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April 23, 2012 Summary
MARION CITY COUNCIL MEETING
City Hall – Council Chambers on April 23, 2012, 7:30 PM
ROLL CALL – 9 members answered –Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Smith, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber, Mr. Edwards.
Moment of Silence for Councilperson Imo Crowe
PRAYER LED BY PASTOR DOUG FORD
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Schertzer presented a proclamation to Fair Housing Month
Summary of Proceedings for April 9, 2012, Mr. Cumston moved, Mr. Thomas 2nd. The roll call: Ayes all. Summary of Proceedings is approved.
ORDINANCE DIRECTING THE SAFETY DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE MASTER TRAFFIC CONTROL PLAN BY CHANGING COUNCIL ST. TO A ONE-WAY STREET GOING WEST
Mr. Thomas noted that this came out of Traffic Commission with a 6-0 recommendation for approval to make Council Street one way going west. This is the 3rd reading; I’ll make a motion to adopt, Mr. Smith 2nd. The roll call: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Smith, Mr. Osborn; NAYS: Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber. ORDINANCE 2012-25 IS ADOPTED
ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 193.06 OF THE MARION CITY CODE TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIVERSAL FILING REQUIREMENT AS TO INCOME TAX, AND ADDING SECTION 193.20 ALL IN AN EFFORT TO ENSURE EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE CODE AND TO FACILITATE ENFORCEMENT OF CHAPTER 193 OF THE MARION CITY CODE
Mr. Cumston stated this came out of Finance with a 2-0 recommendation for approval, motion to adopt, Mr. Thomas 2nd. Roll Call: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Smith, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin; NAYS: Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Schaber. Mr. Schaber asked again how much would this cost to implement this. Mrs. Chaffin said we expect that we’ll have another 7-10,000 filings; the cost to implement is going to be less expensive that what I currently do. Currently we send full books; we will be putting a new system in place. It will be post card size at bulk rate. These forms will be available on the web. So I don’t anticipate an extreme cost to initially implement this. Will be working with the same amount of money in this budget. What we expect to capture – estimate would be a bad one at this point. Mr. Schaber said that Kelly said you may have to hire another person. Mrs. Chaffin said we did fill that position with a former employee of the City. Mr. Osborn said we already incurred costs to this. As far as staffing levels, yes, we needed two people in the office to handle the current filings. And we did fill that position. We had one person; we did have to lay off due to funding cuts. We were able to bring this person in @ reduced hours.
Mr. Daniels asked who is excluded for filing. Mrs. Chaffin said mainly retirees. That is current and does not change. Mr. Schaber asked will there be a change in our collection practices. Mrs. Chaffin said our collections have been very successful and will continue with the law director’s office.
Ralph Hill spoke – highly opposed to this. Mr. Thomas noted that he had asked the Representative here tonight, not the Mayor.
Mr. Ratliff asked about the 32 hour position, if mandatory filing not implemented, could we go without that position. Auditor Carr spoke – she had that position in January, we had two people in income tax. The only reason that person had to be let go, the contract was not settled, and we had to let that person go. The only option I had was to lay off. It was a contract issue. I called that person back to my office, she was working in a 40 hour position right now, and she didn’t come back. That position was only open for a few weeks. Mr. Ratliff said if mandatory filing did not exist, could we move forward in the future, without that position being filled. Auditor Carr said she doesn’t think so. We need that person in that office. Mrs. Chaffin said we must have that for appropriate checks and balances for appropriate auditing basis. That could be a violation on us if we didn’t have the two people.
Mr. Ratliff said when we did budgets, spends money and did stuff, instead of breaking money up into individual depts.; I think that the bigger scheme of the picture is kind of put by the way side on this issue. The person we put in there is a police officer that was laid off. If the city has the money to call him back, I think he should work in the same capacity as when he was laid off. The taxpayers had spent thousands of dollars for his training, and now called back to work in the Auditor’s Office, I don’t think that the people on the street are having the best service. Auditor Carr said you state we are not using him appropriately, sitting home and drawing unemployment. He’s got great people skills; he understands the law and does a fantastic job. I thought this was a way to put one of our people back to work. Mr. Ratliff said he agrees with Auditor Carr, but the bottom line dollar is the best service for the people. I wish the budget was broken up differently. Auditor Carr said over 12 million dollars is collected in our income tax dept. 63% and that funds our police and fire. We need staff to bring in that money.
President Edwards asked about the filing – will that increase anybody tax obligation. Auditor Carr said there will be no change in what you pay today, it’s just asking if you have 1099, W2 wages, is asking you to file.
Mr. Schaber said his issue is trying to pass mandatory filing, will incur costs, and admittedly do not know what tax dollars you are going to capture. Auditor Carr said we brought this to you several years ago. If I find if this is not an effective way to bring money to the City of Marion, I would be happy to bring this back and repeal this. We have to do something.
Cassie Oder, 754 Church St. spoke about vandalism, I’m sorry I feel the officers need to be out in the field. Mrs. Carr said she would like to have him back on the streets, in the mean time, we are helping him out.
Tom Oyster, 255 S. High spoke - employee @ 32 hours, we are going to have 7-10,000 packets of paper this year, we are assuming we can do that with the same staffing levels. Those numbers don’t jive. Auditor Carr said many of those will be 0 returns, as we progress, the cost of doing that compared to asking to do this on the opposite side to see where it’s at, and it’s not going to cost us any money. If it’s not successful, I’ll come back and say it’s an idea, it didn’t work, we’ll try other things. My staff will collect and go through those with what staff I have. Mr. Oyster said 10,000 more by law we have to go after, does that mean that Mr. Russell’s office has to hire someone else. I assume you can’t handle another 10,000 packs to prosecute without hiring an additional staff. 10,000 more filings we will have to find a way to pay for. It doesn’t make sense of what you are saying. Mrs. Carr said we have told you what’s its going to cost, we are telling you nothing more than what we do now. Mr. Oyster said this stuff is not free. Mrs. Chaffin said we can do this same job with no additional funding. We do an excellent job now. They do a terrific job in processing and collecting papers. We have done a record year this year. We will stay within our budget. I would love to see all of our officers on the street. This person was making 27.00/hr. he is now making 12.00/hr. He took a huge pay cut because he wanted a job. He is doing terrific work. There is a big difference in the pay scales.
Ralph Hill spoke about hiring an employee, it’s always someone we know; you never put a bid out there for the job.
Josh Daniels spoke - the unemployment is paid out of the General Fund, the officer is making 27.00 then based upon his family size, that means we were paying a former employee probably about 18.00/hour. It saves me money in the General Fund. The Auditor made the decision to save the city some money by bringing this person back.
Roll call for adoption: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Smith, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin; NAYS: Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Schaber. ORDINANCE 2012-26 IS ADOPTED
ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 193.09 OF THE MARION CITY CODE, CREDIT TO TAX PAID TO OTHER MUNICIPALITIES OF THE MARION CITY CODE
Mr. Cumston stated this came out of Finance with a 2-0 recommendation for approval, motion to adopt, Mr. Osborn 2nd.
Ed Christian, 1060 N Main spoke – Ohio is the only State that’s got some similar thing like this to get people monies that work out of town. He opposes this.
Mr. Charlie Blevins, Blaine Ave spoke about an additional burden you are bringing upon persons that work out of town.
State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda spoke about the income tax. I’m opposed to have the income tax centralized. Who is going to monitor those accounts? They are working on a compromise with a uniform collection of income tax. There is a lot of work to be done. Mr. Thomas would like to know about the state funding issues, those taken away from us. We did an in-depth study of the estate tax issued to the City of Marion. By its own definition, it’s a very volatile tax, this study alone in 2006; the City of Marion received 192,000, the next year 541,000.
I did not vote on this issue, but I feel it’s the right thing to do for our children and grandchildren. Citizens are leaving the State because of this reason. I stand behind that. On the state funding – we have done some research on this. I was speaking to Kelly Carr before the meeting. HB 153 initiated a Local Government Innovation Fund. Also a State Capital Improvement Program just for cities. Our offices can help you apply for it. We spoke about sewers; there is a revolving supply loan account that is available. I’m here to help you, that is my job as a legislative, and I’m proud to represent you in Marion. My door is always open.
Mr. Thomas asked over a period of 3-4 years, we lost quite a lot of local government funding. We are trying to raise revenue to make up for the loss of what we had. Is there something that the State is talking about right now, that would replace some of that funding to help us?
Ms. Pelanda said we are working with the MBR – we are looking to adjust some of the local government funding. I don’t have easy answers. Mr. Cumston said our biggest issue, with the loss of local government funding and no means to replace that, estate tax, 2.7 million loss. Police, Fire and streets. When the state had to balance their budget, and taking it away from the local cities, giving it back to us in grants, won’t solve our problems. It looks like we are moving away from local control. You can’t make that much up in municipal income tax for our loss. 2005 – 6 million in carryover, we used to maintain services throughout the years, there is nothing left in our reserves.
Ms. Pelanda said there is this movement to centralize government. Those people on that committee are actively opposed to it. I don’t see any proof in centralizing gov’t. to reduce costs. I’m committed to local government. I don’t have answers for you tonight.
Ms. Pelanda said Utica Shale is discovered in Marion County. We won’t see any change tomorrow. We are sitting on the shale, you’ll see an increase in Real Estate in the next couple of years. Everyone will see a benefit for this natural resource. We are going to do it right. That is going to be Ohio’s recovery. It’s not happening tomorrow, but it’s there. I’ll be reporting back to you once the budget is submitted to the Senate then signed by the Governor, then we’ll talk about numbers. Mr. Cumston said a lot of the meetings do go dark. Property values for the City of Marion, we get an extremely small amount for property taxes. Ms. Pelanda said we are looking at rehabbing existing buildings with grants. We are looking at how we make the best use out of the business and buildings to make the economic recovery easier in Marion.
Mr. Charlie Blevins asked if there are any state legislature looking at rules or regulations regarding the collection of municipal tax where one resident lives in one and works in another. That is taxation without representation. Ms. Pelanda said that issue is one under the Uniform Collection. It’s a uniform method of collection. The biggest problem is the person being taxed where they work and live in another. Mr. Blevins said it’s unconstitutional. I don’t think we need to change our 0% credit to a 50% credit – that’s not the fair way to do it. It shouldn’t be there.
Ms. Plenda said there is legislation now pending that all committee hearings will be of public record.
Mike McBride 827 Marlow Circle spoke: Mr. Blevins is right, that does not address the fundamental problem we have. Those who are not paying and receiving representation, it’s a drain on the system. It’s a drain on people who are paying their taxes. We cannot have those draining from the system and the rest of us pay. Local Gov’t. the way the founders sent this country up is the most responsive to us.
Judy O’Hare, are we collecting from Bucyrus people who work here? Mr. Osborn said yes.
Mr. Daniels said I’m opposed to it. This just adds a tax to the people who work in other cities. They look at it for a 215,000.00 benefit, but they think it will help. If I were a person who worked in Columbus, additional .875 income tax and a new year from now, and ask for a .25 from everybody. 6-8% of the community will vote down any additional tax that you ask for. You unfairly throw the burden on me, why would I pay another .25. This will set you back; you won’t be able to go to the voter’s for a .25 increase later on. If they want their 16 police officers back in force, this won’t do it. Let’s table this and discuss a different action that taxes everyone modestly.
Chief Bell spoke: 69 police officer, we currently have 41. We are now @ 33 that patrol the streets and trying to take care of this City. They are looking at me and asking me what the City is going to do to get us some help. 626 burglars – that is through the roof. We are already ahead of that this year. Marmet is only 2 people doing all the drug things. It’s time, this has to stop now, it’s not going to get us all back, but it’s a step. These are steps, might get us back to where we were. We can’t wait; this town is going down the drain. That credit is for the people that don’t pay our taxes. Mr. Daniels said we are on the same page, if you take this step tonight, 215,000 won’t do it. To bring all your officers back, it’s going to take the .25 increase. That’s the position I’m taking.
Mr. Tracy Cooprider, 772 Liliac Lane asked about consolidation of county and city services.
Mr. Ed Christian said we have 14 officers sitting down there not doing anything.
Mr. Ralph Hill said Mr. Christian is right. I sat outside for 25 minutes waiting for an officer.
Bradley Hall asked about volunteer people. Mrs. Gustin said we have volunteers in the CPAAA group.
Mr. Osborn said I am in favor of the 50% credit tax. We’ve cut, we’ve cut. Non emergencies have to wait, I want my town back. It’s not a fix. I would like to make an amendment to put a 1 year sunset on this. In one year we will see. Mrs. Gustin 2nd.
Mr. Russell said you can do the same thing if at some point in time that Council deems it necessary to put a .25 increase on the table, before you do that, you can pass an ordinance to move this back. It would be more prudent. I suggest that you can do the same thing w/o the amendment, act on this tonight and then if Mr. Daniels in the future is to propose .25 income tax increase, we can readjust this credit right before we go down that road. If there is an amendment of substance, we have to go back to a first reading. Mr. Osborn said he will withdraw that motion. Mrs. Gustin withdrew her motion. Mr. Osborn said I’ll look at this ordinance at a year from now. Mr. Daniels said my suspicion is those who are in support of this will be in support of this after the election as well. If you were going to ask for .25 increase, my assumption would be for this November election. You are not losing time by voting on it and passing it tonight, it doesn’t go into effect until January. Mr. Schaber said can you clarify that, what year does it take place.
Deputy Auditor said that it was be effective the earliest period by law. It would be effective this year. We start doing these immediately. Mr. Daniels said you are going to pro-rate these people. Mrs. Chaffin said yes, that is what I’m obligated to do. Mr. Ratliff said if this passes tonight, then people file their taxes next year, they would pay the new rate the entire 2012? Mrs. Chaffin said no, they would pay of the effective date of the ordinance forward. Mr. Ratliff said how you differentiate what you made between January 1 and April 23. Mrs. Chaffin said it’s the same as if someone moves into the City from a different county. That doesn’t change anything. Mr. Schaber said if someone has a bunch of overtime before this is implemented, they have to prove to you what they made in their earnings. Mrs. Chaffin said say it’s Sept. 1, they bring in their 1st paystub after that – that is fine. Mr. Daniels said I’m going have to bring to you every single purchase order from the day of passage. Mrs. Chaffin said you would have to file all of your income, since you are a company. Mrs. Chaffin said it is the same way as a delivery person who is in the city or outside of the city. We currently do that now. Same requirements. Mr. Daniels said we keep learning new things. Mrs. Chaffin said it’s not new.
Mr. Ratliff said would be in favor to put a sunshine line on this. I have a believe that when you raise taxes they never come back down. That is what is happening here, taxes are being raised. We are doing it on a select few people, you don’t have a right to vote on that, and we can shove this down your throat and you don’t have anything to do about it. The City has no money, we are living pay week to pay week because we don’t have money. What we can do, we can go on crises mode, do what we have to do to band aid the problem or we can make responsible positions that will impact our city years down the road. This will negatively impact our community for years to come. We need to fix the real problem instead of double taxing. You will have no incentive to stay here if your job is not here.
Mrs. Gustin asked Auditor Carr about the other communities if they would get impacted with this tax. It’s a large laundry list who have already implemented this tax. Auditor Carr read the list. Mrs. Gustin said it would be hard to find a place to go. Mr. Ratliff said this proves my point, our tax rate is 1.75% and we want to give a 50% tax credit if you work outside out city. Honda employee if they work there, they pay 1.5% tax rate, if they live in Marysville, they are paying a 1.5% tax rate. If they continue to live in Marion, they will pay a 2.75% tax rate. They have no incentive to stay here. Mayor Schertzer said I talked to a Honda employee today and says to me how is this going to affect me. You live in Marion and pay 0% right now. The man said no that’s not the case; my employer of Honda withholds the Marysville income tax and the City of Marion income tax. If we pass this, you would only have to pay .50 of the Marion tax opposed to the 100% that’s being withheld from your employer. That is what he told me. He told me that he is being withheld all of Marion and Marysville. He would get a 50% credit. Mr. Schaber said where the tax credit is set up now, they shouldn’t be taking out that tax anyway. Mayor Schertzer said it’s his employer holding it. Mrs. Chaffin said the employer is withholding for the town of Marysville, and the city of Marion, they do apply for the refund, so they pay nothing in Marion.
Tom Oyster, 255 S High said the surrounding communities have neither no tax credit given back or some given back. To think those numbers are relevant, is wrong. We have an incentive to live in Marion, we’re giving them 100% tax credit. These people are going to move where they work and not taxed twice.
Mrs. Gustin said I agree they are going to move, but I think that they will move because they think they are not safe. Mr. Daniels said I agree with Mrs. Gustin. We are not hiring back with any policemen with this money, that’s not going to happen. ¼ % sure beats .875 , I’ll vote for that levy. You pass this now, it goes into effect immediately, and you’ll poison the well now.
Mr. Charlie Blevins spoke again – huge misconception that’s going on in our police and fire dept. Anybody have any idea to bring back our police and fire. We don’t have any officers sitting down on their seats not doing anything. They are out there on the streets. 2-3 policemen on a shift. Something needs to be done. Any clue of how much we need. Mr. Daniels said ¼% increase would generate 1.7 million dollars. If my math is correct, 65,000 times 16 is about 990,000.00 that leaves 700,000 for fire, keep all stations open. I think this fixes the problem, let’s go to the voters and ask.
Mr. Charlie Blevins said if you want to stay here, let’s do what we have to do to get our community back.
Mr. Ralph Hill said the City’s budget 17 million last year, 4 million went to the police; 4 million went to the firemen. Over 50% is going to services. It’s a little lopsided.
Roll call for adoption: YEAS: Mr. Cumston; Mr. Thomas, Mr. Smith, Mr. Osborn, Mrs. Gustin; NAYS: Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Daniels, Mr. Schaber.
ORDINANCE 2012-27 IS ADOPTED
Short Recess: 9:10 PM
Reconvened: 9:25 PM
RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE RE-APPOINTMENT, BY THE MAYOR, OF INDIVIDUALS AS MEMBERS OF THE AIRPORT COMMISSION
Mayor Schertzer said that these two members have been on the board, they are participants and contribute to the discussion and debate surrounds the Airport. I ask you to reconsider them for appointment again.
Mr. Cumston moved to suspend, Mr. Smith 2nd. Roll call: All Ayes, motion carried.
Mr. Cumston moved to adopt, Mr. Smith 2nd. Roll call: All Ayes, motion carried. RESOLUTION 2012-14 IS ADPOTED
ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO CONTRACT WITH HELMS & SONS EXCAVATING INC. FOR THE MAY STREET SEWER IMPROVEMENTS, PROJECT 11-1S, FOR THE CITY OF MARION, OHIO AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Thomas noted that this came out of Streets & Sewers with a 3-0 recommendation for approval, I ask for suspension, Mr. Smith 2nd. Roll call: All Ayes, motion carried.
Mr. Thomas moved to adopt, Mr. Smith 2nd. Roll call: All Ayes, motion carried. ORDINANCE 2012-35 IS ADOPTED
Mr. Ratliff moved to add Resolution 2012-13 to tonight’s agenda, Mr. Thomas 2nd, Mr. Cumston 3rd.
RESOLUTION STATING THE CITY'S CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR FAIR HOUSING
Mr. Ratliff said all this does is add the military status Fair Housing. I make the motion to suspend, Mr. Thomas 2nd. Roll Call: all Ayes, motion carried.
Mr. Ratliff moved to adopt, Mr. Thomas 2nd. Roll Call: all Ayes, motion carried. RESOLUTION 2012-13 IS ADOPTED
MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Pastor Doug Ford spoke: We do appreciate of what you do. Your job is difficult. In regardless of your decisions, there will be some for it or some against it. He cited Romans 13. Keep up the good job.
Mr. Cumston thanked Pastor Ford for his support. We are proud to have you in our community.
Finance 5/7 @ 6:30
Municipal Services 5/22 @ 6:50 S/S and Aquatic Ctr.
Regional Planning 5/23 @ 7:00 County Bldg.
Streets & Sewers 5/7 @ 6:45 Contract Oak St.
With no further business to come before council, President Edwards adjourned the meeting.
______________________________ Dave Edwards President of Council
Clerk of Council