A -yup. I'm trying to wrap my head around our meetings last night but I guess the short version goes like this:
-had Road & Safety meeting; changes to the plans for The Pointe at Sterling Lakes are moving forward - their residents are cool with it; Chagrin Falls Police Chief and network admin (?) Lisa Mariola came to Council and presented to us then answered many questions from Council, the mayor and the audience about "what if" re: Pepper Pike using their dispatch center. It was very interesting. We did bills, I found out we do have a helmet law (will be correcting some misinformation an organization keeps about cities and states re: such laws) and honestly, I can't recall just after that - not too much else. Oh, I asked for and the fire chief gave an update on what happened with the oil spill that eminated from the Racquet Club. As usual, he's on top of it but sadly, the City has little it can do to control or affect these things. Keeping an eye out for if this can ever change.
-had Special Council meeting about the financial situation and a tax increase. We entertained the idea of a .5 income tax increase instead of a .75 income tax increase, but the .5 would be paired with a 2.5 mill levy of some type (which would be a special purpose property tax - perhaps police or safety - for further discussion). The implementation of a sunset on the .5 increase was also discussed (whether it should be five years or three years, and the fact that the City's income tax rate would revert to the current 1.0 percent rate, not to zero, unless residents were asked to keep it at some level above 1.0 and they approved it).
To say that robust debate ensued (it's fun figuring out which words are which council members favorite - I've been into "specious" lately - one of my colleagues definitely loves "robust" and another one seems to like to call things "elegant" - could all be worse, yes?) would not do justice to the comments, questions and concerns that were voiced from about 9:30 or 10pm until pretty much midnight, maybe later? The audience comments were all very, very helpful and also very varied.
As I told someone earlier today, I believe one reason we have yet to reach unanimity is because this is a complex problem that does not have a simple solution that we can trust will win adequate voter support and so we wind up with options that emphasize some things and not others (or maybe I should say, not all). That places the burden, perhaps appropriately and inevitably, on Council and the mayor, to figure out the calculus which basically requires us to get the city solvent via revenue-raising tool(s) that voters can understand, accept and approve.
Our special council session on Saturday will be to continue to debate and work toward a conclusion.
Pepper Pike City Council Special Council Meeting, Saturday, 5/15/10, 9:00 AM