Sunday, March 4, 2012

Council Meeting Notes: Feb. 21, 2012

The meeting began just a few minutes after 7 pm. Councilmember Hedrick arrived late. The agenda was approved as presented 3-0. The minutes were approved with a change requested by Councilmember Hunt that the discussion about the new councilmember planned for this meeting not be referred to as “would select” but “would interview”. Councilmember Hardin asked that the minutes go back to using the last name of the person rather than using “he” or “she” to avoid any confusion.

Staff Reports
Fire: Among other things, Chief Torbet said there were 5 medical aid calls last month and the CPR training will continue. He invited all the council members to get CPR certified.

Police: Chief Kunkel thanked Kevin Moser for installing security cameras in their office. He said the agreement with Metro Parks had been approved and they will start limited patrols March 1st in Point Defiance Park. He also listed general stats for the department and other details.

Public Comment
Loren Cohen of Point Ruston gave an update on the grand opening event planned for Ruston Way on April 21st.

Dick Shores protested Ordinance 1358 regarding further restrictions on parking recreational vehicles on Ruston streets.

Kevin Moser offered more suggestions on how to make the school a viable building so the town could maintain ownership.

Edie Talllman agreed with Mr. Moser with a few added questions.

Beth Torbet gave an update on the business district and talked about how glad she will be when Ruston Way opens up because of the detrimental impact the closure has had on their business.

  1. Ordinance 1345 – Zoning Violation Procedures (2nd Reading): The ordinance was passed 3-0 with some minor edits.
  2. Ordinance 1354 – Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Moratorium (1st Reading): The town attorney encouraged the council not adopt this ordinance because the legislature had clarified state law to confirm dispensaries would stay illegal, so no action was needed at the local level.
  3. Ordinance 1355 – Collective Gardens Interim Zoning Standards (1st Reading): This is a way to control growing medical marijuana near sensitive populations like schools and daycares. It was decided not to require a permit since that implied permission under recent court rulings.
  4. Ordinance 1358 – Recreational Vehicle and Trailer Parking (1st Reading): Kunkel explained this ordinance had been presented by the police department to address some specific problem areas where they have difficulty enforcing the current code. There was lengthy discussion with Hunt noting this was similar to covenants and restrictions used in gated communities, which she felt were needed in Ruston. Hardin was concerned that any ordinance be uniformly applied at all times, not just when there was problem or complaint.  
  5. Ordinance 1359 – Impound (1st Reading): Kunkel stated this brought Ruston code in line with state law. Hunt and Hardin had questions that were addressed by the chief.
  6. Ordinance 1360 – Adopting Model Traffic Control (1st Reading): The last time Ruston adopted traffic codes was 1977. This ‘cleans up’ the books and brings the town up to date.
  7. Ordinance 1361 – Parking of Unlicensed Vehicles (1st Reading): This brings Ruston’s fees current with the state.
  8. Council Member – Discussion/Appointment: The mayor noted that no council members had submitted any questions for the single applicant for the vacant council seat, so he assumed they were all satisfied with the application as submitted (which the town refused to make public). Councilmember Hedrick moved to appoint Bruce Judd as councilmember until the next regular election. Hunt seconded and the motion passed 4-0. Judd was sworn in and took his seat.
  9. School Building – Discussion/Al Olson: Mr. Olson said the mayor had requested that he come to give a brief report on his team’s finding about the future of the school building. He outlined the qualifications of his team and then reiterated his team’s views that the building should be sold and the money be used to hire his team for strategic planning to handle the town’s projected growth as well as improvements to the current town hall.  He noted his team did their research and prepared their report without any payment or contract and it resulted with a valid purchase offer from the team. After about 10 minutes, the mayor suggested the discussion be moved to a study session so they could have more time. It was agreed to meet at 6 pm before the next meeting on March 5th so Mr. Olson could continue his presentation. Hedrick promised more study sessions at a later date to take public comment (which is not allowed at a normal study session).
  10. Budget Discussion – Salary Review: Ruston employees have voted to de-certify their union. The mayor said how glad he was that the town does not have to go thru collective bargaining. The mayor requested a 3% salary increase for 2012. Hedrick confirmed a budget amendment would be presented for approval.
Claims and Payroll: approved 5-0

Mayor’s Time
Hopkins thanked Hedrick for agreeing to give the speech for the town at the Ruston Way ribbon cutting. He welcomed Judd to the council. He encouraged the rest of the council to take the tour of Point Ruston. He is working on the plans for the landscaping in the new roundabout located in Ruston at the bottom of N. 51st, including getting pricing for his ideas. He has the town planner working on securing a separate zip code for Ruston to ensure all sales tax comes to the town that is due. He will try to keep the meetings to one hour to limit consultant costs (because they attend the meetings). He expressed his appreciation about hearing from the public about the school building.

Council Time
Hedrick welcomed Judd and noted the willow tree damaged in the ice storm at Winnifred and Pearl had finally been fully removed. He also noted his new baby girl.

Hunt welcomed Judd and asked the council pull out the council rules and start following them again. She said she had nothing to do with her partner Al Olson and his bid for the school building. She wasn’t sure she even agreed with him.

Hardin congratulated Hedrick on his new daughter and welcomed Judd to the council. He welcomed input from the public on the school. He will check with a friend who works for Tacoma about getting a used garbage truck.

Kristovich welcomed Judd and Hedrick.

Judd had no comment.

The meeting adjourned at 8:37 pm.

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