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Minutes of the regular meeting held May 1, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

 

Members Present       

Mayor Lopez-Rogers and Council Members                             Chuck Wolf, Vice Mayor

                                                                                                Betty Lynch

                                                                                                Jim Buster

                                                                                                Jason Earp

                                                                                                Frank Scott

                                                                                                Ken Weise

                                                                                               

 

ALSO PRESENT

David Fitzhugh, Assistant City Manager

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney

Stephanie Prybyl, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager

Sammi Mangus, Council Liaison

Dean Svoboda, Planning and Building Services Director

Rogene Hill, Assistant City Manager

Linda Farris, City Clerk

 

STATEMENT BY THE CITY CLERK

 

Linda Farris, City Clerk, read a statement regarding public appearances.

 

2)         CITY MANAGER’S REPORT - LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

 

Stephanie Prybyl, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, noted there have been discussions between the Governor and State leadership about the budget, but there is no draft to work from at this point.  She stated there have been rumors about cuts in income taxes and, as a result, the League issued a press release, emails have been sent to legislative representatives, and Mayor Lopez-Rogers participated in a meeting with the Governor.  She said the focus of the conversation during that meeting was that they should work toward rebates rather than permanent tax rate adjustments. 

 

Ms. Prybyl reported HB2381 made it through the Senate Floor discussions and the third reading.  She stated the bill will have to go back to the House for approval before it can go to the Governor’s desk.  She said their primary efforts will be to ask the Governor to veto the bill.  She stated she anticipates the bill will be approved in the House.

 

Ms. Prybyl noted the liquor bill was posted for a vote on the floor tomorrow.  She explained the bill will introduce a new restaurant category.  She said the Code Enforcement Officers bill, which would prohibit the giving out of personal information for individual Code Enforcement Officers registered with municipalities, made it through the Third Read today and is now in the Senate.

 

Ms. Prybyl said there has been some positive movement with regard to the I-10 freeway widening project, noting it has gone through the MAG process and has been included in the TIP.  She stated they have also been able to secure a $7.4 million HELP loan which will ensure the design of the project continues to move forward.  She said the next steps involve the southwest valley cities drafting IGA’s, noting Goodyear will take the lead on that effort.  She stated they will also work to obtain funding at the federal level.  Ms. Prybyl reported the Citizens Advisory Team for the South Mountain Freeway recommended a western alignment of the 101 as their preferred alignment.  She stated ADOT hosted a meeting earlier today for all of the stakeholders involved in the project, updating them on the next steps.  She said Mr. Mendez explained that within the next 60 days ADOT will be working with the Federal Highway Administration to once again review the information they have collected over the past four years.  She stated they hope to make an announcement concerning their recommended western alignment in June.  She stated they will continue working on the environmental study through the fall.  She pointed out any major changes will have to go back to the MAG Regional Council for approval.

 

Council Member Lynch asked Ms. Prybyl what she believes the Governor’s position will be on HB 2381.  Ms. Prybyl said the Governor’s staff has collected a lot of feedback from cities, but she is hesitant to say the cities have her support.

 

Council Member Lynch stated the press recently reported that the South Mountain Freeway will have to go back to MAG regardless.  Ms. Prybyl stated ADOT would have to go back to MAG if there were any changes in alignment, cost, or scope of work, pointing out changes can be expected in a project of that magnitude.  Council Member Lynch asked if the committee’s recommendation for the Loop 101 alignment is an automatic trigger for it to go back to MAG.  Ms. Prybyl said no, explaining the Citizen’s Committee is only one step in the review process.  She stated ADOT will have to go back to MAG, if it ultimately selects the Loop 101 alignment.  Ms. Prybyl noted it would go back to MAG after the EIS has been further studied.

 

Council Member Buster expressed his opinion MAG will find a way to be involved if they do not like the outcome of ADOT’s decision.

 

Council Member Buster asked if HB 2381 has already gone to the Governor’s desk.  Ms. Prybyl responded no it has to go back to the House for a final read because there was a floor amendment.

 

3)         RECOGNITION ITEMS (MAYOR PRESENTATIONS)

 

a. Healthy Avondale 2010’s Celebration of Women’s Health Week Proclamation

 

Sammi Mangus explained Women’s Health Week and the City of Avondale events in support of this week.  

 

b. Building Safety Proclamation

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated a proclamation declaring Building Safety Week has been signed and is available for review in the lobby.

 

4)         UNSCHEDULED PUBLIC APPEARANCE

 

Beverly Carlin addressed the Council concerning boom-boxes.  She said they have called the police numerous times about problems with boom-boxes at Mountain View Park.  She stated it is her understanding the city does not have an ordinance against the noise, suggesting it is time one is developed.  She stated there are problems with parties in the area with music blaring well into the night.  She said their complaints to the police have been unaddressed and they have been told by the police there is not much they can do unless they are willing to go to court.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers asked Mr. Fitzhugh to ensure someone from his staff contacts Ms. Carlin.

 

5) CONSENT AGENDA

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers pulled Item D from the Consent Agenda.

 

a.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Special Meeting of April 10, 2006

Special Meeting of April 4, 2006

Work Session of April 17, 2006

Regular Meeting of April 17, 2006

 

b.         CHANGE ORDER 1 - HAYDON BUILDING CORPORATION – MCDOWELL ROAD AND AVONDALE BOULEVARD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Change Order No. 1 to the construction contract with Haydon Building Corporation for the McDowell Road and Avondale Boulevard street improvement project in the amount of $421,722.79 resulting in a revised total contract amount of $8,683,852.66 and authorize the Mayor or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents.

 

c.         AMENDMENT 1 - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT – KIRKHAM MICHAEL CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Amendment No. 1 to the professional services contract with Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers in the amount of $15,569 to prepare construction documents to improve the west leg of Coldwater Springs Boulevard at Avondale Boulevard, and authorize the Mayor or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents.

 

e.         RESOLUTION 2561-506 – AMENDMENT – INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH MARICOPA COUNTY - COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM

A resolution authorizing an amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa County for a grant in the amount of $125,757.00 to operate the Community Action Program (CAP) during FY 2006-07.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Resolution 2561-506 by title only.  Council Member Lynch moved to adopt the resolution and approve the Consent Agenda as amended.  Vice Mayor Wolf seconded the motion. 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Aye

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

d.         RESOLUTION 2562-506 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT – LITTLETON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT #65 - SUMMER RECREATION PROGRAM

An Intergovernmental Agreement between the Littleton Elementary School District #65 and the City of Avondale for the purpose of offering a Summer Recreation Program for 2006, at a cost of $13,000, and authorize the Mayor or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents.

 

Jerry Levitz, on behalf of Evergreen Development, announced they are contributing $10,000 in scholarship funds to the Littleton School District to support their summer program.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers asked Mr. Levitz to express the Council’s appreciation to Evergreen Development.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Resolution 2562-506 by title only.  Vice Mayor Wolf moved to adopt the resolution.  Council Member Earp seconded the motion. 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Aye

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

6)         MASTER SITE PLAN – DYSART BUSINESS PLAZA - FINAL SITE PLAN – PHASE I

The Council will consider a request for Master Site Plan approval for Dysart Business Plaza and Final Site Plan approval for Phase I, 13.93 acres, located at the southeast corner of Dysart Road and Thomas Road. The Council will take appropriate action.

 

7)         PUBLIC HEARING - CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – DYSART BUSINESS PLAZA MEDICAL OFFICES

A Public Hearing for a Conditional Use Permit for Dysart Business Plaza Medical Offices, 13.93 acres, located at the southeast corner of Dysart Road and Thomas Road.

 

Dean Svoboda, Planning and Building Services Director, presented the staff reports for the Master Site Plan, Final Site Plan for Phase I and Conditional Use Permit at the same time.

 

Mr. Svoboda stated the property includes a total of almost 14 acres located at the southeast corner of Dysart Road and Thomas Road.  He said the property is zoned PAD, is part of the Palm Valley PAD and is tied to the C-1 zoning district.  He stated all of the surrounding property within the City of Avondale is also zoned PAD, noting the PAD to the north is for the Dysart Commons Shopping Center.  He pointed out the property on the southwest corner of the intersection is within the City of Goodyear and commercial development exists on that corner at this time.  He noted a residential subdivision is located on the east and south sides of the subject property.

 

Mr. Svoboda explained the proposal includes the entire 14 acres and the intent is for Phase I, which includes the office development, to take up 10.78 acres.  He stated future phases will include two pad sites for retail use at the northwest and southwest corners of the property.  He noted Phase I improvements will include all of the frontage landscaping and finishing work needed along Dysart and Thomas Roads.  He pointed out, with the exception of five lots, the property is bordered by a local street on both the south and east.  He reviewed the landscape plan, stating the intent is with the exception of the two one-acre parcels for retail use, the remainder of the property will be used for offices.  He said there will be a total of 18 single story office buildings with a total square footage of 100,000+.  He explained there will be two types of buildings, with 14 square shaped “Type A” buildings making up the majority of the project and three smaller “Type B” buildings along the eastern portion of the property.  He said the landscaping for the project includes a series of internal pedestrian-friendly courtyards and a number of decorative features at the intersections and entrances to each of the courtyards.  He stated there will be a minimum landscape setback of 10 feet on the east and 26 feet on the south.  He stated a total of seven of the buildings will be used for medical office and all of the buildings will have a relatively low height of 22 feet to the top of the parapet.  He said storm water retention will be primarily underground, allowing the developer to devote the majority of the site to landscaping and parking.  He noted the plan exceeds the parking requirements for a development of the proposed type.  He said access to the site will be provided by two full-access driveways on Thomas Road and two right-in/right-out only driveways on Dysart.  He noted cross-access easements will be provided between the retail pads and the office developments, allowing them to share driveways and have unrestricted access to the major streets.  He stated four deceleration lanes will be associated with each of the driveways.

 

Mr. Svoboda explained the architecture for the project is of a modern southwest style, with the primary materials used being stucco and a stone veneer wainscoting.  He noted all of the buildings will be treated on four sides.  He said the Type A buildings will include arches over the windows and doors as well as small tower features.  He stated the Type B buildings are similar but offer entrances both to the front and the rear.  He displayed the color and material palette, describing it as primarily earth tone colors.  He pointed out the roof tile will have a darker color than the photograph indicates.  He displayed a conceptual drawing that depicts the style of architecture intended for the buildings, stating staff believes it will work well with the overall concept and fit in well with the surrounding area.

 

Mr. Svoboda said staff believes the required findings have been met, both for the Master Site Plan and the Phase I Final Site Plan.  He stated staff also believes the five required findings for the Conditional Use Permit have been met.  He reported the Planning Commission reviewed the project on April 20, recommending approval of the site plan subject to 19 stipulations and approval of the Conditional Use Permit subject to three stipulations.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers opened the public hearing and asked for public comments.

 

Council Member Weise expressed his concern about the traffic on Thomas Road going back into the Rancho Santa Fe and Corte Sierra neighborhoods to access McDowell.  He also asked if the lighting scheme will intrude on the neighborhoods.  Mr. Svoboda said staff believes the lighting will be very compatible, with zero candle light at the property line.  With regard to Council Member Weise’s concern regarding traffic, Mr. Svoboda stated both Dysart and Thomas Road have the ability to handle the traffic.  He said they do not anticipate the project will affect traffic volumes on Rancho Santa Fe.  He noted in some respects the proposed project will generate less traffic than a shopping center.

 

Council Member Lynch recommended the applicant be required to add a condition to their CC&Rs that states the lids and gates must be closed on all garbage containers and enclosures.  Mr. Svoboda said, while they can ask the applicant to add such a requirement to its CC&Rs, the city has no authority to enforce those CC&Rs.  He suggested the city address the issue through a citywide ordinance.

 

Council Member Lynch said she would like the medical waste containers kept inside the building to limit their access by children in the neighborhood.  Mr. Svoboda said hazardous refuse has to be placed in a secured facility at all times in order to meet the regulations that apply to medical waste.

 

Council Member Lynch asked why they notified the school districts when the project is commercial in nature.  She also asked if the applicant is required to notify Estrella Mountain Community College.  Mr. Svoboda explained their standard practice is to notify the school districts when any application comes into the city.

 

Council Member Lynch expressed concern about the use of decorative pavers in handicap accessible areas.  Mr. Svoboda explained the intent of the stipulation is to clearly designate the preferred pedestrian routes and would not necessarily relate to the threshold for each and every entry.  He pointed out today’s pavers typically have a very smooth surface; stating, however, they will work with the applicant to determine a material that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

 

Council Member Lynch asked if the water fountains will be on the interior or exterior of the project.  She pointed out interior fountains will have much less water loss.  Mr. Svoboda explained the recirculating style fountains will be used as an accent feature on the exterior.

 

Council Member Lynch asked if the meandering walk along Thomas will be landscaped to blend in with the meandering walk in Rancho Santa Fe.  Mr. Svoboda said the landscape plan for the project will be approved separately from Rancho Santa Fe, but should be compatible.

 

Council Member Lynch noted a bank is being considered and asked if the applicant has been apprised of the city’s policies concerning drive-thru windows.  Mr. Svoboda responded yes.

 

Council Member Lynch said she shares Council Member Weise’s concern about traffic from Thomas Road.  She asked if a person traveling southbound on Dysart would be able to make a left turn into the site.  Mr. Svoboda said they would need to use the intersection of Dysart and Thomas to make a southbound to eastbound movement.  He pointed out the proposed project will not have the same peak loading characteristics or traffic volume that Dysart Commons has.  Council Member Lynch asked Carnell Thurman, City Engineer, to research the discussions Council had when considering Dysart Commons.  Mr. Thurman said he recalls that the city allowed left turn movements into the site, but they were not to use Thomas Road for access to the site.  He noted EMCC is proposing a traffic signal at Sage which provides opportunities for left turns north of Thomas.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf referred to the Gold’s Gym presentation made to Council on October 17, stating it shows the left turning movements allowed in that case.  Mr. Thurman explained left turns are not prohibited into the development, but left-outs are restricted. 

 

Council Member Lynch asked why they are not doing the same thing with regard to the subject site.  Mr. Thurman said they are restricting left outs along Dysart Road.  Council Member Lynch pointed out someone who passes Thomas before seeing the site will have to go to Encanto, make a left, go through Rancho Santa Fe and the school property and back onto Thomas to get to the site.  She said traffic from the site is already going to try to go out Rancho Sante Fe Boulevard to get to McDowell because of the amount of traffic on Dysart Road.  She said as it is the posted speed limits and restrictions on thru-truck traffic are disregarded and the additional traffic will only exacerbate the problem.  Mr. Thurman said their hope is that those experiences will be kept to a minimum and that most drivers will use Thomas Road.  He explained the challenge in opening up median access is that the level of service for thru-traffic is degraded.  Council Member Lynch noted the City Manager before she moved to the city nine years ago made a similar decision and would not allow a cut in the median for Estrella Mountain Community College.  She stated several years later they found out that would not work because a parking lot was built north of the college.  She said they now have two accesses and are adding a traffic light.  She said traffic will most certainly go into the community.  Mr. Thurman said they will continue to evaluate the situation, but the trip generation for the site is relatively small.  He suggested the majority of people traveling into the community from the site will actually live in the community.

 

Council Member Lynch asked about the impact to residences on the south side.  Mr. Svoboda explained a local road and small landscaped area separate those lots from the perimeter of the site.  He noted the nearest refuse container will be 70 feet from the closest residence.  Council Member Lynch asked for assurances that headlights from the vehicles visiting the site will not negatively impact the neighborhood.  Mr. Svoboda pointed out office complexes rarely operate on a 24-hour a day basis.  He said the six foot screen walls on the east and south as well as the additional landscaping adjacent to those lots will mitigate any problems with headlights.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers closed the public hearing.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf moved to approve the Master Site Plan and Phase I Final Site Plan, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.      The development shall conform to the master site plan date stamped February 21, 2006; the master landscape plan date stamped February 21, 2006; the project narrative dated January 6, 2006, and the elevations dated February 21, 2006, except as modified by these stipulations.

2.      In accordance with Section 106.C.4 of the City of Avondale Zoning Ordinance the approval of the Master Site Plan and Final Site Plan for Phase I shall expire within one year of approval if a building permit has not been issued.

3.      Final landscape plans shall be approved prior to issuance of a building permit.

4.      A final plat shall be required to subdivide Parcels One and Two from the subject property.

5.      Prior to or concurrent with recordation of a final plat, common covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) shall be recorded. These CC&Rs shall address design standards for architecture, landscaping, maintenance, and cross access. A copy of the recorded CC&Rs shall be submitted to the City of Avondale Planning Division for review with the final plat.

6.      The CC&Rs shall stipulate that office warehousing is not permitted.

7.      Prior to or concurrent with recordation of a final plat, cross access easements shall be recorded allowing cross access to and from Parcel One, Parcel Two, and the office complex.

8.      Concurrent with Phase I of the development, the developer shall construct the perimeter half street improvements along Dysart and Thomas Roads including detached sidewalk, landscaping, and streetlights, as determined by the City Engineer.

9.      All proposed buildings, including those of franchise users, shall substantially conform to the architectural theme of the Conceptual Elevation Plan date stamped February 21, 2006 and the Materials and Color Selections Board date stamped July 14, 2005.

10.    Parcels One and Two, shall be treated with a decomposed granite ground cover until development of those areas occurs, unless developed with Phase One.

11.    Final site plans for Parcels One and Two shall be submitted to the Planning Division for administrative approval prior to construction plan review.

12.    Pedestrian walkways with distinctive paving shall be provided from the perimeter sidewalks along Dysart Road and Thomas Road into the site as determined at the time of construction plan review.

13.    Signage standards for the center shall comply with the City of Avondale Zoning Ordinance. All signage shall require separate review and approval through the sign permitting process.

14. This development shall be allowed 2 center identification monument signs, one on Dysart Road and one on Thomas Road. The monument signs shall be a maximum of 7.5’ tall and 6’ wide.

15.    Wall signs shall be composed of uniform colors that are consistent with the color palette of the center as determined by staff at the time of City sign permit approval.

16.    Wall signs shall be mounted directly to the wall, with no exposed raceways allowed. Wall signs shall be individually mounted reverse pan channel letters. Any lighting shall be internal to the letters.

17.    At the areas nearest to lots 139, 160, 183, 213, and 223 of Rancho Santa Fe I, the trees in the landscape buffer shall be increased from 15-gallon to 24” box trees, and species shall be amended to include fast growing, low litter, evergreen type trees, to be determined at the time of final landscape plan approval.

18.    At the time of final civil plan review, a revised traffic study shall be submitted for review and approval by staff.

19.    On the final plans, deceleration lanes shall be included with all four driveways.

 

Council Member Earp seconded the motion. 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Aye

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf moved to approve the Conditional Use Permit, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.      The development shall conform to: the site plan date stamped February 21, 2006 and the project narrative dated January 6, 2006.

2.      In accordance with Section 108 of the Zoning Ordinance, the Conditional Use Permit shall expire within two years from the date of approval if the use has not commenced.

3.      Medical offices will be limited to only those buildings identified on the preliminary site plan date stamped February 21, 2006, and to a maximum of 42,200 square feet of gross floor area for the entire Dysart Business Plaza development.

 

Council Member Earp seconded the motion. 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Aye

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

8)         PUBLIC HEARING AND COUNCIL AUTHORIZATION TO SUBMIT THE DRAFT CONSOLIDATED PLAN AND THE FIRST ANNUAL PLAN APPLICATION

The third public hearing for Avondale’s Consolidated Plan and Annual Plan, and to consider authorizing the submittal of the Draft Consolidated Plan and First Annual Action Plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on May 15, 2006

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers opened the public hearing on this item.  As no comments were made she closed the public hearing.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf moved to authorize staff to submit the application.  Council Member Lynch seconded the motion. 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Aye

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

9)         DISCUSSION ITEMS

a.         Sister City Discussion

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers said she received a letter in January from the City of Kaizu, Japan, asking if Avondale would be interested in reinstating their sister city affiliation.  She asked the Council Members if they want staff to further research what that affiliation would entail.

 

Council Member Buster asked why the sister city relationship ended in the first place and if there are financial implications to the relationship.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers said the relationship ended about six years ago due to financial issues.  She stated they looked into a non-profit, but Kaizu wants a government-to-government relationship.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers suggested staff research the issue to determine what exactly it would mean to Avondale. 

 

Council Member Lynch asked if Kaizu has grown at a rate similar to Avondale.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers said they have merged with neighboring towns and villages, and now have a population of about 50,000.  Council Member Lynch said over the course of the years studies were conducted and found Avondale spent between $300,000 and $400,000 on its relationship with Kaizu.  She stated she helped then Council Member Karlin form a 501c3 to interest the community in helping to raise funds for a student exchange program.  She said she later asked Ms. Karlin what happened to the 501c3 and was informed it fell apart because no one had an interest in keeping it going.  She said that tells her there is little to no interest within the community to maintain a relationship with Kaizu.  She stated that when the city people went to Kaizu that is where the funds were spent.  She stated that the children raised funds for themselves to be able to go.  She stated that while she appreciates all the gifts that Kaizu brought forward she wonders at the City picking up this again.  She stated that there was more to it than what surfaced as the reasons behind the fact that it was done again. She stated it was never a true sister city relationship, noting it never went through the Sister City Organization.  Council Member Lynch stated that up until about five years ago when it was changed to be called friendship everyone kept calling it a sister city when it wasn’t.   She expressed her opinion Avondale needs to grow larger before becoming involved in a Sister City relationship and should be sure that the things at home are being taken care of and should find a city that has more than a river or multiple river in common with Avondale before forming a relationship.  She stated that usually when these relationships are formed and she stated that she has been involved in them, you go to the Sister City Organization and they bring forward some suggestions of cities that would go along with what the city is.  She stressed that if this is pursued and she does not think it should at the population the city is right now it should be done the right way and not just continue this relationship which in her mind has been a continuing problem. 

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated she appreciates the comments but for her Avondale is now under a new Council with new policies and she believes a relationship could be continued if the Council so chooses.  She said the program promotes international friendship and it has proven fruitful for the students who participated.

 

Council Member Weise said he feels a sense of pride when he sees the pagodas at the park because Avondale reached out across the world and established a relationship with a city in Japan.  He stated, while he does not believe Avondale should spend $100,000, it is something they should research and pursue, particularly if the schools have expressed an interest.  He stated it might be a great community building thing by getting the kids involved with art work or projects.  He stated he believes this is something the City should look at and maybe put a budget on it.  He suggested using funding received through Billy Moore Days for this.  He stressed that he is not advocating sending staff or Council Members to Japan.  He suggested the Youth Advisory Council represent the city with a few city staff.  He again stressed that he does not want to see this program go away.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf said he attended the ceremony when the exchange students came to Avondale and found it to be a good experience for the students both in Avondale and from Japan.  He noted not all of the students who participated in the program were Avondale residents since the school district serves students who live outside Avondale. Which generates some pause on his part regarding the school district because it does serve students from outside of Avondale.  He mentioned the issue of Avondale money supporting other cities’ kids.  He stated that looking at this from the prospective of a student exchange program he believes it is shallow in respect.  He stated the school district took over the program for eight years, but no longer wants to be responsible. He stated that he respects the school districts position because the city is in a similar position with funding and growth.  He stated it poses a lot of issues but with that being said he does not think there is a problem with maintaining the relationship; however, he feels the relationship needs to be improved. He stated that he believes the city needs to be honest with Kaizu and why there was a problem six years ago.   He said he is not in favor of spending any money on the relationship at this time, because he believes there is a lot of things that need to be done in the city but he feels the city owes Kaizu the courtesy of a response and trying to develop some programs that truly are exchanges of information and cultural.  He cautioned against sending a staff member over seas and would not send children over seas.  He asked staff to research programs or other opportunities that can engage Avondale youth with Kaizu youth in some sort of information exchange.  Even if it is just pen pals all the way up to art and other types of things that are produced. 

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers noted Kaizu offered to pay to have students come to their city. 

 

Council Member Buster expressed his opinion sister cities should have an economic nexus and natural or cultural commonality.  He questioned why the city went all the way to Japan and stated that he is not familiar with the history of the program.  He agreed the city needs to do the polite and professional thing and respond to Kaizu’s request.  He stated he does not want to spend a lot of money on this program but does not want to slam the door on them.

 

Council Member Scott said he personally believes it is worth staff’s time to explore the issue further and maybe redefine the rules and bring back to Council. 

 

Council Member Lynch stated she would not object to a long-distance pen-pal type relationship, but she would not support traveling down the same road they traveled before.  She noted the gifts were initially destroyed, and replaced by Kaizu, only to have to be located in the middle of a lake so they would not be damaded.  She said the community needs to learn respect for gifts.  She suggested that could begin by establishing a pen-pal relationship between the children. 

 

Mayor stated that what she is hearing is that staff should explore the options and have staff continue to do research back at a work session. 

 

Mr. Fitzhugh said staff will research the issue, but it is his understanding that Avondale is not interested at this time in any kind of financial contribution. 

 

Council Member Earp asked staff to bring back cost information concerning various ways in which the two cities might relate to one another.  He asked why the city would need to be involved in a pen-pal relationship, stating that would be better handled by the schools.  He stated if this program will be about how cities are run or what are good ideas then the City could be involved.  He suggested the staff come back with programs appropriate for the City using as little funds as possible.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf said they need to come up with a program that focuses on a cultural exchange and build it into something rather than an exchange of humans.

 

Mayor Rogers stated there needs to be some sort of minimal budget for this program. 

 

Mr. Fitzhugh stated staff will draft a response to the letter from Kaizu and identify programs that would allow for a cultural exchange of some kind.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers said Kaizu is looking for a government-to-government relationship.  She stated, while it will not cost Avondale if officials from Kaizu decide to travel to Avondale, they will need a small budget to pay for dinners and such. 

 

b.         City Council Minutes Discussion

 

Vice Mayor Wolf explained he brought the issue up because there have been an incredible set of dialogues over the past few months that have been very fruitful.  He said he has had an opportunity to serve as the secretary of more than one organization over the years and, in so doing, he has spent a lot of time developing meeting minutes.  He stated the Council’s Rules and Procedures call for action minutes, which he takes to mean there is a minimum amount of filtering of the text.  He said, given that they are now moving toward audio streaming which will give the city the ability to provide real-time feedback on an agenda item, he does not believe they need transcript meeting minutes.  He expressed concern that the minutes give the opinion of the person speaking as filtered by the person transcribing the recordings.  He said, while the statements made by Council Members are often made more eloquent, he sees a danger in people taking the minutes as a verbatim version of what was said.  He recommended the city investigate moving toward action minutes.  He said citizen input would obviously have to be included in the minutes verbatim, but he believes they should get to the point where there is no filter on the work the Council is doing.  He stated implementing action minutes with video streaming that allows someone to actually hear the discussion will save staff a lot of time and allow them to focus their resources on other more pressing matters.

 

Council Member Lynch said her biggest concern is that the city only saves recordings of meetings for six months.  She said she does not want staff put in the position of deciding what Council wants included in the minutes.  She pointed out government entities have different requirements in terms of their minutes than other organizations.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf pointed out data storage is very cheap.  He stated transcripts are very expensive and he is concerned that the way the minutes are currently done will result in Ms. Simeri spending a lot of time responding to misrepresentations or misunderstandings.  He said he would rather see the bumblings of the person who spoke than a filtered version of what was said. 

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, explained the state’s Records Retention Policy states a recording of a meeting is only useful until the minutes are approved, at which time the minutes become the official record.  He stated true action minutes were initially used, but disputes about what was said arose resulting in the much more detailed minutes they have today.  He said if the Council wants to use an electronic component as part of the permanent record they will have to approach the State Library Board to determine the best electronic means of permanent storage.  He noted the city’s retention policy, which mirrors that of the state, would have to be revised to recognize that the permanent record is not limited to the paper minutes maintained by the Clerk’s office.

 

Council Member Weise agreed as long as the public can easily access the records.  He asked staff to return with recommendations that remain within the state’s guidelines.

 

Council Member Buster said they run the risk of ending up with minutes that are too sparse.  He stated he has been involved on committees and organizations that used verbatim minutes as well as some that used very sparse action minutes.  He said those who say outrageous things need to be held accountable so those who read the minutes get a true understanding of the thinking that went on behind an action.  He recognized the tedious process involved in creating minutes.  He said if the Council decides to move toward action minutes, they need to establish a means by which the public can access the information that would otherwise be lost.

 

Council Member Scott expressed his opinion streaming audio will be their salvation.  He acknowledged the retention cycles may need to be adjusted. 

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers called on Ms. Farris to comment on the issue.  Ms. Farris, City Clerk, explained they produce summary minutes.  She clarified the minutes are not verbatim minutes, stating they summarize what the Council Members say.  She said the city is free to change the retention cycle for the recordings of the meetings.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf suggested they retain the records forever. 

 

Mr. McGuire explained very detailed minutes rarely work in the city’s favor in a fight.  Vice Mayor Wolf agreed; stating, however, there needs to be some accountability for what they say.  He stated a multitude of outrageous statements were made during his first few years on the Council that never showed up in the summary minutes.  He explained he is concerned primarily about the filter that what they say goes through in creating summary minutes.  He said a lot of effort goes into meeting minutes that may not, in reality, provide any more benefit than action minutes.  Mr. McGuire said staff’s attempt over the years has been to take the inflection and meaning of the spoken word and ensure it shows up in the text.  He pointed out written text can easily be read two or three different ways, stating their best option might be to attach streaming audio to action minutes because it would allow people to hear the inflection or any sarcasm that was used by the speaker.

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers said she believes action minutes would be appropriate.  She asked staff to bring the issue back for further discussion.  Mr. Fitzhugh said staff will research the issue, compile supporting documentation and present different options to the Council for discussion and direction.

 

10)       EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Council Member Lynch recommended they go into executive session to consider its position and instruct its representatives regarding negotiations for the purchase of real property, but that they not go into executive session concerning the Council’s position regarding an intergovernmental agreement.

 

Council Member Lynch explained she spent a great deal of time thinking about the second executive session item and feels it is fairly straight forward.  She said the Council will either vote to uphold the deed restriction on the property or not.  She pointed out an IGA has never before been brought to executive session.  She also pointed out the County needs an immediate answer and by going to executive session that cannot occur until May 15, 2006 meeting as they cannot vote in executive session.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf noted the IGA also incorporates development agreement impacts, stating those are often brought to executive session.  He said he suggested they limit their comments on the issue at last week’s hearing to allow staff an opportunity to clarify what he believed and later confirmed were misstatements in the County’s presentation concerning the individuals that will come to the facility.  He recommended they take the matter into executive session.

 

Mr. McGuire, City Attorney, pointed out the item is not agendized as a public item, stating it would have to be placed on a subsequent agenda to be held as a public item.

 

Council Member Lynch asked why they are discussing the matter in executive session if the item has to come before the Council at its next meeting anyway.  Mr. McGuire said based on discussions with the property owner he believes there is a certain amount of candor the Council Members need to hear that he would rather not speak in a public session.  He stated a negotiation is ongoing between the property owner of the remaining 20 acres to the east and 80 acres to the north of the city’s property.  He said the components of the IGA related to those negotiations need to remain confidential.

 

Vice Mayor Wolf moved to go into executive session pursuant to (i) ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 38-431.03 (A)(7) for discussion or consultation with City representatives in order to consider its position and instruct its representatives regarding negotiations for the purchase of real property and (ii) REV. STAT. § 38-431.03 (A)(4) for discussion or consultation with the City’s attorney in order to consider its position and instruct the City’s attorney regarding the council’s position regarding an intergovernmental agreement.  Council Member Earp seconded the motion

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Council Member Earp

Aye

Council Member Scott

Aye

Council Member Buster

Aye

Mayor Lopez-Rogers

Aye

Vice Mayor Wolf

Aye

Council Member Lynch

Nay

Council Member Weise

Aye

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

11)       ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Council, Council Member Wolf moved to adjourn.  Council Member Earp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers

 

                                                           

            Linda M. Farris, CMC

            City Clerk

 

CERTIFICATION

 

I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the minutes of the regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Avondale held on the 1st day of May, 2006.  I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that the quorum was present.

 

                                                           

                                    City Clerk