November 26, 2012 Work Session

Attendance: Reinhardt, Hughes, Stone, Widmer, Williamson, elect Bren, Engineer Pearson, Attorney Beck, Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin.

1. STREET LIGHTS 7:00 – 7:30
a. Millerbernd is working on drawings based on the final design options recommended by the city council at the last work session. They are hoping to have them completed by Monday the 26th for review at the work session. Additionally, there are a number of other items that will need to be discussed as well.
Tolsma said drawings are being worked on but they weren’t ready for tonight’s meeting. Tolsma said other things have come up, one being the banner across the street. Wind loads were considered on the 25’ poles and the banners would not be sustainable. Tolsma said stand alone poles were previously discussed. He’s looking for feedback on this. Williamson wondered about clearance issues as well. He said it sounds like independent poles would probably be the answer and they would have to be taller. Reinhardt likes the ideas of the road span banners for other functions besides just school. Hughes wonders where these would go. Reinhardt said on the west end, perhaps by Lift six. Williamson isn’t in favor of that location as it’s too close to Mound. Williamson wonders about the additional cost. He wonders how often it would be used and what benefit. Williamson thinks it should be factored. Tolsma said what he’s hearing is there is interest but it needs more investigation. Hughes thinks the Planning Commission could weigh in on this. Tolsma said he’s looking for clarification on banners/arms and flag holders. Right now they are on every other pole and wonders if they should be on every pole. It’s thought that it would make sense to have flag brackets on every pole. Tolsma said the placement is also a decision. Should the banner bracket be on roadside or sidewalk side? Tolsma said there is discussion about replacing all the high pressure sodium lights with LED. Williamson said a cost benefit analysis would need to be done to see if it makes cost sense. Reinhardt said she is interested in finding out if LED is the way to go before committing to changing out the entire city. Hughes suggests a possible test area around city hall to determine how it looks.

a. Included is a detailed timeline of the appointment process. –
Reinhardt said Tolsma has put together a timeline. Tolsma said this is on the website and he’s hoping for a newspaper insertion in the near future. Tolsma said he’s planning on running this ad in The Laker for the month of December. There is some concern about residency of candidates. It’s suggested to check with election law. Beck has some minor corrections to the wording in the ad.

a. I will be presenting performance evaluations of city staff for the council to review. Additionally, the council will need to discuss compensation adjustments for city staff for 2013.
Tolsma has some overhead charts on a PowerPoint. He handed out a memo as well. Tolsma said this comparison was discussed in an August budget meeting. Tolsma explains some of the jump increases, such as Lewin’s increase from deputy clerk and certified clerk. Tolsma shows the numbers in dollars for salaries including benefits. He said these numbers include all staff but there is a break out of Dan’s salary if he is removed. Reinhardt asked about comparable worth to other cities. Tolsma said it’s difficult to say where everyone should fall into the pay scale. Tolsma said he thinks the right thing was done by Sharon last year because her wage has lagged in the past. Tolsma said giving Farniok a 5% increase as opposed to a 3% works out to around $600 per year because her base salary is lower to begin with. Tolsma said the clerk certification is a big deal and it only helps the city to have two clerks. Widmer wondered about the long-term disability. Reinhardt likes the 3%/3%/5% and really feels Farniok deserves the increase. Hughes thinks this would have to be done at a meeting. Reinhardt feels Tolsma salary should be discussed. She said when he started his pay was $67,000. Reinhardt said Tolsma is in the early part of his career so he’s at the low end. Reinhardt said she asked Farniok to pull the numbers paid to Jim Brimeyer and in 2009, he was paid $83,153 and in 2010 he was paid $76,178. She said this doesn’t include Pres Homes payments. Reinhardt said she feels Tolsma should be boosted higher than 3% or possibly a flat figure. Reinhardt said she was shooting for $70,000 and that is a little over 4%. Stone agrees. She said the office runs very well. She feels confident that things are running smoothly. Hughes feels Tolsma has done exceedingly well considering he’s come into a unique lake community. Reinhardt said if there is no opposition, she suggests changing the chart to reflect Tolsma’s increase to $70,000. Widmer wondered if this keeps Tolsma in the August anniversary date or puts him in the yearly calendar rotation like the other employees. Williamson thinks this sounds good. He agrees with the positives. He is concerned with the public perception about what the city is doing. He said it also sets a base for discussion for next year. He quotes the Social Security increases at being a little over 1%. He likes to proceed with these increases but thinks this might be too ambitious. Reinhardt said when looking at what has been done in the past, there have been larger increases, as much as eight percent and then lower increases other years. She said there has even been zero increases. Tolsma said staff are aware that this is public and are cognizant of the visibility of staff wages. Reinhardt said she looks at staff salaries and she said when she was working more fifteen years ago she made more than staff are making now. Widmer said the public perception is also that the council just got a $50 a month increase.

a. The planning commission recommended reducing the size of the planning commission from seven to five members at their last meeting on November 14th.
Reinhardt said according to statute the city is not obligated to have a seven seat PC. She said this was discussed at the last PC meeting and the commissioners agreed that five seems to work. The PC discussed that there is a lot of residents who rent and it’s difficult to generate the interest. Williamson said he’s in favor of this because attendance has been very difficult to maintain at seven. He remembers when quorums were not available and things had to be delayed until a quorum was reached. Williamson said there are some obligations that go with the planning commission and that is they function as a park board and beautification. He believes the ordinance says what they are supposed to do and it needs to be consistent. Widmer said the complaint has been that the PC never knows how much money they have to work with. Reinhardt said the PC is a recommending body. Widmer said they need some ideas as to what their budget is. Williamson thinks if this was a meaningful role, there might be more interest. Williamson suggests an ordinance change be prepared reflecting the reduced number and also review their roles and functions.

a. LMCD Draft Eurasian Watermilfoil and Curly-Leaf Pondweed Plan Information (Full Draft Available At City Hall)
Reinhardt said this document is at city hall and it could be e-mailed if members are interested. There is some concern on the ratings and some private contributions to treat the lake. Williamson said numbers were given out earlier and budgets were calculated according. He said if there are increases, cities need to know and how much this means for 2013.


Adjourn at 8:20 p.m.