Summary of All Remarks at Council Meetings Since April 2008

Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that for two or more years the City was recording telephone calls to and from City Hall. This is illegal but he has not heard of any consequences for the people who were responsible for this action. (March 8, 2010) Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, stated he was on the City Council 4 years. He stated he did not complain or ask for a raise, as he knew what to expect when he was elected. Mr. Fredrick advised the Council did not make a difference in saving the city $339,000 in voting to restructure the bonds. He indicated he wrote a letter to the Bellevue Leader stating he is against an increase of any kind. Mr. Fredrick stated he was against how this ordinance was presented. He advised items have been discussed in the pre-council meeting that should have instead been discussed at the regular meeting. Mr. Fredrick indicated he believed this was deceptive. He expressed concerns there is no balance sheet every month. Mayor Mixan asked Mr. Fredrick to concentrate on the proposed salary ordinance issue at this time. Mr. Fredrick stated anyone voting for this ordinance should resign, as they knew what salary to expect when they were running for office. He advised age should not have anything to do with this issue. Mr. Fredrick suggested the matter be put to a vote of the people. (Feb 22, 2010) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that he has repeatedly recommended that the fire stations be manned 24/7; he is happy that this is now being pursued. At the last meeting he asked for a copy of the Fire Chief’s budget; however, he meant to ask for a copy of the Fire Chief’s report that was on a previous agenda, but is not on file in the City Clerk’s office. He recommended that the City Administrator’s report which is given during the Pre-Council meeting be put on the City’s website. At the Pre-Council meeting the proposed Ordinance No. 3560 which increases the salaries of the Mayor and Council, was discussed but was not even mentioned at tonight’s meeting. This should be made clear so that citizens can voice their opinions at the next meeting. He feels this is not the time for salary increases. He questioned the amount of funds spent on software for the fire department and the $54,000 for a seasonal ambulance biller when Cashflow could perform these services for $60,000. He questioned the Council’s selection of the company for the marina lease and for the person who created the City’s website. Mr. Fredrick called for the elimination of the Pre-Council meetings. He suggested that Council members are getting involved in situations that are the responsibility of the City Administrator. He expressed concern that whoever initiated the recording of City Hall phone calls has not experienced any consequences for these actions. (Feb 8, 2010) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that he is extremely disappointed that the Council would not allow the marina bidders to speak. This is not transparency in government. He suggested the revenue received from rescue squad billings should be shown in the general fund in a separate category so that it can be identified. He noted that the job description for the position of a rescue squad billing person indicates that it is a “seasonal” employee. He questioned if this means the rescue squad will cease operations during a certain season. He stated that about a month ago the Fire Chief gave his budget at a Council meeting. Mr. Fredrick asked the City Clerk to see this but it is not on file in the City Clerk’s office. This is public record and should be on file with the City Clerk. (Jan 24, 2010) Mr. Chuck Fredrick offered words of appreciation for the actions of the Bellevue Rescue Squad in getting him to the hospital last summer when he became quite ill. Previously he gave the Council a plan used by the City of Shenandoah, Iowa, to attract new businesses. The Council should look this over to see if it would also work for Bellevue. Each month he requests a copy of the City’s monthly financial statement and he does not see where the $800,000 to $1,000,000 in rescue squad fees is accounted for. Mr. Fredrick disagrees with the current city practice of producing a balance sheet only at the end of the fiscal year. He has suggested numerous times that the payroll process should be done in-house rather than being outsourced. He feels it is ironic that the rescue squad billing process was previously outsourced, but is now being done in-house. There is a current job posting on the City’s web site for one employee for the rescue squad billing that will be paying $28.00 per hour. This equates to $56,000 annually plus benefits. Cashflow Billing was doing this job for $60,000 annually. W e need to manage the City’s finances better. He requested a written policy on how a citizen can get a matter on the agenda. He reminded Council Members that only the City Administrator can direct city employees. Mr. Fredrick questioned why the parties bidding on the management lease for the marina were not allowed to speak at tonight’s meeting prior to the Council voting to award the lease. The public has a right to know why these individuals want the contract. (Jan 11, 2010) Mr. Chuck Fredrick suggested that the Council consider giving some of the lots approved to be sold by Century 21/Hansen Realty, to Habitat for Humanity. He stated that the City has probably lost over one and a half million dollars in the past ten years due to not reaching entitlement population status during the 2000 census. He suggested that Council Bluffs and Omaha pooled resources in order to get more entitlement money. This should be looked into for Bellevue. At the last meeting he said he was going to put on the agenda a request for the dismissal of the current City Administrator but he is going to wait until after the first of the year to make this request. He pointed out that there is no written procedure for how a citizen gets something put on the Council agenda. This should be investigated and a written policy should be formulated. (Nov 23, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick voiced his appreciation for the work done by Mr. Dave Compton on the World Softball Complex; however, he disagrees with Mr. Compton’s position on not going out for bids on some projects or purchases. Mr. Fredrick feels that anything purchased with taxpayers’ money should be put out for bids. The project or purchase does not have to be awarded to the lowest bidder, but bids should still be sought. Mr. Fredrick reminded those present that when he announced that he is running for Mayor he said that he would appoint a new City Administrator. Due to circumstances that have happened since he filed for Mayor, including numerous law suits filed against the city, he plans to put on the agenda for the December Council meeting the resignation of the City Administrator. (Nov 8, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick expressed his appreciation for the people who organized the 9-11 Memorial Event and encouraged more people to attend this event. Not only are the people who lost their lives in the 9-11 crisis remembered but also military people have given their lives. In addition twenty people received their citizenship at the ceremony. He expressed his concern about the $9000 per month that is spent for outsourcing the payroll function to an Omaha firm. He noted that several weeks ago an Omaha firm was cleaning the windows at City Hall. (Oct 26, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick explained that he had previously offered to purchase five replacement fir trees for the 9-11 Memorial in Kramer Park. The memorial was not completed in time for these to be purchased and planted this year, but he will still be donating the five fir trees next spring. Mr. Fredrick expressed his concern about the amount of money the City is spending on legal fees and law suits. Something needs to be done about this. Several months ago he asked about the premium for the City’s liability insurance and if it has increased. He suggested that the Council look into how much is being paid for the insurance premiums, if the premiums have changed in the last few years and if so, why have they changed. (Oct 12, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick distributed a copy of an article from the Wall Street Journal which referenced the idea he proposed several weeks ago concerning the City contracting with a mobile paper shredding company to allow citizens the ability to have paper shredded. Mr. Fredrick supported Mr. Sanborn’s statement at the last Council meeting that a plan did exist when the Council purchased the 290 acres at 36th and Capehart. Not only was this land to be used for a regional park, but it was also to be the site of a second library. The prime land was to be sold to help pay for the land purchased by the City. Unfortunately some of this prime land was given to the State for the Veterans Home. A plan did exist for this area, but unfortunately it was not followed.(Aug 24. 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick read portions of the minutes of the July 27th Council meeting dealing with comments made about the Public Input/Public Comment policy. Mrs. Blood expressed concern about the way we allow public input at our meetings indicating that “inappropriate comments have been made by individuals to and about members on the Council.” Mr. Fredrick does not agree with this statement and challenged Mrs. Blood to identify these instances. He feels it is a violation of his free speech to not allow him to speak on subjects that do not appear on the agenda. He reminded the Council that he has asked for three things: the proposal for the Royals stadium, the City’s bond rating and what the liability insurance premiums are now and how they have changed within the past three years. He still has not received this information. If the individuals’ inappropriate comments cannot be identified, he would like this comment stricken from the minutes. (Aug 10, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that he donated the five fir trees at the old site of the 9/11 Memorial and he will replace the five trees at the new site of the 9/11 Memorial in Kramer Park. Mr. Fredrick suggested that the inspectors of the fireworks stands give the license upon final inspection of the stand rather than making a representative of each non-profit organization drive to City Hall to pick up the license. He reminded the Mayor and Council Members that the four city officials that are appointed by the Mayor will serve until the end of the term of Mayor Mixan; however any Council Member or the Mayor does have the right to ask for the resignation of any of these appointees. He suggested that the City provide a place for a paper shredding company to set up business to allow citizens to shred paper once a month. He voiced opposition to require a citizen to make an application to be able to speak at a Council meeting. (Jul 27, 2009) Mr. Fredrick suggested that Council Member Dave Sanborn remain as the Acting President of the Council until the Mayor appoints and the Council approves the appointment of a Council Member from W ard 5 so that person can also vote for the President of the City Council. (Jul 13, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick expressed disappointment that no one contacted him with the answers to three questions he asked at the last Council meeting: the City’s bond rating, the amount of the insurance premium and the proposal for the Omaha Royals stadium. He announced that he will soon be filing for election for mayor. (Jun 22, 2009) Mr. Fredrick stated that if the Council does not have a contract, no payment should be made. The taxpayers’ money should not be spent on a contract that has expired. He asked to see the proposal submitted by the City of Bellevue for the Omaha Royals stadium. He would like to know the bond credit rating for the City of Bellevue. He would like to know the amount of the premium paid to the City’s insurance agent and what the increase has been in the past four to six years as well as the reason for the increases. He suggested that the Council look at the City Administrator’s report on the Grand Island website (Jun 8, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated he was concerned the Council approved paying bills without having a valid contract with Sarpy County. He advised he attended the Sarpy County Board Meeting this afternoon in regards to the Omaha Royals stadium. Mr. Fredrick indicated Bellevue did a great job of promoting the City. Although in favor of having the stadium located in Sarpy County, he expressed concerns as to how it would be financed. Mr. Fredrick advised he spoke to an individual that attempted to take trash to the City’s clean-up day last Saturday and was denied access. He stated the individual was at a drop-off location prior to 3:00 p.m. and should have been allowed to utilize this service. Mr. Fredrick advised this situation should be looked into by City officials (May 26, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that he has appeared before the Council numerous times to speak on such subjects as his ideas for attracting new businesses, starting the budget process earlier, the W astewater Fund, having the payroll done in-house, an oral monthly Treasurer’s report to the Council and reduction in the number of city employees. Tonight he reported that the City of Papillion does not hold pre-Council meetings and yet their regular meetings are only thirty minutes in length. The City of Grand Island has a very good web site and their City Administrator’s report is outstanding. We need to look at how other cities are doing things and follow them. (May 11, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that the City’s bidding process is very sloppy and needs to be improved. He appreciated the presentation on strategic planning that was given at the last Council work session. The City needs to do something to get more businesses into Bellevue and the City’s expenses must be cut. He asked that his suggestions be taken seriously by the Council members. (Apr 13, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick commented on the following: no bill for animal control should be paid without a contract; the wastewater fund was supposed to be paid back right away with interest and should not be used for anything else; we should go out for bids for the audit of the SIDs; the Council is confusing transparency with accountability; the pre-Council meetings are a waste of time; the Council should hold the appointed officials accountable; the City’s payroll function should not be outsourced. (Mar 23, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that he has proposed several times that the City’s budget process begin earlier and that the City Administrator present a monthly report to the Council and questioned why we continue to outsource payroll. He noted that last year he gave the Council an idea that was used in Shenandoah, Iowa, for incentives to get new businesses into town. No one contacted him about this. He pointed out that Section 2-198 of the Bellevue City Code states the following: “The city treasurer shall at the end of every month, and as often as may be requested, render an account to the city council, under oath, showing the state of the city treasury at the date of such account, the amount of money remaining in each fund and the amount paid therefrom, and the balance of the money in the treasury. Such report shall be accompanied by a statement of all receipts and disbursements, together with all warrants redeemed and paid by the treasurer. Such report shall be filed with the city clerk.” Mr. Fredrick feels that this should be an oral report besides a written report. He gets the monthly report but has not seen one since October. Section 2-200 of the City Code says that “if the city treasurer neglects or fails for the space of ten days from the end of every month to render the required monthly report, that office may be declared vacant by resolution of the mayor and city council.” Taxpayers are upset when the council does not follow city code. (Feb 23, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick encouraged the Council Members and citizens to view his own website as well as the City of Grand Island’s and a voters’ information website. He thanked Mayor Babbitt on his choice for the Fire Chief position. He confirmed his concern that response times for the Fire Department need to be improved. This can be accomplished by having fire personnel at the fire stations on a twenty-four hour basis. He suggested that the City stop outsourcing its payroll functions. He suggested that the City Administrator should be required to present a monthly report to the Council and the citizens of Bellevue. He agrees with the need for public pre-Council meetings. He suggested that these be held on the Monday evenings between the regular Council meetings. He expressed concern that Council Member Houghtaling is out of town a lot and unable to be contacted. (Jan 12, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick suggested that the special work session meetings of the Council be televised. He informed the Council that the 290 acres at 36th and Capehart was designed so that the prime land would be sold for businesses and the library was to be located there. The Veterans Home was not originally planned for this location. He stated that the taxpayers want transparency and accountability from the elected and appointed city officials. The City’s website needs to be updated. W hen Council members and city staff attend meetings, they should make reports back to the Council and to the citizens. (Feb 9, 2009) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, stated that two words explain what must be done by this City Council: accountability and transparency. The Council members must be accountable to the taxpayers of Bellevue but must also require accountability for the appointed officials. The taxpayers want to know more of what is going on with the City. He urged the members of the Council to study the minutes of past Bellevue City Council meetings and to study the website of the City of Grand Island and his own website. (Dec 8, 2008) Mr. Fredrick reminded the Council that he spoke to them at the last meeting on November 10, 2008. People have reported to him that when this meeting was aired on the City’s public access channel, Channel 17, on Tuesday night, November 11, his remarks were cut out. This has happened before and it should not be allowed to happen again. He asked that the new Council members and the City Attorney make changes to the agenda to allow public input during the meeting, not just at the end. The public should be allowed an opportunity to give input before a vote is taken.(Nov 24, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, stated that he feels it is very important that the public forum is available at the beginning of the meeting rather than at the end. The public should have the right to speak before the Council votes on an issue. At a previous meeting he wanted to speak before the Council voted on the purchase of a new accounting software package. The vote was taken before he could present information that could have changed the vote. The Council voted to purchase a software package that does not include payroll. The payroll function is being outsourced at a cost of $3,000 a month. There are persons already employed in the Finance Department who have previously performed payroll functions who could do it as good as the company this is outsourced to. He recommended that the outsourcing of payroll be stopped. He suggested that the agenda for the next meeting contain a proposal to change the public forum to allow the public to speak before a vote is taken. (Nov 19, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, stated that approximately one and half months ago the ACLU threatened a law suit against the City if the sign ordinance was not amended. The City decided not to enforce the ordinance which disallows political signs prior to thirty days before an election. The money that the ACLU gets from these lawsuits is our tax dollars. U.S. Code Section 42-1988 allows the ACLU to use our tax dollars to sue people and organizations such as the City of Bellevue. Rather than have them threaten the City he would like to see the City put this issue on the ballot and allow the voters to choose how long political signs can be kept up. W hen he ran for the At-Large Council seat during the Primary Election, he did not use political signs, but rather chose to distribute cards on which he listed his priorities. As of last Friday he is now a write-in candidate for the Ward I seat on the Council. (Oct 27, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, stated that several months ago he complained about the Council violating the Open Meeting Laws. He has talked to the mayors of Council Bluffs and Papillion and also talked to someone in the City of Grand Island. These cities have a place on their agendas which allow a member of the public to talk about any item on the agenda. Here in Bellevue a member of the public cannot comment on something on the agenda until the very end of the meeting, so the vote is already taken on an item previously listed on the agenda, which may have already been voted on. He urged the Council to change this.(Oct 13, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison, Bellevue, questioned the need to purchase two mowers at $85,000 each when we contracted out the mowing this year. He expressed concern that workers may be racing the mowers and that the mowers are being driven on the streets rather than being transported on trailers. He requested that the budget and the compensation ordinances be put on the City’s website. He suggested that a link to his personal website and that of the City of Grand Island also be placed on the City’s website. He agreed that laptop computers should not be furnished to Council Members. He wants to see more transparency with the City Council and the Administration. (Sep 8, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick expressed appreciation for the opportunity for the public to be able to address the Council at each meeting. Mr. Fredrick stated that at the time the Council voted on the contract for the City Attorney, he was not given an opportunity to speak although he was allowed to address this issue at a later Council meeting. He feels that item number 4 in the City Attorney’s contract should be amended to require that any legal work outside of the normal legal work covered by the retainer be approved by the City Administrator AND the Mayor, rather than by the City Administrator OR the Mayor. (Jul 28, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick stated that before the Primary Election, the Chamber of Commerce gave each of the candidates an opportunity to speak at a public forum for three minutes. One of the things he mentioned at that time was his concern that Bellevue’s sales tax collections are not increasing but Papillion and La Vista’s are. At that time he informed the public that he had an idea he would be presenting. Since he is no longer a candidate he is going to present an idea to the Council which was formulated by a former Bellevue resident who moved to Shenandoah, Iowa to form the Shenandoah Economic Development Corporation. If a resident presents a lead or an idea to the Council as to a business or firm that might locate in Bellevue, the resident would be compensated based on the number of employees the business or firm would employ. The details of the plan can be obtained from the Shenandoah Chamber of Commerce or the City Manager of Shenandoah. (Jun 23, 2008) Mr. Chuck Frederick, 1511 Madison, Bellevue, commented his public testimony recorded in the minute record from the last Council meeting was shortened, which he feels should not be done. Mr. Frederick indicated the City is considering hiring an assistant to the Finance Director. He stated it is important the candidates considered for this position are interviewed carefully and they have the proper qualifications. Mr. Frederick suggested an outside party should be involved in the interview and hiring process and he volunteered to be of assistance. (Jun 9, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick, 1511 Madison Street, Bellevue, NE, addressed the City Council regarding the recent purchase of Sage accounting software. He urged the City Council to stop the implementation of this software and research other options. (May 27, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick suggested that the contract for purchase of the new financial software program be rescinded. The Council paid $55,000 for this program and it does not have Human Resources and Payroll functions. Several years ago the MainStreet financial program was purchased. MainStreet does contain Human Resources and Payroll modules. The City is paying Payroll Maxx approximately $4,000 per month for payroll processes. Payroll could be returned as a city employee function as it used to be. The down payment on the new program can be returned to the City. Mr. Fredrick has spoken with Mr. Matthew Falls about the MainStreet program. He has stated that he can update the current program for $25,000 or less. Mr. Fredrick shared copies of an e-mail he received from Mr. Falls in which he reported that he last visited with city employee Herb Walker on a site visit in January 2006. He explained the history of his company’s efforts to get the MainStreet program up and running and requested his and Phil Davidson’s help. A few days later, Mr. W alker told Mr. Falls that the City was not interested in implementing MainStreet. He left a number of messages for City Administrator Troutman asking for an explanation of their decision, but never received an answer. The cost of the MainStreet program, including Financials and H.R./Payroll, was $65,259. Mr. Fredrick rejected the premise that MainStreet received an RFP for the software and did not respond. He feels there is no reason to be spending money on a new program when the City already has a new program that it won’t use. Mr. Fredrick stated that it is time to reconsider and save the City some dollars. (May 12, 2008) Mr. Chuck Fredrick requested permission to speak on this subject. Mayor Babbitt asked for a motion to allow his comments. Mr. Fredrick requested the City Attorney to rule on this based on the Open Meetings Act. Mr. Sullivan responded that the Council has to give an opportunity for the public to speak at meetings, but not at every meeting. W e also give the public opportunity to contact the city to speak on a matter, but he is not entitled under the Open Meetings Law to speak on every item. Mr. Fredrick stated that he feels that the law does allow him to speak. Mr. Sullivan stated that his interpretation is different than Mr. Fredrick’s and he hopes the Council follows his direction. Mr. Fredrick stated that there is nothing in writing on how he can be allowed to speak at the meetings and there should be something in writing. (April 14, 2008)

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