MINUTES
COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA
REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 9, 2014

The regular weekly meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia was called to order at 9:05 A.M., Tuesday, December 9, 2014, on the 2nd Floor of the Citizens Service Center, located at 3111 Citizens Way, Columbus, Georgia. Honorable Teresa Tomlinson, Mayor, and Honorable Evelyn Turner Pugh, Mayor Pro Tem presiding.

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PRESENT: Present other than Mayor Teresa Tomlinson were Councilors R. Gary Allen, Mike Baker, Jerry Barnes, Glenn Davis, Jr., Berry H. Henderson, Bruce Huff and Judy W. Thomas. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, City Attorney Clifton Fay, Assistant City Attorney Lucy Sheftall, Clerk of Council Tiny Washington, and Administrative Secretary Lindsey Glisson were also present. Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh and Councilor Evelyn Woodson took their seats at the Council table at 5:58 p.m.
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ABSENT: No one was absent.

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INVOCATION: Offered by Reverend Javon Jackson, Pastor - Holsey Chapel CME Church.
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PLEDGE: Led by Mayor Tomlinson.
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CITY ATTORNEY’S AGENDA:

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL ON SECOND READING: _

An Ordinance (14-62) – Rezoning property located at 4023, 4035, 4101, & 4113 Anglin Road; 3556 Valley Drive; and the north portion of 3705 Claymore Road from an SFR2 (Single Family Residential 2) zoning district to RMF1 (Residential Multi-Family 1) zoning district. The proposed uses are townhouses and single family residential.

Prior to a motion being made on this ordinance, Councilor Baker said on this particular parcel, the rezoning is really not about developing that property, as it is already properly zoned for residential housing; so they can build residential housing without coming to the Council; and without notifying anybody. He said what we try to do; and with the fact that he wants to use townhouse type homes, as opposed to traditional single homes, that’s what requires a rezoning. He said we try to use that as an opportunity to get their concerns read into the record, so no one can come back later and say they didn’t know anything about that. He said we try to get things like drainage, buffering read into the public records so we now have a way to track those, to make sure those concerns are addressed. He said no one likes development encroaching on them; therefore, we try to minimize the impact that the development has, and said that is what we have tried to do here.

Councilor Baker said we could deny it across the board, and tomorrow he could go and build houses on that lot without notifying anybody and he would be well within his rights to do that. He said he is going to support the rezoning, but said he just wanted to make sure that we had these concerns on the record. He said we did have a good opportunity to clear up some of the glitches in the mailings, with the condos and apartments; which apparently there was some issues with. He said there are some positives that did come out of this.

Councilor Henderson then made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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THE FOLLOWING FOUR ORDINANCES WERE SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTTORN EY FAY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL ON SECOND READING: ____________ _____________________

An Ordinance (14-63) – Rezoning property located at 447 Andrews Road from an LMI (Light Manufacturing/Industrial) zoning district to a GC (General Commercial) zoning district. The proposed use is convenience store without gas sales.

Councilor Henderson moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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An Ordinance (14-64) – Rezoning property located at 5301 Morris Avenue from an SFR2 (Single Family Residential 2) zoning district to an SFR4 (Single Family Residential 4) zoning district. The proposed use is single family residential.

Councilor Davis moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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An Ordinance (14-65) – Amending the text to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to permit convalescent or nursing facility as a principal use in the MROD (Mill Restoration Overlay District) zoning district.

Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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An Ordinance (14-66) – Amending the budgets for the Fiscal Year 2014; beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2014, for certain funds of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia, appropriating amounts shown in each fund for various activities; and for other purposes.

Councilor Davis moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS ALSO SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND INTRODUCED ON FIRST READING: ___ _______

An Ordinance – Regulating vehicular traffic in Columbus, Georgia by establishing ranked parking along the south curb of 11th Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue and a loading zone along the south curb of the same block; authorizing the installation of official traffic control signs indicating the ranked parking and loading zones; repealing conflicting ordinances; and for other purposes.

Councilor Huff asked Councilor Woodson, if this was her Council District, to which she said it is.

Councilor Huff then asked if this is the piece of property that is near the Royal Caf. Director of Engineering, Ms. Donna Newman, said it is. She said we had previously brought it before the Council and the location of the loading dock actually changed with the construction; therefore, we have to change it in the ordinance; but said it is the same location. She said this is based on what was constructed, which was shifted based on the owner’s request.

Councilor Huff then asked, if they had met with the owners of the restaurant because he had heard in the past that the owners were having some discussions with the City.

City Manager Hugley said he met with the owner and a representative, Attorney Bill Wright along with Deputy City Manager David Arrington because they had some issues regarding the matter. He said this was an effort to resolve their issues or concerns, and said this is in response to that. Director of Engineering Newman said that is correct.

City Attorney Fay then asked if there were any other questions or concerns on this matter, but there were none. He said he would bring this back to the Council for a vote at their organization meeting in January.

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THE FOLLOWING TWO RESOLUTIONS WERE SUBMITTED AND
EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED BY THE
COUNCIL: ________________________________________________________

A Resolution (375-14) – Requesting Special Exception Use (EXCP-10-14-2312) for a Place of Worship (250 or More Seats) / Private School / Day Care Center (Type III) at 2000 Kay Circle; 1703 and 1723 Sheffield Drive; and 1820 Box Road. The current zonings for the properties are SFR2 (Single Family Residential 2) and GC (General Commercial) zoning districts.

Councilor Barnes moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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A Resolution (376-14) – Granting a hardship variance request to waive the minimum street frontage requirement in order to relieve a landlocked lot at 0 County Line Road (Tax Map ID #136-001-008). The current zoning for the property is RE1 (Residential Estate 1) and proposed use of property is Rural/Residential.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION WAS SUBMITTED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND READ IN ITS ENTIRETY BY COUNCILOR BARNES AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL: ______ __________________

A Resolution (377-14) – Expressing appreciation to Colonel Roy Plummer upon his retirement as the Director of Army Instruction for the Muscogee County School District JROTC.

Councilor Huff moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor
Barnes.

Councilor Barnes said since Colonel Plummer was unable to be present on today, he would like to read the resolution into the record.

After he read the resolution in its entirety, Councilor Barnes then moved its
adoption. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and then carried unanimously by
those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas
being absent.

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RESOLUTION NUMBER 375-14:

Referring back to this item, Councilor Davis said at one time, he think we had talked about some matters as it pertains to Special Exception Use and said he believe in the discussion, we had asked the Planning Department to go back and look at this language, for a possible amendment, in the Unified Development Ordinance, dealing with the number of seats for a place of worship. He said he think we had experienced some issue because of the location and how this place of worship was being setup and it affected a lot of businesses.

He said the way this is setup right now, they came to us, and we discussed it, and we were looking at; and then all of a sudden, they came back to us and said, we forgot that we have less than 250 members; therefore, we don’t need your approval on it, and they went ahead and established a place. He said we then had to go back and fix it because there was a lot of businesses and potential businesses being affected. He said in light of that, he would like for us to bring that back to the table again, as notice for the Planning Department to go back and look at that, for a possible amendment, so that we don’t get into some of the issues that we dealt with in the past.

Mayor Tomlinson said she would ask the City Manager to treat this as a referral and to bring back a report at one of our next meeting in January.
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PUBLIC AGENDA:

MS. BRITTANY DIONNE, MS. NAOMI KEITT, AND MS. JANELL LEWIS, REPRESENTING THE COLUMBUS METRO ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS, RE: INTRODUCTION OF THIS NEW ORGANIZATION:__ ___

Ms. Janell Lewis, said she is here this morning representing the Columbus Metro Association of Black Journalist. She also pointed out that she is the Assistant News Director for Channel 9 News. She apologized that her other colleagues, Ms. Brittany Dionne, Ms. Naomi Keitt, and Ms. Cheryl Renee are unable to be present with them this morning because they are reporters and anchor and are out covering stories right now. Also present with Ms. Lewis was Mr. Ben Wright of the Columbus Ledger Enquirer Newspaper.

Ms. Lewis said the CMABJ (Columbus Metro Association of Black Journalists)
is a chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, which has 3,000 journalists across the nation from CNN to ESPN to network media. She said it is the largest organization of journalists of color in the Nation and was founded in 1975. She said their local Chapter was formed in September of this year and said they are pleased to announce that just last week, they found out that they are now an official local affiliate chapter of NABJ. She said the association is an organization of print, digital, television and radio journalists, as well as public relations professionals, students, professors, newsroom managers and other media related professionals from the Greater Columbus area that provides quality programs and services to, and advocates on behalf of journalists of color in the area. She said CMABJ is one of the few organizations of journalists of color in the region.

Mr. Ben Wright, of the Columbus Ledger Enquirer Newspaper then came forward to provide some of the things that the CMABJ will be providing as a group. He said it is good for us to come together and work together, and said that this organization aims to be a resource for area journalists to come together and share ideas, and to become high achievers as communicators in broadcast and print media, along with those people who work as communication directors in the public entity, as well as private businesses. He said the group also plans to increase visibility among its members in the community by going to forums, workshops and colleges and spending time in our schools during career day and encouraging young people to take an interest in becoming journalist.

He said they are also here on today to bring to your attention to the media roundtable that the group is hosting from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at Columbus State University’s Davidson Auditorium. He said we know that this event is going to be discussing officer’s involved shootings of unarmed citizens. He said we know we need to have the Councilor’s there so that you all can relate to us what you are hearing in your communities about this topic. He said we also need to have the police to tell us what they are hearing in the community, and also what’s going in the area, to make sure that these types of incidents don’t happen in our city.

Mr. Wright said we also know that many things have already occurred in cities like Chicago and New York. He said the big event was in Ferguson, Missouri and said when we look at these things, we don’t want any of these kinds of things happen in Columbus; therefore, we feel like it is good for us to come together, to talk about these things, to make sure that we have an openness among one another, so that we don’t have these kinds of incidents in our city.

Ms. Lewis said they know that this event is the same night, as the “Let’s Talk with the Mayor” and said the Mayor has agreed to come after her event. She said they will kick things off at 7:30 p.m. that evening. She said she has sent an email to all the Council members, as well as the Sheriff and the Police to let them know that we are having this forum and would love to have them as part of that discussion.

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MR. NATHANIEL SANDERSON, REPRESETING COLUMBUS, GEORGIA NAACP, RE: MORAL MONDAY COLUMBUS:__ __ ________

Mr. Nathaniel Sanderson, 514 First Avenue, representing Columbus Georgia NAACP, said he is here this morning to make you aware of an activity that they have been conducting outside of the Citizens Service Center here, for the past five months, called Moral Monday. He said he is sure that they mailed each of you an invitation to attend at least one of these events, and said hopefully you have that invitation and will be aware of what is going on.

He said Moral Monday was started back in North Carolina in 2002 or 2003 and has grown throughout the Nation. He said they have a Moral Monday Georgia, and also have a Moral Monday Columbus; saying they have three initiatives that they want to talk about.

Mr. Sanderson said that he wanted to talk about the importance of Moral Monday and the importance of what they are doing. He said he was at a breakfast about a year ago now, and they had Ambassador Young in our community, who was the guest speaker at the time, and he was talking about civil rights movement and the importance of activism. He said he talked about how Dr. King told him, that he was too valuable to be marching and that he needed to be in the courtroom, and he needed to be advocating for change. He said while it is always important to advocate for change and to march and demonstrate, he said it is also equally important that we have people that change policy and change laws. He said not only can we sit out and march but said we have to have people who will change policy and laws.

Mr. Sanderson said what they are doing at Moral Monday, is that they have three initiatives that they are championing here in Columbus; which is that they would like to see body cameras placed on all law enforcement officers. He said he was told by Chief Boren that they have some, but that they need funding to purchase the additional body cameras. He said they would also like to see a Citizens Review Board, with subpoena authority.

He said he did some research because he remembers seeing a clip where the Mayor said that Georgia doesn’t allow the citizens to have subpoena authority over the police department. He pointed out that Atlanta has a Citizens Review Board, with subpoena powers, which was passed back in 2009. He said if you need the information, he can make that article available to you. He said he thinks that Columbus is much more progressive than Atlanta, and he feels that we should have that here in our city.

Mr. Sanderson said their final initiative that they are advocating for, is that they want to see an end to the Columbus Consolidated Government using prison labor. He said young people want to work and said that we need jobs for the young people. He said he would hope that this Council can find a way to stop the use of prison labor to supplement the work that needs to be done in the government and begin to hire those people.

After the conclusion of Mr. Sanderson’s presentation, Mayor Tomlinson asked City Attorney Fay to look into that case because she believes it was the City of Atlanta case that was ruled unconstitutional. She said this legislative body has subpoena powers, but said they can’t delegate that to citizens.

City Attorney Fay said that is correct. He said he has looked at this several times and said there is Georgia case law that says you can’t delegate subpoena powers away to another body. He said Atlanta may have special legislation that allows them to do that, but said he would be glad to look into that.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh said she knows that there have been several
conversations and people talking about the prison labor and the city hiring people to do that outside the City. She said it was quoted one time that it cost $40,000 a year to house an inmate.

Mr. Sanderson said he believes that it is about $30,000 per year.

Mr. Sanderson then responded to questions of Mayor Tomlinson and members of Council, after which several referrals were made by the Mayor and Council, which are outlined below. LAW ENFORCEMENT BODY CAMERAS:

During the discussion Councilor Woodson asked City Manager Hugley to have Finance Director Pam Hodge and the Chief of Police to inquire and determine if there is grant funding to purchase body cameras for law enforcement officers.
After a brief discussion on the strides being taken by the administration on acquiring funding to purchase body cameras for all law enforcement officers, Councilor Woodson made a request to have a presentation at a Council Work Session, and also include information on how the body cameras work and the specifics as to how the footage captured cannot be altered.

PRISON LABOR:

Councilor Woodson said since there is constant talk concerning the use of prison labor by CCG, to include conversation by Mr. Nathaniel Sanderson on the Public Agenda, she would also like to request there to be an additional presentation, and let’s provide the pros and cons of prison labor usage, and information on what benefits CCG offers to these individuals when they are released.

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Mayor Tomlinson said since prison labor was a statewide policy initiative, the option of having a representative from the State Prison System, who heads the Work Camp Program, she would also like to have someone to explain why prison labor is used and how it is beneficial to the State was expressed.
Councilor Woodson also asked that representatives from different organizations who aid in helping those persons being released from prison to gain employment to be included in that Council Work Session, as well.

Mayor Tomlinson then suggested that Mr. Boddie, who heads the program with Columbus Tech, to come and give an update on his program and the placement rate. She said the city helps fund this program through the Office of Crime Prevention.

SHERIFF JOHN DARR, RE: SHERIFF’S OFFICE:

Mr. John Darr, Sheriff of Muscogee County, came before the Council and read the following prepared statement. My appearance before Council today is to request funding for 6 additional deputy positions held in the Public Safety Vacancy Reserve. In accordance with Ordinance No. 14-25, Section 28, I am appearing before Council to request approval for the additional deputy positions. The Sheriff’s Office has funding for these deputy positions being held in the Public Safety Vacancy Reserve in the amount of $269,390.

That amount has been removed from the budget of the Sheriff’s Office and placed in the Public Safety Vacancy Reserve. The additional deputies that are being requested will be used in various areas. One area is courthouse security, to include security of the Superior Court Judge that was added. Also, these positions are needed to handle the additional criminal dockets that will be coming in the new year with the new judge, not only with civil but also criminal cases in Superior Court. These additional deputies will also be needed to shore up the mental health program that is being run at the county jail through the DOJ, and to help with the increase in prisoner transport.

As Sheriff, I am charged, by law, and it is my duty to the citizens of Columbus and Muscogee County to be the Chief Jailer of the county, to provide courthouse security, and attend all court sessions. As Sheriff, I am charged, by law, with the authority to hire the deputies in these 6 additional positions are necessary for me to perform the deputies’ duties as Sheriff. While I do not believe that Ordinance No. 14-25, Section 28, is legal as it applies to me or my office, I am here today in compliance with the Ordinance to respectfully request the funding for these additional deputy positions held in the Public Safety Vacancy Reserve. In closing, I respectfully ask for you to approve these positions.

Mayor Tomlinson, speaking to Sheriff Darr, said as I say, thank you and welcome. Anytime as an officer, you are welcome on the Mayor’s Agenda or the City Manager’s Agenda. I want to make sure, because I hate that the clock is running when you are on the Public Agenda, with it being a 10 minute limitation versus a courtesy to our officers. When officers address Council they wish to ask questions and have more leeway.

Sheriff Darr said sure.

Mayor Tomlinson said, I think what we should do is usually what happens is the request is submitted to the Finance Director, and she can look to ensure they are approved positions, which it sounds like they are, I am not sure. It is then a matter of request for funding. She then does an agenda report, and the Council then have you come, and then there is a give and take of questions that they may have.

Sheriff Darr said sure.

Mayor Tomlinson said, let's do this as a referral to Pam, so she can look and make sure these are funded positions. This way we can get all of the administrative stuff worked out, do an agenda report, and get you back probably on the City Manager’s Agenda for Council to ask any questions that they may have on this particular request.

Sheriff Darr, said yes, ma’am.

Mayor Tomlinson said I just want to make sure that you know that you are welcome on either agenda where you are not time limited.

Sheriff Darr, said yes, ma’am.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh said she believes this does not only go to Pam Hodge, but also Councilor Henderson as the Budget Review Chair. That the request should go through that process too.

Mayor Tomlinson said, yes, sure. That is typically, so when you appear we can have the most expeditious conversation and whatever questions there are you can provide us with the answers.

Sheriff Darr, said yes, ma’am.

Mayor Tomlinson said we will do that as a referral, and probably get you back at the very next meeting. I’m sure either Pam or the budget analyst will get with you if there are any questions about it.

Sheriff Darr: Mayor, I appreciate it.

Mayor Tomlinson: Thank you.

Sheriff Darr: Members of Council, I thank you too.

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PUBLIC SAFETY RESERVE:

Councilor Davis said he would like to get a clear understanding of the public
safety reserve that we have because the way he understands it, we talked about using that from a priority standpoint with the 911 responders that are out there on the street and out in the community; and filling those positions first, as well as community policing and the needs that are arising out in the community that would normally take priority over a lot of these other requests.

He said he knows that there are matters, at times, that are crime related in the community where there is a need to put more officers out on the street. He said he hear that everyday from the citizens that he represents. He said when we talked about having that reserve, there were a number of vacancies, but said mainly that money was to be prioritized to be used for 911 responders and out on the streets where we made that promise with the L.O.S.T. to the citizenry.

Mayor Tomlinson asked Director of Finance, Pam Hodge, to bring back a report to the Council, explaining that reserve. She said it was her understanding that there were specific reserves for each department or office. She said she would like for you to explain how that reserve works.

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MR. JEFF JOHNSTON, RE; DRUG TESTING FOR TAXICAB DRIVERS:______

Prior to Mr. Johnston making any presentations, Mayor Tomlinson said she would ask Mr. Johnston that he refrain from name calling and no finger pointing at anyone.

Mr. Jeff Johnston came forward and presented a power-point presentation, in which he said he would like to see the City of Columbus institute drug testing for taxicab drivers, who drive taxicabs in the city. He said the old taxicab commission voted on a lot of these things that he is requesting, but said nothing ever happened. He said a former taxicab commissioner said that if a taxicab driver has an accident, he thinks the driver should be drug tested within 12 hours. He said this can be done on a volunteer basis for the taxicab driver for the drug testing; and said in his opinion he thinks that the taxicab driver should pay. He said he thinks it is a privilege to be a taxicab driver in Columbus, Georgia and he feels that the taxicab drivers should pay. He said the permit process hasn’t changed in several years, and said the cost of taxicab driver’s permit is only $10 and he feels that the taxicab drivers can pay $100.

Mr. Johnston spoke for some ten minutes in expressing his views and concerns as it relates to drug testing for the taxicab drivers, who drive taxicabs here in the City of Columbus.

He said he would like to recommend that the Taxicab Commission also allow individuals who appear before the Commission to have ten minutes to speak to the Commission, like the Mayor allows citizens who comes before the Council to speak.

Mayor Tomlinson advised Mr. Johnson that we are looking into all of the concerns that he has brought up brought this Council; both, the drug testing and the taxation issue. She said we are also looking into what Fort Benning is doing and said that we would bring it back in a Work Session, but said we will not have a Work Session in January; therefore, it will probably be on the City Manager’s agenda. She said we will bring back that report and allow you to comment it on.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, speaking to Mr. Johnston said that the Mayor is actually in violation of the Council’s ordinance. She said you are only supposed to have five minutes. She said she wants to let you know that you may not have ten minutes next year. She said we have been extremely patient and have asked that all of your concerns be brought back to us in a Work Session so that we can get information on them, but said you act like we don’t hear you. She said you were told this last week, that we would address this in a Work Session and the Mayor told you again today.

Mayor Tomlinson said we will see you on next year.

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MR. CHESTER JACKSON, REPRESENTING WISHING WELL
FOUNDATION, RE: THIRD ANNUAL BIKE GIVEAWAY:______________

Mr. Chester Jackson, representing Wishing Well Foundation, came forward and said it is a privilege for him to be here this morning. He made comments regarding their Third Annual Bike Giveaway. He said they will again this year, be donating bikes from individuals to give back to the community, 500 bicycles. He said they found that today’s kids, are having difficulties in school and having difficulty in speaking one to another, as well as knowing who they are.


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NOTE: Mayor Tomlinson left at this point in the proceedings, with the time being 10:05 a.m.

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He said they would like to put a smile on a child’s face for Christmas. He said it means a lot to these children. He said for those children ages 4 to 14, they will be giving bikes away to this age group on October 20, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Mr. Jackson pointed out that they have also added another component to the Wishing Well Foundation. He said for those children ages 14 to 18, they have asked various businesses of Columbus, Georgia to come out and to spend one hour of their time, mentoring a child on a Saturday. He said they would ask the business owners to take that child to their business and show them around and how their business operates. He said there has been a great outpouring of the community to donate bikes for this cause.

After concluding his presentation, Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh asked City Manager Hugley to see what we can do to help, from the City’s prospective, as there will be a lot of traffic out there during that time.

Several members of the Council made comments regarding this matter, after which Mr. Jackson then responded to questions of members of the Council. Several Council members also indicated that they would like to donate a bike.
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CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA:

THE FOLLOWING FIVE RESOLUTIONS WERE SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:

A Resolution (378-14) – Authorizing the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Muscogee County School District for exchange of property for road improvements at the Buena Vista Road railroad crossing, to acquire additional right-of way for road realignments at Buena Vista Road railroad crossing, streetscapes, and for multi-purpose recreational trails in the immediate area as well as for other future development purposes, and the Muscogee County School District has a need for land in South Columbus for future educational purchases. This exchange will reduce the right-of-way cost for the Buena Road Project.

Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by
Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council
present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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A Resolution (379-14) – Authorizing the execution of a lease with Columbus Botanical Gardens, Inc., for property located at 3508 Oberlin Drive for a period of 10 years with an option to renew for an additional 10 year period.

Councilor Davis moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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A Resolution (380-14) – Authorizing the acquisition of Parcel 64, 6761 Forrest Road for Forrest Road Widening Project, from Woodruff Farm Road/Floyd Road, Muscogee County totaling 0.01 acres +/- of Right of Way, plus 0.003 acres +/- for Temporary and an easement for the construction of a driveway for County Road and/or Municipal Street purposes, and authorizing the filing of a Declaration of Taking by the City Attorney or his representatives for the acquisition of said land under the authority of the official code of Georgia annotated, Section 32-3-1 et. seq
for the referenced project.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by
Councilor Barnes and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council
present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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A Resolution (381-14) – Authorizing the submission of an alternate proposal, at the request of NeighborWorks Columbus to utilize the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Home Investment Partnership Program Grant for $400,000 awarded to the City to provide low income rental housing for veterans in the Beallwood community.

Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by
Councilor Barnes.

City Manager Hugley said this is a pass-through grant that Neighbor Works
applied for through the City of Columbus.

Ms. Melody Faison, with NeighborWorks Columbus was present, to answer
questions if there were any, but there were none.

The question was then called on the motion, which carried unanimously by
those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas
being absent.

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A Resolution (382-14) – Requesting the local delegation to the Georgia General Assembly to introduce legislation at the 2015 Session for an amendment to House Bill No. 556 (Act No. 297) for a technology fee of $25.00 to be imposed by Recorder's Court, and to amend said Act No. 297 to repeal the sunset provision contained in Section 2 in said Act.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by
Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council
present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

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THE FOLLOWING TWO RESOLUTIONS WERE ALSO SUBMITTED
AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY
THE COUNCIL PURSUANT TO THE ADOPTION OF A SINGLE
MOTION MADE BY COUNCILOR WOODSON AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILOR DAVIS, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY BY THOSE
NINE MEMBERS OF COUNCIL PRESENT FOR THIS MEETING, WITH
COUNCILOR THOMAS BEING ABSENT:____________________________

A Resolution (383-14) – Requesting the local legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly introduce general legislation at the 2015 Session of the Georgia General Assembly to allow a merged general primary election calendar for federal and state elections and a merged runoff election calendar for federal and state elections which will comply with the Order of the U.S. District Court and which will reduce the burden of payment by Muscogee County taxpayers for such runoff elections.

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A Resolution (384-14) – Requesting the legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly to introduce general legislation at the 2015 Session for an amendment to the coroner's fee to .25 cents instead of "in excess" of .10 cents as stated in the original Resolution # 358-14.

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THE FOLLOWING THREE PURCHASING RESOLUTIONS HAVING BEEN INCLUDED WITH THE CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA WERE ALSO SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL PURSUANT TO THE ADOPTION OF A SINGLE MOTION MADE BY COUNCILOR WOODSON AND SECONDED BY COUNCILOR ALLEN AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY BY THOSE NINE MEMBERS OF COUNCIL PRESENT, WITH COUNCILOR THOMAS BEEN ABSENT: ____ ________ _

A Resolution (385-14) – Authorizing the approval of the annual contract for the purchase of breathing apparatus, spare masks and spare air cylinders, on an “as needed basis”, from Fireline, Inc., (Winder, GA) for the estimated contract value of $224,077.50. This equipment will be used by Fire & EMS Department personnel when entering a burning structure. The term of contract shall be for two (2) years, with option to renew for three (3) additional twelve (12) month periods. Contract renewal is contingent upon the City and the Contractor.

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A Resolution (386-14) –Authorizing the approval of the annual contract for the purchase of traffic citations, on an "as needed" basis, from Pro Solutions (Alpharetta, GA), for the estimated contract value of $18,932.48.

Pro Solutions (Alpharetta, GA), will provide fifty-six thousand (56,000) traffic citations, which equates to 2,240 books per year, to be used by the Columbus Police Department. The contract term will be for two years, with the option to renew for three additional twelve-month periods.

A Resolution (387-14) –Authorizing the approval of the purchase of arts and craft, hobby & recreational supplies from S & S Worldwide, Dick Blick Company, Gulf Coast Sports LLC, Lakeshore Learning Material, Ace Educational Supplies, Excelligence, NASCO, BSN Sports and School Specialty, Inc., at a percentage discount ranging from 5% to 32%, on an “as needed basis”. The Parks and Recreation Department has various divisions, including: Recreation, Seniors, Therapeutics, Pottery, Athletics, Park Services and Cooper Creek Tennis which purchase a variety of arts, craft, hobby and recreational supplies via catalogs and at discount stores. To facilitate these purchases, vendors were asked to submit percentage discount bids, since most vendors offer similar, but not exactly the same type of arts, crafts, hobby and recreational supplies.

The term of this contract period shall be for one year, with the option to renew for four (4) additional twelve-month periods. Contract renewal will be contingent upon the mutual agreement of the City and the Contractor.

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FINANCE UPDATE:

Director of Finance Pam Hodge came forward to present the Finance update.
She said she does not have the November report as of yet, but as soon as she gets it, she will provide a copy to the Council.

She then provided the following information that was presented to Council at an earlier meeting

FINANCE UPDATE:

FY2015 BUDGET REQUESTS

FY2015 FUND BALANCE PROJECTION
General Fund $12,497,299.4 30.62 days
OLOST – Public Safety $11,172,806.01 27.38 days
OLOST – Infrastructure $2,448,369.00 6.00 days
TOTAL 06/30/2015 Projection $26,118,474.48 64.00 days
Tax Commissioner ($24,396.00) (0.06) days
Revised TOTAL 06/30/2015 Projection $26,094,078.48 63.94 days

Councilor Henderson said that the Police Chief has requested $200,000 in overtime specifically because typically during this period of time, unfortunately, burglaries rise and break-in rises, and he needs the overtime to put additional patrols on the streets to protect the citizens.

He said the Chief did manage to save in his budget almost $700,000 this year. He said we do have the contingency fund of about $1.8 that was to be utilized to pay for officers, if he was successful in filling vacancies on the force. He said he would make a motion to take $200,000 out of the contingency fund to pay for the police department’s overtime. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

Councilor Henderson said he has one other request, which is a big ticket item; the burn building for our Fire Department. He said the burn building that we have for training for the Fire Department is virtually unusable and said it is a safety hazard. He said there will be some cost this year to do the design work, but he doesn’t know how much. He said the overall cost was right around $1 million, but said it won’t hit until FY-16’s budget. He then made a motion that we proceed on the design phase.

He said the reason he is doing that, is because he really do believe that things are improving slightly and we have had some other cost savings, based on the way we have budgeted fuel costs and things of that nature that we are not having to pay quiet as much for. He said he thinks that the design cost can also come out of the contingency.
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NOTE: Mayor Tomlinson returned at this point in the proceedings, with the time being 10:38 a.m.
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Councilor Henderson said historically, we have never been able to fill every slot in the police department, and said almost every year, there is at least 15 or more slots that remain open even if they have a banner year in recruiting. He said he is very confident that we are not going to hit a point where we are looking for personnel once we have identified them, we can’t hire them.

The motion was seconded by Councilor Barnes, after which the question was then called on the motion, which carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Thomas being absent.

Councilor Davis said in light of a lot of these requests, we all understand the limited funds that are available to the City to operate. He said there are going to be a lot of requests, but said, we as a Council are just going to have to understand where the need is. He said as he stated earlier, the people want police protection out on the streets, 911 responders; which are your police cruisers and your police officers out on the streets, should be a priority in this community.

He said if you have a limited amount of money to work with, you are going to have to start looking at redundancies; and start looking at things you can do, to maybe even incorporate various departments of public safety. He said when we come to capital replacements and these requests, we have no choice, but to prioritize now, and put those resources where they are most needed.

Councilor Davis said the Council is going to have to determine that, but we have no other choice being that we are backed up right on that 60 day mark from a reserve standpoint.

Mayor Tomlinson said you are bringing up a very good point for further discussion. She said there are some issues that we are going to be talking about related to those items, for you to consider, and mull over, as we head into the budget situation.

Councilor Henderson said in light of the tightening budget situation, and in paying homage to the late Councilor McDaniel, he would recommend that we reconvene the Car Committee. He said he thinks it is an excellence exercise to go through. He said he knows sometimes, it can lead to micro-managing, which is not the intent here; but said, even when things are coming along like they are supposed to, a little extra accountability and a little bit of vetting, of where we are allowing these vehicles to go, are warranted.

He said if there are any members of the Council who would like to serve on this committee, to contact either the Mayor or City Manager, and let’s try to get this committee up and running again.

Mayor Tomlinson said we hear a lot of potential issues that we need to discuss. She said we hear a lot of times, about public safety vehicles leaving the county, and said we just need to make sure where those vehicles are, and how many we have out there.

Councilors Allen and Barnes indicated that they would like to serve on this committee.

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FIRE DEPARMTENT BURN BUILDING:

Director of Finance Pam Hodge said with regards to the burn building for the fire department, it will go through the RFP process and said it will be coming back to the Council for approval, when we get to that point.

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FY2016 BUDGET PREPARATION:

Finance Director Pam Hodge, then outlined the following items, she said that they are working on these things, as they are preparing for the FY-2016 Budget.
Submission to Council Target – March 31, 2015
OLOST Supplement – Include with base pay

Mayor Tomlinson said what Director Hodge is referring to as it relates to the
OLOST Supplement is something that we have been working with our public safety on.

She said you may be hearing it as well. She said the $3,000 supplement that we provided, as part of the OLOST; so many of our public safety personnel don’t fully understand or know, or appreciate that it is part of their base pay, because we don’t treat it like it’s part of their base pay on their pay stub. She said it is actually separated from the rest of their pay, and it causes great confusion, because they don’t know they are getting pension on that, but said they are.

Mayor Tomlinson said the $3,000 is not subject to cost of living increases. She said she would like for us to discuss this matter and have asked Finance Director Hodge to bring forward all of the administrative ramifications, of moving that $3,000 supplement into their base pay. She said we would need the Council’s approval to move the $3,000 supplement to their base pay.

She said many of those in public safety, feels like it is segregated on their pay stub because we might someday take it away. She said, of course, the Council can take away all kind of things, but she doesn’t believe that is ever your intention, to reduce their pay. She said we might as well put it into their base pay. She said she would like for the Finance Director to tell you about some of the administrative difficulties and why it wasn’t done originally that way.

Director of Finance Hodge also pointed out that they will be looking at the following items to be brought and discussed during the FY-2016 budget.

Duplication of Services Review (Council Referral)
Charges for Services and Fee Review
Component Unit and Agency Subsidies
Health Insurance

Director of Finance Hodge said if there are any particular items that the Council wants them to consider, as we are going into the FY-2016 budget preparation, to please let her know and we will make sure we get it on the list and do the proper analysis for those items.
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HEALTH INSURANCE UPDATE:

Ms. Reather Hollowell said she has a brief slide presentation regarding the healthcare update, saying it is very similar to what has been presented to you several weeks ago; however, we wanted to make sure you knew what we were thinking, as we begin to look at the FY-2016 budget, as well as the 2016 calendar year. She then provided the following information, as outlined below.

TOP SAVINGS STRATEGIES:
Impact of Health & Wellness Center
Prescription Drugs Cost Analysis

HEALTH &WELLNESS CENTER ANALYSIS:
Health & Wellness Center Designed to – Control Healthcare Costs
Feasibility of making the HWC available to all employees
Review performance of HWC Vendor/Manager
Timeline: 1st Quarter in 2015

Ms. Hollowell said with regards to reviewing the performance of the Health & Wellness Center Vendor Manager, Transform Health, said that their contract ends at the end of this month; and said it would renew in January. She said they will be recommending that we renew the contract for another year; therefore, they will be bringing back a resolution in that regard.

She said they think that having the analysis in hand will be helpful in providing clarity in terms of how the Health & Wellness Center is performed.

Councilor Davis said during this process of evaluation, is our Internal Auditor’s Department being involved in these hearings or findings in evaluating the Health & Wellness Center.

Ms. Hollowell said our benefit consultant, Northwestern has all the data related to the Health & Wellness Center and said they are most able to conduct the analysis. She said they conducted the analysis before, and the Internal Auditor certainly provided input, along with his own advice and counsel, as it relates to the Health and Wellness Center. She said once the analysis is complete, it will be shared with the Internal Auditor and said she welcomes his input. She said he certainly provides excellence guidance and counsel, as we are going through this process. She said she has spoken with him on a number of occasions and said she can involve him even more, if that is the pleasure of the Council.

Councilor Davis said he would like to make that recommendation. He said the Internal Auditor has already done an audit on the department and he thinks that it was the understanding of the Council that the department will continue to look into the matter and make evaluations. He said he thinks it would only help in working as a team or an overall component that the Internal Auditor’s office is included and that they evaluate the findings as well. He said they might as well do it now, because at some point in time, they will be asked to look into it; whether, it is him or some other Council member.

City Manager Hugley said he certainly don’t see a problem with that and would encourage that. He said he would ask Director Hollowell to allow the Internal Auditor to be involved in the same way he was involved with the initial assessment and said that we will certainly do that.

Mayor Tomlinson said Councilor Davis has had some ideas of things that he has heard in the community that have worked in other cities, we believe successfully, related to retirees plans, and said she would like for Ms. Hollowell to do some research on that in order for us to provide that information back to the Council. She said as soon as we get some information, to also get the Retirees Benefit Committee involved so they can know all the various proposals that people have before we bring it to the Council.

After the discussion regarding the Health and Wellness Center, Ms. Hollowell then continued with her presentation, and provided the following information, as outlined below.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST ANALYSIS:
Opportunity for Potential Savings
Modify Rx Plan w/o Impacting Employee Satisfaction
Review Performance of Rx Plan Vendor
Timeline: 1st Quarter in 2015

ANALYSIS OF HELATHCARE PLANS:
HMO
POS/PPO
HWC
Consider other Plan Options
Better Plan Management
Enhance Cost Controls
Timeline: 2nd Quarter in 2015



REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:
ASO/BCBS
Benefits Consultant
Competition may lead to added cost savings
Timeline: 1st Quarter in 2015

Mayor Tomlinson said often times, when we are discussing healthcare here, we talk about the fact that having more people on our plan can possibly result in efficiencies or scale or reduce costs of some sort. She said she has heard that when you are self-insured, as we are, that is not necessarily true; but in fact, having more people is more costly. She said if that is true, that is certainly counter intuitive and is different than what a lot of us up here think. She said she would like to have that specifically addressed. She said someone needs to explain that to us.

Director Hollowell said it is the difference between fully insured versus being
self-insured. She said if the Internal Auditor is here, he can explain it much better than she, and she would ask him to come forward and explain it to the Mayor and Council.

Internal Auditor John Redmond said there is definitely some truth to that statement that Ms. Hollowell made earlier. He said when you are bidding out a group; particularly on a fully insured program, as most companies have. He said a smaller company that has a fully insured program, it makes a difference to the insurer because they are taking the risk. He said they charge you a risk charge, as part of the retention costs; retention consists of the administrative processing costs, as well as the risk charge. He said they have to include that, and the risk charge is higher for a smaller group than it is for a larger group. He said it does have some effect and said they would prefer to have a larger group because it is more credible; and the more credible it is, the more accurately they can forecast what the healthcare claims and expenses of the plan will be that they are at risk on. He said it is a little different with an administrative services only contract, as we are on, because we are taking the risk as the city. He said in our case, it is more important that we look at the elements of the various components or groups that make up our overall plan, to see where there are risks that perhaps can be mitigated or even eliminated; and in some cases, it may be better to take out a particular segment; and particularly, if they have higher risks factors than the rest of the group.

Mr. Redmond said that is not always the case, but said it is certainly something that you have to look at and beware of as you move along from year to year because components change.

He said as they were talking about a few meetings ago about Muscogee Manor, and where we are with that, which Ms. Hollowell will be talking about later on today, said their group is growing because it is part of their business strategy. He said they are growing their business and creating some new business units and have to take on some additional employees and additional lives.

Mr. Redmond said that could be a good thing for them, or it could be a bad thing, but we really don’t know at this point. He said that is part of the reasons why the consultants would have to look at the components of the group; whereas, if we have another component that has remained much the same from time to time; there’s less risk from the changes that are occurring.

After Internal Auditor John Redmond concluded his comments, Ms. Hollowell then continued once again with her presentation on the following updates, to the Mayor and Council, as outlined below.

OTHER VARIABLES IMPACTING HEALTHCARE:
Working Spouse Exclusion/Inclusion
HWC Enrollment Shift
Timeline: 2nd Quarter in 2015

Ms. Hollowell said during the open enrollment period, they did the working spouse inclusion and said one of the things that they learned through this open enrollment process, there appeared to be a communications gap, in terms of how an individual qualifies for the spousal waiver versus what would cause you to have to pay for your spouse to be on the plan. She said as a result of the process that they utilized this year, helped a great deal of employees understand exactly what qualifies you to get the waiver versus what doesn’t. She said that has resulted in a significant number of employees not retaining their spouses on the plan because they are not eligible for the waiver. She said she will be bringing some specific numbers with regards to the reduction, which seems to be significant.

Ms. Hollowell then responded to questions of Mayor Tomlinson, and said, yes there will be a shift with regards to the Health & Wellness Center. She said it will not be as much as we would like for it to be, but said beginning January 1, 2015, they will have an increase of approximately 100 members to the plan.

HEALTHCARE REFORM IMPACT:
PCORI/CER Fees (Due 2013-2019)
2013 - $5,935
2014 - $10,972
2015 - $12,480 (estimated)
Reinsurance Fees (Due 2014-2016)
2014 - $378,063
Shared Responsibility – Employees working more than 30 hours weekly on average

Ms. Hollowell pointed out that these are the fees that we have been required to pay based on the members that are on our plan.

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MUSCOGEE MANOR:

Ms. Hollowell said on last week, we came to you with a resolution regarding Muscogee Manor and its employees not remaining on the City’s Healthcare plan. She said as a part of the FY-15 budget, we included Muscogee Manor and said that we were looking at our relationship, from a healthcare standpoint, with Muscogee Manor. She said as a part of the FY-15 budget, we told you that it was our recommendation that Muscogee Manor seek health insurance coverage for its employees, independently, of the City of Columbus.

She said since February of this year, they have had quiet a bit of communication with Muscogee Manor, in writing, as well as verbally; which resulted in a resolution this past Tuesday, to recommend that Muscogee Manor go off on their own and acquire health insurance for their 350 or more employees, independent of the Columbus Consolidated Government. She said as we discussed that with the Council, you were more in favor of Muscogee Manor staying on the City’s healthcare plan because of the many years of relationship that we had with them.

Ms. Hollowell said if it was the desire of Muscogee Manor to stay on the City’s healthcare plan, we would ask them to carry the full weight of being on the plan, and be fully responsible for all of their claims, as well as all of the associated costs of them staying on the plan. She said there was a request that they put together a Memorandum of Understanding between Muscogee Manor and the Consolidated Government. She said they had been working on that for the past several days now and those terms of agreement would have included in part what they talked about this past Tuesday; which is outlined below.

Terms of Agreement
Pay all claims as billed including medical, prescription, dental, and vision
Pay all administrative costs including ASO fees, CCG Admin fees, HWC operations costs
Pay Healthcare Reform fees
Pay for Stop Loss Coverage
Implement a spousal surcharge similar to CCG
Agreement to cover a 12 month period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015

Ms. Hollowell said as they were putting this together and she committed to the Administration of Muscogee Manor, it look as if we had an agreement, with regards to the terms of the agreement. However, she then got an email from Muscogee Manor indicating that they were not willing to participate in the terms of the agreement that we had outlined, and stated that as of December 31, 2014, they would end their healthcare relationship with the Columbus Consolidated Government and that they would acquire health insurance independent of the City of Columbus.

At the end of Ms. Hollowell’s presentation, City Manager Hugley then read the email that Ms. Hollowell received from Mr. Britt Hayes, Vice- President, Muscogee Manager Hospital Authority.

After the conclusion of the presentation, Ms. Hollowell, City Manager Hugley and Director of Finance Pam Hodge then responded to questions of several members of the Council.
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NOTE: Councilor Buck left the meeting at this point in the proceedings, with the time being 11:38 a.m.
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After the administration responded to several questions of the Mayor and members of the Council, City Manager Hugley said with the email that we have received from Vice-President, Mr. Britt Hayes on yesterday at 4:21 p.m. said there is no further action that we need to take, as unfortunately, they (Hospital Authority) have indicated that they will exit the plan effective December 31, 2014.

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CLAFLIN SCHOOL:

Deputy City Manager David Arrington said the deadline for the Requests for Proposal process for the renovation/redevelopment of the Claflin School property expired on November 26, 2014. He said on November 26th, they did receive one proposal related to the RFP. He said a review of the proposal indicates that all of the required elements that needed to be addressed in the proposal were included in the proposal submitted to the City, and, as such, they have called the evaluation team together and have scheduled a meeting to review the proposal. He said their review is scheduled to begin on tomorrow, and they plan to go through each of the elements of the proposal, which may require interviews with the organization that submitted the proposal. He said they are prepared to come back to the Council in early January with a recommendation on how to proceed based on the results of the RFP process.

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FORREST ROAD WIDENING PROJECT:

Deputy City Manager David Arrington said as it relates to the update of the Forrest Road Widening project that Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh asked us to provide at the last Council meeting, said the condemnation that was on the Council agenda today is the last right-of-way issue that they had to resolve prior to the project moving forward. He said we have one other property relocation, which they are in the process of working with the property owners now to relocate them to another residence because they did have to acquire that one home. He said they look for this process to be completed within the next 30 – 45 days, and said the consultant that is working on the project with them is preparing to submit to EDP for permitting on the project and also complete the final design work that we can submit to Purchasing for the bid process. He said they look for the permitting to be accomplished within the next 30 – 60 days through EPD and said once we get that, and then finish out this right-of-way issue, they look to have the project out to bid within the first quarter of 2015. He said sometime between January and March of this year.

After the conclusion of his update, Deputy City Manager Arrington then responded to questions of Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh.

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PIPER PROGRAM:

City Manager Hugley called Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin to come forward to talk about and explain the Piper Program. He said he would like to thank Councilor Barnes for bringing this program to our attention. He said Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin has been working to get it up and going. He said we don’t have the Memorandum of Agreement all ironed out as of yet, but said it is very imperative that we move forward with the concept. He said we should have the MOA all worked out by January.

Mayor Tomlinson said she understand that this is a no cost pilot project that the company wants us to participate in, and said we are trying to get the language worked out for the MOA. She said she would like to hear from Councilor Barnes.

Councilor Barnes said this is a win, win opportunity for the City and our citizens. He said with all of the emphasis on the many amenities that we have for our citizens to be able to enjoy themselves at no cost; one of which is the walking path, the bike path; and the Riverwalk. He said as a healthcare professional, he has always wondered that if someone had some type of an emergency on the bike or walking trail or even the Riverwalk, how they would notify emergency services, or from the standpoint of public safety, if they felt intimidated along one of them or noticed something. He said he has met some people who are willing to use our city as a pilot program for this Piper system.

Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin then came forward and first introduced Mr. Wesley Ker-Fox, who is the co-founder of this system. She said he is here to answer any questions that the Council might have.

She then gave a power-point presentation and went into some details in explaining exactly what the Piper system is; saying that it is actually an app. She said the app is at no cost. She said we have a number of beacons in the City. She then provided the following information during her presentation.

COMMUNITY BENEFITS:

Citizens have the ability to touch the Piper Safe Cities Halo icon and connect to a designated emergency operator to report:

Ms. Goodwin said the application is not necessarily just for safety purposes, but said there are a number of other things it can be used for, if we want to engage other systems, such as intergrading somehow with our 311 system. She said right now we are just looking at our 911 notification. She pointed out that we have provided the Council with a resolution asking for your concurrence to just move forward with this, as we continue to update the Memorandum of Understanding. She said if you are okay with that, what they will do is to provide the MOA that has been updated by the City Attorney’s office. She said we will be ready to come back in January for the final approval.

Councilor Barnes then made a motion for approval. Seconded by Councilor Allen.

City Attorney Fay said if the Council adopts this resolution it will not need to come back in January. He said it is up to you if you want to hear additional information.

Mr. Wesley Ker-Fox then came forward and responded to questions of members of the Council.

After Councilor Barnes made some additional remarks regarding this matter, the question was then called on the motion to adopt the resolution which carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Davis being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

THE ABOVE MOTION ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION, AS LISTED BELOW: __________________ _____________

A Resolution (388-14) –Authorizing the City Manager to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement that would allow Uvanna, Inc., dba Piper Access to city property where beacons will be deployed.

Mayor Tomlinson said we will go ahead and continue forward with the Memorandum of Agreement that we are working on and said it will not come back to the Council unless there is some substantive change.

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BIKE LANE RECOMMENDATIONS:

City Manager Hugley said Deputy City Manager Arrington has brought to his attention that the bike lane recommendations are included in the Council’s information section in the Council’s packet and said if you have questions, he is available, as well as Traffic Engineer Doc Dorsey.

Mayor Tomlinson said those are the bike lanes that we previously had on our alternative transportation plan, and said as we are stripping, we are putting in bike lanes where the plan calls for. She said it has been given to the Council so that they will know what streets these bike lanes will be going on.
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CLERK OF COUNCIL’S AGENDA:

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE SUBMITTED BY CLERK OF COUNCIL WASHINGTON AS INFORMATION FOR THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL:________________________________________________________

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TAXICAB COMMISSION:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin is requesting the seat of Ms. Jodi Sears on the Taxicab Commission be declared vacant, due to her lack of attendance, as well as not having taken her oath of office. Councilor Allen so moved. Seconded by Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present at the time, with Councilor Buck being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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LAND BANK AUTHORITY:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that we have received a memorandum from Chairman Justin Krieg, advising the Land Bank Authority is recommending Ms. Anne Hanna Merritt to serve to fill the seat of Ms. Susan Cooper on the Land Bank Authority. Councilor Allen moved confirmation. Seconded by Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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MINUTES OF THE FOLLOWING BOARD WAS SUBMITTED
BY CLERK OF COUNCIL WASHINGTON AND OFFICIALLY
RECEIVED BY THE COUNCIL:________________________________

Board of Tax Assessors, 40-14.

Councilor Allen made a motion that the minutes be received. Seconded by Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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NOTE: Councilor Huff left at this point in the proceedings, with the time being 12:04 p.m.
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ANIMAL CONTROL ADVISORY BOARD:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that the term of office of Mr. David Mackie expired back in October and that he is not eligible to succeed himself for another term of office. She further pointed out that she has provided a biographical sketch of Ms. Gail Simpson, who is interested in serving on the board if someone wants to nominate her. Councilor Woodson then nominated Ms. Simpson.

Clerk of Council Washington also pointed out that we are still waiting to hear back from the Veterinary Association regarding their representative for someone to succeed Dr. Carol Houston.

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BOARD OF ELECTIONS & REGISTRATION:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that she has made a change to the agenda with regards to the nominees listed for these three seats. She said that she must have misunderstood when two members of the Council asked that those other individuals who had expressed an interest in serving on this board be outlined for those three seats, in which she did. Councilor Barnes stated that he did say that, but it was done in error. She then stated that the three individuals, who was nominated on last week, Ms. Margaret Jenkins, Ms. Eleanor White and Ms. Diane Scrimpshire may now be confirmed. Councilor Henderson so moved. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Huff being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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BOARD OF HONOR:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that on last week Ms. Beth Harris was nominated to succeed Mr. John J. Rodgers, who no longer wished to serve on the board, and advises that she may now be confirmed. Councilor Allen so moved. Seconded by Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Huff being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that the term of office of Mr. Chuck H. McDaniel, III on the Community Development Advisory Council has expired and that he is not eligible to succeed himself for another term of office. She further pointed out that Councilor Baker is working on a replacement for this seat.

She also pointed out that Ms. Clementine Cochran, who serves as Council District 10 representative is not eligible to succeed herself for another term of office and that Councilor Henderson is also working on a replacement for this seat.


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION ADVISORY BOARD:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that on last week Mr. Xavier McCaskey and Mr. Rafael Rose was nominated to succeed themselves for another term of office and that they may now be confirmed. Councilor Barnes so moved. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Huff being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting.

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HISTORIC & ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out Mr. Matt McDaniel, who serves as the Historic District Resident member on the Historic & Architectural Review Board has resigned his seat, due to him no longer living in the district. She pointed out that Council must nominate someone to fill this unexpired term.

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HOSPITAL AUTHORITY OF COLUMBUS:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that the terms of office of Mr. James Webster, Ms. Sarah Banks-Lang and Mr. Jim Laycock expired in November. She further pointed out that Mr. Webster and Ms. Banks-Lang have been nominated to succeed themselves for another term of office.

She also pointed out that Mr. Jim Laycock has resigned as he no longer is a resident of Muscogee County.

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KEEP COLUMBUS BEAUTIFUL COMMISSION:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that the term of office of Ms. Vanessa Lewis, who serves on the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission and represented Council District One has expired. She further pointed out that Councilor Barnes is nominating Ms. Charlotte Irvin to succeed Ms. Lewis and that she may now be confirmed. Councilor Barnes so moved. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Huff being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent from the meeting.

She also pointed out that Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh is nominating Ms. Wanda Jenkins to succeed Dr. Billy Kendall who serves in an at-large position and whose term has also expired.

Clerk of Council Washington said she would bring this back at the next regular meeting of the Council, for the Council’s confirmation.

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PERSONNEL REVIEW BOARD:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that we still have two seats that have not been filled yet and advised that she will be taking a roll call vote today for the seat of Ms. Gladys Williams-Tillmon and Ms. Jennifer Melvin, who have both been nominated to succeed themselves for another term of office.

She also pointed out that there are two nominees for each of these two seats and then proceeded to take a roll call vote for Ms. Williams-Tillmon’s seat. Ms. Jaimie Briggs DeLoach is the other nominee for this position.

After taking a roll call vote, which resulted in an inconclusive vote of 4 to 3, Voting for Ms. DeLoach was Councilors Baker, Barnes, Davis and Henderson. Voting for Ms. Williams-Tillmon were Councilors Allen, Woodson and Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh. Councilors Buck and Huff were absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas was absent for the meeting.

Clerk of Council Washington said she would bring this back at the next regular Council meeting.

A roll call vote was then taken for Ms. Jennifer Melvin’s seat. The nominees are Ms. Jennifer Melvin and Ms. Darlene Porter Small. This vote resulted in an inconclusive 5 to 2 vote. Voting for Ms. Melvin was Councilor Barnes and Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh. Voting for Ms. Small was Councilors Allen, Baker, Davis, Henderson and Woodson. Councilors Buck and Huff were absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas was absent for the meeting.

Clerk of Council Washington said she would bring this back at the next regular Council meeting.

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PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY COUNCIL:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that Ms. Valerie A. Thompson, who represents Council District Four, term of office expired back on October 31, 2014, and that she is not eligible to succeed herself, and Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh is working on a replacement for her seat.

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Councilor Henderson wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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With there being no other business to come before the Council, Mayor Tomlinson then entertained a motion for adjournment. Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh so moved. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present at the time, with Councilors Buck and Huff being absent for this vote and Councilor Thomas being absent for the meeting, with the time of adjournment being 12:08 p.m.



Tiny B. Washington, MMC
Clerk of Council

The Council of Columbus, Georgia