At right of this page under Main Information links is an Hickory's City Website link. If you click on that link, it takes you to our city’s website, at the left of the page you will see the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. This will give you a choice of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.
You will find historic Agenda and Minutes links. Agendas show what is on the docket for the meeting of that date. The Minutes is an actual summary of the proceedings of the meeting of that date.
Here is a summary of the agenda of the 5/1/2012 meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below:
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Invocation by Rev. David E. Roberts II of Morning Star First Baptist Church
Special Presentation: Mayor Wright presented a proclamation to City Clerk Pamela S. Tallent in recognition of Municipal Clerks Week. (April 29, 2012 - May 5, 2012)
Consent Agenda: All items below are considered to be routine by the City Council and will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a Council
Member so requests. In which event, the item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and
considered under Item VII.
* Rebecca Inglefield requested that Items F. and G. be removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion. Following discussion concerning procedure for removing items from Consent Agenda, Council approved the Consent Agenda with the exception of Items F. and G.
As covered in the Addendum to this meeting
....items belong on a consent agenda only if they are noncontroversial and all on the board agree. If anyone considers something even questionable in this regard, they should ask that the item be removed from the consent agenda. Integral to using a consent agenda is that all board members receive the materials for it well enough in advance that they know whether they belong on the agenda or not.The Hound wants you to remember that John Crone basically said that we have to notify the City Manager that we want a Consent Agenda item removed on the Wednesday before the meeting, when that Agenda has never been issued on the internet before Friday before the meeting since I started paying attention to all of this nearly 4 years ago. There is no way that could be considered ethical.
I sense there is a bigger issue -- that of record keeping and advance notice of items to be included on the agenda of a meeting. Advance notice usually is required by statute for public boards – as are records of all work sessions that result in formal action. These issues are significant whether or not a consent agenda is used. ....David O. Renz, Ph.D.Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit LeadershipChair, Department of Public AffairsHenry W. Bloch School of ManagementUniversity of Missouri – Kansas City5100 Rockhill Road, Bloch 310Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2499
John Crone is not the final arbiter for this or any matter. He is not a judge. He is the City Council's attorney and there to render his interpretation of the law (codes and ordinances) for the City Council's benefit and give them advice. He does not work in the interests of the citizens of Hickory. The action the Council takes is their responsibility in the end. Any public policy they issue is their responsibility, not their attorney's or the City Manager's. Arnita Dula is the City Staff's (Administration's) attorney. The people of Hickory (and their interests) are not legally represented at that bench. The only way that the people of Hickory are legally represented in matters of public policy is when they bring an attorney, who represents legal action, before the City Council to force the City Council's hand when necessary.
A. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from City of Hickory to William Dennis Granger in Fairview Cemetery
B. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from City of Hickory to Peggy R. Yancey in Oakwood
C. Automatic Aide Response Contract with St. Stephens Fire Department in the Amount of $3,348 Per Month ($40,176 Yearly) for Fifty-Nine Months Beginning July 1, 2012 - The automatic aide contract with St. Stephens Fire Department is a predetermined response to specific areas within the City of Hickory municipal limits in the northeast and northwest quadrants for structure alarms and structure fire calls received within the designated areas. The contract identifies the response using fire apparatus, personnel, and equipment maintained and operated by the St. Stephens Fire Department. The contract also identifies a standard of cover for response on a daily basis, type of apparatus response, use of resources, scene management, communications, performance criteria, training and annual evaluation of performance outcomes. The fiveyear contract is effective from July 1, 2012 through May 31, 2017. The City will pay St. Stephens Fire Department the amount of $3,348 per month, or $40,176 per year,
during the agreement period. A budget amendment is not required. .
D. Amendment to Traffic Ordinance for the Farmers Market to Include Ordinance No. 11-15 With a Time Change and Then to Move the Farmers Market “No Parking” Area to Accommodate the New Union Square Pavilion Location Once Complete - The Farmers Market hours have changed this year and will start the season at the same location as last year. Once the Union Square Pavilion Project is complete, the Farmers Market will relocate, thus requiring a change in the “no parking” hours and location. This amendment will change the “no parking” hours to Wednesdays – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays – 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. during the Farmers Market season, as well as on November 17 and 24, 2012 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. When the Union Square Pavilion Project is complete, the “no parking” location will move to the spaces south of Union Square on the north side of the parking lot road connecting the east and west parking lots as well as along the west parking lot to include the first three (3) angled parking spaces, at which point the previous parking ordinance, No. 11-15, will become null and void.
E. Budget Ordinance Amendments
1. To budget $185 of Library donations from several donors in the Library Books line item.
2. To budget $850 of Unity Fair donations in the Unity Fair expenditure line item. The Unity Fair is part of the International Spring Fest.
3. To budget $400 of Miscellaneous Police revenue in the Police Department Professional Services line item. These funds were paid by outside law enforcement agencies who participated in leadership training session at the Hickory Police Department. Agencies include Conover, Newton, Catawba County and the NCSBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation).
4. To appropriate $694 of Local Government Revenue and budget in the Police Department Overtime line item. This payment is revenue that funds a portion of an Officers time spent when accompanying involuntary commitment patients.
5. To budget $87 of Miscellaneous Revenue in the Fire Department Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles line item. These funds were received from Mountain Recycling, Inc. for the sale of scrap metal.
6. To budget $2,752 of Parks and Recreation donations in the Recreation Supplies line item. These funds are designated for Lacrosse Supplies (Uniforms).
7. To budget $1,950 of Parks and Recreation donations in the Departmental Supplies line item to pay for T-shirts for the Zahra Baker Playground volunteers.
8. To accept a $159 transfer of Multi-year Grant Project funds to the General Fund. The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program grant allowed $14,000 for the purchase of 4 lidars, however the cost was less. Therefore the $159 of unused local matching funds will transfer back to the General Fund.
9. To accept a $90 transfer of Multi-Year Grant Project funds to the General Fund. $90 of the Federal Seizure Funds for the FY11 Edward Byrne JAG was not used on the project due to a sales tax certification submission. Therefore the funds need to be returned as Federal Seizure Funds for future purchases.
10. To transfer and budget $500 of Community Appearance Commission funds to the Recycling Departmental Supplies line item. This transfer is to pay for the tent rental for Earth Day activities at the SALT Block.
11. To transfer $66,000 of Capital Reserve Investment Earnings to the Stormwater Fund. This transfer is necessary to pay for several drainage projects that urgently need to be completed due to failures. They include 36th Ave. NW: slip line approximately 50 feet of 36" diameter storm drain, Clement Blvd. NW at 20th St. NW, remove and replace failed 18-foot deep catch basin and 8th St. Court NW 2900 block remove and replace failed corrugated metal cross culvert.
F. Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 21
1. To appropriate $137,940 of Capital Reserve Parking Fund and transfer to the Canopy Project. This budget amendment is explained in Departmental Report No. 3. Following discussion, Council unanimously voted to approve Item F.As covered in the Addendum to this meeting
G. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment No 1
1. To accept a $137,940 appropriation of Capital Reserve Parking Fund Balance and budget in the Canopy Project construction line item. Following discussion, Council unanimously voted to approve Item G.As covered in the Addendum to this meeting
H. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment No. 10
1. To transfer $159 of Multi-year Grant Project funds to the General Fund. The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program grant allowed $14,000 for the purchase of 4 lidars, however the cost was less. Therefore the $159 of unused local matching funds will transfer back to the General Fund.
2. To accept a $90 transfer of Multi-Year Grant Project funds to the General Fund. $90 of the Federal Seizure Funds for the FY11 Edward Byrne JAG was not used on the project due to a sales tax certification submission. Therefore the funds need to be returned as Federal Seizure Funds for future purchases.
3. To transfer $13,975 of Contingency to the Maintenance and Repair of Equipment line item in the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Multi-Year Grant Project. This transfer is necessary to cover charges for the approved change orders.
I. Special Event Application for Public Property Events - Tourism Day Celebration Scheduled on Friday, May 18, 2012 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Union Square
Items Removed from Consent Agenda: Items F. and G.
New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Second Reading - Amendment to Traffic Ordinance for the Farmers Market to Include Ordinance No. 11-15 With a Time Change and Then to Move the Farmers Market “No Parking” Area to Accommodate the New Union Square Pavilion Location Once Complete - Staff requests approval on second reading so that the ordinance can be enforced in a timely manner.
2. Presentation on Inspiring Spaces Plan Proposal - This is a presentation on the Inspiring Spaces Plan proposal that is a city-wide planning process to develop a list of construction projects, their associated costs and implementation schedule for improving the appearance and functionality of streets, parks and public areas of Hickory. Projects will include but not be limited to: the redesign of some intersections or streets to improve pedestrian connectivity, additional sidewalks and bikeways, landscaping and street trees, wayfinding signage, city gateway signage and landscaping, public art or amenities such as fountains or a splash pad in key locations across the city, street lighting and street furniture, and other similar initiatives. Businesses and entrepreneurs seek a community that has been spruced up. It communicates Hickory’s brand message of Life. Well Crafted and is a key tool for economic development. Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt's presentation.
During the City Council's visits to Burlington, Chattanooga (TN), Asheville, Greenville (SC), and Roanoke (VA), the City Council engaged community leaders about how they transformed their community after a long period of economic decline. Ms. Surratt pointed to several themes. 1) Public investment in the public spaces of their city. 2) A focus on economic Development and Redevelopment. 3) Providing venues and programming for outstanding special events and 4) Engaging the philanthropic community for their support of activities and projects that will enhance the city.
A quote was shown related to Greeneville, SC: I started a business in Greeneville in 1991 when it was stagnant. A city has the bones - the structure - the character of buildings that are the heart and soul of the community, and credit must be given to programming Cities have a responsibility beyond the fundamentals (safety, cleanliness, underground, wires), and must elevate to what people want.
A City-wide planning process to develop a list of construction projects, their associated costs and implementation schedule for improving the appearance and functionality of streets, parks, and public areas of Hickory. Businesses and entrepreneurs seek a community that has been spruced up. It is a key tool for economic development. Items Ms. Surratt discussed for development/redevelopment include redesign of some intersections or streets to improve pedestrian connectivity, additional sidewalks and bikeways, landscaping and street trees, Wayfinding and Gateways, Public Art, street lighting and furniture...
The most important aspect of this plan is the role it plays in bringing jobs and people here. Economic Development and Redevelopment happen in places where the quality of life stands out among the competitors. Ms. Surratt talked about the process beginning with Recommendations, Detailed Plans, Estimated Costs, and Renderings.\
A steering Committee will be appointed by City Council. The Plan will take 7 to 8 months to complete. Projects will be prioritized. Implementation of the Plan will be over a 1 to 10 year period. The projects from the plan will be paid for through debt financing.
3. Request for Additional Funding from the Capital Reserve Parking Fund and Consolidate Public Service Department Expenditures into the Union Square Pavilion Project - The project scope broadened when the project moved into the engineering phase in January. The increase in the contract with Neill Grading is $58,852, and the consolidation of Public Services Department expenses is $59,288. The remaining cost is an estimate of $25,000 for outdoor furniture for the space. on two readings for additional funding from the Capital Reserve Parking Fund and consolidation of Public Services Department Expenditures into the Union Square Pavilion Project in the amount of $137,940 for Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 21 and Capital Project Ordinance Amendment No. 1. As covered in the Addendum to this meeting related to the structure on Union Square.
Andrea Surratt's presentation stated that they had a preliminary estimate of the costs and a time table, which was very ambitious, but they were optimistic. They had a design based on the original scope of the work. Since that time they have been meeting on a weekly basis... City Staff, the designer, the contractor, the Farmer's market, and HDDA. They have been going over the details of the final design with the engineering and construction work as it has unfolded.
What they found is that they got the project off the ground.. met the start date and were strong out of the gate... That lead to a series of meetings with the engineers that created a spinal structure that is going in today. That structure is more complex than the original estimate and preliminary design that they had... They are working as fast as they can and as best as they can...
As the project has evolved, the scope of the project has evolved as to who can use it and how it can benefit the community has really sprawled. It has been a very exciting process. It has challenges as you go through the details. She talked about issues with loads due to the thickness of the poles and the span of the sails. They did not know that before. When they presented to you they were working off an estimate with a preliminary design...
She talked about the multi-use of this project not just for a Farmer's market or casual use sitting underneath. This replaces a stage that has had great useful life, but this is a formal space with the right lighting, electrical, and seating.She talked about the lighting, stating that it was thought that this stage would be used mostly in the day and it wasn't thought that it would be used at night. The lighting wasn't thought through at that early stage back in December... She talked about thinking about the safety of that space at night and the ambiance created with people and performances out there. She said that outdoor seating had not been factored in.
She thanked the public services staff and the work they have done. She talked about the 100 year old utilities underneath the space. They had to redo foundations and dig holes deeper. To offset costs they wanted to ensure that city staff could do as much as possible. She talked about the things that we take for granted on Union Square. Where we could add value we have done that. Thinking about the security of that space, security cameras have been relocated. The cannon was refurbished...
She stated that our City Crews are making this happen in the best manner, because this is our Front Porch.
The Hound believes that the people of Hickory have been asleep at the wheel and it has allowed the city to be hijacked. Hickory is in some of our hearts and for others it is a cash cow. And these people are going to milk it for all it's worth until a significant amount of people start pushing back.
This presentation dripped with a redundancy of platitudes. The real issues come about related to the fact that these people didn't have a clue about what they were doing. I know for a fact that there are people in this community that could have been brought together to brainstorm a plan of attack that would have gotten us something that would have been for the best structurally and met the culture of the buildings on Union Square. That would have happened in an open process. Announce what you would like to do, without the outcome decided before the process begins, and let people show their creativity and ingenuity. You wonder why things aren't happening around here. Read the above. These people stifle creativity. They think their bureaucratic B.S. is creative. Anyone paying the least bit of attention sees right through it.
Now, take this example and look at the prior presentation on "Inspiring Spaces." Do you trust these people with that process? Do they have your trust to do what is right? Go back to that December 20, 2011 meeting. Ms. Surratt says here that the design presented at that December 20, 2011 meeting was a preliminary design. Did they present the information that night as a preliminary design that might have to be reassessed going forward? Did they give a clue that they were understating the cost of this structure by at least 35%?
If these people can never admit to mistakes and all they can do is fudge language, then how can you invest your future in them?
Recognition of Persons Requesting To Be Heard
As covered in the Addendum to this meeting
A. Rebecca Inglefield, , inquired about the proper way to remove items from the Consent Agenda, the procedure by which Council can conduct a public hearing, how to request information regarding budget line items, and she expressed her disapproval of the funds appropriated for the Union Square Pavilion Project.
B. Mr. Cliff Moone, stated that he wanted a clarification of the second motion made by Alderman Lail concerning the confusion over the way the Council Agenda cover sheet explains the process to remove an item from the Consent Agenda. He stated that citizens need to know about the process so that the citizenry can make comments at the appropriate times. City Attorney Crone stated that he agreed with Mr. Moone, and he could promise that the City will clean up the misinformation or elaborate on the procedure for the next agenda. Mr. Moone stated that as long as it is done, he thought everyone would be happy. He stated he wished that some Council Members had been at Grace House when the poverty tour came through because there was a lot of information from folks in our city who are suffering, many of them homeless and looking for ways to make it in our city.
C. Mr. Walter Witherspoon, stated that on December 21, 2011, the Council approved $285,000 to put up a farmers market, with the name changing to the canopy project, and now it’s called the Union Square Pavilion. He asked if all of these names are for the same project. The City was involved and had a contingency fund, but the request for the additional funds wipes that out completely. He asked if this was considered initially or was the City in such a hurry to get the structure up that it lost foresight. He asked that Council think about that before they voted.
A. Mayor Wright announced that this week, the City of Hickory was named as a Playful City USA Community for the second year. Hickory is one of 213 communities in the United States and one of 7 in North Carolina to receive this designation. He stated that he was proud that the citizens of the community have shown such great spirit, which was a great factor in this recognition.