City Commission Worksession Minutes 02-08-2013

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                      FEBRUARY 8, 2013


Present: Mayor Gawron, Vice Mayor Spataro, Commissioners Hood, German, Markowski,
Wierengo (arrived 9:21 a.m.), and Turnquist.

Staff Present: Mazade, Al-Shatel, Grant (arrived 10:55 a.m.), Maurer, Brubaker-Clarke (arrived
10:17 a.m.), Bailey, Paul, Smith, Thompson, J. Lewis, Cummings, B. Lewis.

Others: Dave Alexander, Muskegon Chronicle, William Snyder, resident.

Opening remarks were given by Mayor Gawron.

Bob Kuhn facilitated the session.

Meeting began at 9:13 a.m.

Mr. Kuhn asked the City Commissioners to consider the role of City Government. Is it to initiate
or facilitate?

Commissioner and staff relationships need trust, integrity, honesty, and communication.

Department heads have approximately 14 hours between Commission meetings to
develop/dream/create. Plan accordingly and tell them where to focus their efforts.

A consensus of the Commission is a must, not a majority. With a consensus, everybody wins. A
proposal can be modified until everyone can agree.

A majority vote produces winners and losers. It is not the type of mentality that will get a lot

Silence is perceived as going along with the majority.

No such thing as a “bad” goal.

If there are no new sources of revenue, decide which services are discontinued to begin new
projects. Always ask yourself:

       We can’t do everything.

       Should we continue to do this?
        Should someone else be doing it?

The Mission, Vision and Value Statements were reviewed.

Some Commissioners were interested in revisiting the Mission statement and making some
modifications. The City Manager suggested that two Commissioners and a staff member. It
should be driven by Commissioners.

Bryon Mazade reviewed the summary of department functions/tasks.

Tim Paul gave an overview of the 2012/2013 budget and city finances.

Revenues are anticipated to be approximately $23 million dollars each year over the next five

There are five looming financial issues to cope with:

   1.        BC Cobb plant closure and loss of revenue from recent tax appeal settlements.
   2.        Growing Smartzone debt requirements.
   3.        Pension costs will likely escalate.
   4.        Healthcare costs.
   5.        DDA debt requirements.

The 2012 City Commission Goals were reviewed:

   1.        Redevelopment of Sappi site – ongoing.
   2.        Neighborhood Revitalization – we’ve made changes the last 1.5 years with
             demolitions and new housing.
   3.        Downtown Zoning Changes.
   4.        Cooperative Service Agreements – Water Filtration Agreement signed in 2012.
   5.        Improve city employment diversity. – Placed Civil Service question on ballot (failed).
   6.        Greater Support for LC Walker Arena – Catalyst for other activities downtown. We
             need to give the LC more support.
   7.        Pere Marquette Park physical enhancements.
   8.        Pursue Casino Development downtown.

Proposed goals by City Commissioners for 2013 (Note: No. 1 had five votes, No. 2, 3, & 4 had
four votes)

        1.      Law Enforcement – focus on existing programs and communication efforts to the
        2.      Pere Marquette Park – research grants, development, health, picnic shelters.
        3.      Working relationship with other communities – celebrate their successes.
        4.      Transitional Planning – City Manager.
        5.      High level of code enforcement, environmental, rentals, avenues of enhancement.
        6.      City employment diversity – recruitment, job fairs, cadet programs.
       7.     Youth jobs program, community collaboration (wear Red day).
       8.     Sappi development – zoning and demolition.
       9.     Youth friendly businesses and activities.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

                                                           Ann Marie Cummings, MMC
                                                                    City Clerk

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