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 Meeting of City Council:
(a) The Regular Meeting Minutes of February 14, 2012.
City Council approved the regular meeting minutes of February 14, 2012.
RECOGNITION OF YOUTH BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
4. Presentation of a Proclamation Declaring March 3, 2012 as St. Patrick's Day Parade Day and March as Irish American Heritage Month.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER
CONSENT CALENDAR (5-10)
(Resignations and Uncontested Appointments)
5. Receipt of the Following Resignation from Members of Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Commission for Women
Laura M. Zabriskie
6. Uncontested Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee
2 Citizen Members
(b) Community Policy and Management Team
1 Representative of a Private Organization or Association of
Providers of Children’s or Family Services Which Provides Such
Services Within the City on a Continuing and Consistent Basis
(c) Community Services Board
1 Citizen Member
(d) Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission
1 Citizen Member
(e) Sister Cities Committee
1 Citizen Member
(Reports and Recommendations of the City Manager)
7. Consideration of Authorization of Recommended Capital Allocations and Planned Expenditures.
8. Consideration of a Grant Application for the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.
9. Consideration of a Renewal Grant Application to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for an Aggressive Driving/DUI Interdiction Program in FY 2013.
(Ordinances for Introduction)
10. Introduction and First Reading. Consideration. Passage on First Reading of an Ordinance to Establish the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library as an Additional Absentee Voting Site for the 2012 Presidential Election. (The Public Hearing Will Be March 17, 2012.)
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR
City Council approved the consent calendar. The City Manager's recommendations were as follows:
5. City Council accepted the following resignation with regret: (a) Laura M. Zabriskie, Commission for Women.
6. City Council made the following appointments to boards and commissions: (1) appointed Amanda Gordon and reappointed Steffanie Housman as the two citizen members to the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee; (b) reappointed Gretchen Abell as the one representative of a private organization or association of providers of children's or family services which provides such services within the City on a continuing and consistent basis to the Community Policy and Management Team; (c) appointed Patrice Tighe as the one citizen member to the Community Services Board; (d) appointed Lisa Edouard as the one citizen member to the Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission; and (e) appointed Scott Stephens as the one citizen member to the Sister Cities Committee.
7. City Council authorized $1,431,000 for capital project allocations and planned expenditures for the capital projects as detailed in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) expenditure summary.
8. City Council: 1. approved the submission of the grant application (due March 27); and 2. authorized the City Manager to execute the necessary documents that may be required.
9. City Council: 1. approved the grant application (due March 15, 2012) to the Virginia DMV in the amount of $44,550, which will provide funds to the Police Department to operate a DUI/aggressive driving interdiction program in the City; and 2. authorized the City Manager to execute all necessary documents that may be required.
10. City Council passed the ordinance on first reading and scheduled it for public hearing, second reading and final passage on Saturday, March 17, 2012.
11. Public Health Advisory Commission
1 Representative From the Inova Alexandria Hospital, Nominated by the
City Council waived the residency requirement and appointed Mary Dixon as the one representative from the Inova Alexandria Hospital, nominated by the Hospital to the Public Health Advisory Commission.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER FOR DISCUSSION (90 min.)
12. Discussion of Proposed Federal Legislation with Congressman James P. Moran.
City Council received the report and discussed the legislation with Congressman Moran.
13. Receipt of Report on Items Before the 2012 Virginia General Assembly. (Staff Presentation)
City Council approved the positions of the State budget that are included in attachment 1 of the staff report, as recommended by City Council's legislative subcommittee (Vice Mayor Donley and Councilman Smedberg.)
14. Oral Report on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC-133) Project at Mark Center. (Staff Presentation)
City Council heard the report.
15. Consideration of Providing Alexandria's Share of the Local Match for the Route 7 High Capacity Transit Feasibility Study.
City Council provided the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission with the assurance that it will provide its share of the local match for a feasibility study of High Capacity Transit in the Route 7 corridor of not to exceed $30,000 utilizing City transportation improvement program funding.
16. Consideration of Authorization of Recommended Capital Project Allocations to Alexandria City Public Schools.
City Council: 1. received the report from the Alexandria City Public Schools capital project transfers and authorization of capital project allocations and planned expenditures; and 2. authorized $6,359,412 for capital project allocations as detailed in the ACPS financial report.
17. Oral Report on the Potomac Yard Development and Capital Project Progress Update.
City Council heard the report.
18. Consideration of an Interim Increase in the Budget For the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Environmental Impact Statement Study Project.
City Council approved an interim allocation of $600,000 from the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station CIP account for funding of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study project for a three-month period until the Phase III budget for the EIS are known as a result of negotiations among the City, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and WMATA's EIS contractor.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
ORAL REPORTS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
ORAL PRESENTATIONS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
(a) Mayor Euille said Council received a letter from the chair of the Waterfront Committee noting that by March 1 the Committee will send to Council a recommendation to move forward with the Waterfront implementation process. He said it had been brought to his attention last week and he was going to ask his colleagues to think about the next steps in how it wants to proceed, but the better way to approach it is to wait until it gets the formal recommendation from the Waterfront Committee. In essence, the existing make-up of the Waterfront Committee be the implementation committee, but also expand it to include additional citizen representatives.
Mr. Johnson, Chief of Staff, said it would come back to City Council on March 27.
(b) Councilwoman Hughes said some members of civic associations on the West End of Alexandria sent an email to members of City staff regarding the Beauregard Small Area Plan and processes in general in terms of planning meetings and how stacked they are and how to give meaningful input and have that input considered. She read from the comments from citizens. Councilwoman Hughes said when it gets to approving a plan, she was concerned that the sentiments of citizens aren't being heard in a meaningful way, and the objective is to ensure that the process works. She said she hoped they would look into it more.
(c) Councilman Krupicka said he sent out an email with a draft resolution related to high bandwidth internet access and cable choice in the City. Over the years, they have received numerous citizen complaints about the concern that they don't have a high level of choice - it has one choice for cable access. He said it is time to think about what it can be doing from a policy standpoint and from a staff standpoint to encourage as much competition as possible so citizens have access to a range of choices. He said they need to put in place a strategy so it can provide a critical business infrastructure for the community and the City and attract as much choice and option as possible. He asked Council to ask the IT Commission to take a look at it and come back to Council with a more formal recommendation, as the IT Commission is the advisory body to the Council on these issues.
(d) Councilman Krupicka said they are evolving into campaign season in the City, and people will do lots of things in advocacy for their candidacy that they need to do. He said they have to be careful when doing that advocacy to make sure they are not crossing the line between truth and fiction. He said he had grave concerns about a letter that Councilwoman Hughes put in the paper two weeks ago, but was concerned about one line in it that accused the Council of tearing down all the public housing at Bland and not replacing it, and saying replacing it with high income townhouses. Councilman Krupicka said that what troubles him by that is not only what he could assume are the political objections of trying to make an allocation like that that is untrue, but also troubled him because the City does care deeply about affordable housing, and the project replaced every single unit of housing that was taken down. He said to make the accusation that the Council deliberately tore down public housing with the intent of not replacing it is not fair to Council, City staff and ARHA. He said he could only assume that it was not intended to be said the way it was.
Councilwoman Hughes said that in looking at what's happened over the course of the past two and a half years, to frame why she wrote it like she did, the median household income in Alexandria in 2009 was around $88,000 a year, and the new data reflects the median household income is now $107,000 a year, so in two and a half years, somehow, despite the one for one replacement that it has, there have been an increase in the median household income that exceeds $20,000 a year, and yet 20 percent of the citizens in the City are living below the poverty level. Councilwoman Hughes said that in reaching the conclusion that she did, it was based upon the fact that the numbers are telling of a story. She said her sentiments are what they are and she stated what she felt. Somehow, despite what has happened, it was not inaccurate to state that those projects have been torn down and what is in place of them, regardless of how it solves the issue of one for one replacement, and how things have gone in the City, she didn't think they could argue the facts that the median household income have increased in excess of $20,000. She said they could not argue the fact that what was a housing development before are townhomes and condominiums that reached those levels or prices. She said if he believes the implication is that the City and the Council does not support affordable housing, that would not be the intent of making that statement. She said there is something to be said about those developments being replaced with $700,000 townhomes. It does not take away from the hard work that people have done and continue to do to solve what is a housing crisis.
ORAL REPORT FROM THE CITY MANAGER
City staff made a presentation on the Cityworks application and what proactive things they are doing and utilities they are using to improve service delivery.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
19. Consideration of City Council Schedule.
City Council: 1. changed the time and date of the work session on the Sanitary Sewer Master Plan from 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 to 5:30 p.m. before Council's Tuesday, April 10 legislative meeting; 2. scheduled a work session on the Housing Budget and Master Plan at 5:30 p.m. before Council's Tuesday, March 27 legislative meeting; and 3. received the revised calendar which includes: the annual Commission on Persons with Disabilities awards reception at 5:30 p.m. before Council's Tuesday, June 26 legislative meeting the Vola Lawson Lobby; the 2012 Flora Krause Casey Public Health awards reception on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Vola Lawson Lobby; and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday, April 26 at 8:00 a.m. in the Vola Lawson Lobby at City Hall.