October 26, 2022 Special Council Meeting Minutes
Call to order:
The special Randolph City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Robert Appelgren.
Mayor Robert Appelgren
Council Members Sarah Podritz, Jacob Friedrich, and Jacob Toledo was absent
Treasurer Sandy Nicolai and Clerk Mary Haro
Also present was Korine Land and Greta Bjerkness of Levander, Gillen & Miller; Matt Blazer of Bolton & Menk.
Bylaws and Joint Powers Agreement with Randolph/Hampton Fire Department
Present from the fire department were Fire Chief Kevin Whitson, Assistant Chief Chris Opelt and secretary Ryan Whitaker and Mayor John Knetter of Hampton City Council to discuss what issues that were discovered with the Bylaws and Joint Powers Agreement ("JPA"). Our legal counsel, Korine Land had prepared a memo back in May that was addressed to the city council and the fire department with her findings. We can discuss this and go over some of the issues and come up with some ideas for a solution but we need Hampton in agreement before we can amend the JPA.
The JPA contemplated that the city council would adopt the Bylaws and the Fire District adopted a document that they called Bylaws but its more like an operational agreement. There needs to be a separate bylaws document that indicates how to set things up and that will be connected to the operational agreement. There are things that should be removed from the operational agreement and put into the bylaws.
First item recommended is to set up Bylaws for the Joint Powers Board ("JPB") – that is between the two city councils. We adopt the bylaws for how we operate and that will include electing a chair between the two councils. Typically when there are two city councils that are acting as the JPB they rotate through – one year it one city and then the next year it is the other city so there is not one dominating city.
First set up bylaws for the board itself and lay out the rules that could then be adopted into an operation agreement. Second, set up the executive committee in the bylaws. Right now the treasurer in the JPA has to appointed by the board but they do an election. They should follow the bylaws, and then the board ratifies the election. The board appoints the fire chief. The JPA allows the firemen to do an election but it needs to be confirmed by the city councils. If we want to continue to have them be elected then that should be in the JPA and then the councils will ratify it. We are in agreement for it continue to be elected.
Ten council members make up the JPB. That is how it is currently set up. We would elect a Chair, Vice Chair and a Secretary – the chair runs the JPB meetings. The JPA could choose a smaller number than all ten members. We would need a majority of the JPB in order to have a meeting.
As for the approval of the bills, the board is supposed to be approving the expenditures. We recommended removing the monthly payment of the bills so it would be the responsibility of the Executive Committee. Also the annual budget should be adopted. We have to adopt a preliminary budget to determine what the levy is so we would need to know what their budget is. We would need the budget by July for the next year as we need to submit our preliminary levy in September. The JPB should approve their annual budget.
It was discussed regarding that their meetings should be open to the public and they should post a notice 3 days in advance. You can call a special meeting by posting a notice 3 days in advance. You can also adopt a meeting calendar at the beginning of the year.
We asked about open meeting education. It was explained about the open meeting law and when there is a quorum they can't discuss business. Korine would be happy to do a training with them regarding the open meeting laws and will scheduled something with them.
It was noted that if it is a disciplinary meeting then it should be a closed meeting. What happens in a closed meeting is that it is recorded but there are no minutes taken. The recording needs to be kept for several years. If no discipline is taken then the recording is never made public. If discipline action is taken then it becomes public. If there is no recording then there is nothing to produce. The meetings should be tape recorded. The only meetings that are not tape recorded are attorney client privileged meeting. It was asked if they could have a closed meeting with the JPB. Korine indicated it depends on what is in the bylaws. If the JPB has any authority over disciplinary matters then certainly no. We could write something in the JPA that they would have to come to us for disciplinary decisions. The JPB would have the ability to weigh in on decisions especially termination. As it currently sits, 2/3 of a quorum of the board can terminate a fireman. The Executive Board can fire someone or each city council separately. The JPB would have authority over any termination regardless of rank.
It was asked about past issues and she indicated there is nothing that can be done about things that happened in the past. We just need to give it structure in the bylaws that is created by the board. It was asked if the Hampton city council would approve amending the bylaws to which Mayor Knetter answered no until it is reviewed by their city attorney. Korine will send her memo and documents that she prepared back in May to Hampton's city attorney and some notes of what we want changed and then it will be brought back in front of the city councils.
We want to get this cleaned up so everything is clear to which Korine indicated legal fees to amend the bylaws and joint powers agreement would cost less than $5,000.
As it sits right now, for personnel matters the chief is responsible for hiring and firing of personnel. The city council delegated that to the chief.
Resolution re Entry of Property for Geotech Investigation
Matt discussed the resolution for Geotech investigation that needs to be performed on the stabilization pond property. We need to do 3 things on the property (1) do geotechnical investigation which is like soil borings, (2) drone flight to get accurate elevations of the land; and (3) look for survey markers to do the boundary survey. The geotechnical boring will consist of a 3 man crew from Braun Intertec. We are looking for a few things for the permit that we need to obtain from the State, which are: (1) we need to know what the soil type is, (2) look for groundwater and then (3) depth to bedrock. They will need to do 3 soil borings and this is all part of the preliminary engineering. It was asked if there is anything that would make this land unsuitable for the ponds? That is what we are going to find out. It is the best location for the ponds. The testing should only take 1 – 2 days. The property owner will receive notice, which this resolution gives our legal counsel approval to send them notice. They will have 10 days to respond. If they decline, then we have to get a court order.
A motion to approve the Resolution 22-12 Authorizing entry to Property for Geotech Investigation for the Sanitary Sewer project was made by Podritz, seconded by Friedrich, . Voting in favor, Podritz, Carlock, Friedrich and Haro, opposed Appelgren, motion passed 4:1.
Motion to adjourn the meeting by Appelgren, seconded by Friedrich, voting in favor, Appelgren and Haro, opposed Podritz, Carlock and Friedrich, motion failed 2:3.
A discussion regarding obtaining the land was discussed, Mayor Appelgren has been against taking the land from the get go. It was noted that they will be compensated for the land and we feel we need to move forward.
Motion to adjourn the special meeting made by Podritz, seconded by Carlock, the meeting was adjourned at 6:57 p.m. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 5:0.