December 14, 2004

December 14, 2004

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Norm Schorzman, John Sell, Jeff Snook, Linda Dillard, Dave Willmore, Steve McGehee, and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Deputy Clerk, Bev Pearce; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; David Caudle; Josh Snook; Eli Elder.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 23, 2004.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Deputy Clerk Pearce gave an update on the status of the Palouse Community Center, she stated that the structural engineer, design engineer and architect did their inspection of the center building on Monday and a report will follow.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Written Report Submitted By Byron Hodges
Byron added to his report that there are continual problems with a water line on Tamarack Street.  The crew will be working on replacing four services in that area to correct this problem.  This work should be completed by Christmas.  Council Member Schorzman asked Byron about the sewer smell down by the bridge.  Byron stated that this is an ongoing problem because the sewer line runs level on the bridge.  Don flushes the line every month, but it does not cure the problem.  He said that he will be looking into a deodorant type product for now.  The real fix would be a pump station, which would be very expensive.  There is no quick fix to this problem.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Written report submitted by Chief Zehm
Chief Zehm was not present for any direct questions.  The mayor asks council if there were any questions to be forwarded to the chief.  Dave Caudle asks the council about the chief’s report, referring to note left on the council table with budget recommendations.  One recommendation was to contract with Whitman County for our police coverage.  Dave asks if this was something the council was seriously considering.  Council Member Schorzman stated that the note was a list of recommendations to cut the city budget.  The mayor said he was completely satisfied with the Police Department.

There was no new business


A. Resolution 2004-10 – Salary Schedule

The mayor read from the November 23 council minutes on the status of motions on this issue.  There was a motion by Council Member Schorzman to freeze hiring and wages for 2005, a second from Council Member McGehee.  Council Member Dillard made a secondary motion to table the discussion and motion until a committee meeting took place.  Council Member Snook second this motion and the secondary motion carried unanimously.  The mayor entertained another motion to take away the secondary motion of tabling the discussion of the wage and hiring freeze.  Council Member Dillard MOVED to remove the secondary motion.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The mayor spoke on the original motion and asks for further discussion.  Council Member Schorzman spoke on behalf of the finance committee and said that it was a difficult discussion, he said the committee recommends pulling the hiring freeze and maintain the wage freeze for 2005.  Council Member Schorzman amended his original motion to exclude the hiring freeze. Council Member McGhee, who second the original motion, accepted the amended motion.  Council Member Wekenman asked if this was a committee decision.  Council Member Snook spoke on behalf of the Personnel committee and said the council should allow the wage increase for the Deputy Clerk, the Chief of Police, the returning lifeguards and the Pool manager.  The committee recommends reducing the transfer of funds into three of the police department funds.  This would allow the city to increase the wages with no effect to Current Expense.  The mayor reminded the council that the Police Chief has been a city employee for 7 ½ years, the pool manager has done her job in training the lifeguards that she has reduced her work hours.  These increases are not out of line.  Dave Caudle spoke as a concern citizen; a workman is worth his hire.  He supports the increase of wages for those who deserve it and he wishes the council to proceed with the increases.  Council Member Willmore stated that what is good for the many is not good for the few.  The council is trying to prevent city fund depletion; the council is not trying to hurt its employees.  Dave Caudle said he understood, but the Personnel Committee pointed out that if funds were adjusted the wage increase was manageable.  Council Member Willmore stated that if the city is not making money, cuts must be made.  Council Member McGhee MOVED that the vote be taken by secret ballot, according to the Roberts Rule of Order.  The Mayor asked two times for a second.  Council Member Willmore seconded the motion.  The motion carried with McGehee, Willmore, Sell and Schorzman  – Aye.  Council Members Snook, Dillard, Wekenman – Nay.  Byron Hodges stated that he understands that the budget is a concern, but the city reserves are not in the red.  He asks the council why they think it’s in the red.  No reply from council.  City Attorney Bishop said the council can set there own rules, according to the Roberts Rule book, any member can ask for the ballots to be seen.  It was asked what the ayes and nays would mean, the Ayes would freeze wages, and Nays would not.  The vote was taken with four Ayes and three Nays.  The motion to freeze wages in 2005 passed.

B. Ordinance No. 806 – City of Palouse 2005 Budge Message 2005 Budget at Fund Level

The Mayor asks the council if he could suspend the reading of the entire Ordinance.  Council Member McGehee MOVED to suspend the reading of Ordinance No. 806.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The mayor reviewed the ordinance and budget message.  For Heritage Park, $7800 will be rolled over to the 2005 budget, $27,600 for the PSB, $36,250 for the fire truck.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 806.  Council Member McGehee seconded the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

The discussion of the 2005 Salary Schedule continued.  Treasurer Beeson pointed out that the wage freeze will not affect the minimum wage and the schedule would remain at 2004 wages.  Council Member Sell MOVED to adopt Resolution 2004-10, the 2005 Salary Schedule.  Council Member McGehee seconded the motion.  Council Member Wekenman asks the council that if the wages are now frozen is there not recourse on the motion.  The Mayor stated that the motion can be revisited.  Treasurer Beeson commented that $10.50 does not cover the degree of responsibility the Deputy Clerk has and some responsibility should be taken away.  She stated that the council’s decision to freeze wages and deny wage increases is petty.  The motion carried with four aye votes, McGehee, Sell, Schorzman and Willmore for adopting the 2005 Salary Schedule and three Nays, Wekenman, Dillard and Snook, against adopting the Salary Schedule.


No Report


Report given earlier in council meeting

No Report

Report given earlier in council meeting

A. Discussion on open burning issues
Council Member McGehee did not received handouts at last meeting.

WATER & SEWER: David Willmore
No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY: Rick Wekenman
City Attorney Bishop provided the committee with the scooter ordinance and they will be looking at it.

Council Member Wekenman ask the council if the policy committee could look at the policy on council members missing council meetings and committee meetings, he would like to see the council members be paid on the basis of attendance, if they don’t show up, they don’t get paid.  Council Member Willmore asked if this would include the Mayor, and the Mayor said yes.  Wekenman asked the policy committee to review the policy regarding attendance record of council members.  They may be removed when three meetings in a row are missed.

The mayor was given an application for a Block Grant from Chief Zehm for a police car to replace the Crown Vic.  He ask the councils approval to sign the grant.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the grant application.  Council Member Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The Mayor reminded council of the Hazard Mitigation survey and Deputy Clerk mentioned the deadline to turn is December 17.

The Mayor reminded council and city staff of the staff Christmas Party on Friday, December 17, 2PM at Old City Hall.

The Mayor asked for any further business.  Council Member Wekenman stated that there were some issues the council needed to cover regarding the PSB.  An action item was to approve a change order to the Mac Lee contract for $2425.  Council Member Wekenman MOVED to accept a change order for the PSB in the amount of $2425.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion, the motion carried unanimously.  Council Member Wekenman stated that there will be additional change orders in the future.   Other items discussed were, eaves and downspouts-$1500; Plumbing-back flow prevention-$1291, and upgrade the outside lights-$1200.  In order to continue with the flow of work on the PSB council needs to ratify the decisions to upsize the boiler-$576, increase amp as per Avista, and move pole.  Byron Hodges commented that things came together at the PSB, all utilities are now in place, there will be no street light as the building itself will provide ample lighting.  Byron would like to find out if the state will move the Stop sign, as it is in a bad location.  The budget for the PSB shows $186,466, with changes orders.  Council Member Snook MOVED to allow the upsize of the boiler for the PSB.  Council Member Sell seconded the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

There was an update on the purchase of the fire truck in Salt Lake.  Bruce Beeson and Eric Slocum went and looked at the vehicle and gave their approval.  Modifications are being done there and the truck will be freighted to Palouse at a cost of $800.  This saves wear and tear and gas mileage on a vehicle that the top speed is 45 MPH.

The Mayor entertained a motion to cancel the December 28, 2004 council meeting.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to cancel this meeting.  Council Member Dillard seconded the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Jeff Snook  MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.

Linda Dillard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Dave Willmore MOVED to adjourn. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:09PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 12/06/04 Warrants: #10757 through #10761 Payment: $1,852.10

Claims Paid 12/07/04 Warrants: #10762 through #10787 Payment: $4,416.75

Claims Paid 12/15/04 Warrants: #10788 through #10821 Payment: $57,928.10

Claims VOIDED Warrants: #10752 through #10756

Payroll Paid Warrants: #5619 through #5647 Payment: $29,780.40

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________