The City Council meeting originally scheduled for February 13, 2007 was postponed until February 15, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., due to inclement weather.
1. Calling the Roll.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Euille, and the City Clerk called the roll; all the members of Council were present.
2. Moment of Silence and Pledge of Allegiance.
City Council observed a moment of silence and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Reading and Acting Upon the Minutes of the Following Meetings of City Council:
(a) The Public Hearing Meeting Minutes of January 20, 2007; and
(b) The Regular Meeting Minutes of January 23, 2007.
City Council approved the public hearing meeting minutes of January 20, 2007 and the regular meeting minutes of January 23, 2007.
RECOGNITION OF YOUTH BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
4. Presentation of a Proclamation Recognizing Gladys H. Davis' 60 Years of Service to the Alexandria Library.
The proclamation was presented at an event earlier in the day.
5. Presentation of a Proclamation Recognizing the Work of the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center Staff.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
6. Presentation of a Proclamation Recognizing Ricardo Drumond, with the Department of Human Services, as City Employee of the Month for February.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
7. Recommendations and Status Report on Legislation Introduced at the 2007 General Assembly Session.
City Council approved the legislative positions included in attachment 1 (recommended positions on bills of importance to the City) as recommended by City Council's Legislative Subcommittee (Mayor Euille and Councilman Smedberg.)
8. Presentation of the Proposed Annual Operating Budget for FY 2008 (Including Schools,) Calendar Year 2007 Real Property Assessments, and the Proposed Capital Improvements Program for FY 2008-2013 (including the Schools CIP.)
The City Manager presented the proposed annual operating budget for FY 2008, calendar year 2007 real property assessments, and the proposed Capital Improvement Program for FY 2008-2013.
9. Receipt of the Calendar Year 2007 Real Property Assessment Information.
Council was provided with the 2007 real property assessment information.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER
CONSENT CALENDAR (10-14)
(Resignations and Uncontested Appointments)
10. Receipt of the Following Resignations From Members of Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals
Mary S. Lyman
(b) Alexandria Commission on Aging
Merry Dawson Bown
(c) Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS
(d) Historic Alexandria Resources Commission
Charles H. Nelson, Sr.
11. Uncontested Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee
1 Representative From the Alexandria Sister Cities
(b) Alexandria-Gyumri Sister Cities Committee
1 Citizen Member
(c) Alexandria Beautification Commission
2 Citizen Members
(d) Alexandria Commission on Employment
(e) Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS
1 Member From and Representing An HIV/AIDS Service
1 Member From and Representing the Northern Virginia
AIDS Ministry (NOVAM)
(f) Alexandria Early Childhood Commission
(g) Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission
1 Member From the Field of Urban Planning
(h) Alexandria George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee
1 Citizen Member
(i) Alexandria Human Rights Commission
1 Representative From the Alexandria Commission on
Persons With Disabilities
(j) Alexandria Library Board
2 Citizen Members
(k) Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission
1 Member From Planning District II
1 Member From Planning District III
(l) Alexandria Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee
1 Citizen Representing the Potomac East Area (Northeast
and Inner City)
(m) Alexandria Sister Cities Committee
2 Citizen Members
(n) Alexandria Youth Policy Commission
1 Member of the Alexandria City School Board’s
(o) Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Inc. (AEDP)
1 At-Large Member
(Reports and Recommendations of the City Manager)
12. Consideration of a Grant Application in the Amount of $7,500 to the Family and Children's Trust Fund For a One Year Project to Enhance Youth Community Education Services.
13. Consideration of Authorization of Grant Application in the Amount of $5,000 to the Alexandria Rotary Club For a One Year Project to Enhance Youth Community Education Services.
(Ordinances for Introduction)
14. Introduction and First Reading. Consideration. Passage on First Reading of an Ordinance to Make Clarifying Amendments to the City's Recycling Regulations.
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR
City Council approved the consent calendar, with the exception of docket items #11(o), 12 and 13, which were considered under separate motions. The City Manager's recommendations were as follows:
10. City Council accepted the following resignations with regret: (a) Mary S. Lyman, Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals; (b) Merry Dawson Bown, Alexandria Commission on Aging; (c) Chanel Johnson, Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS; and (d) Charles H. Nelson, Sr., Historic Alexandria Resources Commission.
11. City Council made the following appointments: (a) reappointed Jacqueline Manley as the representative from the Alexandria Sister Cities Committee to the Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee; (b) reappointed Samuel Gyulnazarian as the citizen member to the Alexandria-Gyumri Sister City Committee; (c) reappointed Jennifer Pugh and Mary Seith as the two citizen members to the Alexandria Beautification Commission; (d) reappointed Martin Kormanik as the citizen-at-large to the Alexandria Commission on Employment; (e) waived the residency requirement and appointed Tomas Cabrera as the member from and representing an HIV/AIDS service organization and waived residency requirement and appointed Steven Hazel as the member from and representing the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry (NOVAM) to the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS; (f) reappointed Carol Freeman as the member-at-large to the Alexandria Early Childhood Commission; (g) reappointed Carol Braegelmann as the member from the field of Urban Planning to the Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission; (h) reappointed Anne Haynes as the citizen member to the Alexandria George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee; (i) reappointed Chester Avery as the representative from the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) to the Alexandria Human Rights Commission; (j) reappointed Louise Forstall and Brooke Stoddard as the two citizen members to the Alexandria Library Board; (k) appointed Robert Moir as the member from Planning District II and reappointed Kaj Vetter as the member from Planning District III to the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission; (l) reappointed Teri Webster as the citizen representing the Potomac East Area (Northeast and Inner City) to the Alexandria Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee; (m) reappointed Matthew Mueda and William Philipp as the two citizen members to the Alexandria Sister Cities Committee; (n) appointed John Chapman as the member of the Alexandria City School Board's Advisory Committees to the Alexandria Youth Policy Commission; and (o) appointed Barbara Bennett as the at-large member to the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Inc. (AEDP) (separate motion).
12. City Council authorized the grant application to the Family and Children's Trust Fund in the amount of $7,500 and authorized the City Manager to execute all necessary documents. (separate motion)
13. City Council authorized the grant application to the Alexandria Rotary Club in the amount of $5,000 and authorized the City Manager to execute all necessary documents. (separate motion)
14. City Council passed the ordinance on first reading and set it for public hearing and second reading on Saturday, February 24, 2007.
15. Alexandria Commission for the Arts
1 Member Who Represents the Public-at-Large As An Arts
Consumer and Participant
City Council appointed Margaret Wohler as the member who represents the public-at-large as an arts consumer and participant to the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.
16. Alexandria Emergency Medical Services Council
2 Citizen Members
City Council appointed Pamela Copley and Robert Rapanut as the two citizen members to the Alexandria Emergency Medical Services Council.
17. Alexandria Law Library Board
1 Citizen Member
City Council appointed William Campbell as the citizen member to the Alexandria Law Library.
18. Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee
1 Citizen Member
City Council appointed Sarah Conrad as the citizen member to the Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER FOR DISCUSSION
19. Consideration of Appointment of an Alexandria Poet Laureate.
City Council: (1) appointed Mary McElveen as the City of Alexandria's Poet Laureate based on the recommendation of the panel of judges; (2) at the City Council meeting on April 10 during National Poetry Month plan to issue a proclamation (to include a poem by the Poet Laureate); (3) authorized the City Manager to execute a letter of agreement to Mary McElveen to serve as the Alexandria Poet Laureate from March 1, 2007 through March 1, 2010; and (4) expressed sincere appreciation to the members of the Alexandria Poet Laureate's Panel of Judges and Steering Committee for their efforts and request that the Panel of Judges and Steering Committee remain in place to act as an advisory body for the Alexandria Poet Laureate.
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(Vice Mayor Macdonald left the meeting at this time - 8:32 p.m.)
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20. Consideration of Recommended Interim Location and License Agreement Revisions for the Proposed Alexandria Water Shuttle Service.
City Council received the revised report approving a revised license agreement (attachment I) between the Potomac Riverboat Company (PRBC) and the City, and schedule it for public hearing and consideration on Saturday, February 24, 2007.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
(The following two items were heard together)
ORAL REPORTS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
ORAL PRESENTATIONS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
(a) Councilman Smedberg said the Alexandria Inova Hospital Task Force met a week and a half ago and one of the issues on the agenda was the hospital is looking at a review of its pediatric unit and wanted to make sure the City Manager and Deputy City Manager was aware of it and they will be monitoring it.
(b) Councilman Smedberg said at the Virginia Municipal League Day in Richmond, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission participated in the joint press conference of the Northern Virginia delegations on transportation issues and he thought it went very well. He said it was a big step for the group, particularly NVRC, where all the groups are cooperating on those issues.
Councilwoman Pepper said there is a good conversation that will be held about possibly closing the pediatric unit at Inova Alexandria Hospital, and if it is closed, that would mean two departments that are very important to the City and to the hospital, and it means they are not a community hospital, but are part of the Fairfax Inova Health System. She said she hoped there would be a major effort by staff and the representatives on the Board to protect that pediatric clinic.
(c) Councilwoman Pepper said Philadelphia is looking at having rubber sidewalks and Chicago has some already. She said that years ago, she made the effort of trying to get the City to consider having the entrance to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge rubberized to cut down on the amount of noise that the neighborhood would be experiencing. She said they use recycled tires and they don't crack and last longer than concrete. She asked if the City could look into it.
Director of Transportation and Environmental Services Baier said the Woodrow Wilson Bridge did install whisper concrete, which is a branded name for a type of pavement to reduce noise, and they are looking at information on rubber sidewalks and said there is a 3-4 times cost difference.
Councilwoman Pepper asked that they look into the maintenance when it looks into the cost.
(d) Councilwoman Pepper said T.C. Williams is offering the opportunity, since they are having a new school and a new auditorium, to buy plaques to put on the back of the seats in the auditorium, and they are $200 each. The number to call is 703 824-6635.
(e) Councilwoman Pepper said she and Councilman Smedberg sit on the committee that monitors the activities of the Mirant Plant. She said they met February 6 and there were two different reports given, and one came from Health Department Director Dr. Konigsberg, who had written to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a Federal agency, and asked for their input. She said the Agency had found that there was a serious issue, they needed more information before they called it a hazard to everyone's health, but felt it was severe enough that they ought to be out there educating the vulnerable populations. She said it was said that the evidence suggested that even a short-term exposure could have a major impact. In addition to that, she said, Rebecca Baskum, a professor at Penn State University, who reviewed the Eastman Environmental Services Report and found that the Eastman Report showed that coal, soot, fly-ash, coal-ash and coal-dust is pervasive in the communities around the Mirant and the particles they had tested inside and outside residences were coming from the coal that is found at the Mirant Plant. She said they are using the reports as they pursue the efforts to close down the Mirant Plant.
(f) Councilwoman Pepper said there were a couple of editorials in the Washington Post where the person writing was saying that the problem with Carlyle was that it is dead and there is a reason for that - there is no place to park. She said there have been articles recently about why the area around the Patent and Trademark Office are so dark and dead, and this is apparently one of the answers, and she said they need to be looking into that. She said the public parking does not seem to be adequate.
Mayor Euille said on the PTO and Carlyle area, they have had discussions recently as a Council in terms of the lack of retail and lack of vibrancy and that is being reviewed and worked on. He said he is a member of the Marketing Committee and he was able to get the Committee to take it on as a side task, since most of the representation of the Committee are members of retail establishments throughout the City. He said they will spend the next three months focusing their attention solely on what it needs to do to improve the quality of life and vitality there.
(g) Councilman Smedberg said he wanted to compliment and say thank you to the Parks and Recreation Department for trimming the trees on the Monroe Avenue Bridge and made them look like real trees.
(h) Councilman Gaines said as the new Charles Houston Center project came before Council, Council expressed desire that it incorporate elements of public art. He said the Public Arts Committee of the Commission for the Arts, as well as City staff have had a number of meetings on the topic and have set forth a prospective that they look forward to sharing with Council. It is a prospective modeled after the Rocky Versace memorial at Mt. Vernon and covers a number of elements including budgeting and funding, which would be grants and private donations, the selection process, the selection panel, including the community in the selection process, as well as a project timeline. He said more specifics are to come.
(i) Mayor Euille said he has appointed a workgroup to review the election process for both Council and the School Board, and he has appointed the following citizens to serve on the committee to review the election process, to include: moving elections from May (spring) to November (fall), consider staggered terms versus all at one time, and compensation comparability to others in the region, and has appointed: Lynwood Campbell, Christopher Campagna, Honorable Robert Calhoun, Anna Leider, Iris Henley, and the Honorable Bill Cleveland. The committee will report the recommendations to the Mayor and Council for review and consideration no later than June 30, 2007. The timetable is if there is a need for Council to make it part of their legislative package, the change from electing all at one time to staggered terms requires a charter amendment, and moving the election from May to November is something they can do now. He said on the issue of compensation comparability, Alexandria used to be in the middle but is now at the tail end of compensation and they had agreed that they would review it once every three years.
(j) Mayor Euille said the second committee is the President Gerald Ford Memorial Committee, the purpose of which is to see how to memorialize former President Gerald Ford, who was a thirty-plus year resident of the City. He said he has appointed David Speck, Ferdinand Day, Pat Troy, Jessica Gibson and Donnie Wintermute to the Committee. He said the committee will report their recommendations to the Mayor, at which time appropriate action by Council and the Naming Committee will commence.
(k) Mayor Euille noted the award given to the City as being selected as one of America's Best Communities for Young People by the National Child Advocacy Group, which is a group founded by Colin Powell and America's Promise Alliance. He said Alexandria received the award because of its strong partnership that it built with City agencies, the Alexandria City Public Schools, and several non-profits, including the Campagna Center, the Urban League and the Art League, and it also made mention of the success of the Project Discovery Initiative. He said there will be a reception March 27 and they have extended an invitation to Mrs. Alma Powell, Colin Powell's wife, who is the current America's Promise chair.
(l) Mayor Euille said many have already received from the City Attorney a draft proposal to consider a smoking ban in bars and restaurants in the City, and while there is legislation pending in Richmond, both a House and Senate version, he thought it was time to address the matter. He thanked Mr. Pessoa, Ms. Evans, and Mr. Caton for participating in helping to draft the language. He said the intent tonight is to gauge Council feelings on if it is a matter to move forward, and if so, they will formally ask the staff to docket it for a future legislative meeting to be received for first reading, go through the steps for a public hearing, and since it is a special use permit, the Planning Commission must first weigh in on it. He said it is an opportunity to get it out in the public and act at the appropriate time. Mayor Euille said he asked the Governor while in Richmond several weeks ago at VML day if a smoking ban bill hit his desk, would he sign it and he said yes, so they know there is support from the Governor's office to do so. More recently, since the draft, however, he has spoken to restaurateurs in the City and there is broad-based support from many of the restaurateurs who in the past were skeptical about it. He said he outlined to them under the special use permit process and what it says is that if they are an already existing restaurant, they are grandfathered in and any new restaurants would have to comply in the special use permit process and if an existing restaurant made any changes to operations which required a special use permit, then they would have to come in and it would be made mandatory. He said the feedback he received from the restaurateurs is it should be made mandatory for all restaurants, as they can all live with it. Mayor Euille said he felt this was a move in the right direction and the City can send a strong message throughout Northern Virginia and state-wide. He said if there is support tonight, it would be docketed and brought back at a later date.
(There was consensus for Council to bring this forward.)
ORAL REPORT FROM THE CITY MANAGER
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
21. Consideration of a Resolution Adopting the Northern Virginia Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
City Council approved the resolution adopting the Northern Virginia Regional Mitigation Plan as amended and authorized the Mayor to execute all necessary document that may be required. (RES. NO. 2217)
22. Consideration of City Council Schedule.
City Council adopted the City Council schedule for the months of February 2007 through June 2007 with the following additions and changes: schedule a work session with the Transportation Task Force at 5:30 p.m. before Council's Tuesday, March 13 legislative meeting; hold a reception in recognition of the City's selection as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in America's Promise at 6:00 p.m. before Council's Tuesday, March 27 legislative meeting in the Vola Lawson Lobby; schedule an added budget work session to receive the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee's (BFAAC) comments on the proposed budget at 7:00 p.m. in the Sister Cities Conference Room on Wednesday, April 18 and received the revised calendar which includes: the welcoming ceremony for the USS Alexandria on Friday, February 16 at 4:00 p.m. in the Sister Cities Conference Room, Room 1101; the City's Days of Remembrance program at noon on Wednesday, April 18 at Market Square; the annual City Employee Service Awards on Thursday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lee Center Exhibit Hall, 1108 Jefferson Street; and the 6th Annual Student Forum on Friday, April 27 at 9:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King Street.
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City Council recessed the meeting at 9:09 to go into a Work Session on the Budget and reconvened the regular meeting at 10:30 p.m.
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23. Consideration of Convening An Executive Session Closed to the Public To Discuss Pending Litigation and Real Estate Acquisition.
At 10:30 p.m., City Council convened in executive session, pursuant to Section 2.2-3711(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia, for the purpose of discussing the status of pending litigation, and pursuant to Section 2.2-3711(a)(3) for the purpose of discussing the acquisition of real property for a public purpose.
At 11:14, City Council reconvened the meeting.
City Council adopted the resolution pertaining to the Executive Session. (RES. NO. 2218)
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The meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.
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Note: The action docket is a summary of Council's meeting deliberations prepared largely for staff follow-up. Formal minutes of the meeting, when approved by Council become the official record of the meeting and of Council decisions made at the meeting.