Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed City Administrator Clark to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Paul Banker, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite, and Gene Field were present. Aldermen Keith King, Mike VanZuiden and Deputy Clerk Tammy Garibay, were absent. Chief Bartels was also in attendance and Tourism Director Aaron Fullan set up the meeting to be "Zoomed."
The Pledge of allegiance was recited.
Mayor Ottens called for any Public Comments....any attendees that were zooming into to the meeting could call in or email. There were no comments.
Approve council meeting minutes from November 9, 2020. Alderman VanKampen motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. No Discussion or Questions asked. Roll call vote – 6 yes - motion carried.
A. Cancellation of second meeting in December, scheduled for December 28, 2020. Alderman Field motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. No Discussion. Roll call vote - 6 yes, motion to approve the cancellation, motion carried.
B. Employee Christmas Bonus approval. Alderman Field motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. No Discussion. Roll call vote - 6 yes, motion to approve the Employee Christmas Bonus, motion carried.
C. Grant and Donation Applications to be first discussed and approved with the City Administrator before pursuing opportunities. Alderman Banker motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. Discussion to follow: Mayor Ottens reiterated that this was to make the City Administrator aware of individuals asking for funds, and that the Council be aware of whom and what they were asking for, before proceeding. Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
D. Retirement of Canine "Woz" from the Fulton Police Department, effective December 31, 2020. Alderman Banker motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. Discussion to follow: Chief Bartels stated this was the first step moving forward on the future of the Canine Program. At this time, the canine will be retired and the program's future will be tabled for further discussion. Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
E. Approve Ordinance for Levying Taxes for Corporate Purposes for fiscal year 2020-2021. Alderman VanKampen motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. Discussion to follow: Alderman Mask stated that she had seen that some other municipalities were lowering the usual 5% increase on the levies, even with the state of the country and the pandemic. City Administrator Clark said he was very surprised at that. She asked if possibly some rearranging and decreasing of some expenses could possibly be done. City Administrator Clark said he did not believe so with this year's budget and lack of funding. Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
F. Approve the Ordinance Abating the Tax Levied for the year 2020 for the General Obligation Bonds, 2012A and 2012B. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. Discussion to follow: Mayor Ottens reiterated that abating the tax levied for Obligation Bonds meant that the Corporate Authorities are stating that the City is not requesting a raise in taxes to pay for the bonds. They are funded by other sources. Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
G. Approve the Ordinance Abating the Tax Levied for the year 2020 for the General Obligation Bonds, 2012C. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman Banker. Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite to adjourn to the Committee of the Whole. Roll call vote – 6 yes - motion carried.
With no further discussion Alderman Field motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask to adjourn. With voice agreement, the council adjourned at 6:41 pm.
Committee of the Whole
A. Comp Time - Alderman Mask asked that this be tabled - waiting for some more details from City Attorney Shirk and further discussion with City Administrator Clark
B. MFT Road Work - DCEO Monies for the 8th Street Project - Funds from the previous Revolving fund with street depreciation funds should be able to fund the project.
C. Chief of Police Appointment- Mayor Ottens is in favour of starting a search for a new Police Chief now, he will appoint a committee for interviewing and the committee will consist of all three members of the Public Safety Committee, a member of the School District, a member of the Fire District, business or church and a retired or sitting Police Chief from the area. "It will be open and a transparent process." An Interim will be appointed at the next meeting. Alderman Banker asks if the Council will be voting on the Interim position. Mayor Ottens said it will be council action on the next meeting for an Interim. He emphasized that he will be looking throughout the area and region for the best possible candidate, whether it will be in house or out. Mayor Ottens said if we do not start a police chief search now, we will not have one hired until next July or August." We owe it to the tax payers to get the best candidate." Alderman VanKampen believes that the process should wait until the election to seat a new Chief. Alderman Mask said she is in favour of hiring within, someone who is familiar with the processes that are in place, is an asset for the City. Mayor Ottens is thinking that this is just "kicking the can down the road, if you wait". "I cannot have an Interim City Administrator and an Interim Police Chief for the next 9 months....We are not doing our job!" If the Mayor makes an appointment and the Council does not approve it, it is valid for 30 days, and then we can start playing 30 day games. Alderman VanKampen states that the Ordinance says, the Mayor can appoint, with the consent and advice of the Council. What will you do if the council wants to go 6 months instead of 30 days or 90 days? Will you take our advice if we want 6 months? Mayor Ottens agreed if we are looking for a Chief - or if we find the ideal candidate they could be in place before six months. Mayor Ottens says 6 months starting in December, council says no, Chief Bartels is here until Dec 28, so that will make it 6 months, in June. All council members would like a six month contract through May 28, 2021. Interim Chief would be Officer Neblung until May 28, 2021. Will be on the next agenda for ACTION.
D. CURES Program - It has been submitted and should hear in the near future. Data was submitted on salaries only.
E. Parking on City Properties - Continued Discussion - (8th Ave and 2nd St). We would make an appointment with the individual in person to see what can be determined and a solution. Alderman Field does not see a problem with the parking situation. Alderman Nederhoff says but it is city property, and it just opens the situation for other individuals to do the same. Alderman Crosthwaite says we need to be consistent across the town. We cannot play favourites. Alderman Banker does not think we should pursue the situation.
F. Moring Disposal - Additional Pickup for the Holiday Season - Information and costs are included - will vote at next meeting
G. REMINDER - Sexual Harassment Training - MUST BE COMPLETED
2. Committee Chair Reports
A. Finance Committee - Barb would like to see a Credit Card Policy
B. Public Property Committee - Awning at Fulton Steak and Ribs needs attention...safety hazard.
C. Public Safety Committee -
D. Parks and Recreation Committee
E. Economic Development Committee
F. Marina Committee
3. Mayor's Report - Downtown business owner inquiring about an upscale cocktail bar with outdoor seating. Would this be possible with no Video Gaming?
4. City Administrator's Report
5. Public Works Director
6. Police Chief
8. Martin House
9. Return to Council Meeting
Respectfully Submitted, Tammy L Garibay Deputy Clerk – City of Fulton