board that actually active because the reward of being able to sit and learn about the different skills, the type of business, this does, that’s very, that’s very good knowledge to be able to have and so I want to I want to leave. No, Miss Nelson feels comfortable with picking up the building Board of Appeals, that just

Ella Jones (Mayor)  41:37

no males and

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  41:39

that is an inactive board we haven’t had much action on it so you’ve got two boards right now that really don’t get much action at all, and that may work with your schedule, but haven’t won at least, so that you can have some knowledge of, like, what the, you know what the functions are, I would hope that we as a council can kind of give some space to let one of our active board so that we can give the other council the opportunity to really serve.

42:13

If it goes along with the schedule and if everybody’s willing to work with each other.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  42:23

Friend, that’s actually a really good point, and like I’m Looking Through You know, some of these things are near and dear to us because we put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the work done prior to even being on council. This pains me to say, I might cry. But if somebody would like to take over the the Ferguson Youth Advisory Board counsel representation, I would be willing to give that up to somebody who wants to, to

43:02

be an active board and

Ella Jones (Mayor)  43:05

commission.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  43:18

What what days do they meet, I’m not, I’m not suggesting that I

Ella Jones (Mayor)  43:21

want to do it.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  43:22

I’m not saying I want to leave this space open for new council women but just when just for their purposes what days do the

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  43:29

first Monday of every month that the youth board meets, and they meet with the executive director and our Caitlin it has been the staff member that that meets with them every month. And it’s, I believe it’s 5:30pm the first Monday of every month, so it’s not during the work day. Unless you’re traveling or whatever. But getting to know the kids is very inspirational, and the future of Ferguson, but I’ve been part of it for 10 years now in various capacities on the, the, the adult board and the Youth Advisory Board. But I would like other people to be a part of it so they can help move forward. And I won’t cry. I mean, it

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  44:24

adds huge, Heather. I know how close that is to your heart.

44:33

That’s what happened when we started working together I knew it was a wonderful lady ladies,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  44:44

and we don’t have a response from our two new ladies.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  44:51

Okay, stay with what I initially say and that’s personnel and Building and Housing. That’s what I’m going to start with. Okay, great.

45:01

Okay,

45:04

well I’m comfortable with the three that I have, but I mean I’m willing to, you know.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  45:11

Well, I think you’ve got a busy one you’ve got parks,

45:14

yeah parks is. Yeah, you’re good, you’re good.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  45:19

You’re busy young lady

45:21

right that’s what I’m saying the three that I have, I’m okay.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  45:25

Let me just say I appreciate, Heather for at least extending that offer because I would, you know, it is important for us to start showing you know true meaning of we’re working together looks like our I think that’s important so thank you for brand aid I really think that’s huge.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  45:44

Now I jumped in there and asked for traffic but if there’s either one of you ladies want traffic that’s by all means I’m, I’m okay with that. Is that something of interest either one of you.

45:59

Go ahead. I’m counting on it.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  46:03

All right.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  46:04

Okay. Well, I’m with the senior citizens at nine o’clock in the morning. Thank you. Hey, my seniors at nine o’clock in the morning.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  46:18

Well, if I could get my mom and her on her on her walker by then I’d have her in those meetings but it takes me an hour just to get her from the bed to the door,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  46:27

have some lovely meetings. I’m glad to be back with you seeing yourself, we basically have everything together is that not correct. Clerk Pittman. Well,

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  46:42

I mean, you know, he. Yes, and, and no. So, yes, we did talk about songs specifically and again, no because there are some that we didn’t mention, and like I said, I’ll just assign those to who already has some. Okay, okay. And before we move on, American I just point out one other thing about the Commission’s and I don’t know maybe you were gonna say something but I just want to highlight that. Before we move on from these that we do, again make the appointments to feel boards and commissions on the annual basis we do that in June, but we can fill vacancies at any time and we have a number of boards that are desperately in need of being a field, because they are unable to meet the Parks Board is one of them and you know when you go through your list, it’s kind of take a look at it because I pointed out quite a few vacancies on the back end of your list update that also for the public, and make sure that’s available on our website so that they can take a look at it, but I did want to kind of remind you guys that we do have a number of vacancies that we need to have filled because, and I keep pointing out the parks because we lost a couple more members just this month, as they were elected to the council. And so now they don’t have a quorum at all.

48:12

So

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  48:14

clerk, tell you this story girl. So, if there is a need for someone I will corksport I wouldn’t say it’s been put there to help them get a porn.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  48:27

No not council representative, I mean in terms of. Okay, so while you’re out talking with your constituents, you know and we can just remind them that we do have this please take a look at the list it’s all throughout the list, and I know somebody else did mention it earlier but we do have a number of vacancies that need to be filled so that we can continue to meet those that do meet regularly. All right,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  48:51

Councilwoman Lipka.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  48:52

Yeah I was just gonna ask Octavia would you do us a favor and send email us a blank application form, just so I can download it on my end and print it off and have them available. But if you, if or if you will just point out to me where they are because I asked you a lot of questions that you’re already, you’re using, it’s already out there Linda and I just need to be pointed in the right direction so if it’s out there, pointing in the right direction and if it isn’t, would you mind sending me a blank copy so I can have those handy.

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  49:23

Yeah, I can send it to you so that way you can have it and you can easily email it and I’ll send it out to everyone. And I’ll do it while we’re meeting here today, but also so so that you are aware, it is also the link that I sent you today.

49:38

I’m sorry, say that again. So

Octavia Spencer (City Clerk)  49:39

you can get to it from that link that I sent you today. Okay. Okay.

49:44

Before we move forward, sorry. Just so I’m clear, with the Jeske board, because it does say your passport number and the number by. So we need to have one of our current board members also beyond just the board, is that what you were saying.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  49:59

Yes. Okay. Yes. Okay, um, clerk Pittman, please type all this up and send it out to us tomorrow, so we know how we navigating, are the ones who have boards and commission, assign them to the people. And then we could take a look at the list and make certain that everything is what we say, okay,

50:31

okay.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  50:34

And you may have already done this so I apologize I’m just gonna clarify, not only for myself but for everybody’s listening, the list you sent out today is current on the vacancies in each board and commission Correct,

50:46

yes.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  50:47

Okay, so that way just so all of us ladies know when we’re looking at that list and we’re recruiting for our own. We can also be recruiting for to assist other boards and commissions in one another. All right.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  51:04

All right, well thank you for the spirit of cooperation and working together. This history making Council. At this time we would like to move to the next item on the agenda is the Ferguson Fire Department, Chief Hampton.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  51:22

You have the floor. Mayor Council. It’s a pleasure being here. I am going to introduce my assistant chief Jeremy Corcoran. He’s here to the right of us. Well, once he starts talking you’ll see him pop up, He will also be sharing the screen with everybody so if we have any technical difficulties or anything like that, just holler we’ll, we’ll help you out. Jeremy, you have the floor.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  51:47

Thank you very much, chief. My name is Jeremy Corcoran I’m Assistant Chief for the free farmer for those of you that might be new work there since 2002. And we’re here today is basically to have a conversation with you guys to bring you up to speed with some some factfinding that we’ve been tasked by the city to look into. And that’s essentially about consolidating our fire departments, with, with other area agencies and what that would mean for the city what it would cost, what the benefits would be to the community and to the city itself as far as budget constraints and budget relief. A couple of couple things before I share the screen again, going on the presentation. We’re gonna put out a lot of information tonight. It’s not going to answer all the questions. What we’re looking to do right now is we’re looking to start the conversation, this isn’t, this isn’t anything that requires a vote. The earliest something like this could happen it’s probably going to be April or August of 2022. So I don’t want anybody think this is something we’re trying to rush to a conclusion on. I’m sorry I didn’t I knew

Ella Jones (Mayor)  53:02

you were kind of breaking it but I know

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  53:04

you’ll have questions as I go. Okay. So as we move through it, like I said, you’re gonna have questions but it’s a long presentation, and I think we’ll answer a lot of questions we move through so if you can just hold questions to the end because I don’t know if I’ll be able to see when you have questions once I’m sharing my screen, but I’ll be happy to answer as many questions as we have at the end. So, I’m going to attempt to share this screen now, and we’ll get started. All right, categories, why are we consolidation.

53:48

How does that rarely.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  54:00

Are you guys having.

54:06

I’m having trouble.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  54:08

Yes, your connection is not clear.

54:11

Yes.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  54:17

Me Colin with your phone.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  54:40

Has anyone been able to see the screen share yet or is it just my end it’s still spinning.

54:48

I can see

Ella Jones (Mayor)  54:51

this up so you’re in is still spending.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  54:59

Oh there it is, I just got it. Thank you.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  55:02

That better guys I tried to reconnect.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  55:05

Yes.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  55:07

Okay, so we can see the screen up

55:09

much better

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  55:11

than I do I sound okay.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  55:14

Yes. Okay,

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  55:15

I apologize for that connection I’m not sure what happened if it, if it happens again I will, I will switch to a different Wi Fi. So I don’t know how much of the first part you heard. I’ll start over. Basically what I was saying in the beginning if this is redundant if you’ve already heard this, I apologize, but what we’re gonna do we’re going to talk to you tonight about fire department consolidation and what all that would entail. The couple points I wanted you guys to keep in mind as we move through this presentation was that this isn’t anything that’s happening soon. The outline of this presentation why it’s a lengthy process, you know, the earliest if we could even attempt something like this would be April August of next year so this isn’t anything that requires decisions tonight, this isn’t anything that’s going to require any action anytime soon. It’s just we are showing you our findings to start the conversation. It’s gonna be a lot of information, there’s gonna be a lot of questions but especially with being zoom. If you could just hold your questions to the end, I think we’ll answer a lot of them throughout the presentation, and then I will certainly take as many questions as you have, at the end,

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  56:22

just an overview of this, is this a broad stroke of all of the fire, the possible Fire Department consolidations throughout the districts or is this way, what someone maybe John Hampton or someone is recommending. I want to go there. Sure,

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  56:41

sure think as women. So as I go through the presentation. We looked at basically, I’ll show you what we looked at the different avenues. And then, and what our decision points were. So this is a proposal. Yes we are. We have looked at, I’m going to address the different avenues we could have gone and I’m gonna address why we chose the current one we’re proposing, but it is this so we are proposing a particular path in this presentation, yes. Okay, thank

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  57:09

you I’ll be looking forward to looking at the whole thing because I think it’s important when we, when we push it to the community that we’re transparent about all of those options and what those dynamics were how they will impact the city if you choose to move forward, versus just recommendation so thank you for for showing a full clear broad picture of what can be done. Thank you,

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  57:46

Jeremy, you still

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  58:06

your question.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  58:09

No, you were completely gone.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  58:11

Oh wow. Great. What I said was absolutely, I think I addressed your concerns throughout this presentation, if I understand what you’re asking, but if I don’t, I will. We can certainly do a better job of that when we’re done if I don’t address what your concerns were counsel I’m

58:27

not looking forward to it. Thank you.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  58:29

Okay, so we’ll get started. Basically the overview. We’re going to talk about why we’re attempting to consolidate. We’re going to talk about how that’s going to benefit the community, and we’re going to talk about what that process entails. So first of all, why are we attempting consolidation. First and foremost, the reason why this is happening I think it’s important to note that this wasn’t a fire department initiative. This is something we were asked to pursue by the then city manager. He asked us to look into this. And the reasons, we’ll go into is basically for budget relief. One of the reasons he asked is the main reason I asked is looked into his municipal firefighting, becoming increasingly difficult to sustain, not just in this region, but nationwide, and we’ll talk about some of that. And additionally, the, the current regional structure fire protection is inefficient, and we’re going to talk about that as well. So I said one of the main things is sustainability challenges those challenges in our budget constraints, the difficulty to recruit, retain as a municipal fire department, and how difficult is to improve services to the citizens. So budget constraints, let’s talk about those

Ella Jones (Mayor)  59:39

heels me Jeremy, your PowerPoint is not showing.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  59:44

Ah, okay let’s see what’s going on on my end, it shows I’m sharing my screen and try again. It showed over sharing over here, I apologize, is showing now.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  1:00:04

Yes it is.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:00:06

Yes.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:00:08

I apologize guys online everything looked like it was okay, so, um, so, like I said we were asked to pursue this by our city manager, I’ll just recap real quick. And we’d reserve acid because municipal Firefighting is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain, and the current regional structure is inefficient. So budget constraints, difficulty to recruit, retain, and difficulty to improve services because requires things like grants and creative funding because the resources just aren’t there, so we’ll take those one at a time, budget constraints. So if you look at our budget, the Ferguson Fire Department budget increases an average of 4% a year. That’s kind of an industry standard, actually. And if you look at it, I went back and looked at our budget since 2018 It has increased $344,000, which is a 12% increase, and that that held true to the 4% a year. I wanted to see if that was a recent trend. So I went back a little bit further. I went from 13 to 15, and that to 93 also bared out to be a 4% increase on average. i It’s important to note that those increases don’t have anything to do with capital meaning any building infrastructure improvements purchasing apparatus, and purchasing of gear or equipment that’s all in addition to that 4% increase which is basically operating cost. So I wanted to see okay where is that is that salary. Well we did add five position, positions in that span so that’s five new salaries, however, it’s a safer grant we got from FEMA is covering 75% of for those positions, and also during that time four of our top end salaries were replaced with starting salaries due to retirements, and so the, the cost is spread out over it’s not a salary increase, it’s it’s its operational costs so what does that, where does that come from a lot of ways. So, the first and foremost is things get more expensive cost of fuel goes up cost of equipment goes up, cost of goods and services go up. Additionally, though we expand our services on a regular rate, you know years ago there was no hazmat there was no rescue there’s no EMFs we do all of those now. And the scope within we do all those things continue to expand rapidly, and every time we increase our scope. It requires new training and requires new equipment. In addition to all those costs, you know, sometimes you have things like COVID that completely changed the way we’re doing business and that comes with the cost. In addition, the federal guidelines continue to get tougher to me, they continue to increase the staffing levels that are required to meet the minimum safety standards on the fire scene while they reduce lifespans of equipment saying that a helmet can’t last as long or turnout gear can’t stay in service as long, which requires us to replace him sooner. In short, the expense of running the fire department continues to go up exponentially. So you marry that against Ferguson’s revenue. Obviously the dip in 14 It was an anomaly, but even after the recovery you see the last four years. It’s not a it’s not a trend that is conducive to a fire department that continues to increase exponentially in their budget. So that’s why we were approached to figure out a way that we could continue to provide a high level fire service to our citizens, while also giving much needed budget relief to the, to the city. Throughout this time the cities have aggressively sought outside funding via grants and donations. The city in the city council has continually going to bat for us, and the citizens have answered the bell. They’ve instituted fire sales tax they’ve instituted a utility tax, public safety property tax. There’s been infusion from property. Basically the citizens and our in our government has been there for us throughout every step of the way. But every time they make a decision come budget season to fund us, they do that, and the expense of every other department and every other service that the city so desperately needs to keep us at the level we need to be at. Please don’t give a thing he parks don’t give it the streets don’t give it a. And quite frankly, the fire department despite best efforts is still coming up somewhat short. So why are we coming up short. We provide a high level of service to be sure, but there are 43 agencies and sales current provide fire protection. You can see the map there how they’re divided up, that’s an anomaly in the nation, you normally do not see that number of small fire departments and the population density this Los Angeles County for example, it’s one fire department for the entire county. So St Louis is kind of unique in that sense, It creates a very competitive environment obviously for hiring. So Miss pallies like FFT I meant to have a Berkeley on there. That’s Ferguson Hayward, Berkeley, they’re in the bottom 10% where the municipal fire departments were not districts, a solid. That leaves left, roughly 38 higher paying opportunities just within the county for firefighters to go to. Obviously it’s difficult to recruit and difficult to retain in that environment. We are a BLS department. What that means is we provide basic life support services. We’re one of the few when chief Hansen came on one of his first goals was to transition to advanced life support department, and we’re doing that we bought the monitors, we brought on we’ve been hiring paramedics. And once we’re an ALS department. So, paramedics, they’re able to go to all those other places that also require paramedics, basically we become similar to I use Hayes was an example because they have a similar pay structure to ours right now. And if you look at the left there you can see all the people that have left his wing to go to a fire district. And if you look at the last 14 months they’ve lost nine people to go to higher paid fire departments in the area. It creates a revolving door situation. And why is that an issue. When you don’t have retention. It’s just a fact of the matter, unfortunately, that if you take a 567 year firefighter and replace them with brand new Firefighter Academy, you’re going to reduce the overall competence of the department if you’re doing that on a regular basis. It also reduces morale. No matter what team you’re on if people are leaving it on a regular basis. You’re not going to feel real good about that team. It makes an inability to recruit. Obviously everyone knows departments that have revolving doors, then people that are training grounds, and they know going in, if this is a destination department or not. There’s also a huge increase in cost, you have to equip those new firefighters, you have to train those new firefighters, you have to pay overtime when they go to the specific classes, You know, just to equip a new firefighter in internal gear and helmet alone is over $5,000 They estimate the cost after the training and the time spent on the man hours in bringing that firefighter up to competency levels, you basically invest about $10,000 into a new firefighter, as they go out the door after a couple of years, You’ve, you’ve essentially paid to train that firefighter and handed it off to another employer, ready to go and you’ve buried the cost for that. So, this big long thing is basically a study that was done at in Mississippi. They looked at about 6000 EMF runs and no surprise what they found was experienced paramedics and EMTs had a better outcome than any experience, nothing earth shattering that the one on the right was a study that was done in England, and they look specifically at cardiac cases. And basically what they found is, paramedics, with greater than four years of experience and a much better outcome and cardiac cases than paramedics that were had less than four years. Again, more experience being better your job isn’t is an earth shattering but it just reinforces that in the life and death business experience doesn’t mean that you know how you do a better job of filing your reports. It means more people live. This is a study that came out of Iowa State, and they looked at inexperienced firefighters and experienced firefighters and they did a cognitive decision making test under stress, what they expected to find was that the experienced firefighters will have a lower level of stress and faster decision making. What they actually found is the inexperienced firefighter inexperienced firefighter had the same stress levels when they were put under duress, however the experienced firefighter took longer to make decisions. But those who had a better positive outcome than the inexperienced firefighter that would rush to it. Basically what they, what they found was an experienced firefighter is going to analyze the data, he’s not going to get rushed because of the stress and he’s gonna make decisions and have more positive outcome. Again experience matters, and if we’re unable to retain. We’re not having that experience at the citizens I suppose when it comes to emergencies. So how does forming them consolidate into a district solve those problems. So basically I wanted to talk about first what is a Fire Protection District. It’s a political subdivision, it’s funded through property tax, and it’s governed directly by board of directors, essentially, just like the city council funds the Ferguson fire department. It is a its own political subdivision with its own elected officials, who then collect a property taxes to fund their fire district, and it’s governed by those board of directors, which are citizens within the district that are voted on by the people. This is the list of the Miss colonies in St. Louis County that are currently protected by fire protection districts, it’s a big list obviously everything from small cities like we need a terrorist, big cities like Baldwin and Fenton and floor sent entire country report, and everything in between. This is a list of the cities that still have municipal fire departments in St. Louis County. I can tell you for a fact that every city on this list has at least entered into or had discussions about ways to consolidate collaborate or divest themselves in the fire department. Right now in the central corridor, you have Clayton Richmond heights Maplewood Brentwood ladoo Rock Hill, they’re, they’re engaged for I believe it’s the fifth time, you know, in an attempt to consolidate their fire departments. So this isn’t a North County issue. It is, it is a regional issue and in fact it’s a national issue. Municipalities are having more and more difficult time coming up with the resources continue to fund the fire departments at the levels they need to be funded. So, To answer, Councilwoman perfect thing. Question. When we first got into this, we basically saw that there was three, three roads we could take the first one we wanted to look at is, well, why not a standalone by staying alone. If we were going to do this, why not take the Ferguson Fire Department, and make it into the Ferguson fire district. So, basically, Like I said before there’s already 43 small agencies in St Louis county agencies of our size, we don’t even have the ability to mitigate hazards on our own, we do a good job of fighting fire but it requires if there’s a house fire in Ferguson. It requires anywhere from six to seven apparatus to have the proper manpower to to address that, that house fire, which means that it’s going to be our fire department and upwards of, probably no less than four other fire departments, sometimes six other fire departments on the scene, and that’s true countywide that’s not very specific. And the reason is is because everyone is small, that also leads to a redundancy of equipment. And what I mean by that is, let’s say, let’s say Berkeley or metro north or northeast buys a shiny new piece of rescue equipment. In essence we have access to that through mutual aid, but we can’t depend on that truck being available with that piece of rescue equipment when our citizen needs if they might be on another call they might be otherwise occupied, so we have to purchase that same shiny expensive piece of rescue equipment to make sure that citizens that we serve are also gonna have access to that 24 Seven when they need. So there’s a lot of redundancy there are purchasing a lack of continuity anytime you have 43 small agencies, even though we do our best to try to have standard operating guidelines, you’re gonna have 43 ways of doing things. There’s no economy of scale in a small agency. And what I mean by that is, in purchasing, you know, obviously the city of St. Louis is going to get a lot cheaper right buying 31 Fire trucks in the city of Ferguson is going to get buying one. There’s also no economy of scale, as far as weathering financial downturns. You’re already operating at a bare minimum, so if there’s a financial downturn that you can’t whether you know your options are reduced manpower reduce services, maybe close a firehouse, there’s no way to move pieces around to weather that storm. You’re also when you stay small, you have an inability to specialize. You know you can’t have a rescue truck or you can’t have an area that specializes in rescue and ventilation. Everyone has to be able to do everything at all times. As I said before you’re susceptible shortfalls. So what does all that do that all relates in the smaller you are, the higher the tax rate, you have to have to counteract all those things. So we didn’t feel like that solves the problem. It just contributes to the city inefficiencies in St. Louis County firefighters already have a higher tax rate would be fiscally irresponsible we felt to ask the systems to try to carry that burden. And we frankly just didn’t think was the best way to go. So we looked at okay so standalone but the best way to go about it. What about merging with an existing Fire Protection District, we’re surrounded by several existing reputable fire districts. We, we talked to other fire districts, and then we also talked to some of the people. And one of the biggest things that stuck out to us is if we join an existing fire districts, it means our communities are not representative what I mean by that is, there is already a board that’s already been elected, and there’s already a leadership core. And so, if the Ferguson Fire Department were joining the existing Fire District, there would be no Ferguson representation on that board. Now, of course as openings came up down the road. Somebody from furnish will be allowed to run for it, but creating this and asking the citizens to bear the burden of an increase in tax but not having any say so over how that tax money is spent. We got some negative feedback over that, understandably, also when you join an existing Fire District. This is just talking to other other fire departments that have gone through this in their process doesn’t mean this would be for everyone, all senior firefighters were told they weren’t be included. The the existing district said hey we have enough senior firefighters we’re not interested in your top end salaries, those people will be, will need to be, you know into early retirement. That wasn’t something that was something that was appealing to us basically existing resources can be moved as the other districts needs fit. And what I mean by that if we were to join florists and Fire Protection District, their board and their, their Leadership Corps could say hey that’s a nice ladder truck, we think we’d be better over here is, it was service area better because there’s bigger neat, and they can move resources in and out of our area for our citizens without my say so on our part. That wasn’t appealing to us. A lot of times, rank and seniority or forfeit, there’s been a couple instances we know for a fact, when people were trying to have merger conversations where they told them hey you can come. But if you’re a 15 year Captain, you’re now a first year private all their rank all their seniority and the people coming over forfeit. Again, super appealing. And again, like I said before they already have a leadership core which is going to make decisions on how they feel like the citizens in our community should be served. And so, if we looked at that and basically what we were left with is well, if none of those two options seem very appealing to us. What if we created something new. What if we, we did something that we could build from the ground up with citizen oversight from day one, to kind of be a standard bearer and how we think firefighters to be done in North County. And so what we’re going to talk about now is what that would have looked like. So what were the benefits the community is going to provide economic relief from the burden brought on by the fire department so that each of the cities can better serve their citizens, increase in infrastructure increase staff increase services pay for all those things they can’t really pay for now because of us, while simultaneously improving their emergency services. So, more consolidation required. One of the things we came to the conclusion, the city manager came to us and said, Hey, we’re gonna do this the only way it would make sense to do this is if the city was willing to put skin in the game to use his term. And he said that it would require a reducing the existing property tax the city currently charged by 50 cents. And then we would consolidate into a district 50 cents reduction by the city it’d be a 42% rollback of existing property tax, and it goes a long way towards recording all the previously approved public safety taxes, the citizens have answered the bell for an addition if the fire department were going away the fire sales tax would be repealed, which would also offset some of the additional costs have been incurred. I think this is incredibly important to show the commitment, the city’s commitment to sharing this burden, and to show the citizens that this is something that has been done. Not addition to what they’ve already done, but a new path. So if we’re rolling back 42% of our property taxes is still worth doing. The answer that is yes. And the reason why the answer that is yes as we looked at the numbers and so Ferguson rollback their property tax by 50 cents. Their property revenue that would be lost, is just over a million dollars. The loss of the fire sales tax would be just over $650,000 So Ferguson will lose $1.7 million in revenue, essentially. But then they would also lose the expense of us, which is roughly $3.3 million. Our budget is a little over 2.7 2.8. But that is the fire department budget, we also had to go to our finance director and to our public works, find out what do they spend on us in fuel, what do they spend on us in repair to our apparatus, what do they spend to keep our buildings up to replace our H back equipment when it goes down. What do they spend on us for payroll, what are they spent on us for legal and for HR, and basically what they find that’s all in we cost the city about three $3.3 million was the number. So if you take out the revenues loss and balance that against what you say we’re not paying for your fire department. On day one, the city’s savings would have $1.6 million, a budget relief that’s with a 50 cent rollback on the property tax. That’s $1.6 million, I say day one, because as I already illustrated our costs continue to go up dramatically every year. And so each year, those, those costs are going to compound. Those costs are our don’t even again like I said don’t even take an account our capital budget. I’ll let you fantan speak to, because it changes year to year, but it’s, it’s, it’s substantial. Hundreds of 1000s In addition to these things. So we looked at it we said okay, there’s three minuscule fire departments. They all have similar sizes they all have similar populations, they all have similar pay plans and benefits packages, who makes sense to consolidate. So we looked at that, we did some feasibility studies we approached the entities of Ferguson Berkeley in Hazelwood to see what about a massive college consolidation, what would it look like. Throughout the course of those conversations. Basically the early Fire Department told us they liked the plan. The timing wasn’t working for them, they had just gone for an ambulance tax, they just asked the citizens for that. They didn’t think it was good time to go back to the polls to try to do something dramatic. And so they said that while they are not out on the concepts. For right now, they have to be they have to say that it’s a pass but they like to consider continued conversations. We also approached Cadillac Fire Protection District. We had meetings with the both the membership and with Chief Stewart, multiple meetings. Again, it’s the same thing that’s going on, it’s not a door that’s closed at the time the things that they were interested in. We weren’t able to provide and what I mean by that is one of the things where they would want a fully staffed paid firehouse, in Canada, and what I was telling them is the money isn’t there to subsidize that right off the bat. So unless we increase the tax rate to the other citizens to subsidize that we would have to continue as an observer, if you will. In other words, like after fire protection, it has a house three that is volunteer like can like is now, and that would be an auxilary if I understandably I get their mindset, the membership I talked to and and chiefs who are like, well, if it’s going to be auxilary and it’s going to be volunteer like we are now, then really we’d rather just stay on our own, right now, but we’re still open to discussion. Yeah, so basically at that point, Hazelwood was the only one of the people we talked to this is yes we’re very interested. So to answer your earlier question, council woman. That’s why this proposal landed to this one person that said, the consolidation, that they were interested today. We did a feasibility study on that consolidation and that’s what I’m proposing today, that doesn’t mean we, we are still very open to expanding that to include Berkeley and others, but right now I have to work with the people that told me they are interested. So quick feasibility on that merger, you can see Hayes woods in a similar position as Ferguson, again like I said it’s a regional problem out of Ferguson from their fire department costs are going up the same rate as ours, and the revenues are dropping similar to ours. You can see their savings are pretty much the same, their property revenue loss would be much bigger and the reason is is because while the city of Hayward fire department serves an area about the same size as ours. The property rollback tax will go across the entire city and a large portion of the city pays for what is covered by Robertson Fire Protection District, and Florida Valley Fire Protection District. So while that wouldn’t impact the people that are, that are being taxed for the new Fire District, it would impact on rollback so they lose 2.7, they lose their 710 and fire sales tax. However, their fire department costs 5.3 So, if you look at the projected savings we saved 1.6 They say just over 1.5 so it’s equitable in that sense. So basically those are the borders that it would encompass similar size like I said similar populations similar department sizes already. So we did a feasibility budget to see what it would cost, And I say a feasibility budget because the actual budget would be determined by the elected officials and the chief officers and they’re set. So this was more feasibility budget when we did our due diligence to figure out what would it cost to run such a district. Obviously we got with the fire chief So those two things to talk about their costs we also got with both city managers, we got with Finance Directors to figure out what those costs would be. We also had to have lots of conversation with area, find out what are they paying for all the infrastructure things that we currently get from the city of Ferguson, things like payroll, HR, legal, it copiers all that all those types of things. And basically, we came up with the cost, and then we figured out, okay, what would it take to generate enough cost to do that. And the proposed tax rate to in order to make that was 235. So what does that mean to 35 with a 50 cent rollback by the city would mean we will be asking for $1.85 tax increase in the citizens. I put up here, some of the area fire districts around North County so you can kind of see how that relates. As you can see dollar 85 is incredibly competitive. It’s definitely on the cheap end of the scale, Florida and blackjack would be the only two that are less, and that’s because they are taxed at a much higher assessed value than this would be so their dollar 62 is actually bringing in, and dollar 61 A lot more than this dollar 85 would be so $1.85 We felt like okay well that’s a fiscally responsible compared to the other fire district would be dealing with, and we generate enough money. So this thing is financially feasible. So, what would that mean this is just wanting to be transparent. It’s not, it’s not jumping on if you had $100,000 house, you know your mortgage would go up $29 a month, nobody thinks that’s a small amount of money, but I want to reiterate this isn’t something we’re doing just because we think it would be nicer. This is something we’re doing because the city’s budget isn’t going to make the needs to be able to provide all the services for like three, Four budget cycles in a row we’ve been approached about this because each time there’s deficit spending going on. And right now, as they continue to fund us police aren’t getting the funding they needed parks aren’t getting the funding they need streets aren’t getting fixed, because they have to pay for us. This isn’t it would be nicer situation it is a situation that has to occur if the citizens want to continue to not continue but if they want to have services and not having reduced. What would it look like, well we feel like it’s important to keep people keep people home in essence, you see there be two fire chiefs, and they were essentially, they weren’t together, they’d be on equal footing equal pay, and they were basically be sector chief so for example see John Hampton would be the sector chief in Ferguson. He knows the area of operations, he knows the vehicle you guys put them in place for a reason, because you want to you want him to be the guy who’s in charge of your public safety. And the same thing in Hazelwood so they basically have their sectors that they’re in charge of, and in the original one, this was a three way thing, we had diversity chief that was in charge of his sector as well. And so they would have their sectors, the same men and women that currently respond to those firehouses, to mitigate emergencies and community would be the exact same men and women coming out of the exact same fire houses were the exact same turnout here. Nobody would lose a position, nobody would lose rank or be a spot for everybody. If we were to create this, and we move forward with it. How does that happen. So basically there is a state law, Missouri State statute chapter 321 in place that gives you step by step instructions on what’s required by law to create such an entity, unlike anything else that you guys put on the ballot this doesn’t require, in fact can’t be put on the ballot by by a city council, this has to be put on the ballot by a circuit court judge, the way that happens is a petition is circulated that the law states all the different things that has to be on the petition to make it legal. That gets submitted to a circuit court judge. After the petitions ratified, they set a hearing no less than 30 days no more than 60 days out, so that it can be have a public hearing in a hearing supporting note the judges and deciding if this district should exist or not, that’s for the people to decide the judges deciding if the rules were followed. And if the law was followed in order to get the petition filed. If the law was followed to the letter E rata, he or she ratifies it, and it gets sent to St. Louis County be placed on about during the election, two things take place one citizens would vote on whether or not they want the district. And at this on the same ballot, they would also vote to elect their board members. The reason for that is you can’t have a publicly funded entity exist, and not have citizen oversight. So those two things happen on the same ballot. So what are some of the challenges. One would be timing, the rates are set in September, and this January collection so in order to get as close to that as possible is probably something that would happen in August, or maybe even April next year or the following. One of the challenges the boundaries currently do not touch, that’s something that we can fix it. It requires, we’ll have to do some, we can be fixed legally legislatively or through arrangements with force and value which should currently be in between them. That’s a problem that I don’t have an answer for yet but it’s one I’m confident we can solve. And then there’ll be a transition where we have to bridge the gap from the creation of funding for example we came into existence in August. There had to be a contract in place prior that says at this pass to depose both entities will continue at status quo for the budget by that previous July one until such time say March 1 mean that when we would exist on our own because we received funding implementation during that time, that’s when the chief officers would be able to, to basically create the district, they’d be working with their new board to figure out how they’re going to be doing their run cards, how they’re gonna who’s gonna do the dispatching what mental control will be with our vendors going to be staffing will remain current cities like I said to allow a smooth changeover, no one loses rank or seniority, again like I said the chiefs will divide those responsibilities will try to keep all the resources home. For example, Hayes was just applied for new ambulance if they got that they would stay there. We will be adding an ambulance, either way to the city of Ferguson, right now you’re able in services provided by Kristian this plan includes adding an ambulance service for the citizens of Ferguson increasing those services. Basically, in summary, costs keep going up. Revenues aren’t keeping pace. It’s not sustainable. This is there isn’t an end game other than reducing services, or finding a new way to find those services. There’s no such thing as a police district there is no such thing as a Parks Department district, but if something called a fire district does exist so it is a way to change the way we find fire and keep those services increase those services, while simultaneously providing the pleasure leave necessary to let the city, increase all those other services they so desperately need to have happen. You know, and that’s basically like I said, there’s a lot of information. If there’s no decision points that we just gave you, we’re basically starting the conversation. This isn’t something that happens, you know, next month or anything like that it’s a long process. It’s something that, that we feel is necessary if we’re going to continue to provide public safety and a high level that the citizens have come to expect. Can I be happy to answer any questions

1:29:06

you have questions.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:29:11

So first of all thank you for the presentation I appreciate you for doing that and it went very quick you spoke very fast. There’s a lot of information. I just I was taking notes as we were going through it, and maybe you know maybe we can let me start off with a few questions just starting off. First things first, because this is something that the community has heard or seen like you said during city council meetings, the city manager is saying that there was budgetary issues. I heard you mentioned that the two main reasons was because of the budget constraints and sustainability, meaning lack of retention. And so, if those two are the reasons, I definitely want to look at the budget constraints when we talk about budget constraints I noticed in your graphs, even in the other when you were comparing Hazelwood, I looked at 2021, and it would although it was hard to see the actual number of the drop that happened from 2021 to the year previous. I also know that we need funding to recuperate some of the things that we had to reduce some of the departments that we had to reduce because of COVID and things of that nature. So, in terms of budget constraints, when we talk about budget constraints, what specifically and maybe chief Hampton can speak to that, what specifically is causing the budget constraint that we’re, that we’re discussing.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  1:30:56

Friends, Chief Hanson budget constraints are, you know, our sales taxes are not what they used to be our tax rate, our taxes, the money coming into the city, for instance, what do you yes we have gotten a caravan we are getting a really fun, but as we are doing a budget right now, you will see that we need those funds, just to get by. We need the Cares Act just to get by. And when we did the budget, you understand a little bit more but we’re not completely done with that, and I, you know, that will be up in another month, you know, unless, okay.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:31:36

Well I definitely am looking forward to seeing that specifically so we can take a look at how much money you know what’s being suggested with this presentation, and where the need is within our budget to do so. And so maybe you know I’m glad you got you know we got another month to kind of work on that because I’ll definitely be looking for that, that need based for the for this purpose. In terms of sustainability, you talked about lack of retention and retention. I’m wondering if, you know, is that something that’s just within our department you also mentioned in Hazelwood that several the firefighters had left and going on to work for fire districts that could pay more. And so my question is in terms of lack of retention, I know you mentioned Hazelwood but specifically for the Ferguson fire department within let’s just say the last year to five years. How many people have we left.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:32:42

Have we lost weight in I guess a year. It’s a great question. I thought I kind of addressed it I guess it didn’t we do not have a retention problem today. And the reason is is because we are basic life support. We have excellent retention right now, and, and, like I said being BLS what that means is most of us are emergency medical technicians not paramedics. And so, if somebody wanted to leave. They couldn’t, because everyone else requires you to be a paramedic before So 20 years ago everyone required an emergency medical technician and Ferguson had an extremely high turnover rate. The reason why I used Hazelwood and Berkeley as examples is they require paramedics now which we have, we have transitioned to. And they have longer than us, and they have we have similar pay scales and they are already required paramedics and they have retention issues, big ones. And so that’s where we will be. As more and more of our paramedics that we’re hiring, so that we can be als come into our fold because right now, emergency medical technicians can’t go to other districts because they’re not qualified.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:33:51

Okay, so just to be clear, but in terms of the Ferguson fire department there is not a lack of retention problem within our department.

Chief Hampton (Interim City Manager, Fire Chief)  1:34:01

No matter early.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:34:04

So those two reasons that the city manager suggested initially, it’s really down to one it’s a budgetary issue I don’t want to use a lack of retention for us as a reason because it doesn’t sound like there is a lack of retention from the last five years.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:34:21

But I will say we just, we’ve just made the transition to start heading towards als so I can tell you with confidence. Retention is an issue that’s on the very near horizon. The reason why it hasn’t happened last five years is because we weren’t, we weren’t transitioned to ALS for the last five years.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:34:38

Okay. And is that is that something that the in St. Louis County period is going to be experiencing.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:34:46

Yes, ma’am. One of the audiences left is BLS. Okay,

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:34:49

so it doesn’t sound like, to me it sounds like there’s gonna be just the shortest period not if we merge, or if we don’t, but just simply because of what’s happening with this particular transition that the fire departments are going through Correct.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:35:06

I didn’t know, I apologize I don’t want to say question

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:35:09

but what I’m saying is the the retention that you’re speaking of is going to be a St Louis it’s going to be siloed over the entire St. Louis County. So, this is, this is something you know if everybody is going through this transition and it’s not something specifically based off of Ferguson it specifically is going to be throughout multiple municipalities because everybody’s going through this transition.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:35:34

Right. Well, I guess let me answer that. It’s not county wide it is, it is the low end of the scale countywide. In other words, like I said we’re in the bottom 10% paid and miserable fire departments. So, like floors in Valley or blackjack or community or Robison or northeast they don’t have attention problems, because they have a much better benefits package. And so to, and we can’t solve all of that because even if we consolidate we’re not going to be able to without charging and absorbing packs, you know, have that same kind of benefit package and some of those other ones do. But we can offer them while staying fiscal responsible we can offer a an enhanced benefit package over and above what we have now, that will basically get us, you know, more to the top of the bottom third, which allow us to recruit, retain, but we’ll be able to.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:36:22

And then I just want to in this is the part that was kind of, I wanted a little clarity on when you got to talking about the three different options you mentioned the standalone option us becoming, you know, Just staying as we are and you mentioned the merging in the UK. And then you mentioned the creation of a new one and what that will look like. And so it seemed like the merge as it would be no representation on board. So, with the create the version that you’re recommending. Will there be representation on board.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:36:58

Yeah, so like I said to create that if, let’s say this bird to move forward and would go to the polls. So during that on that same ballot citizens, there would be people running for the board for that district from the communities within that district, whether it was a standalone or whether it was a merge. And so when that district created the citizens also elect their Board Representatives from within the borders of that new district at the exact same time. So yes, there is representation from day one in the creation model.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:37:31

Okay, thank you Jeremy, and like I said, the presentation. Actually it was a lot of information so if I’m going over things that if I’m going over things that you’ve already answered trust and believe I’m doing it because it was really fast so I want to make sure that I’m that I’m correct, as I’m as I’m getting an understanding that in the process and I appreciate you for being patient enough to answer these questions. Right. Let me see. So I do want to go back down to, I definitely have some questions in regards to the property taxes and the reductions, I would like to go over that and I’m not going to spend time doing that now I would definitely want to go chief Hampton if we can go over that specifically together. I want to have a clear understanding of what that looks like. Because I heard. At some point we were talking about an increase and then at some point we’re talking about a reduction so I just want to be clear on that. As we decide what’s going on. And then, also, in terms of camlock I noticed with the last option you kind of did a comparison of what the cost benefits would be to merge and I’m just wondering if one, the first question is, because we talked about camlock, and the fact that they wanted an extra building and it wouldn’t be financially feasible for us to do at this point in time. But if we were to merge with let’s just say Hazelwood, and you are still open to looking at that. Would that be a comparison, should we be doing what you suggest that we do a cost comparison for including that as a second stage, because I’m looking at neighboring communities and I’m also looking at the fact you mentioned that we weren’t connected and that there will be some processes that we would have to go through if we were to go with the recommended version.

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:39:34

The dance there absolutely in a second stage for sure if not in the first stage. The first model I showed you is our preferred model. The only reason that wasn’t the one I proposed is because to the agencies, you know, just told me that they weren’t, they didn’t want to move forward with it and so I have to respect that. But to answer your question, absolutely, we’d be interested in including those agencies in a second stage and quite frankly, we’d be interested in including those agencies in the first stage and we can make it work, because it’s the better model.

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:40:06

Okay, and then also that brought me to ask a question, is it, if you add another municipality and standalone municipality and would that be more feasible to us like, I know the the whole goal originally was trying to let’s look at what merging would be if we work with three did you find out like was it good we save money, working with more versus less

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:40:30

than the model that had Berkeley. Berkeley included. We could charge a lower tax rate.

1:40:35

Okay, okay. Okay,

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  1:40:37

well that’s, that’s all for now thank you very much, again thank you for your presentation. I appreciate you

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:40:43

and absolutely and like I said, council women are in all the council women, tons of information. This is a big thing. I don’t expect everyone to have a full grasp of the API. We are open and accessible, I would be happy to have additional meetings or meet with anyone, and answer more questions, like I said, there, there was no way that tonight was going to answer everything but it started conversation at least you know,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  1:41:08

this is tiny girl, I just said one thing, if you would attach this all together and unwrap it. Just really unpack it in two sentences, what is the outcome of what you’ve what we’ve discussed tonight, the comments your presentation by the way I want to say that your presentation has right with any Fortune 500 that I’ve seen. So, kudos to you for that, and the and the information. Those of us that are in the industry that are looking at these types of things on a regular basis. I’m gonna tell you, I sit on the edge of my seat, just because of what you had. And the dollars, and in that. I am a Show Me the Money kind of girl. And when you show the money, and it was, and I get my calculator out to the penny. I appreciate that. I appreciate you respecting us enough to come with all that you had you came with gusto. And I appreciate that, that we don’t get that all the time, the three years that I’ve been doing budgeting, I have had some lack luster, information, and I could take what you did tonight and take it and take it right there and say this is what we do. I appreciate you, you know, I’m thinking about Ray Charles when he used to say I’ll make it do what it do. You’ve made it do what it do tonight and I appreciate that. So if you would unwrap this, and, and two sentences, and say, what is the responsibility of this council from what we have received from you tonight I think that would wrap it up for all the comments and the questions and the so what do we walk away with you wanting us to do

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:42:48

what I want you to do right now. I guess would be twofold. One, understand that the choice isn’t so much. Do you want to fire district or not. The choice is, do you think you can find other ways to continue to afford your services or do you want to reduce services. And the fact of the matter is, it’s like I know counsel, when Fran says you know we you found some funding the IRS Cares Act or things like that. If you’re relying on on aid packages to meet our budget, that doesn’t make it sustainable, right. And so, I guess they’re doing a few sentences, essentially,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  1:43:37

just like I understand it, so no take as many sentences if you like, because this is the rapid

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:43:43

is basically what we’re asking for this isn’t, this isn’t a. This isn’t something that’s right it’s a big ask, but people need to understand that what we’re asking for is, there’s no other way that we to provide budget relief in the city needs to provide all these other services that definitely needs to happen when we continue to provide high level public safety. The police need funding everyone, everyone needs funding. And the other thing to keep in mind is that you guys. We’re not requiring you guys to say yes this is going to exist or not, what basically we’re asking you is to let the people decide if they want this or not. That’s what needs to happen. The people will tell us if, if they’re willing to vote to. To do this, or if they’re comfortable reducing services and then we’ll we’ll be done either way. I guess that would be the takeaway.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:44:32

So the other thing I would like to point out is, you know I’m getting text messages and so forth as this presentation is going on, and the timeframe, you know, this is, this was brought up because we needed to get past the election, and this was a special meeting that was brought up because this is something that you as a fire department wanted to get out in front of the citizens, as soon as possible so that the discussion could start immediately and questions could be answered immediately. And I know there’s talk of, you know, even having an opportunity for maybe a town hall down the road or something that allows people to ask questions that they have for you directly. Correct.

1:45:15

Correct.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:45:16

Okay. That being said, you know that gives if, if we go, if we’re looking at this going on a ballot in April or August we’re looking at a very open conversation for 12 months to 16 months, or 18 months I’m not doing my math, whatever. but over 12 months 12 months or more. So that gives you all the citizens plenty of time to kind of understand where this is going. And then another thing I would say is, this isn’t an us situation in terms of city council. Honestly, you don’t need our blessing. You need you, you know you need us to allow their citizens to do this, this is a decision that’s going to create a separate entity. So again, this is not this is not the City Council pushing this or the mayor pushing this or anything else. This is directly between the citizens and the fire department and you’re here to answer their questions, and the citizens will make this decision. So, you know that being said, I mean, I would also remind everybody that yes we have not done our budget yet but we can already tell you that our revenues have gone down tremendously with COVID, and they were going down before COVID COVID just made it even worse. Our expenses, even maintaining at a stable rate, there’s always that percentage of increase in gas, and then salaries and so forth. So, our expenses are continuing to increase. There’s, as you said earlier, there’s benefits in the sense that, like even with the property tax what what funds, what part of the property that is funding the fire department would actually go back into public safety. Once a fire district was created, and would go basically stand in the city’s budget going into public safety. So the concern I have, and I want people to understand is that we’re going to do the budget and by the way, budget is open to everybody. And I would strongly encourage you to have a full house to sit there and listen to budget, because it’s, it will answer all the questions people have. But we can keep doing what we’re doing. But we’re going to run out of money. I mean, there’s just the way it is. And if we are finding an opportunity to create something that benefits both parties to come to be able to give continued services to the citizens. This is an option. So I would just say everybody take a breath, lean into it. Learn more about it, where you find pushback and you’re finding anxiety or anger in your own self, write it down as a question. And let’s talk about it, bring it to these things and get answers before you get upset get answers.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:48:24

Have you had a question or come in.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  1:48:27

I do. So I really appreciate the the presentation tonight, I know that we’ve heard this and different variations townhome earlier, or last year, what jumps out at me is when we go into budget 75% to 80% of our general fund is strictly personnel. Like, that’s what the majority of what we pay for from our General Fund goes to. And then you add on the complexity of the equipment that that needs to be brought up, you know, to date, and there’s a lot, and we, we have. Thankfully you guys have gotten a lot of good grants but it is not going to be sustainable, year after year after year. And so, to come in saying that your repeal the fire sales tax and you’re going to have a 50 cent rollback on other taxes to get it down to a minimal amount to the population. I don’t Ferguson to not exist as Ferguson anymore so I really hope that we can talk to people and actually get in front of this and make this a viable option. You know, like, I’m a problem solver, right, like that’s what I do. And this looks like you have put in the work to address not just what you need from a fire protection entity, but you’ve also looked at it from the, like, how it affects the community and how it affects the taxpayers and so I look forward to continued conversation and I really appreciate the presentation.

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  1:50:46

Yes, ma’am. I just want to make one statement about what Councilwoman Lipka said, Because I beg to differ. We were all put on this council, because we had constituents that are depending on us to make things plain. And I do think it is part of my responsibility to work Council and having that said is to get the word out. We are charged with that, remember we raised our hand made that we are all charged with taking back to the citizens, what we think is the right thing for us to do. So, it is our responsibility. Thank you, Chief the unpacking that for us. I appreciate that, thank you. I think that we have a responsibility for that. And so I want to make that clear. Yes, it is one of the council’s responsibility, not on what to do not to tell the citizen what to do. But I think we need to at least keep everybody for everybody’s not listening to this call, and they may not ever hear what’s going on, and, and I’m sure you can attest to do because I know you deal real close with the citizens, some of our people don’t get the information. I don’t care if it’s the times or if it’s, it’s the Channel for News. How many times have we heard it, come on, we’re happy with this how many times I didn’t know about that. And then we’re telling the truth, I mean come on, yeah. And so it is our responsibility. The seven of us to come together and say, This is what we need, because I remember one time friend was saying about when we needed some social workers. That’s what we, some of us situations are different. And, and I don’t want to get into all of what we will be dealing with right now with with the verdict and all that, but something’s possible different measures. And so I believe that we are responsible for US citizens knowing what is the right thing for all of us. If we don’t get together on it. Then the some of US citizens will never know where do you think I’m telling you I’m telling you right

1:53:20

about that.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:53:21

Yeah you are telling it right, It’s, it becomes all of us, is understanding his presentation and probably sitting through the presentation. Again, yeah we can walk through the numbers. It’s very important that we get to his presentation again and we walk through the numbers show us how you arrived at those numbers, how you come up with the dollar 85 cents. Because when you are out and about, people are going to axe you, and you have to be able to explain to that person. How that dollar 85 cents was arrived at. So, walking through the presentation again just a little bit slower at another time. And then, you know, how,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  1:54:15

like a lot of money man but when you add it to the, to the point where we get all of these millions of dollars 10 cent added on to 60 fat that that makes a difference. So, I think you’re absolutely right when we hear during budget time I think we probably be a good time to hear it during the budget time where it fits in with that particular piece. I think we’re all gonna understand it better. I’m just good at hearing numbers and getting it, but a lot of people that I serve, that they look at for me to know that they look at for count, Councilwoman NO I DON’T KNOW that Councilwoman Nelson and all of us to know what everything is talking about, I won’t get off the bandwagon, but I think is our responsibility.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:54:56

Councilwoman, nor do you have anything that’s our senior associate head.

1:55:03

So, we just want to say I agree, and I would like to hear the presentation as part of our group. And when we receive a copy of the presentation. After you know in case someone says, Well,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:55:29

that’s a woman Nelson.

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  1:55:33

I just assumed we would get a copy of it so we cannot have a better understanding especially myself so

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:55:39

what that look like for a fireman Jeremy to really, We have another opportunity to see this, and walk us through it step by step by step. I think that will work. I think

Jeremy Corcoran (Asst. Fire Chief)  1:55:59

I’d be happy to meet with anybody in addition to that if they haven’t got on their own to come up to the firehouse where I can meet you somewhere them, I’m happy to do that.

1:56:09

Okay. Okay,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:56:12

I have my hand up, Mayor.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:56:13

Okay. How’s the woman Lipka.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:56:16

So I just want to be clear I am not by any sense shirking my responsibility to answer questions, to the citizens and so if I came across that way. My apologies. What I’m saying though is, this is not a decision by Council. This is a decision by citizens. So when people say well councils doing this or councils doing that, no, this is, this is a political entity Fire Protection District that has been created by the firemen and women who were wanting to create this as council members, we do not have power over the decision of them doing this or not doing this. What they have the rights by law to do this, if they so choose, what we as a council have to understand is the realities of the reasons the numbers, and to be able to answer those questions and that part I am not shirking that responsibility at all. What I’m trying to make clear is that the decision of this fire district lays in the hands of the citizens and the decision to create this fire district plays in the hands of the fire departments, men and women who have chosen to look at this possibility, and the benefits

1:57:37

will benefit

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:57:39

not only themselves. It will benefit services, it will benefit rehiring, it will benefit retention, it will benefit both communities, and it will benefit our budget. So, that’s my, that’s what I’m trying to get across.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:57:55

So if I,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:57:56

I hope I got it across properly this time I see you shaking your head so that makes me feel like maybe I have, but I do not want anybody to think, especially my fellow council women, to think that I’m shirking their responsibilities as a council member to be able to answer questions for the citizens,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  1:58:14

so you will know that this is not something we need to shovel out, we don’t use a rake and shovel up. It was just that when I went to citizens to understand that we’re doing due diligence. That’s what I checked unpacking, because I think he got when I was asking for. So we’ve heard.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:58:42

Thank you. I take anyone else, Any other council member have their hands up. Okay, I just would like to share with you that we are not having a closed session tonight, Apollo is unavailable. And he asked that we scheduled a closed session for Tuesday night,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:59:07

Mayor Do we have a council meeting on the 27th

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:59:10

Yeah,

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:59:12

I thought, I thought we only had one this month I didn’t realize we were going back

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:59:17

in April is used the third and the fourth, because we have to wait until the election is certified and so that’s why we move it to the third Tuesday, and our regular fourth Tuesday meeting.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  1:59:34

All right my confusion on that I will get with you tomorrow regarding the next Tuesday.

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  1:59:39

Okay. So So way to keep your heart stop at 830 Yeah, no.

1:59:49

28 828 girl

Ella Jones (Mayor)  1:59:52

who just want to say Jeremy, thank you for the presentation, another presentation in the future for the upcounsel to walk through with a bit slower. And, you know, calculate the numbers. Thank you, Chief Hampton. And I just would like to say thank you to all the council members we work together and look at your selections again and then Tuesday we had no what we got to finalize Okay, with that in mind, I would like to motion in a second, to adjourn. So,

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  2:00:29

before we do that on the last thing on the selections that we have selected. Those that I know are you saying for some additional Is that what you mean on that

Ella Jones (Mayor)  2:00:39

stone just to look at them and make certain for certain that’s what you want. That’s what I’m talking about.

Linda Lipka (Ward 1)  2:00:45

Well I can tell you now mayor I’m clear on mine, so

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  2:00:50

I’m to the possibility that I may not be available on Friday I have to go out of town. So, if that’s the case, I’m done with mine, just like me said, my channels I just wanted to confirm you said tomorrow, the closed session with Apollo,

Ella Jones (Mayor)  2:01:07

no the closed session has been scheduled for Tuesday, April, 27, after the regular council meeting

Toni Burrow (Ward 2)  2:01:18

tomorrow. July is Councilwoman Robbins birthday,

Phedra Nelson (Ward 1)  2:01:25

no Saturday, Saturday. Somebody’s

Heather Robinett (Ward 2)  2:01:34

not ready like 50 Like I’m not ready, so I will not go quietly into that

Ella Jones (Mayor)  2:01:42

birthday, if we don’t get to you on Saturday. So, Now can I get a motion in a second. Move by council woman borrow and seconded by Councilwoman Robinett to adjourn the meeting, are you ready to vote. All in favor say

Fran Griffin (Ward 3)  2:02:03

aye. Aye.

Ella Jones (Mayor)  2:02:05

Any opposed the eyes have it. We are adjourned until Tuesday. Everyone have a great weekend and don’t celebrate too much tonight, everyone, and everyone can I wave.