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HomeMy Public PortalAbout19880414CCMeeting1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 The Tybee Island City Council held its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 14, 1988, at 7:30 pm at Tybee City Hall. Mayor Walter W. Parker presided, and the following Councilmembers were present: Chris Solomon, Bill Walsh, Jack Youmans, Jean Davis, John O'Neill, and Paul Jackson. Also present was the City Attorney, Tom Mahoney. A Proclamation was read for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and accepted by Mrs. Linda Turner, local chairman, with support from McDonald's Hamburgler. Mrs. Marianna Seyden presented the Governor's Award to Mayor Parker to be displayed at City Hall. The Tybee Island Beautification Committee won first place in the civic category at the annual event. Lewis Taylor of the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service at Skidaway Island spoke next, inviting everyone to look over the literature he brought, and informing the public of the opening of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center at 1510 Strand. Occupying the space used by the Welcome Center last year will be salt water aquaria and exhibits concerning the coastal sea island environment - a public education project undertaken jointly by the city and the extension service. The city is providing housing and the extension service will provide supervision and training for volunteers. Last year's programs were very successful. They were in two parts - the beach walks and Discovery Talks at City Hall on Saturday nights. This year it is hoped that the programs can both run every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Charles J. Hosti was the first visitor to speak. He spoke about the financial condition of the city, saying that the cost of operations has risen over 50% and that expenses are running $220,000.00 above income. He says property taxes have actually increased, despite the 2 mil tax cut, since evaluations almost doubled. He gave figures for this year to date of: Expenses - $2,178,112. Income - $1,765,189. which he says is $400,000. over income. He predicted that, if operations continue like this, the taxes will have to be raised 6 or 7 mils just to break even. He called the situation "scary" and asked Mayor and Council what they plan to do about this? He also thanked Mrs. Sasser for her recent article and said that Council faces some hard decisions - it's hard to let people go or cut salaries. 1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Two Mayor Parker replied that budget preparation is going on now and that the new budget (FY88/89) will be leaner. He also said that many capital expenditures and one -time expenses have been met in the past two years. Mr. Hosti replied that it was a good thing there was an investment fund on hand, but that it's nearly gone now, adding that some of those funds were earmarked for paying off the new fire engine. Fitz Simmons asked again about the tax break for senior citizens. He spoke of a conversation with Representative Kingston who said that Tybee had failed to send the necessary information to him so that he could get a bill through the General Assembly, and that no further action can be taken until next year. He added that, in view of the city's financial situation, he doubts if this reduction will ever take place. David O'Leary spoke to say that Shipwatch Dunes on Bay Street appear to have barricaded the beach access with logs & debris. Councilman O'Neill replied that if this access needs to be made inaccessible to vehicles it should be done by city signs, etc. and not by a private developer which gives the impression that the beach is private. Faye Lucas spoke to say that the Polk Street right -of -way is definitely a public street. Councilman Youmans remarked that it would be tough to go down it in anything other than a four -wheel drive vehicle. It was noted that vehicles are not allowed on the beach, and that several years ago an illegal vehicle ran over a sunbather in the area. Fred deBorde asked why the City Council hasn't given an explanation to the citizens about why the need for an increase in water /sewer rates. He said he doesn't want to pay some condos share. Tip Harden, Commodore of the hobie fleet asked that the boat launch area be changed due to Spanky's popularity, saying the area 300' north of Center Street is too crowded for safety. He says another fleet, Windsurfers', . has formed, and they want to use the same area as the sailors. He suggested the city make the boating area where no swimming is allowed run 300' south of Center rather than north. He said his prime concern is the safety of swimmers, saying that children often run toward a boat, rather than away from it. He also asked permission to put up signs, such as were used last year. Mayor Parker turned the question over to the Police Committee for their consideration. 1 1 1 Tybee.Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Three Dottie Kluttz spoke to ask if the Police Committee would also look into some way of protecting the dunes in the area. Mayor Parker spoke of a plan to have a wide crossover for boats, with cost - sharing by a nearby development, the fleet, and the city. Fred deBorde complained that someone not a citizen can get a direct answer, and he'd like one, too. Mayor Parker apologized and Mr. deBorde was given a copy of the finance statement, and a memo concerning water /sewer charges by the clerk. Debbie Bennett of Homemaker's Services gave out a packet of information about help for frail, elderly, or families with abused or neglected members. She asked that the city allow $403.04 in its budget to help underwrite these costs for Tybee Islanders who fall into any of the above categories. She says this is estimated to be 15% of the cost of actual services performed here. Councilmember O'Neill, through questions, ascertained that this agency is funded by Medicaid, and that this request is for indigent care not covered by other means. Phil O'Dell questioned why the Welcome Center was relocated, asking whether it wouldn't be better to put it back where it was, rather than in a trailer that has to exist under special variance. Mayor Parker said that the center was moved due to energy costs. Phil O'Dell said the building is filthy and always has been. Mayor Parker said the restrooms had to be locked off during the off- season because of vandalism. Phil O'Dell said time needs to be spent on that problem and on drugs, saying it is possible to purchase any drug on the corner of 16th Street in the middle of the day in front of the children's arcade. He reiterated that a serious drug problem exists. Charles Hosti spoke again to say the city is assuming a new loan for the new water tank. Mrs. Leon Case spoke to say that Waste Management is doing a fine job on this end of the island but what is going to be done about the businesses and piling trash on the streets. She informed Council that Mr. Spirides' lot had been cleaned for three weeks and the dry trash was still there. Someone else had trash stacked for a month. Councilman Solomon suggested that we look at a paper vacuum - he had heard of one that could remove paper, etc. from parking lots and sidewalks. Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Four John Jarvis asked if he would be able to ask questions when Mr. O'Neill makes his report about the meeting with the garbage service company later in the meeting. Mayor Parker indicated that he would, within reason. Mrs. K. Chandler and Mrs. Genevieve O'Connor asked questions as to why their streets were left off the paving. Mayor Parker replied that the state DOT set the final priorities - the city's original list had included all unpaved streets, but the 1% tax money released by the county to the municipalities did not go far enough to allow all to be paved. There was a lengthy discussion of this matter. Craig Sutlive of 10th Street spoke about the heavy traffic the street gets in summer because it is the stomping ground for high school and college students. He said there are children living in the first three homes on the street and the residents had asked him to appear to ask permission to put back the speed breakers that were eliminated some years back. He also complained that the trash service is bad. Alice Martin asked for speed bumps for Miller and Second Street. Dottie Kluttz asked the same for Rosewood. Charlie Kirk spoke about the new ordinance combining the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals, saying he is disappointed in the administration in its stand about the autonomy of the zoning board and asked for votes against the ordinance. Charles Hosti spoke again to request that the Mayor provide him with a list of the capital expenditures made in the past year and asking also that documentation of a half - million dollars' worth of such expenditures be made available to Mrs. Sasser for the Tybee News. Roy Rowell asked if there is an ordinance allowing junk yards. Mayor Parker answered that he doesn't think so, and Mr. Rowell informed all of a junk yard existing in a residential neighborhood near his Marshwinds development, asking why it is allowed to continue. Mayor Parker said that bids are being sought now to contract with some company that will remove and store junk vehicles under the guidelines set down by the state law, saying that the wrecker companies on Tybee don't have the facilities for this. John Jarvis said the owner gave permission for the junk cars to be on that property and asked why they can't be left alone. Jocelyn Kardos, a skater, spoke to ask for a place for kids to skate. r Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Five She was joined by R. Joyner who supported her request, saying that the jogging track was too narrow really, and that a ramp is needed. Councilman Solomon said Officer Aaron had asked him about the use of the jogging track but that the liability is too great for the city to give any such permission, although there is less traffic there. Mayor Parker asked Mr. Solomon to have his committee take care of this request. A public hearing on a petition for rezoning for PIN #4 -04 -02 -002, with frontage on Butler Avenue, was held next. The Mayor announced that the petitioner has requested 30 -days postponement, and that the matter will be continued next month. He offered the opportunity to anyone present who felt they might not be able to come back to the next Council meeting to speak now if they wished. Jimmy Brown was the first speaker. He spoke against allowing the rezoning, saying it would devalue the property immediately behind it on Lovell Avenue, reading a statement about 113 Lovell Avenue, which he owns. Jeanne Hutton spoke to say she is always against rezoning, and saying we have a deteriorated commercial area which should first be refurbished and used. Easy rezoning is taking away the incentive to renew the present business district, leading to blight. Linda Cox said she owned valuable beachfront property nearby and believes commercial development would lower its value. She says the area is residential except for the water tank, and the residents are used to that. Phil O'Dell spoke against, saying we need to renew 16th Street and rejuvenate business in the south end. Mrs. Case spoke to say that there is no stop, light and adding any business there will just increase the traffic hazard. David deBorde asked if the plan is not being presented by a realty, not an individual. He was.informed that a realtor is acting as agent for the owners. Mr. Charles Hosti said he is opposed to the rezoning, as did Mrs. Louise Sasser. Jim Monaghan again asked that the hearing be postponed for a month. The hearing was continued until May 12, 1988. The next zoning hearing concerned text amendments for Code Sections 8- 1- 1/8 -1 -11 and 8 -4- 61/8 -4 -63. Jeanne Hutton spoke to say she had followed this through the planning commission and believes the boards are already political; there is a political overtone to most of the discussion concerning the streamlining of the planning commission. She stated her concern that qualified people who can plan for the future of Tybee Island be appointed. Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Six Fitz Simmons spoke about the Governor's Growth Commission and the creation of a state plan. A hearing is scheduled for May 5th at 2:30 pm. He says the ordinance speaks generally to some of the questions raised at the Task Force level, finishing by saying he thinks we'll be back next year, looking at another similar ordinance. Jim Kluttz spoke in favor, saying also that he believes the boards should be appointed for concurrent terms with the city council since political opposition seems to be the motivating factor on how people stand on most of these issues, and for the past few years, the boards and the council have not agreed. He said he likes the hardship criteria and would like to see similar language in the zoning criteria. The land -use plan, he also said, needs to discourage rezoning. Dottie Kluttz spoke in favor but also asking that members be removed for lack of attendance. Rusty Fleetwood commented that the language may call for definitions to be incorporated into the ordinance. Phil O'Dell said the zoning board of appeals people have a problem with the changes and he believes they spent more time studying the matter than the City Council has. He said there are Councilmembers who regularly miss the agenda meetings and so are not prepared. He also said that he believes in a system of checks and balances. Charles Hosti said he believes in the principle that "if nothing's wrong, don't fix it." He said in his time on the board he has spent as much as two hours advance time studying one case. He said also that there has been very little criticism of this board; giving Council the power would just put the pig on their backs, while the board doesn't have to worry about people getting upset with them. His final appeal was, "Let's not rush this through." Jeanne Hutton said that this has not been rushed, but the reverse, citing two planning commission meetings and coverage in the newspapers since December. Charlie Kirk said the planning commission recommended against taking the power away and City Hall has gone against this recommendation. He asked teh City Council to go with the planning commission recommendation. Betty McLendon questioned Mr. Mahoney, the City Attorney, as to whether certain powers can be delegated. She mentioned a letter on zoning written 1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Seven January 3, 1986, prior to the changes made to the code in 1987. Mr. Mahoney replied that his opinion is "The buck must stop here ", indicated the City Council seats. Mayor Parker spoke to commend both boards for the fine job they have done and are doing, saying the changes are intended only to serve the citizens more effectively. He stated that the City Council has no ulterior motives in assuming this very small area of control, bringing it into compliance with what the city's attorney believes is the intent of the state law. The meeting was opened for business legally presented. - Under old business, the franchise for North Beach concessions was raised. Councilman Solomon questioned whether the high bidder was contacted. The answer was affirmative; the high bidder has not yet gotten back in contact with the city. Councilman Jackson suggested appointing a committee to look into all bids and decide. Councilman Solomon said there is no choice; the high bidder must be offered first refusal. Councilman Youmans said he was somewhat confused by the length of time meant by some bidders, believing some intended to pay rent only for the summer, while others were offering a year - round rent. Councilman Walsh said some bids were withdrawn, including the highest. Mayor Parker said that two were later withdrawn. The North Beach bids were read. Councilman O'Neill said a short length of time - 2 or 3 days - should be stipulated in a letter to the high bidder, so that this won't be drawn out any longer. Councilman Youmans moved, and Councilmember Davis, seconded the motion that the North Beach franchise be offered to the high bidder, an answer to be given within 3 days. If refused, then offered to next highest. The vote was unanimously in favor. Councilman Solomon requested permission to clarify a statement made in last month's minutes. He said his remarks about the Tybee News were not intended as a criticism of the paper, but he still does believe that the city finances, and graphs, should have appeared on an inside page - not on the front. He praised the editor and the Tybee Women's Council for an excellent job, done entirely for the community. He expressed the wish that the paper could high- light the positive, also in the best interests of the community. 1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Eight Bills for the month of March were approved as follows: Police /Parking $ 5,722.12 General Govt. $11,051.26 Tourism $ 1,788.00 Public Works $10,077.94 Sanitation $14,876.53 Water /Sewer $27,143.31 Fire /lst Responder $ 1,544.99 Recreation $ 1,684.70. Councilman O'Neill reported that the majority of the City Council met with the line supervision of Waste Management today to talk about problems with garbage and trash collection. He said the city has made great strides in beautification in recent years, and a consistent trash policy is needed to be sure we don't destroy the effect of beautification by trash cans and dry trash on the streets, especially along Butler Avenue. He said he hopes this policy will be ready in two weeks, and promised another report next month. John Jarvis spoke to say a piece of stove pipe had been left by the garbagemen, and it was explained that government regulations won't allow metal to be collected with garbage. A list of items that can't be picked up by the regular packers is available at City Hall. Councilman O'Neill said that he and Billy Pye hope to use public service workers and public works people to help with trash in isolated spots, and with neighborhood trash piles. Jeanne Hutton spoke to say people continue to put their trash on the curbs, saying she hates to see the city cater to them. They need to be made to break bad habits. Councilman O'Neill said he hopes to be able soon to say that the level of service in sanitation is the same as last year's. Councilmember Davis said that a meeting of the finance committee is called for next week (Mon., or Wed.) and invited all members of Council to participate. Under communications a letter from Chief Al St. Lawrence of the Chatham County Police Department was read, commending TIPD's participation in drug control. Tybee's share of recently seized drug funds amounted to $3,000.00. Mayor Parker said that he will make a request that 16th Street here be given special attention by the drug squad. 1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Nine It was announced that there will be an advertised public hearing on the pier /pavilion at the regular May meeting, by which time the City Council will be briefed so that they can present to the public the possible options the city has, and ask for public input regarding the best course of action. Mayor Parker announced that, through an oversight, the mayor - pro -tem has not been elected formally. Councilmember Davis moved that Councilman Jackson be elected, Councilman O'Neill seconded and the vote was unanimously in favor. Mayor Parker commended the action, saying that the tradition here is that the highest vote - getter be offered this position, and that Councilman Jackson has won the most votes in the past two elections, and has done a good job filling in when he (Mayor Parker) has been absent from the city. Burt Barrett, Sr. was nominated by Mayor Parker for the position of Zoning Administrator, and Nancy Anderson and Donald Cowart for positions on the Recreation Board. Councilman Solomon moved these appointments be confirmed, Councilmember Davis seconded and the vote was unanimously in favor. Councilmember Davis informed Council that she is recommending, on advice of the accounting department, that the city go to 26, rather than 52, pay periods per year. The purpose of the change is to save time in the accounting department, increase efficiency and reduce costs. This will also free time for accounting department personnel to begin training in preparation for Mrs. Cary's planned retirement. Since the payroll change would involve computer programming changes, if approved now it would not begin before May llth at the earliest, thus giving ample warning to the employees. She moved the change be made, Councilman Solomon seconded. During discussion Councilman Solomon said this would also free time for supervisory personnel in the departments who have to prepare time sheets, etc. Councilman Youmans asked if it would affect federal withholding taxes, and Councilmember Davis answered, "Not at all." Jim Lynes, Meter Supervisor, said employees need time to prepare for the change. Councilmember Davis answered that they'd have almost a month if the change began on May llth. The vote was 5 - 1 with Councilman Youmans voting against. Councilman Walsh said the water /sewer committee has put a lot of time into the proposed changes in the water /sewer rate schedule which he presented. He said the reason for the increase is budgetary in nature. 1 1 Tybee Island, Georgia April 14, 1988 Page Ten He explained that it is costing more to run the department, that old water lines are constantly being replaced, and other improvements are needed. He read Code Section 6- 3 -1(b), and moved its adoption. Councilman Jackson seconded. Addition of "by the city" after "removal of water meter" was suggested by Councilman Solomon, and accepted by consensus of the group. The vote was then unanimously in favor. The second reading will be held next month. Code Section 6- 3 -1(c) was then read by Councilman Walsh, who said the total change is +30Q per gallon pumped. He then moved adoption of this ordinance, Councilman Jackson seconded and the vote was unanimously in favor. Jim Lynes questioned whether churches get free water, and the answer was "yes ", if they're not metered. Rusty Fleetwood asked how many gallons are allowed on the base charge - the answer was "None." He asked if the city has considered conservation of water by higher charges. Mayor Parker answered that the larger users are those whose base rates are being increased, i.e., motels, hotels, campgrounds and nursing homes, and he didn't believe conservation would be served by raising the rates for high usage, since usage for these businesses is controlled by rate of vacancy. The vote was 6 - 0. The second reading will be held at the May meeting, so as to give the community ample time to realize the rate change is being considered. Code Sections 8- 1- 1/8 -1 -11 were read by the City Attorney. Councilman Jackson moved adoption; Councilman Walsh seconded and the vote was unanimously in favor, after incorporating a change suggested by Councilman Solomon that the terms of office be reduced to two years, and the terms staggered. He also offered a change regarding attendance, which the Council decided not to incorporate. Second Reading is scheduled for the next regular meeting. Article F of the code was read, and the repealer was accepted on First Reading by unanimous vote, with motion & second made by Councilmen Walsh and Youmans, respectively. The new Code Sections 8 -4- 61/8 -4 -64 (Art.F) were accepted on 1st Reading by motion of Councilman Jackson, with second by Councilman O'Neill, accepted without dissenting vote. Second Reading will be n May, at the next regular meeting. The meetin: was adjourned. gki4,1Li. LOA. A .r.- ERR OF ' OUNC L P R O C L A M A T I O N WHEREAS, dread childhood diseases are killing many thousands of children each year,' and WHEREAS, only medical research provides hope of discovering the still unknown causes of leukemia and other childhood cancers, rare blood diseases and other illnesses that strike our young, and WHEREAS, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded by Danny Thomas, is the only research center in America devoted solely to basic and clinical research in these catastropic disease areas, and WHEREAS, this institution is leading the way to new treatment procedures that have greatly increases the rate of survival, and WHEREAS, St. Jude Children Research Hospital depends upon public support to continue this vital work; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Walter W. Parker, by virture of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Tybee Island, do hereby proclaim April 9th, 1988 as ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL DAY IN Tybee Island, Georgia, and I urge all citizens, schools, churches, business establishments, labor unions, and scientific, social, civic and fraternal organ- izations to give this worthwhile project their support and cooperation. CLERK OF COUNCIL IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Great Seal of the City of Tybee Island to be affixed at Tybee Island this 9th day of April, 1988 A.D. Mayor JOHN F. M. RANITZ. JR. • THOMAS J. MAHONEY. JR. (GA & 5.C.1 MORTON G. FORBES HERMANN W. COOUDGE, JR. THOMAS H. GIGNILLIAT (COUNSEL • SUSAN G. HERRING BIRNEY O'BRIAN BULL JOHN M. CULLUM CATHERINE EI McKENZIE • REPLY SOUTHSIDE OFFICE LAW OFFICES RANITZ, MAHONEY, FORBES & COOLIDGE, P.C. 110 EAST OGLETHORPE AVENUE POST OFFICE BOX 786 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31402 TELEPHONE 912/233 -7961 TELEX 510 - 601 -4053 RMFC SAV UQ March 23, 1988 Honorable Walter W. Parker Mayor, City of Tybee Island Post Office Box 128 Tybee Island, Georgia 31328 Dear Mayor Parker: DENNIS PIERCE (1906 - 19791 SOUTHSIDE OFFICE 7505 WATERS AVENUE SUITE C -I 1 POST OFFICE BOX 13711 SAVANNAH, GEOROIA 31416 TELEPHONE 354 -1132 Enclosed please find the original of the Amended and Restated Non - Exclusive Easement Agreement dated March 1, 1988, by and between the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission as Grantor, and the City of Tybee Island as Grantee. This document conveys an easement over certain State -owned property located in Chatham County as shown on the map attached and relative to the sight of the proposed Pier and Pavilion. This Easement was filed for record by us in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Chatham County on March 7, 1988, and it was recorded on that date in Record Book 137 -0, Folio 521. We are delivering it to you to be lodged with the Official Papers of the City of Tybee Island, Georgia. We are also enclosing our statement for reimbursement of the recording and photocopy expense incurred in this matter. With best personal regards, I am TJMjr /dml Enclosures Respectfully, THOMAS J. MAHONEY, JR. City Attorney