Lansdowne Borough Council Reorganization Meeting
June 2, 2010
The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 7:30 p.m. at the 20th Century Club. Present were President Coleman, Mrs. English, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer Bartley, Borough Solicitor Scott and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.
Call to Order: President Coleman called the meeting to order.
Pledge of Allegiance: Mayor Young opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the following changes: (1) Mr. Schleigh added one executive session item; (2) President Coleman stated that a field trip to 20 Lansdowne Court would follow after public comment.
Minutes: Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2010 Business Meeting. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear public comment. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Public Comment: There was no public comment.
Ms. Lustgarten moved to resume Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Wagner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Borough Council members then walked to 20 Lansdowne Court to hear about the Ad Hoc Committee’s proposed ideas regarding the physical space and grounds. The current proposal is to have the first two floors used for artistic purposes and use the third floor as a temporary artist’s residence. There was some discussion as to how much of the outside grounds should be reserved for parking versus holding other public forums. Borough Council then returned to the Club to resume the meeting.
Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Bartley had no formal report and indicated there were sufficient funds on hand to meet the current obligations.
Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott had no formal report.
Manager’s Report – Mr. Totaro reported that the air conditioning is now functioning in the 20th Century Club. Approximate cost was $75,000. Mr. Totaro is also working on possible opportunities regarding the Park and Recreation Board and will discuss them at the next Finance and Administration Committee meeting.
Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan reported that all went well at the recent Memorial Day 5K run and parade. Chief Kortan reported that the Wachovia Bank robber had been arrested with assistance from Officer Rutherford, who identified the suspect.
Fire Chief Young – No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Young mentioned that she had received complaints regarding the old Virginia Donuts site as well as the scaffolding still standing at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. Solicitor Scott indicated an ordinance existed that prohibits construction apparatus in public spaces for extended periods of time and suggested sending enforcement notices to the property owners. Mayor Young indicated that Joe Furia will be the 2010 Helms Award recipient.
President’s Report – President Coleman reported that on May 6th she met Asher Kemp, Yeadon Borough Council President and Jack Whelan, Chair of the County Council. Topics of discussion included the role of County Council, its vision, priorities and decision processes. County Council feels that more items need to be handled at the local level. Mr. Whelan indicated that his priorities were public safety, economic development for new businesses and budget management so that more people can retain their jobs. Regarding grant funding, Mr. Whelan felt that those who make their presence and wishes more known have a better chance of getting funding. In that regard President Coleman felt that a letter campaign would be one powerful way to gain attention for borough funding. Mr. Whelan had mentioned that County Council is happy to visit with those communities who invite them for a public forum.
- Public Health and Safety – Mr. Schleigh reported that the LEDC was not able to arrange for fire and police assistance with the pedestrian crossing for the Farmers Market this year. Mayor Young indicated that a formal letter from the LEDC requesting the hiring of crossing guards is necessary. Mr. Scott indicated there is an ordinance regarding hiring crossing guards that prohibits the collection of unemployment compensation during the summer season. A separate payroll account would be needed for employees of the Farmers market situation and the Public Safety Committee will further investigate and make recommendations. Mr. Schleigh asked for feedback regarding the home based businesses issue. The issue centers on whether residential properties performing commercial baking/cooking can be inspected for health reasons. Mr. Scott indicated that the current ordinance does not clearly address this issue and zoning would have to be changed for such businesses to be in compliance. After further discussion, Mr. Schleigh mentioned that he would ask Al Them, former Health Board President, to attend a Council meeting and present the background of his study that prompted the initial health discussion.
Mr. Schleigh mentioned that the Public Safety Committee will be meeting with the Civil Service Commission next week to obtain the status of their annual report. Mr. Schleigh reported that the Health Board continues to look into the matter of mental health issues in the community.
- Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten had no formal report. The next Finance and Administration Committee meeting will be held on June 7th at 6:00 p.m. Portnoff Law Associates will be present to discuss the collection of delinquent borough real estate taxes.
- Economic Development and Code Enforcement – Mr. Wagner reported that Jason McLaughlin was present to address any questions regarding his request to be considered as a Zoning Hearing Board member. Mr. McLaughlin was questioned about his perspectives, how he would handle variance requests, etc. Mr. McLaughlin grew up in Lansdowne and has extensive experience in the mental health field and developmental training. He indicated he could bring a more human perspective to Board matters while also adhering to borough zoning laws.
Mr. Wagner moved to appoint Jason McLaughlin to the Zoning Hearing Board, for a term expiring 12/31/2012. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Wagner mentioned that another meeting would be held tomorrow night to bring the public up to date on the proposed food market in the Lansdowne Center.
- Environment – Ms. Silzle mentioned that the next Environment Committee meeting will be held on June 10th. The Committee will review the Gladstone Civic Association’s plans regarding the benches on the island. Ms. Silzle gave the recycling report for April: diversion rate is 15%. The year to date average is 18.4% with an annual goal of 20%. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the borough has been selling their recycling to the County since February, 2010. Year to date earnings in this regard are $2,500. Ms. Silzle indicated that recycling igloos will be placed in the Highland Avenue parking lot for single stream recycling with the exception of paper.
- Community Relations – Mrs. English mentioned that the next Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on June 14th. Mayor Young indicated that some informational pieces on the Web site for this committee are missing. Mrs. English will further look into the matter. Ms. Silzle mentioned that the Zoning Hearing Board public meeting notices should be removed from public areas in the borough.
- Infrastructure and Public Works – Mr. Smith had no formal report. No complaints have been received in the past two weeks regarding infrastructure issues. Mr. Smith indicated that the street paving contract would be awarded tonight under the action items.
Old Business: None
- Elm Street – President Coleman reported that the LEDC is now the applicant in relation to the state application for funding. The borough was to have provided a $10,000 in kind contribution but the DCED has some concerns with the application. The borough has provided more information to support their case and a conference call will be held next week to further discuss the DCED’s concerns.
- Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Ordinance 1253, an Ordinance of the Borough of Lansdowne reducing the number of members of the Planning Commission from seven (7) to five (5). Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
- Mr. Smith moved to award the 2010 paving program to Innovative Construction Services, Inc. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. This pertains only to lot 5 and 6.
Executive Session – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to Executive Session. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:55 p.m.
Public Session – No public motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.
Adjourn – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m.
Barbara Ann Henry