City council 4/24/12

Resolutions were added regarding a maintenance agreement with the schools for Veterans Park and sale of a property on Alice. #4 was moved to #2. Zwolak asked why a resolution he offered was not put on the agenda. Tungate said that Allen told him it wasn’t a legal resolution because an employee was named and the decision wasn’t up to council. Gordon and Zwolak moved to add it to the agenda, but I believe the mayor moved on without taking a vote.

Saleh Almasmari was waiting for a letter from the city about a change in the law after he talked to the council about ice cream trucks, but received a ticket instead.

Mike Nemith was ticketed by code enforcement for a pile of wood that has been on his property for 40 years.

Consent agenda passed unanimously.

Zwolak and Gordon tried to withhold vendor payments to save money for payroll. Nazarko said it wouldn’t help because he is already withholding payments where he can. Gordon complained that purchases from Office Depot are not a core service to residents. Fund warrants passed 4-2.

A letter to the County about paving Conant passed unanimously.

Permission to close the Hamtramck side of Conant passed unanimously after Tungate said that city services would be charged to the committee and the city checklist will be followed.

The single-audit was “unqualified”, though a number of financial reporting control deficiencies were cited: classification of revenue as federal vs non-federal, differences between audits required reconciliation, and a debt servicing payment was made but not reported, a grant transaction was not properly recorded, and a payroll accrual of $340,000 was not initially shown. The city failed to check vendors for federal suspension and disbarment prior to hiring. A demolition paid for by NSP1 was done by a low-bidder, but it is a best practice to have quantifiable criteria regarding experience and capabilities. An employee salary was inadvertently omitted on a statement regarding a MSHDA grant.

Nazarko said that the mistakes were primarily due to the former DPW director. A payroll mistake was made by a worker who was filling in for a staff member on maternity leave. He disagrees with the auditors about the booking of payments made to retired police officers.

A resolution to allow the police department to expand their fingerprinting services to residents passed unanimously.

The fiscal note for a site plan review on Holbrook said there would be no cost to the city, but it included a traffic study for a crosswalk. Jankowski said that the applicant is to pay. All voted in favor. Bobby Olko pointed out during public comment later that a study was already done for people who live at Senior Plaza and worship at St Florian, and their request was denied.

Algazali said that it was too late to conduct pre-employment testing on the city manager since Tungate had already been hired without them. Hassan agreed with Algazali. Jankowski argued that the employee manual doesn’t require pre-employment testing; Gordon pointed out that all other employees of the city have been tested. Zwolak removed the testing deadline when Majewski questioned if the tests could be completed in time. The resolution was approved, though the vote was unclear.

The resolution to restore the treasurer’s authority as provided in the city charter failed 2-4.

Zwolak’s resolution to have all city files returned and placed on file in the clerk’s office passed, though Hassan and Jankowski voted against it. It came out in the discussion that the city attorney removed documents from the city manager’s office and took them out of the city.

A resolution to send a letter to Highland Park regarding water services passed unanimously, even though Hamtramck already has a contract with Detroit through 2029.

School maintenance of Veterans Park passed unanimously.

A mix up with insurance caused the city to take possession of a lot on Alice, even though the owner still lives in an existing house on the same lot. Council voted to sell it back to the resident.

Tungate said that there would be a work session scheduled about the loan, credit card machines are to be placed in key areas of city hall “at no cost”, and he would be meeting Friday with the MML about the city manager search.

During public comment, Bobby Olko threatened to recall council, starting with Hassan. Susan Dunn asked Majewski why she surrounds herself with men who are aggressive and inappropriate toward women, like Hassan, Jankowski and Tungate. Jankowski shouted over Dunn that she couldn’t berate council members, and then Dunn was escorted out of the meeting for saying that Jankowski was arrested for domestic violence against a live-in girlfriend.

Gordon pulled the codified version of the noise ordinance and discovered that decibel levels had been added, though she didn’t remember that ever being added to the ordinance. The city attorney said he didn’t recall how that was added.

Zwolak said he is talking to veterans groups about repairing the flag poles on Joseph Campau and getting flags.