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Monday, July 20, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of July 14, 2015

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

***Final Release***

Agenda about the City Council meeting of July 14, 2015

Hound Notes: Finally finished this 3 weeks late. Needed a break and my batteries still aren't recharged. I will get the August 4, 2015 meeting up in short order. The video on the protocols of how a City Council meeting works was excellent work and the Communications Department deserves kudos on that. Getting the public to participate is an education (not propaganda) process. Netter informed (not propaganda) citizens leads to better buy-in and better buy-in means a happier community. a happier community means a better quality of life. True happiness is self-evident.

I have scaled back out of necessity and self-preservation. A one man checks and balances system in a community is not sustainable. I'm not going anywhere as long as I'm here, but I'm also not going to put my personal life on the backburner. You know, I've led the damned horse to the water how many times?

Anyway, all of this process has taught me a lot more about people that I care to admit. I think back to what I thought a decade ago, before I went down into this rabbit hole, and the few times I watch any Idiot Television, I am ashamed about the time I wasted allowing myself to be programmed by a system that worked against my best interests. Television has zero to do with information. It really isn't about entertainment. The entertainment (bells and whistles) is just part of the programming. The narrative is the heart of the program... Think about that. Peace! see you on the other side.


Special Presentations
A. Recognition of Retiring Boards and Commissions Members
Business Development Committee - Jeff Neuville, Dave Gissy, Dave Paist,Citizens Advisory Committee - Michael Holland
Community Appearance Commission - Steven Bowman
Community Relations Council - Neal Orgain, Ray Cerda
Historic Preservation Commission - Christopher Wilson, Thomas Dobbins
Library Advisory Board - Kathy Ivey
Parks and Recreation Commission - Bee Yang, Tony Wood
Public Art Commission - Thomas McBrayer
Public Housing Authority - Clement Geitner,
Recycling Advisory Board - J.C. Epting Jr
University City Commission - Bill McBrayer
Youth Council - Joseph Butler, Kathryn McKenna Shaver, Laura Velazquez, Darion Best, Jordan Hatch, Zackariah Amrani, Marina Pitofsky, Jamen Beck.

B. Educational Video by Office of Communications - Dana Kaminske presented an instructional video to Council that showed the protocols of how City Council meetings operate.

Persons Requesting to be Heard
Mr. Mark Faruque, requested City Council indefinitely postpone approval of the plan to construct a secondary parking lot for Glenn Hilton Park on the property contiguous to his home located on 6th Street NW. He believed there had been a serous lack of communication by the parties involved and felt that up until the past few days the City had shown little concern or sensitivity for the negative impact that this parking lot might have on the value and privacy of their 22 year old home. He stated that on or about June 14, 2014 he arrived home from work to find an aerial picture of the lot with a hand written note to the effect “proposed parking lot, call with any questions”. He called and left a message but neither he nor his wife were contacted that day. The following evening they arrived home from work and were shocked to see that the lot had already been cleared. They saw some men surveying the lot at that time. He commented that it was obvious that the clearing was well beyond the marking stakes. They were surprised to find out last week that some of the Council members were completely unaware that approximately 2,000 square feet of their property had been cleared at that time. He advised that they had been told that the lack of direct communication from the City was in large part due to the fact that they had hired an attorney from Charlotte immediately after the lot was cleared. Once attorneys are involved correspondence usually occurs through them. They did not hire an attorney to sue the City of Hickory, but when they saw what had transpired without any forewarning they felt that they had to get legal advice on what the local laws were, and what their rights were as property owners. They did not have any idea that it was within the City’s right to construct a parking lot on a piece of land designated as residential... Much has happened to bring everyone to the table this past week and it is still their desire to work with the City to find a resolution that is satisfactory to everyone.

Consent Agenda
- Council unanimously consented to the Consent Agenda.

Informational Items
A. Proposed Technical Amendments to Blue Bloodhound, LP Economic Development Agreement.
B. Report of City Manager Mick Berry’s travel to North Carolina City County Managers Seminar, Wilmington, North Carolina, June 18–21, 2015. (Lodging - $127.44; Meals $51.00; Registration - $250; Mileage - $348.45; Tips for Parking - $12.00)

Departmental Reports:
1. Second Reading of Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 20. - Assistant City Manager Rodney Miller presented information to the Council - To appropriate Tourism Development Authority (TDA) revenue to repay debt on new parking deck in FY2014-15 budget. The City entered into an agreement with the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) in August 2014 to build a parking deck to accommodate visitors to the convention center. The City secured a $3 million loan with BB&T for a term of 15 years at 2.94% with an increase in TDA rental payments pledged to repay the debt. The first debt payment came due in April 2015, yet an appropriation of the rental payments was not established in the FY2014-15 budget. The attached Budget ordinance Amendment appropriates the additional revenue that has been received from the TDA as a result of their increase in rental payments...

2. Approval to Purchase .890 Acres Located at 1352 12th Avenue NE, Hickory, PIN 3713-14-43-2647 in the amount of $100,000.

3. Presentation of Crafting Hickory Logo - Mandy Pitts Presentation - Hickory Inc. contracted with
North Star Destination Strategies who helped develop “Life Well Crafted” which is almost four years old. "The brand" continues to be strong as it has been tested in different markets and they have feedback from people that have invested in Hickory and people that have visited Hickory... This is an initiative under the Life Well Crafted brand. They met with the Chairs of the Bond Committee and they narrowed down the logos to two. She showed renderings of two options...   Mayor Wright moved, seconded by Alderwoman Patton approval of the Crafting Hickory logo option number one. Vote: Ayes: Alderman Lail, Alderman Seaver, Alderman Zagaroli, and Alderwoman Patton. Nays: Alderman Meisner, Alderman Guess and Mayor Wright. The motion carried.

Matters Not on Agenda (requires majority vote of Council to consider)
Ms. Delores Hammer requested to speak to Council regarding the addition of more bus lines if the housing project was in an area where there were no bus lines. Mayor Wright advised Ms. Hammer that she would need to speak at the next meeting. He explained the process. There is no requirement to sign - in to speak, but he had asked if anyone else wished to speak to Council earlier in the meeting.

General Comments
Mayor Wright congratulated City Manager Mick Berry on becoming a grandfather.
Alderwoman Patton requested an update from Staff regarding data from the recycling program.
City Manager Mick Berry advised that Staff would do that in a few months, which would give citizens time to get used to the recycling program.
Alderwoman Patton commented that it would be nice if there was pickup for recycling every week
and trash pickup every other week.
Mayor Wright mentioned that Alderman Guess, Alderman Zagaroli, Assistant City Manager Andrea
Surratt, City Manager Mick Berry and himself would be going to Washington on Thursday to lobby
for the 22 million dollar TIGER grant that the City is well entitled to. They will be speaking with the
City’s Representatives and Senators to ask for their assistance in obtaining the grant. He commented think what that could do on top of what we have already accumulated through tax credits, grants, donations, private investments and 40 million dollar bond issuance. What could be done for Hickory with another 22 million dollars?
Mr. Berry introduced interns: Will Sigmon, an ASU student; Bradley Setzer, interning in the Legal
Department, a Wake Forest University student in his third year of law school; Paul Wood, a St.
Stephens High School rising senior; Melissa Loveless interning in the Communications Department, she attended Western Carolina University.
Mr. Berry introduced the new Library Director, Ms. Sarah Greene. She previously served as Library Director in Caldwell County.
City Attorney John Crone requested Council go into closed session to discuss settlement of
two matters of litigation concerning the airport: regarding what is known as the Moose Hangar at the
airport. Council was aware that a mediation had taken place that was very lengthy. Mr. Crone
advised that he had a proposed settlement agreement and resolution for discussion in closed session. He requested Council return to open session and consider approval of the terms of settlement and the resolution that approved the terms of settlement. Mayor Wright moved seconded by Alderman Seaver to go into closed session to consult with the attorneys on the items requested by City Attorney John Crone. The motion carried unanimously.Mayor Wright announced that he moved seconded by Alderman Seaver and the motion carried unanimously.

Council Reconvened on Closed Session Matter
Council convened to closed session at approximately 7:54 p.m. Alderman Lail excused himself from the meeting at that time.Council reconvened to open session at approximately 8:21 p.m. City Attorney John Crone requested Council approve a Resolution authorizing the settlement of disputed issues between the City of Hickory and AGI Associates LLC, and CRA Enterprises LLC, concerning the Hickory Regional Airport. The Resolution included terms of settlement that were negotiated by the City of Hickory and the other opposing parties on July 13th during a 12 hour mediation in Charlotte. Mr. Crone had reviewed the documents with Council in closed session. The terms of the settlement agreement were attached to the Resolution. Mr. Crone requested a motion to approve. Alderman Zagaroli moved seconded by Alderwoman Patton approval of the Resolution and the attached settlement agreement. The motion carried unanimously.

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