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Last Published: 12/8/2006 1:01:15 PM
Upon Roll Call the following members were present:
Excused:1 - BECKY NACE

Approving and authorizing settlement of a claim on a workers´ compensation case filed by Andrew Matthews for injuries resulting from an accident on February 17, 2000, while employed by the City.

This item was discussed in closed session as a legal matter.
Ayes: 3 - Asjes, Danaher, Brooks
Nays: 0

Reducing the Contingent Appropriation in the General Fund by the sum of $750,000.00 and transferring it into the Motor Fuel Tax Fund for snow and ice removal.

Jere Meredith, Public Works, to transfer money from contingency fund to pay for motor fuel from storms in January and February 2002. Mr. Asjes talked about figuring how much money would be needed once FEMA money has been approved.
Ayes: 3 - Asjes, Danaher, Brooks
Nays: 0

Estimating revenue in the amount of $95,707.00 in the Capital Improvements Fund; appropriating it to the Police Property Building account of the Capital Improvements Fund; designating requisitioning authority; and authorizing the Director of Finance to close the project account upon completion of the project and return the unspent portion to the Fund Balance from which it came.

Public testimony (via e-mail) was read into record by the committee secretary. A copy of e-mail is on file in the City Clerk's office. No other testimony was given.
Ayes: 3 - Asjes, Danaher, Brooks
Nays: 0

Estimating revenue in the amount of $17,737.00 in the Recoveries of Prior Year Expenditures/Encumbrances account of the General Fund; appropriating it to the LUT1 - CDC-Northland account; designating requisitioning authority; and authorizing a $17,737.00 contract amendment with Northland Neighborhoods, Inc., for funds for support services.

Northland Neighborhood Inc, representative William St. Vincent asked for a continuation of money. Three purposes for the money include: Minor home repairs, continued involvement with police and fire departments in the neighborhood using the FOCUS center and expand the neighborhood assistance programs.
Ayes: 3 - Asjes, Danaher, Brooks
Nays: 0

Accepting and approving a Kansas City Government Optimization (KC-GO) Competitive Plan Agreement between the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager and the management team and associates of the Water Services Department.

Rich Noll, Assistant City Manager, talked about the ordinance that dealt with the competitive plan agreement for Kansas City Water Services Department competitive business plan. The plan was presented to the mayor and council in December. He highlighted the key components of the plan agreement. Gurnie Gunter, Director of Water Services, also gave testimony concerning the agreement. Councilman Paul Danaher asked for a copy of the agreement to review before voting on this item. Councilman Asjes asked if it would be okay to hold the item one week to give the committee a change to look over the agreement material.

Amending Chapter 2 of the Code of Ordinances by repealing Section 2-1401 and enacting in its place a new section, reducing the number of divisions of the municipal court.

Because this ordinance was re-referred to Finance and Audit from the Operations Committee it will be a Do Pass as a Third Reading instead of an Advance. Councilman Paul Danaher stated that the reason for the ordinance was to help save money that could be added to the budget deficit. He stated that the savings would be realized at over $200,000. per year. Councilman Alvin Brooks spoke against reducing the number of judges to Municipal Court. According to Mr. Brooks the issue of public safety also included the court system - the right to a speedy trial. David Hunker, Office of Management & Budget, stated that the judgeship position had already been included in the 2002-03 budget. Judge John B. Williams, Municipal Court Judge, spoke against passage of the ordinance. He talked about the potential problems of more miscommunication between defendants, attorneys and the police department. Also more misdocketing of cases and longer delays because all parties might not be available at a particular time. The lack of speedy resolution of cases was discussed. The bond forfeiture hearings would be all but eliminated thereby reducing the money collected by the courts. He stated that the loss of revenue from bond forfeiture would be greater than the savings of the vacant position. It would be millions of dollars versus thousands. Bob Welch, Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Sugar Creek, spoke against the ordinance. He spoke as an attorney who had worked with the municipal court system in Kansas City. He expressed concerns about delays and possible dismissal of charges against defendants because of docketing conflicts and lack of witness participation. Several additional attorneys spoke against passage of the ordinance. They included J. Marting Kerr,attorney and Pat McClausey, attorney with Shock Hardy and Bacon. Municipal Court Judge Mike McAdam also spoke against the ordinance. He was concerned with caseloads. The division of assignments also requires a judge to handle housing court. That reduces the amount of court time to hear cases. He agreed with Judge Williams assessment of delays and loss revenues with the reduction of the judgeship position. Councilman Ed Ford spoke against passage of this ordinance. He was concerned with public safety and cases handled. Serious crimes are being heard and tried in municipal court along with minor offenses and traffic violations. These serious cases take time to resolve. Councilman Danaher said he differed on the assumption that the caseloads would suffer time wise. He talked about free time periods on judge's dockets presented to the committee for review. He asked that the judges use some creative thinking to work through the reduction of judge positions. Councilman Evert Asjes stated that he would introduce a resolution that required the committee and council to look at this situation next year. He agreed to vote on this item with the stipulation that there would be an evaluation of the municipal court system within this next year.
Ayes: 2 - Asjes, Danaher
Nays: 1 - Brooks
 Staff from the Offices of the City Manager, Health Department, Fire Department, Law Department, MAST and Police Department will present an ARTS Report regarding "EMS System". Staff from the City Auditor's Office will present an ARTS Report regarding "Housing Policy". There will be a closed session to discuss a Legal Matter pursuant to RSMO. 610.021(1).