2016-03-15 Council Minutes

MINUTES

HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016

Call to Order: Council met in regular session on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.

Silent Meditation and Pledge of Allegiance: A silent moment was taken followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-present; Gavio-present; Mope-present; Sosar-present; Mundie-present

Minutes of Previous Meetings: The minutes of the February 2, 2016 Regular Meeting were approved 4-1 with Cuozzo voting no.

Proclamations/Communications: None.

Courtesy of the Floor: Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton commented on Ordinance 2016-7. He is happy that more money is being put into street improvements and site clearance. He asked why there are no appointments to the Vacant Property Committee on the agenda. Rabo also asked if there is a towing policy in place. He said he agrees with Ordinance 2016-8 regarding handicapped parking. He believes more than two handicapped parking spots should be allowed per block.

                                                                                                                                                           

Old Business:

ORDINANCES

None.

                                                                                                                                                           

RESOLUTIONS

None.

                                                                                                                                                           

New Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2016-7        An Ordinance Amending the Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2016 (1st Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2016-8              Amending Ordinance 2006-25 Regulating the Issuance of Handicapped Parking Spaces and Signs, Providing for Application Review and Procedures for Issuance of Handicapped Parking Spaces and Signs, and Renewal of Handicapped Parking Spaces and Signs in the City of Hazleton (1st Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

                                                                                                                                                           

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2016-41            Appointment to the Hazleton Housing Authority – Anthony Columbo

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

On the Question:

Attorney Logsdon asked Council to table Resolutions 2016-41 to 44 and 2016-48 to 52. He is waiting to receive a legal opinion from labor counsel. He stated all current members of these authorities, boards and commissions will remain “status quo” until changed.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-42            Appointment to the Hazleton Housing Authority – Ann Marie Kaschak

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-43            Appointment to the Planning Commission – Anne Vinatieri

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-44            Appointment to the Zoning Hearing Board – Rocco Formica

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-45            Authorization to Apply for Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Grant for Altmiller Park Basketball Courts

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-46            Resolution Approving Deed of Easement

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Gavio.

On the Question:

Cuozzo asked for an explanation regarding this matter. Krista Schneider of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress said a Resolution was passed by Council in January approving the easement. The easement if 15 feet for pedestrian access and a ramp on the west side of the City Arts Center. Cuozzo asked how this affects the City. Schneider said there is no negative affect to the City and the City will still retain ownership of the piece of land.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-47            A Resolution Amending the Hazleton Police Department’s Towing Service Requirements

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Attorney Logsdon asked Council to table this Resolution because he has some concerns with it. Cuozzo said she is abstaining from voting on this Resolution because she may be involved with a lawsuit against the City regarding a towing matter.


Motion to Table:

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-abstain; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED 4-1 (YESSES-4; ABSTAIN-1)

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Resolution 2016-48            Reappointment to the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Board – Joseph “Sarge” Heintz

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-49            Reappointment to the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Board – Edward Awdakimow

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-50            Reappointment to the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Board – Roman J. Baran

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-51            Reappointment to the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Board – Andy Mhley

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-52            Reappointment to the Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Board – Jim Sabatella

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table): Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION TABLED UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2016-53            Authorizing the Director of Administration to Adjust Records – Refund of 2011 and 2012 City Real Estate Taxes

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Gavio.

Roll Call: Cuozzo-yes; Gavio-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

                                                                                                                                                           

Comments from the Audience: Sylvia Thomas, 823 North Church Street, Hazleton said she was disappointed that the Chief of Police was not at the Northwest Crime Watch meeting. She said people are disgusted with everything and are no longer going to crime watch meetings or Council meetings. Council and the Mayor need to start working together and respecting each other. She asked Council and the Mayor to make sure they check with the Solicitor first before proceeding with any type of legislation. Thomas said Hazleton needs more police officers. She felt charging the owners of vacant and blighted properties a fee was a good idea.

Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton asked about the status of the ordinances addressing the vacant and blighted properties in the City. Sosar said he met with the Mayor and they agreed on some things and disagreed on others. He said further research needs to be done on this matter before moving forward. Rabo said a land value tax is a good long-term proposal. It allows for investment in neighborhoods and takes some of the weight of taxes off of the homeowners. Rabo suggested the City do a feasibility study on this. He felt this would bring in more revenue. He said some of the committees in the City are not addressed under Municipal Law.

Comments from Mayor: None.

Comments from Junior Council: None.

Comments from Council: Cuozzo asked the Mayor to consider staggering the terms of the appointments to the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board.

Gavio thanked everyone for coming.

Sosar said he is currently researching the land value tax and its effects on the City. He said his meeting with the Mayor this past week went well. He said most people are willing to contribute funds in order to have more police coverage. He suggested sending a bill to everyone and having that amount go directly to the police department for more police officer. Sosar thanked the Water Authority and said they are trying to do what is best for the City and its residents.

Mope thanked everyone for coming and she wished everyone a Happy St. Patricks’ Day and a Happy Easter.

Mundie said he would like to see the Water Authority put something on its bills to collect money for more police officers. He suggested also asking Berkheimer Tax Administrators about this. He wished everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a Happy Easter.

Adjournment: Mundie motioned to adjourn the meeting with Mope seconding the motion. Meeting adjourned.

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