RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL
CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON
Fireplace Room, 625 Halleck Street
Monday, February 06, 2012, 12:00 PM
Book: 66, Page: 1
Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Terry Bornemann
Jack Weiss, Council Member, First Ward
Also in attendance:
Mayor Kelli Linville
Facilitator: Linda Storck
Staff: Joan Hoisington
Gene Knutson, Council Member, Second Ward
Cathy Lehman, Council Member, Third Ward
Stan Snapp, Council Member, Fourth Ward
Terry Bornemann, Council Member, Fifth Ward
Michael Lilliquist, Council Member, Sixth Ward
Seth Fleetwood, Council Member, At Large
President Terry Bornemann & Mayor Kelli Linville welcomed attendees and reviewed the agenda.
Ms. Storck led an informal discussion regarding communication between the Council, Mayor and City staff. Mayor Linville explained the new structure of the Mayor’s staff and her open door policy for Council Members. She stated her preference for Council Members to come to her first with new ideas or significant concerns.
Financial Review to Council
John Carter reviewed his handout regarding the current state of the City’s finances. Mayor Linville announced she will be bringing forward a proposal that the City move to a biennial budget.
Process for addressing Council’s initiatives
Ms. Storck led an informal discussion of preferred work planning process for Council Members so that it works with the staff work plans and budget. Members submitted individual lists of the programs she/he was interested in pursuing. Mayor Linville answered questions and addressed concerns related to Council’s expectations and experiences with past administrations. She reiterated her desire to create more open communication between the Mayor and Council Members through regularly scheduled one-on-one standing meetings and again invited Members to contact her directly whenever they may have an idea or concern of much significance.
Council office issues
1) Policy Analyst Projects
Mark Gardner reviewed projects which have been completed and the status of current projects. He reported that he has time to take on some additional work at the direction of the Council.
Mr. Bornemann proposed an assignment to research other Cities’ approach to addressing graffiti. There was agreement and unanimous consent to assign this as a project. Mr. Weiss proposed an assignment to research a heritage tree and clear cutting ordinance. There was agreement and unanimous consent.
Ms. Lehman suggested research related to revenue generating programs used by other cities. There was general agreement.
Mr. Weiss requested researching the possibilities and benefits of creating a utility district in Bellingham. Mr. Weiss noted that this was being initiated in Jefferson County. Mr. Lilliquist suggested tying it into the conversion of the outfall to hydropower at the GP site. There was discussion of previous study done of this issue. It was agreed that this project could be assigned to Mr. Gardner.
Mr. Weiss also asked for a heritage tree and clear cutting ordinance. He noted there has been clear cutting of land for projects that were never built. It was approved by unanimous consent to add the research project to the Policy Analyst’s projects.
A special meeting of Council Members was set for Monday, February 27, 10:00 - 12:00, to review and refine the remaining lists of Members’ proposed projects in preparation for a Council-Mayor-Department Head retreat in the Spring.
2) Council Travel Budget
Terry Bornemann reviewed the Council Office travel budget for 2012, which is clearly insufficient. Ms. Lehman has attended two conferences and, with permission, has already exceeded her travel allowance. Additionally, there were Members last year who overspent the travel allowance while others used no funds at all. Brian Henshaw, Budget Manager, was consulted about the possibility of increasing Council’s travel budget. He informed Stan Snapp that the funds reside in the General Fund and that a modest increase would not be any cause for concern given that the Council Office budget is very small compared to larger Departments.
Members agreed it is important to have the opportunity to pursue information and education regarding vital city business. It is also important that an increase in the Council’s budget must be a transparent process. After discussion, Members agreed to increase the travel allowance from $2,000 to $7,000.
At 5:29 the meeting was continued at dinner for an unstructured discussion of City operations, Municipal legislative process and the ideas and goals of the new administration.
There being no further business. The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 PM
Terry Bornemann, Council President
ATTEST: J. Lynne Walker, Executive Assistant to the Bellingham City Council
J. Lynne Walker
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