December 1, 2014 Council Meeting






DECEMBER 1, 2014 – 7:30 PM



  1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
  2. ROLL CALL – Sippel, Williamson, Hughes, Reinhardt.       Bren excused.
  3. INTRODUCTIONS – Reinhardt introduced the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Attorney Beck.
  5. ADOPT AGENDA - Hughes said under item 10b, adopting the budget and final levy, he thinks it should come after the discussion on staff wages.       Reinhardt suggests to moving 11a to 10a. Williamson reminded the budget can be amended. He said the certified levy is locked for property tax purposes but he doesn’t want the illusion that decisions on something drive decisions on the other. Reinhardt said they will move the discussion on staff wages to 10a and move everything else down. Hughes makes the motion and Williamson seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Williamson said there are some changes in the November 17th minutes changing the wording to succeed not secede. He also has a change to the work session minutes.       It’s decided to lay 6b over in order to get it recorded correctly. Hughes moves and Sippel seconds to adopt item 6a and lay over item 6b of the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
    1. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes From November 17, 2014
    2. City Council Work Session Minutes From November 24, 2014
  7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
  10. ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS – Reinhardt said 10a will be replaced with staff wages.


Reinhardt explained there was a chart showing various wages in the surrounding communities.  Tolsma said on the chart in the packet it plots the SP wages in comparison to others.  Tolsma said the office assistant position, Sharon Farniok, is shown to be low on the scale and he said the others are in the typical range.  Tolsma said he laid out two options, the first option includes 3% increases for himself and Lewin and 0% for Goman but 50% family coverage on the health benefits and 4% for Farniok.  Tolsma said these numbers have been plugged into the budget and there is no affect on the levy.  Tolsma said the second option is simpler in that it’s 3% for Tolsma and Lewin and 4% for Goman and Farniok. 


Hughes said he was disappointed in some of the comparisons for Tolsma and Goman.  He said the higher wages revealed different job descriptions so he doesn’t think the comparison is strong.  Hughes said the options for Goman, he is compared lower and Hughes mentions Minnetonka Beach.  Reinhardt confirms Tolsma saying it’s difficult to compare apples to apples and an example being Minnetonka Beach doesn't pay overtime wages and Spring Park does.  Hughes said a concern he has is this is a 50% family coverage for one year and he wonders what happens in the future.  Tolsma said the employee manual lays out the policy as it is right now.  Tolsma said if there is a change to the benefits, it will be discussed with the admin committee and it would be made official at a council meeting. 


Beck said if changing employee benefits, those benefits need to apply to all similar employees.  Hughes refers to the work session minutes and there was a suggestion to consider 75% family coverage.  Sippel said he wasn’t sure how the pricing was laid out when he suggested the 75%.  Sippel said he wouldn’t want to base it on the price.  He would rather have a percentage.  He thinks it should be kept simple.  Reinhardt asked if it matters about dependents.  Tolsma said after adding one, it doesn’t matter.  Hughes wonders if this compares to other increases given to other employees.  Tolsma said it’s comparable in the overall benefit Goman receives would be around 7-9%.  Tolsma corrects an earlier statement and said there is a different rate for employee plus spouse as opposed to employee plus family. 


Williamson said this should be carefully analyzed.  He said a fair and equal basis must be sought.  He said future employee recruitment could be an issue.  He said they used to cover family and they weaned away from it.  He said the reasoning has to be strong in order to support this.  Williamson said Goman’s proposed increase equates to about a 7.4% increase. 


Reinhardt agrees that this is a policy change.  Reinhardt said she was surprised with the comparison of utility billing positions and Farniok is still the lowest paid.  Reinhardt recommends moving Farniok higher to $21 per hour and it equates out to $1800 annual increase.  Reinhardt asked Tolsma if the budget could absorb this and Tolsma said he could make this work without affecting the levy.  Hughes asked Farniok’s total wage what comes out of the tax versus the revenue side.  Tolsma said he would like the correct number but it’s about 50% out of the water and sewer. Tolsma said based on the current numbers with Goman’s 100% family and 50% family and going to 75% would be about $150 more per month. 


Hughes wonders about waiting for a full council to vote on this.  Williamson makes the suggestion to go with the staff preference.  Reinhardt moves to adopt option one with 100% single and 50% spouse/family with the exception of the utility billing clerk, Farniok, and substitute that wage increase to $21 hour and all else as presented.  Motion dies for lack of secondSippel makes a motion to offer Reinhardt’s motion but also increase Goman’s wage to 2% along with the benefit increase.  Hughes seconds.  Sippel said this allows Goman a cost of living increase as well as the benefit increase because the benefit increase is offered to others who would have family coverage as well.  Motion passes unanimously on roll call vote.  Reinhardt said because there isn’t a step plan in place, she thinks the next council should consider a bigger bump in salary for the city administrator.


    1. Resolution 14-24: Certification of 2015 Final Levy – Tolsma said he can address both the budget and levy at the same time. Williamson asked if this should be opened as a hearing. Reinhardt opens the hearing at 8:11 p.m. Tolsma goes through his PP presentation. Reinhardt stated the final levy is at $998,620 and Hughes moves to adopt Resolution 14-24.       Williamson seconds.


    1. Resolution 14-25: Adoption of 2015 Budget –

Reinhardt said with the changes agreed upon to staff wages, she wonders if Tolsma can incorporate those changes in the budget amount.  Tolsma feels comfortable with this.  Williamson makes a motion to adopt Resolution 14-25 and knowing any calculations that may change, they can adopt a resolution to the amendment.  Sippel seconds.   Williamson said since the public hearing was opened, the public hearing should be closed.  Reinhardt closes the hearing at 8:25 p.m.  All votes ayes, motion carries.  Hughes said in regard to the budget and a slide from the PP presentation he wonders about an evaluation of rates for inspections, etc on the fee schedule.  Tolsma said they are cognizant of what the rates are and where the revenue is coming from but a review never hurts.  Williamson said it is something that should be revisited.  He wonders in gross terms what is paid to the planner and the attorney for zoning type issues and if the revenue is being recovered.  Hughes thinks this would be a good work session item. 

    1. Mayor and Council
      1. Staff Wages

      2. Snow Removal Contract –

        Beck said there were a few changes to the contract based on discussion at the study session. She said one change was a question about subcontractor language and Beck said that language is required so that provision has been added. Beck said clarifying the waiver of subrogation she added some language regarding the contractor’s insurance company will cover anything that comes up and will not look to the city’s insurance. She said the term of the contract has been moved up to start on October 15, 2015. Williamson moves approval of the contract as advised. Hughes seconds. Sippel said he noticed the rate for the Tool Cat with the blade has been added but he would like for staff to tighten up the policy regarding when to use the Tool Cat. All votes ayes except for Sippel votes nay. Sippel asked about Norling’s contract and Tolsma said this will be on the next meeting agenda.

    1. City Administrator – nothing.
    2. City Engineer – nothing.
    3. City Attorney – nothing.
    4. Utility Superintendent – nothing.
    1. December 10 – Administration Committee – 1:00 PM
    2. December 10 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM
    3. December 10 – LMCD – 7:00 PM
    4. December 15 – City Council Regular Meeting – 7:30 PM
    1. Bills & Payroll –
    2. Final Pay Request – Street Lights (held until replacement poles were provided)

Reinhardt said the street poles and fixture heads have now been received.  Tolsma said they went into negotiations with GLE (Granite Ledge) for a workable solution and two poles were provided and the light fixtures were just received recently.  Sippel asked about the repairs at Thor Thompson park for the damage done by the MV accident.  Tolsma said the individual’s insurance will be reimbursing those costs.  Hughes makes a motion to pay the bills and Sippel seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.


  1. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only) -
    1. October Financial Report
    2. Hughes said when Police Chief Farniok was at the last council meeting reference was made about child seat installation. Hughes said he made an appointment with the child seat installer on the police department and this service is really great. The officer went through the vehicles and made sure car seats were installed properly. A cable public service announcement is also being suggested.


  1. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Williamson seconds to adjourn the meeting at at 8:37 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.




                                                                                                Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator