Monday, December 21, 2009

VC: Hydro projects, Open Meetings, ACLU, Commissions--you?

Dear People: I went for a long walk with my dogs down the bike path Sat & Sun, enjoying the lovely snow... before I tire of the earth's iron hardness, and start longing for spring. There's a poem by Christina Rossetti at the end of this memo which provides the gorgeous words to my favorite Christmas carol. (If you want to hear/view the song, sung by the King's College Cambridge Choir, click here. You can listen while you read, if you wish!)

The wrong agenda was placed in our packets by mistake, so I've attached the electronic one that Karen Wintrow kindly made, just as an FYI, and used it to structure my typed comments in italics, below.

IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS December 21, 2009

Comments from the Public are welcomed at two different times during the course of the meeting: (1) Comments on items not on the Agenda will be heard under Citizens Concerns, and (2) Comments on all items listed on the Agenda will be heard during Council’s consideration of said item. A Sign-In sheet will be made available on the small table at the rear of the Council Chambers.


Personnel/Evaluation of Village Manager

This portion of the meeting is a "special meeting" because, in order to accommodate the schedules of the current Council and of former Council member Kathryn Van der Heiden, who will be participating in the Village Manager review, we decided on Thursday to schedule this prior to the meeting rather than afterwards, as would be our usual practice. We notified the YS News office of this change of schedule, and placed notices in the Bryan Center and the Library, and also posted information about the change on our Village website.

I would like to assure everyone that we do endeavor to avoid last minute schedule changes, and special emergency meetings, whenever possible. (And, to clarify: no public legislation will result from this special executive session, as it is strictly a personnel matter).

I would also like to
remind all citizens that they may still comment on the performance of Mark Cundiff during this first year; if you send your comments to me as soon as possible, but by this afternoon, at the latest, I will endeavor to forward them to our acting Clerk and all Council members prior to the meeting.



The Clerk will receive and file:
AMP Newsletter(s) re: December 7, 2009
Cities & Villages OML Magazine re: November/December Issue
Greene County Clerk of Courts re: Injunction Notice

[This is the official injunction regarding the improperly noticed meeting from last week. We are working to clarify our notification procedures for ourselves and for villagers so that these problems do not arise again.]

Time Warner re: Notice of Contract Expirations with Programmers & Broadcasters

Tecumseh Land Trust re: Fall 2009 Newsletter
OML re: Legislative Committees – Week of December 13
Greene County Public Library re: December Holiday Closings/January Programs
AMP OSHA re: Safety Training Schedule for 2010

Regional Planning & Coordinating Commission of Greene County (RPCCGC), re: request for representative designation for 2010

The new Council rep to RPCCGC for 2010 will be yours truly.


Second Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance #2009-16 Participation in AMP Hydro Project : As I mentioned in my notes from the past couple of meetings, we have voted in our first round to support these two new AMP hydroelectric projects. We wanted clarification about the exact amount of megawatts that these two hydro projects will provide; Mark explains that at 1.7 MW total from these two new projects, they should provide up to 42.5% of our current baseload power needs.

When we add in the wattage from the other AMP hydro project we signed onto last year, that makes for a total of 2.120 MW of hydro powered energy total, or 53% of our total baseload needs. As Mark notes, "If through energy conservation we reduce our base load needs, we can achieve an even higher percentage of baseload energy from renewable resources."

While no energy investment is without risk, I believe this is a good way for us to serve our baseload power needs and seek to reduce our carbon footprint.

Second Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance #2009-18 Two-Way Metering.

Staff suggests tabling this so we can get the needed feedback from the ETF on the questions we raised about the possible effects of increasing the allowable wattage on our current electric grid.

First Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance #2009-19 2010 Temporary Budget as an Emergency

This looks like a normal minor budget reallocation, but I expect we'll have a brief presentation from Sharon Potter

First Reading on Ordinance #2009-20 Policy on Notification of Public Meetings

We're trying to establish clear rules for all bodies of Council--Committees, etc.--and to incorporate notification through our website, which probably didn't exist when these rules were last revised.

Resolution #2009-48 Recognition of a Local Endeavour to Implement a YS Community Time Bank

I thought we were approving John Booth's writing of a letter, with the help of the HRC. So I think we will not focus on this Resolution, but on the letter he has composed.

Resolution #2009-49 Awarding Street Light Replacement Contract

Resolution #2009-50 Awarding Library Building Evaluation Contract

Both of these resolutions, for differing reasons, are being withdrawn. The Street Light contract because Mark feels he needs the ETF to review them, and the library conflict because of a conflict of interest concern, which Mark's memo does not go into great detail about. I imagine we will discuss both of these in a bit more detail at the meeting tonight.

III. CITIZENS CONCERNS (Clerk will collect Sign-Up Sheets)


Surveillance Cameras – Presentation by ACLU

WSU’s CUPA Retention & Expansion Study

We don't have any further information in our packets about these two items; we are asked to bring our copies of the CUPA Retention & Expansion survey which we received last October.

Greene Metropolitan Housing Assn. Continued Discussion re: Tax Exemption

The 'good' news, in a way, is that this isn't really our decision to make at some level: the GMHA was coming to us as an act of good will and good faith. The real story, to me, is that for over 30 years they have paid taxes to us that they were not required by law to pay, by not filing their tax-exemption papers. They cannot afford this any longer, to best serve their clients. They would like our understanding and support as they file for their tax-exempt status, allowed them by federal/state laws.

They offer in a letter to "make a payment in lieu of taxes" to the Village, "based on 10 per cent of rents collected from the tenants." It's my understanding that this is a fairly standard practice that they use in other places. (I will ask about whether that could be shared with the schools). At any rate, I support this move, and thank them for their generosity over the years.

Economic Sustainability Board

Judith is still working on this; I believe it will be tabled until our next meeting.

Update on Clerk of Council and Treasurer Positions

I am working on the Clerk applications with John Weithofer; the Treasurer application deadline is today!

Commissions, Committees and Boards - Terms of Office Discussion

There are terms ending, new possibilities. John Streuwing's term as head of the Planning Commission is up as of the end of this month (12/31/09); Ted Donnell's on the Board of Zoning Appeals also ends that date; And all three members of the board of Tax Appeals are actually on expired terms! (John Hart, Tony Bent, and Richard Zopf, terms expired on 7/31/09. We will obviously be speaking to each of these men about their interest in continuing--and it seems to me we need a better system of alerting us to the expiration of position. However, if you are interested in any of these positions, please let me know. Democracy requires that all positions be considered open to any qualified resident.

Codified Ordinances Update

This is one of those places where we miss Deborah's knowledge and long history--we missed a deadline a few weeks ago during her illness for American Legal, which is the publisher of our Codified Ordinances. We can work around this, using supplements. I believe Denise will explain the issues at our meeting.


No Rep. Community Council
Lori Askeland Environmental Commission
Lori Askeland Planning/Bike Com/N Gateway
Rick Walkey Village Mediation Program
John Booth Human Relations Commission
Judith Hempfling Energy Task Force
Judith Hempfling Community Resources
Rick Walkey Library Commission
Lori Askeland Reg. Planning Commission-Greene County
Karen Wintrow Cable Advisory Panel
Karen Wintrow Chamber of Commerce
Karen Wintrow Miami Valley Regional Planning
Karen Wintrow Visioning Steering Committee

The next meeting of the Council of the Village of Yellow Springs will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 4, 2009 in Council Chambers, John Bryan Community Center - 100 Dayton Street.

Items for discussion on Monday, January 4, 2009:

Bryan Center Guidelines

X. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: Let me know if you see anything you'd like more info on, or that you'd like to comment on, or whatever!
Village’s Investment Summary/EDRLF Report
Verizon Wireless Update
MVRPC/Going Places/Resolution
Electric /capacity, contracts, capital projects, equipment
Green Space Legislation
Personnel Policy Manual Update
Guidelines for Utility Resolution Dispute Commission
Marking State Route 68 Bikeway
Conservation Easement-Well Fields
Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Calamityville Presentation
Short Street – Park/Gathering Space
Update on Safe Routes to Schools
Budget Sessions
Council’s Goals Session
Council Retreat
Northern Gateway Decision to MVRPC

In the Bleak Mid-Winter, by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

With my skeptical faith and all my heart, I do wish you all a wonderful holiday season, whatever your faith may be--


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