Monroe City Council Minutes

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District #1
Dr. Raymond A. Armstrong
Vice Chairman                                       

District #2  
Mrs. Gretchen H. Ezernack 

District #3
Ms. Betty Blakes

District #4                                                
Mr. Kenneth Wilson 

District #5
Mr. Eddie Clark
Chairman

City Council
CITY OF MONROE, LOUISIANA
Post Office Box 123
Monroe, Louisiana 71210-0123
Phone (318) 329-2252
Fax (318) 329-3416

Minutes for Council Meeting
January 28, 2014
6:00 p.m.

There was a legal and regular session of the City Council of the City of Monroe, Louisiana held this date at the Council's regular meeting place, the Council Chamber, City Hall Building, Monroe, Louisiana.

The Honorable Eddie Clark, Chairman, called the meeting to order. He then asked the clerk to call the roll.

There were present: Council members, Dr. Armstrong, Mrs. Ezernack, Ms. Blakes, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Wilson.

There was absent: None

Chairman Clark announced that a quorum was present and that the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance would be led by Mr. Tom Janway.

Chairman Clark proceeded by acknowledging the time for special announcements and/or communications.

Dr. Armstrong welcomed everyone tonight and agreed that the cold weather is probably what has kept most from the meeting, as we are expecting record low temperatures tonight.  He mentioned the absences of regular attendees, Mr. Hackney and Ms. Bryant, who both have had illnesses and asked that prayers would be given for them for a speedy recovery.  He also mentioned the passing of former Mayor Ralph Troy who died recently in North Carolina; we hang our heads in sorrow for the loss of one of our own.

Mrs. Ezernack welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for coming out on a cold evening.  She thanked everyone responsible for the Martin Luther King Program and that it was a great and inspiring program which was well attended.  She said it was organized and the speakers were really good and appreciated all of the effort that went into it.

Ms. Blakes thanked everyone for coming out to the meeting in the cold weather.  She asked that everyone would check on the elderly, the sick and the shut-ins in their neighborhood and make sure that they are warm and cared for.  In addition to Mr. Hackney and Ms. Bryant not being present, she noticed that Ms. Nell Bradley was absent and hoped that everything was well with her. 

Mr. Wilson thanked everyone for coming and he said he spoke with Ms. Bryant today and she is still ill. He thanked the Administration, Mr. Ross, and the Public Works Department for Lida Benton Park.  Mr. Wilson stated that he wants to do something different that hasn’t been done in south Monroe and that is to make a memorial at the Lida Benton Park. Mr. Wilson said that former City Councilman B.D. Robinson  did some great things in District 4 as well as the Cascio Family; a lot of people have come through the Lida Benton School.  He stated he will be forming a committee for the memorial wall and hopefully it will come out nice.  Mr. Wilson said there are other things that he wants to do at the park and he wants it to be a top notch park that we can be proud of.  We are renewing the pride on the Southside.

Mayor Mayo began his communications by making an announcement about Community Outreach meetings and he stated on the first of January, that this year’s focus would be Community Outreach for the City of Monroe.  He said there would be a series of District meetings as done in the past.  In addition to this, there will be walking town meetings and media and minister round tables, promoters who bring entertainment and other meetings as well.  The first Community Outreach meeting will be on Thursday, at Benoit at 6:00 p.m., if the weather permits.  He said at the meeting, there we will be an opportunity to talk about the projects that are ongoing in addition to some projects that is being worked on and in addition to listening to constituents as always listening to their concerns and issues and ideas that they may have.  In regard to the passing of the late Mayor Troy, the Mayor Mayo stated that although he did not have the opportunity to meet him, he is aware of the contributions that the late Mayor Troy made in his one term as Mayor of Monroe as contributing in a huge way on the progress of the City; as well as his family, the Troy Family that was a part of Troy & Nichols.  Prayers go out to his family and condolences on behalf of the City Council and our City and to thank him for his service as Mayor as well as a business person in the city.

Mr. Clark began his communication by conveying his thoughts and prayers for Mr. Hackney and Ms. Earline Bryant who have been very important advocates for all of the citizens in the City of Monroe, regardless to what side of the track you live on; He asked that you will keep them lifted up in your prayers.  Mr. Clark said it was important to recognize and thank the City for opening up Marbles Recreation Center for the cold days that we had and that it may be opened for tonight as well. He said it allows our homeless to go in and have food and be warm, this is admirable.  Mr. Clark said he wanted to challenge his colleagues by saying that; we have to be more creative and proactive when it comes to South Monroe.  He said he is grateful for the splash pad, Mr. Clawson and his team and the tremendous efforts that they brought to the table with respect to the splash pads and the things at the zoo, but we need more.  Mr. Clark said that we need more in South Monroe, we need more construction, we need more partnership with businesses, we need more development and this is certainly not happening now. He said we have had studies and meetings and studies and meetings; we have even had a meeting to study the meetings.  He said it is time out for this from his stand point. He said he is speaking personally now because you can drive down through south Monroe at any time of the day 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m. He said you will see no construction going on and no widening of the roads; you won’t even see the tearing down of any houses.  He said he has driven the area for the last three to four weeks, notwithstanding the fact that he did it previously.  It’s not happening; it doesn’t mean it can’t happen, because we do need it to happen.  He thanked Mr. Ray Jones and told him that he reads every email that Mr. Jones sends to him, even on Sunday mornings before church, he sends them seven days a week and asked him to not stop sending them.  He told Mr. Jones that what he is saying is very important.  Mr. Clark said we can do it; all of Monroe has to come up.  The people that live in south Monroe cares, they have given up because they have elected people who they feel can’t get the job done.  We lie to them tell them what they want to hear and they have become immune and deaf  to whatever it is we say because they see no results.  Mr. Clark asked that we be creative and be proactive in our approach as we move through 2014.  He asked that everyone bear with him because he wasn’t at the last Council Meeting and he will get a little pass.  He continued by saying that we need some things to happen and it is going to take a joint effort to make it happen.  It will take the Administration and the Council, we are voting on things in North Monroe and we must vote for things in South Monroe, let’s put it on the table, everybody needs help, we need it.  This Council needs to look at getting its own grant writer with council budget funds who can dedicate time and energy specific to things that we need in our community, we have the funds in the budget and this is something that we need to consider.  Again, we will get there and am confident that before this term is out we will bring it together.  He said to the people in South Monroe to not give up, don’t lose the faith because you have been lied to, bamboozled, all of that, but this Council along with the Administration is going to make sure that everybody’s feet is held to the fire.  It won’t just be where we will just be having another meeting after meeting after meeting.

Upon a motion of Dr. Armstrong and seconded by Mr. Wilson the minutes of the Legal and Regular Session of January 14, 2014 were unanimously approved as presented. (There were no comments from the public).

PRESENTATION:  Tana Trichel - Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance (NELEA). Funding approved to certify four (4) sites adjacent to the Monroe Airport through the State’s Louisiana certified Sites Program.

Ms. Trichel made an appeal to Council to pay for twenty five per cent of the project.

Comments:  Mr. Clark asked for the total cost of the project.  Ms. Trichel said it was $130,000 for all four sites.  Mr. Clark asked if she was asking for $130,000 or twenty five percent.  She stated she was asking for twenty five per cent.  She also said it would take about six months to certify the sites and would first have to look at the records that the airport has to see if there is anything applicable that we would use and then the certification would proceed from there.

Mr. Wilson asked if the twenty five percent was administrative costs.  She stated it was not, it is the costs to certify the sites.  She said she turned in a bid and it had the many elements of this.  She said they get nothing and they are happy to do it; this is part of their job, the City is already paying them.  She said there is some engineering services, geotechnical analysis, phase one, wetland mapping, general transportation and on each site there is a list of things that have to be done and it adds up to the $130,000.  Mr. Wilson asked how the engineer was selected.  She stated the engineer has not been chosen, they had to get a bid and they were already working on eight sites and they had worked with the state and worked with the site selectors and we asked them to prepare the bid.  Mr. Wilson asked if they had chosen the engineer and Ms. Trichel said no they had not chosen the engineer. She stated that is up to Council and to them of course and would certainly entertain the wishes of Council.

Ms. Blakes asked Ms. Trichel how was the twenty five percent to be paid.  Ms. Trichel said it is paid as the work is done and invoices are submitted, then the in

voices will be submitted to the City and State at the same time and they will get their money when the invoices are paid.

Dr. Armstrong said our fee is limited to about $30,000 and asked Ms. Trichel if change orders would affect that amount.  Ms. Trichel said it could and she would have to come back to them on that.  She said she called and asked if the prices good to the best of their knowledge today and was told they were and nothing had changed.  If something unforeseen is encountered then that would make it more costly and would have to come back to Council.  She said they have probably encountered this with the state and a couple of places. One place she thinks when they did the Cultural Examination, they found things offensive and had to do some further examination, it would be something of the nature that we would know about but because the airport is already built on the surrounding property and probably has done the geotechnical analysis work from some years ago.  She said she is not looking for any surprises and not saying that it won’t be, but she is not looking for any.

Dr. Armstrong asked Ms. Trichel that after the sites are certified, if she will go into detail about how they will be marketed.  Ms. Trichel said she brought them the magazine today and you can see where this particular advertising, Milhaven is placed there because they are certified, along with Franklin Farm who although they are not certified, all of the work has been done on it; ours and the states focus.  She said they also did Ouachita Advertising and Franklin Farm and this was done because there were not any other certified sites.so what they would do is advertise those sites much as the map you see together.  She said they also go to at least three trade shows per year and would prepare an advertising brochure at no cost to city.  She said she has also talked with the State about doing something more comprehensive. She said they have also bring site selectors in every year and have brought about thirty five or forty national site selectors in and give the brochures to them as part of the presentations in addition to the direct marketing.  She said they cannot do the same type of advertising if the site is not certified.  They are getting RFP’s now that say don’t send them anything unless it is certified.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  NONE.

PROPOSED CONDEMNATIONS:  

704 Bryant (Owner - Martha McDonald, et al) (Dist.5) "Notice to Show Cause” was served.  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved for the owner to be given 30 days or until February 28, 2014 in which to demolish the structure, remove obnoxious growth and clean the lot. (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Mr. Kelly of Code Enforcement reported that the structure is a dilapidated and opened structure located in Mr. Clark’s District. He said he spoke with Ms. McDonald and there are several heirs to this property and no succession has been done on it and some of the others are deceased and she does not have the funds to pay for it and she does not qualify for a grant.  She would like to see the house torn down.  Mr. Clark said her wishes would be honored and appreciated Mr. Kelly’s work. 

816 Beverly (Owner - Alan & Bertha McDaniel) (Dist.5)  "Notice to Show Cause” was served.  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved for the owner to be given 60 days or until March 28, 2014 in which to demolish the structure, remove obnoxious growth and clean the lot.

Comments:  Mr. Kelly of Code Enforcement reported that the structure was an opened and burnt structure with a hole in the roof as the picture shows.  Mr. Kelly said the property owner continues to board the property because she wanted to do some work on the property, but as the picture shows the boards are always being taken down.  He said the Code Enforcement office has tried to work with her and give her more time but unfortunately have to proceed with the proceedings.  Mr. Clark said unfortunately we will proceed. 

Mrs. Rowena Sledge said this is her God sister’s property and that she had surgery but is on her way.  She is going to try to fix it up. 

Mr. Clark asked Mr. Kelly how long the property had been like this because according to the pictures the property is in deplorable condition.  Mr. Kelly said they have had the property in their office since July 2013, but believes the property have been in that condition longer than that. 

ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF BIDS:

 (a) Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bids of HD Supply of Monroe, LA and Louisiana Utilities Supply of Shreveport, LA for a one hundred and eighty (180) day supply contact of various Water Distribution Parts Ref#82-0839 as recommended by the Director of Administration as complying with and meeting the specification requirements. The vendors comply with and meet all specification requirements and have been cleared by the Tax & Revenue Division. Funds for these purchases will be derived from the Inventory Account and capped at $60,000.00. (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Accept the Accept the bid of Wilson Enterprise in the amount of $16,500.00 for a structure located at 605 Moore Avenue, Ouachita Lee Avenue Neighborhood under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $0 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).


(c) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Matcon Contractor’s Inc. in the amount of $30,160.00 for a structure located at 1801 Rogers Street, Renwick Addition under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $5,160.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Ms. Blakes said to Mr. Robinson that she noticed approximately ninety percent of the bids have a portion that the homeowner has to pay and wanted to know if the homeowner had agreed to pay the amount when the contract is signed.  Mr. Robinson said upon signing the contract and when the bid is received then this bid information is shared with the homeowner and the homeowner decides whether or not they want to take out a loan for the amount that they are responsible for and if they are not able to get a loan and if we have money available then the homeowner can put in for a hardship on a case by case basis.  If the hardship is approved then more work is done to the house and if the hardship is not approved and since the houses were bided under the Emergency Program then the homeowner will be decreased down to the $25,000 and move forward from there.

Ms. Blakes asked Mr. Robinson if he meant that if the homeowner doesn’t have the amount of money for their amount and they show that they can’t comply with that amount, then there are other means to help them with the amount needed.  Mr. Robinson said they have other means, if they qualify for the other means and if they don’t qualify then the house would be reduced down to $25,000 and there will be $25,000 worth of work done on the house.  Ms. Blakes asked if the homeowner was obligated to the amount in the contract and Mr. Robinson said no they were not.


(d) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Bright Construction, LLC in the amount of $47,150.00 for a structure located at 1401 South 8th Street, Ouachita Cotton Mills under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $22,150.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(e) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Wilson Enterprise in the amount of $24,000.00 for a structure located at 1503 Mississippi Street, Ouachita Cotton Mills under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $0 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(f) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Matcon Contractors Inc. in the amount of $40,310.00 for a structure located at 1608 Sunset Drive, Ouachita Cotton Mills under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $15,310.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(g) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid Bright Construction, LLC in the amount of $50,150.00 for a structure located at 421 North 22nd Street, Lamyville under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $25,150.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing
With respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(h) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Matcon Contractors Inc. in the amount of $33,500.00 for a structure located at 2606 Georgia Street, Terminal Heights under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $8,500.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2013 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(i) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Bright Construction, LLC in the amount of $54,450.00 for a structure located at 3008 Jackson Street, Lee Avenue Neighborhood under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $29,450.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(j) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Matcon Contractors Inc. in the amount of $50,950.00 for a structure located at 3200 Polk Street, Lee Avenue under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $25,950.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(k) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Top Notch Construction in the amount of $22,150.00 for a structure located at 302 South 12th Street, Newtown under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $0 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(l) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Wilson Enterprise in the amount of $47,500.00 for a structure located at 803 South 27th Street, Renwick Addition under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $22,500.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing
with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(m) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Top Notch Construction in the amount of $38,750.00 for a structure located at 3204 Dick Taylor, Lee Avenue Neighborhood under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $13,750.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(n) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Matcon Contractors Inc. in the amount of $51,475.00 for a structure located at 3611 Cooper Street, Booker T. Washington Neighborhood under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $26,475.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(o) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Top Notch Construction in the amount of $41,850.00 for a structure located at 1615 Thomas Street, Bryant Addition under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $16,850.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing
with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(p) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Bright Construction, LLC. in the amount of $43,250.00 for a structure located at 1106 South 9th Street, Ouachita Cotton Mills under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Emergency Moderate Housing Rehabilitation Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $18,250.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(q) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Bright Construction, LLC in the amount of $4,900.00 for a structure located at 2814 Dick Taylor Street, Lee Avenue under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Health and Safety Improvement Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $1,900.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.   (There were no comments from the public).

(r)  Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Accept the bid of Bright Construction, LLC in the amount of $5,250.00 for a structure located at 1214 South 2nd Street, Ouachita Cotton Mills under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Health and Safety Improvement Program as recommended by the Planning & Urban Development Director as being the lowest and best bid meeting the specifications. The homeowner is responsible for $2,250.00 Grant limits may be exceeded only when funding is available and a hardship can be documented. Hardships cases will be addressed on a case-by case basis. This structure was bided on January 21, 2014 and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

RESOLUTIONS AND MINUTE ENTRIES:

Department of Administration:

Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to consider request from the Purchasing Division of the Administration Department for authorization from the City Council to advertise for a one (1) year supply contract of computer paper/stock forms. Funds will be derived from the Inventory Account.   (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Planning & Urban Development: NONE.

Legal Department: NONE.

Mayor’s Office:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6178,  stating the Monroe City Council’s interest in participation in the Louisiana Enterprise Zone Act Louisiana R.S.51:1781-1791 and designating the following 2010 Census Tract and Block Groups, as applicable to the City, as Louisiana Enterprise Zone(s).  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6179,  approving and authorizing a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement by and between the City of Monroe and Lions Club MD 8 as per the attached agreement and further providing with respect thereto. 

*Comments:  Mr. Bob Fitzgerald, District Governor of the Lions club came forward and stated his organization is having their state convention in Monroe on April 25-27, 2014 at the Monroe Civic Center.  The state convention will have an economic impact on the city as it will utilize hotels, businesses and other resources in Ouachita Parish.  The last time the Lions were in Monroe was May 27, 1977 and Monroe has the proud history of having the third oldest Lions Club in the State.   

Ms. Blakes stated the Lions Club furnishes eyeglasses as well as providing surgery and donors to assist.  She said she knows some of the Lion Club members in her district and they have truly been a blessing to District 3 and she thanks them.

Mr. Bob Fitzgerald stated that as of August, 2013, the Lions Club in Ouachita Parish, Monroe has tested
511 students in the Monroe City Schools and have entered into an agreement with Monroe City Schools to test the students eyes every year.

Dr. Armstrong commented that his father was on the Lions Club the last time the convention met in Monroe.

Department of Public Works:

(a)  Upon a motion by Mrs. Ezernack, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6180,  authorizing Monroe Regional Airport to advertise for bid the Airport Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station (ARFF Station), and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b)  Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to amend Resolution No. 6181.  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to adopt the amended Resolution No. 6181 authorizing the filing of the year 2014-2015 Application with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for a grant under Section 5316, Job Access and Reverse Commute Grant Program and further providing with respect thereto to state on the grant application form that the contact person will not be Marc Keenan, but the contact person will be Tom Janway and his email will be listed on the grant application on every place where the name Marc Keenan and or First Transit Management Company is listed.

Comments:  Ms. Blakes asked if the information received in the packets was the information that is being submitted for the grant. 

Ms. Summersgill said as she explained last week, the grant funds that we get from the Federal government has nothing to do with First Transit. She said this line of communication will explain to her (no completed sentence by Ms. Summersgill). She said Ms. Blakes had only received one of her emails from Mr. Onco and he is someone that Ms. Summersgill knows at Federal. She said all she can tell Ms. Blakes is the pot of money that is going at this point and time which has already been allocated for the Transit Department is not coming from any Federal Funds. The fact that Mr. Keenan is still at the Transit Department and with First Transit has no bearing on these Federal Funds, none whatsoever. 

Ms. Blakes said the email that she has states and she read the email in its entirety and is being printed word for word in the minutes for the record so that everyone can be on one accord and the email states.  "Hello Ms. Summersgill, Thank you for your email where you have provided some helpful background information and documentation regarding the City of Monroe’s management service agreement with First Transit, Inc. (formerly Ryder/ATE).  First, while I can appreciate that the Mayor of the City of Monroe under Louisiana law and under the City of Monroe’s form of government may possess the authority to award a contract, notwithstanding that the city council might disagree with such an action, the Mayor’s authority would only be legally permissible when a contract is funded solely by local funds.  As I understand it, however, the management service agreement and its amendments in this case have been or are being funded in part with FTA financial assistance.  Thus, because the service agreement is jointly funded with Federal and local funds, the City of Monroe is obliged to comply with both Federal and state/local procurement requirements.  The original management service agreement and any extensions to the agreement will therefore be subject to applicable Federal third party contracting requirement as set forth in FTA Circular 4220.  1F, FTA guidance, and the provisions of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s common grant rule at 49 C.F.R. Part 18.  With respect to the current contractual arrangement with First Transit, the current month-to-month extension of the First Transit contract, which by its terms ended on November 30, 2013, would under FTA’s third party contracting program be deemed an improper sole source award to First Transit.  Although sole source awards may be permitted in very limited situation, the facts in this case would in my view not support and justify a non-competitive award.  As you know, the most important procurement standard and requirement in FTA’s third party procurement program for all contracts, whether for goods or services, is full and open competition.  So, the costs associated with a non-justified sole source extension of the First Transit management service agreement would therefore be an ineligible expense under FTA’s grant program.  Accordingly, because FTA funds may not participate in ineligible contract costs, the current month-to-month agreement with First Transit must be funded only with local funds by the City of Monroe.  Second, as to your question concerning whether the U.S. Department of Transportation or FTA would care if the City of Monroe itself managed the transit system without a contract with a transit management consultant, I can inform you that the decision regarding whether the City of Monroe’s public transportation system should be managed either by the city itself or by a transportation consultant is strictly a local decision for the City of Monroe.   Indeed, under principles of Federalism, it would be improper for the FTA to substitute its judgment on a project management decision that should be decided by a local or state government.  But, when Federal funds are used to fund a grant recipient’s capital or operating project, in a manner determined by a grant recipient, FTA requires s a grant recipient to comply with all applicable Federal requirements and conditions, which includes the standards and procedures in FTA’s third party contracting program.  I trust this information has been responsive to your inquiry.  If you have any additional questions, please let me know”.  Eldridge Onco.

Ms. Summersgill asked Ms. Blakes what was the date on her email.  Ms. Blakes said it was December 13, 2013.  Ms. Summersgill said the email on December 13, 2013 is a series of emails along with another email today that would clarify that point with the FAA and all of it would be true if in fact that First Transit was being funded from any grant funds, they are not.  Ms. Summersgill went on to say that the best way to show Ms. Blakes is this,  "there are three pots of money that fund the Transit Department, one is Federal grants, one is local matching funds from the city for these Federal grants and another is total local funds; these two pots of funds cannot be used to pay First Transit and they are not; this pot of funds that have already been budgeted for Transit Department is solely being used to pay, well really right now it’s being used to pay everything; you’ve longed used up this pot of money; so anything that is happening and no grant that we are applying for is applicable at all to what you are saying because those grant funds will not be used in any way shape or form to pay First Transit, they are just not.”

Chairman Clark stated, "Ladies and gentleman what we have going on right now is real simple here; you have FTA Federal Funds, FTA according to the email that Ms. Blakes just read says you can’t use FTA Funds, being that your contract with First Transit ended on November 30, 2013. You can’t now use Federal Funds to pay First Transit who you now have administratively working for you on a month to month basis because they are on a non-competitive basis, meaning no other bids were taken, there is no new management company, administration basically has them working on a month to month basis, until April or something like that.  Mr. Clark continued by saying, "you can’t pay them with Federal money; what Ms. Summersgill is saying, we are not paying them with Federal money, we have local money in Transits budget already, this is how we are going to pay First Transit, so this is what’s going on. The thing for the Council is real simple; why we would vote to pay even though the money has been budgeted for transit, why would we vote to pay First Transit who we voted not to renew their contract in November 2013 out of local money when they are here administratively on a month to month basis until April, that becomes the question for me, so it is an easy situation and I hope I made it easy for everybody”. Mr. Clark stated that the First Transit contract ended November 30, 2013 and the Administration kept them on a month to month basis, he said we know that we can’t use Federal Funds by way of the email and now Ms. Summersgill is saying Transit has this money already in the budget that’s how we are paying First Transit and the Council or somebody, like me is going to say that we voted to get rid of them in November and why would I tonight pay them with public money that has been budgeted, which is tax payer money”.  Ms. Summersgill said this is not what is being voted on and this is far removed from what is being voted on.  Mr. Clark said it’s not what is being voted on, but it is the concept on how they are getting paid.  Mrs. Summersgill said the problem with the scenario of what Mr. Clark is talking about is let’s take this money that has already been used about this money over here, these grants tonight have nothing to do with any of this; she said but on Mr. Clark’s theory that he is propounding, what would happen is that because the Mayor is managing those Departments, Mr. Clark is setting up a scenario.  If you are looking at like he is doing is where you are going to cut down on your Transit employees, that is what you are setting up a scenario for and you don’t want to do that, we don’t want to do that.  Ms. Summersgill said what is being voted on tonight is purely to get Federal grant money not to be used for First Transit.  Mr. Clark said it is not going to set up a scenario where you and those are scare buzz words, it is not going to set up a scenario where it reduces transits employees. Ms. Summersgill asked Mr. Clark how did he know this and  Mr. Clark responded by asking Ms. Summersgill, how did she know this. Mr. Clark stated this is not what was on the floor, but he was just explaining to the public where they could get it in a simpler way without all of the emails, where everybody can understand it.  Ms. Summersgill responded by saying, that she knows Mr. Clark understands the two emails that she just gave him and that they are very clear in what they say in that they explain this scenario that she is saying and know we can’t pay from here as funds are already budgeted until May 1, 2014, this is where they will come from; all of this aside, this has nothing to do with the grants, whatsoever. She said by not accepting the grants, you definitely are closing down or peeling back your Transit department, because that’s where your funds for the Transit employees come from.  Mr. Clark said, "by not bringing us a Transit management company or some scenario where we can move the Transit department forward puts us in the situation where we are right now”.  Mr. Clark said, "it is not us, we need the Administration to bring us something”. Ms. Summersgill said, "don’t you think it’s the typical thing, a management, someone who is responsible for managing these departments; then you  have what could be seen as trying to manage through legislation, but this is not even what we are talking about”.  She said we are talking about two Federal grants that if you miss them you miss them and if you don’t have them next year for your employees, then your Transit system will definitely be cut back, that is all there is to it, and she said she wanted to be perfectly clear on the JARC  grant and the other grant, we have on here tonight, if you don’t vote for them how else would you run the department.  Ms. Blakes said, "for one thing, the wording needs to be changed. Ms. Summersgill asked what wording and Ms. Blakes said let’s say First Transit is gone; Mr. Marc Keenan’s name is still the contact person on the paperwork.  Ms. Summersgill said right now he is the contact person. Ms. Blakes said well he’s going to be gone and Ms. Summersgill said we don’t know that he will be gone. Ms. Blakes said as of December 1, 2013, he is gone.  Ms. Summersgill said what if Marc Keenan decides to stop working for First Transit.  Ms. Blakes stated that First Transit contract states that any employee can’t come back to work within two years and she asked Ms. Summersgill if she was correct.  Ms. Summersgill asked if she was speaking about First Transit and Ms. Blakes said yes.  Ms. Summersgill said what if he is not an employee of First Transit anymore, what if they release him from that and he decides to stay on because he is a great manager.  The Mayor has the ability to manage the Transit department, then you have lost everything you are trying to get to. Mr. Clark said if the Mayor decides to hire Mr. Keenan to run the department, so be it at that time, tonight we are not to that point.  Ms. Summersgill said to Mr. Clark he was right and that she would not have brought any of this up and those questions seem to be coming in about those two grants; these two grants only have to do with you getting money, going forward and being able to pay your employees that run the buses, that’s what the two grants are for. 

Mr. Clark asked Ms. Summersgill to point out to him in the grant application form is Marc Keenan and or First Transit listed. Mr. Clark stated he was on page 66, JARC application, where Ms. Blakes was referencing the contact person, Marc Keenan, who Ms. Summersgill just stated tonight he is with First Transit who the Council voted to let go as of November 30, 2013.  Ms. Summersgill said she didn’t see any place where it was listed; she said the City of Monroe is applying and First Transit doesn’t have anything to do with it. Mr. Clark said he fully understands that. Ms. Summersgill said Mr. Keenan just happen to be the person who manages it.  Mr. Clark asked again is there anywhere else in the application form where we have Mr. Keenan and or First Transit from a management standpoint’s name anywhere.  Ms. Summersgill, said no sir, she went through them and doesn’t see them anywhere.  Ms. Blakes said the name was on pages 30, 39 and 66.  Ms. Summersgill said that she did not have a page 30 in her JARC application.  Ms. Blakes said that she had a page 30. Ms. Summersgill said that Ms. Blakes was probably talking about the New Freedom Grant, there are two grants. Mr. Clark said going back to his original question and that being Marc Keenan being listed as the contact person on both grants, pages 39 and 66; knowing that this Council voted the way we did in November 2013. Mr. Clark stated he would and as a suggestion for Council to move on the item tonight, because they are not going to lose the funds, to change the contact person to put everyone at ease instead of trying to get in through the back door what you could not get in through the front door, just change the contact.  He asked if there was another contact person that you could put down on the grant application form at all.  Ms. Summersgill said they would be glad to put Tom Janway’s name down as the contact person for the grants.  Mr. Clark said he thinks doing this would put everyone at ease, knowing that Council voted to part ways with First Transit and now a person who works for First Transit is not listed in the grant application.  Original motions were withdrawn and new motions were made and voted upon.    

Dr. Armstrong stated that it seemed obvious to him that we need to consider better communication between the Administration and the Council on these and other matters, a lot of this could be avoided. Ms. Summersgill said she appreciated what Dr. Armstrong stated and that he does stay in touch with her a pretty good bit.  She said she would not know what the questions of the Council have unless they contact her and she would not have known from anyone except him, because he sent her that line of communication and she appreciates it.  She said if the Council trusts what she is saying to them and ask her the questions, which she would be glad to send them every single thing that she has, but if nobody asks then she can’t do it.  She said she is assuming these things are pretty self-explanatory and apologizes and agrees with Dr. Armstrong that there does need to be a better line of communication.

Mayor Mayo said to Council that he believed everyone had received all of the options concerning Transit management and asked if they had received the options.  He asked Dr. Armstrong if he had received it and Dr. Armstrong answered, he didn’t think he had received the options.  The Mayor then asked Mr. Wilson if he had received the options. Chairman Clark then stated to the Mayor that he did not get to ask the Council those questions.  The Mayor stated, yes he did.  Chairman Clark asked the Mayor to please speak.  The Mayor stated he needed to know if Council received the options before he asked, because it is not valid if they have not received it.  Again, Mr. Clark asked the Mayor to please speak.  Chairman Clark stated that he would proceed with the next agenda item. 

Michael Devault came forward to comment if he could ask a rhetorical question.  He asked will there be buses running next year and he answered his own question as yes there will; he asked is there any scenario where we will not be applying for the grants, he answered no there aren’t; he then asked will someone be in charge of Monroe Transit next year, he answered yes there will.  Mr. Devault continued his comments by saying those were three questions that were answered and he didn’t have to ask them.  He said can we for the love of God do the business that you were elected to do and do it without all of the rudeness and attitudes.  Can we please stop sitting in the Chamber where great men sat including Ralph Troy, including in your chair, Mr. Chairman, Ben Katz.  He asked can we please stop acting like children and do the business that the taxpayers of the City sent them to do.  He said he just watched two people that he respects immensely, the Mayor of this City and the Chairman of the City Council bicker like they are in a sandbox. So, his pertinent comment is that we are going to apply for the grants, the contact person can be whoever and God forbid that Mr. Janway is at the bus barn looking at the work that has been completed (which by the way we argued about that too), and one of the buses comes in and runs over Mr. Janway and he is in the hospital for six months; what are we going to do, it’s a hypothetical situation, what if he is not there for six months, then who is going to be the contact person.  He asked how long are we going to parch out this minutia of details during the public meetings. Do we have access to emails, yes we do, and we heard them read tonight. Can we please do these things and move on and do them in the spirit of cooperation, you guys talk about cooperation; cooperate, it’s really simple. 

(c) Upon a motion by Mr. Clark, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to amend Resolution No. 6182.  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to adopt the amended Resolution No. 6182, authorizing an application with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for a grant under Section 5317 of the New Freedom Program and further providing with respect thereto to state on the grant application form that the contact person will not be Marc Keenan, but the contact person will be Tom Janway and his email will be listed on the grant application on every place where the name Marc Keenan and or First Transit Management Company is listed.  (There were no comments from the public).

(d)  Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to add to the Agenda Resolution No. 6183.  Upon a motion by Dr. Armstrong, seconded by Mrs. Ezernack and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution 6183, offered by the Monroe Regional Airport authorizing Mayor Mayo to accept a grant offer from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) in the amount of $1,286,808.00 for the North Ramp Rehabilitation Phase 2, for the Monroe Regional Airport, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Council:

Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6184, granting an exception to the Open Container Ordinance to the Twin Cities Krewe of Janus pursuant to Monroe City Code Sec. 12-231 D. (Open Container Ordinance), and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

Department of Community Affairs:

Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Ms. Blakes and unanimously approved to Consider request from the Louisiana Purchase Garden & Zoo of the Community Affairs Department for authorization from the City Council to advertise for a one (1) year supply contract of animal food for the Zoo. Funds will be derived from the Food Account.  (There were no comments from the public).

Police Department: NONE.

Fire Department: NONE.

Engineering Services:

(a) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt  Resolution No. 6185, accepting as substantially complete work done by and between the city of Monroe and Ryan Watson Construction, for a new golf cart building for Chennault Park Project, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

(b) Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Adopt Resolution No. 6186, accepting as substantially complete work done by and between the City of Monroe and Traxler Construction Co. Inc., for repair and re-roofing of the City of Monroe Transit Bus Terminal-Downtown Building Project, and further providing with respect thereto.  (There were no comments from the public).

INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTIONS & ORDINANCES:

Upon a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Mr. Wilson and unanimously approved to Introduce an Ordinance authorizing the City of Monroe to take corporeal possession of the property described below for future use by the Monroe Housing Authority said properties having been adjudicated at tax sales dated more than five years ago and further with respect thereto. Dist.5 - (Legal) (There were no comments from the public).

Comments:  Chairman Clark noted that the three parcels of land are located in District 5, Robinson Place Subdivision.

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES FOR SECOND READING AND FINAL ADOPTION:

(a) Upon a motion by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to amend Ordinance No. 11,455, authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute an Advertising Agreement between the City of Monroe and Onyx Advertising, LLC at the Airport,  " the initial term of the agreement shall be for a two (2)  year and three hundred sixty-five (365) day period commencing on the effective day of this agreement” the final paragraph to be stricken; and further providing with respect thereto. 

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing: Seeing no one come forward the hearing was declared closed.

Comments:  Mr. Clark commented that he looked at the terms of the contract and they are fine.  He read the following contract terms, "Developer shall have the option, exercisable upon written notice to Owner within thirty (30) days from termination of the initial term and each option term, to extend the term of this Development Agreement for three additional periods of two (2) years and three hundred sixty-five (365) days each from and after the Termination Date”.  Mr. Clark asked Mr. Phillips, Monroe Airport, to come forward.  He asked Mr. Phillips was the contract for two years or was it for two years and another three hundred sixty-five (365) days which means it is three years. Mr. Phillips said the contract was for three years.  Mr. Clark said there is an option in the contract that it automatically renews for two or two three year terms.  He asked Mr. Phillips if this was correct. He said yes.  Mr. Clark asked Mr. Phillips is the contract for two (2) three year terms or is it for three (3)  three year terms.  Mr. Phillips said the contract is a two (2) three year term contract.  Mr. Clark said to Mr. Phillips, "so you have three years and then it automatically renews for another six (6) years; that is nine (9) years.  Mr. Phillips said yes, pretty much.  Mr. Clark said the problem that he has with the contract is not the terms, because it is fifty (50), fifty (50) split where the lady’s company will split revenue with the city fifty (50, fifty (50); The problem is extending the contract over the life of this Council, Administration and others which could be a nine year contract.  Mr. Clark said that we need to deal with the options.  Mr. Phillips said we can work through the terms and is it possible to go ahead and get the contract approved and modify those terms.  Mr. Clark said we can do that now; the contract itself.  He told Mr. Phillips he appreciated the information that he sent quickly on the email as well as the advertising fees on individuals who want to advertise at the airport, but we need to deal with the automatic renewal. 

Mr. Clark read the terms of the contract as the Developer shall have the option, exercisable upon written notice to Owner, which is the city within thirty (30) days from termination of the initial term, which is three years and each option term, to extend the term of this Development Agreement for three additional periods of three years.  Mr. Clark said this contract could end up being a twelve year contract. 

Mr. Phillips said what we can do is just go ahead and approve the contract for the initial term and then we can just come back.  Mr. Clark asked can we do this on the record where we scratch off all of the option terms of those nine years and let this be a three year term.  Mr. Phillip said and then we will come back after this.  Ms. Summersgill said she would eliminate everything after the initial two year and three hundred sixty five (365) day period commencing on the effective date, just block everything out.  Mr. Clark asked that Ms. Summersgill would read for the record how it is going to read.  Ms. Summersgill said her understanding is that he will amend the contract to read under section one that, " the initial term of the agreement shall be for a two year and three hundred sixty five day period commencing on the effective day of this agreement”.  Mr. Clark asked if the remainder of the paragraph would be stricken; Ms. Summersgill said yes, the remainder of the paragraph would be stricken.  Mr. Clark then asked for the motion to adopt as amended.

Ordinance No. 11,455 was offered for final adoption by Mr. Wilson and on his motion, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved and adopted. Authorizing James Mayo, Mayor, to enter into and execute an Advertising Agreement, " the initial term of the agreement shall be for a two (2)  year and three hundred sixty-five (365) day period commencing on the effective day of this agreement” the final paragraph to be stricken. This agreement is between the City of Monroe and Onyx Advertising, LLC at the Airport and further providing with respect thereto. (Airport)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing: Seeing no one come forward the hearing was declared closed.

(b)  Ordinance No. 11,456  was offered for final adoption by Dr. Armstrong and on his motion seconded by Mrs. Ezernack with Mr. Wilson, Dr. Armstrong, Mr. Clark and Mrs. Ezernack voting yes; Ms. Blakes voting no;  Authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to transfer by donation one (1) 1996 Ford Crown Victoria to the Creola, LA Police Department, Creola, LA and further providing with respect thereto. (MPD)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing: Seeing no one come forward the hearing was declared closed.

Comments:  Mr. Clark asked where was Creola, La located.  Ms. Summersgill said it sounds like Creola, La was located in South Louisiana.

(c)  Upon on a motion by Ms. Blakes, seconded by Dr. Armstrong and unanimously approved to remove from the agenda to finally adopt an Ordinance adopting and amending the Zoning Map for the City of Monroe, Louisiana to rezone an existing 1.42 acre tract from B-2 Neighborhood Business District to an RMD Medium Density Residential District presently located in Ouachita Parish –APPLICANT –
Sampco, LLC/Greg Sampognaro – (P&Z) (This item was passed over at the last meeting.)

Comments:  Mr. Clark said there was a request from the owner of the Agenda Item to remove said item from the agenda indefinitely.

(d) Emergency Ordinance No. 11,457 was offered for final adoption by Mrs. Ezernack and on her motion, seconded by Mr. Clark was unanimously approved and adopted. Emergency Ordinance declaring the need for immediate repairs to the expansion joints on the sedimentation basins for the Water Treatment Plant and further providing with respect thereto. (Public Wks.)

The Chairman opened the Public Hearing: Seeing no one come forward the hearing was declared closed.

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION:

*Mr. Ray Jones said that one of the things that he has thought about since he was appointed to the SEDD Board is he has been very concerned about the idea since it has been around so long.  He said every morning when he gets up he thinks about the Mayor and the City Council. He sees the class of 2000 on the City Council and he sees a Mayor that used to be a Councilman in the 90’s and now he has been promoted to the Mayor of the City of Monroe.  He said it is a blessing to see the class of 2000 and the Mayor that used to be a Councilman and now is in the Executive Branch. 

*Michael Devault said he woke up early this week and face bookers were exploding, twitters of discussion about massive and substitive changes to Forsythe Park; demolition had happened, the dragon fly was gone, the fountain had been filled in with concrete, people had panicked.  He said there were changes made to Forsythe Park and no one was notified.  He said there was once a Parks and Recreation Commission and wanted to know if it still existed and if so who sat on this board, because he wanted to ask them questions about Forsythe Park.

*Mr. Earl Davis said he was back and as he listened to the concerns that each person had, he said there is a need for us to be able to communicate with the community.  As part owner of a business, he does web based advertising and he has spoken with all council members with the exception of Ms. Blakes about the web based advertising. Mr. Davis asked for permission from Chairman Clark to share the web based presentation.  Mr. Larry White who developed the technology came forward and spoke about the web based advertising.  Mr. White told everyone that he recently opened an office in Monroe and it will be the headquarters for a fifty state project that they are working on.  He said it is a cell phone mall and will connect Monroe to every city in every state right on the cell phone.  

There being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m., upon motion of Ms. Blakes and seconded by Mr. Wilson.

Eddie Clark
Chairman

Carolus S. Riley
Council Clerk

Jacqueline Benjamin
Council Secretary

*For extended details on the council meeting please call the Council Clerk Monday-Friday at
329-2252 to schedule an appointment to listen to the minutes tape.

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