City of Ralston

                "The Heart of the Metro" 
                                Ralston, Nebraska

Ralston City Council Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Ralston City Council met in a regular session on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 5:30 PM at Ralston City Hall.  Roll was called with the following present: Konwinski, Fideline, Alberhasky, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Mayor Groesser was absent. The agenda for this meeting was available at City Hall for public inspection and posted prior to the meeting.  The legal notice for the meeting was published in the Ralston Recorder.  There were no claims.

Council member Konwinski gave the Invocation.  Council President Krause said the meeting is subject to the Nebraska Open Meetings Act and a copy of the Act is posted at the rear of the Chamber.

Motion to approve Consent Agenda by Konwinski, seconded by Fideline.  After discussion, all vote yes, motion carried.

Forrest reported on his meeting summary provided to the City Council members prior to the meeting.

Bohling reported the accounts for the bank have all been reconciled for August.  He is still in the process of evaluating the financials the Council members have received in the past.  Bohling is working on the journal entries from the auditors and plans to provide a financial statement within the next two weeks.

Chief Leonardo reported some of his officers have started “No Shave November” early to coincide with the “Pink Patch Project”.  The Police Department has ordered pink patches and all the money raised from the sale of patches, shirts, hoodies and hats goes to “Scare Away Cancer”.  Part of the money that the officers are donating from “No Shave November” also goes to that fund.

Benis reported the Lancers are opening their season on October 6th, along with Creighton Hockey as well.  There is also volleyball on Saturday.

Krause opened discussion regarding potential change to the council meeting format.  Forrest met with most of the council members and several expressed the desire for more opportunities to share information.  The Mayor and Council President asked to place this item on the agenda for this meeting and have Council discuss whether they would like to have a different format. 

Forrest explained some communities have a workshop meeting the first meeting of the month where a topic would be introduced, staff input provided and members of the council would be afforded the opportunity to ask questions and debate. It would be a public meeting and anything that would need to be voted on because of a timely issue, such as claims, could be voted on.  Another model would be to tweak the current format and encourage more discussion before voting.  Council members like the idea of having discussion and Konwinski commented on having discussion even before a council meeting.

Sanchez indicated that one thing he has always wanted is more face time to discuss issues and commented on building in a 30 minute workshop session. He inquired if this would compromise the timely issues. Forrest indicated that items that need to be voted on could be voted on; however it would slow down the agenda.  Fideline thinks it is a good idea and would like more time to discuss and receive more input so he can provide better judgement on issues for the City. 

Konwinski said that there will not always have to be discussion on items and mentioned liquor licenses as an example.  However, every now and then something comes up that the Council is not sure about and that is when the discussion is needed.  Alberhasky commented on having discussion without the threat of having to vote on something right at the moment.

Klinker commented that the Council can decide how they want to conduct the meetings and reminded Council to be aware that any time they meet they are subject to the open meetings law.

Krause indicated the idea that staff will send out a meeting summary with each of the council packets will give the Council members a chance to formulate any questions and have the discussion at the meetings.  Forrest commented that it is totally reasonable not to deviate from the current format and if the Council members do not have enough information on an item, they can defer the item to the next meeting.  Krause said this does not have to be decided at this meeting and asked that this be put on the agenda for the next meeting. Forrest said the meeting summaries will be included with every council meeting packet along with backup materials.

Krause opened discussion on the renewal agreement with the Ralston Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc. for fire protection services.  The City and the Fire Department signed a four-year contract in 2013 and it was set to expire at the end of September this year.  Krause asked for Council volunteers to negotiate the contract with Forrest and City staff and the Fire Department.  Fideline and Preis volunteered to work with staff.  Krause said the Fire Department has graciously indicated they will continue to take care of the citizens of Ralston while the contract is negotiated.

Krause opened for consideration the promotion of Officer Jeremy Leifeld to the position of Sergeant. Motion to approve the promotion of Officer Jeremy Leifeld to the position of Sergeant by Alberhasky, seconded by Konwinski.  Chief Leonardo introduced Officer Leifeld and his family members in attendance.  Leifeld has been with the Police Department since 2010.    Leonardo indicated there were three well-qualified candidates from the Police Department for this position and he explained the four phases of the interview process.

All voted yes, motion carried.  Leonardo administered the Oath of Office to Police Sergeant Jeremy Leifeld.

Krause opened for consideration the contract with Protective Security Advisors to provide security services to the Ralston Arena for a period beginning September 18, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018.  Benis said the arena contracted with Ralston Arena Safety Services Corp. (R.A.S.S.) as the security provider.  He was contacted in early August that they would no longer provide security for the arena events after September 2017.  David Smith from Protective Security Advisors (PSA) has indicated they would be willing to pick up the staff from R.A.S.S. and provide security for the arena and other city events.  The cost is $2.00 higher than what R.A.S.S. was charging. 

Benis would like to enter into a one year contract with them due to the short notice and then bid out the services.  Motion to approve the contract with Protective Security Advisors to provide security services to the Ralston Arena for a period beginning September 18, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018 by Alberhasky, seconded by Sanchez.  All voted yes, motion carried.

Kraus opened for consideration the contract with Engineered Controls, Inc. for Library HVAC upgrades.  Motion to approve the contract with Engineered Controls, Inc. for Library HVAC upgrades in the amount of $9,420.00 by Alberhasky, seconded by Konwinski.   

Canfield indicated the HVAC upgrades project was budgeted for $10,000.  This would replace the software that runs the controls for the HVAC system.  The recommendation is to accept the bid from Engineered Controls Inc., for $9,420.00.  This company also included in their bid to deduct $800.00 if completed before November 30, 2017.  Freshman commented on best bid.

After discussion, Preis amended the previous motion to approve the contract with Engineered Controls, Inc. for Library HVAC upgrades in the amount of $9,420.00 minus $800.00, for a total of $8,620.00.  Seconded by Konwinski.

Sanchez commented on the exclusions from the scope of work and Canfield commented on the repair contingency of $750.00 and it being budgeted.

The vote on the amendment:  All voted yes, motion carried.  The vote on the initial motion:  All voted yes, motion carried.

Public Comment:  Rick Shively, 7505 Washington Street, Ralston, commented that the Council meetings might be a little longer with all the discussion.  He also commented on the expired contracts and hopes the City Administrator will go through all the contracts the City has to ensure more are not expired.

Council Comment:  Fideline indicated he does research the issues that are in the Council packets.  Sanchez said he has been very pleased with the City Administrator’s work.

For the protection of public interest, Sanchez moved that the Council go into closed session at 6:09 PM for discussion of strategy regarding personnel, litigation or contract negotiations.  Seconded by Konwinski.  All voted yes, motion carried.

Krause stated it has been moved, seconded and passed that the Council go into closed session for the purpose of discussion of strategy regarding personnel, litigation or contract negotiations.  The closed session is necessary for the protection of the public interest.

Krause stated the Council is reconvened in open session at 6:42 PM.  He confirmed that no subject matter other than personnel, litigation or contract negotiations was discussed.  No formal vote, informal vote, straw vote or poll was taken during closed session.

There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:43 PM.

Next regular meeting Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 5:30 PM.

Rosemarie D. Russell                                      Gerald Krause
City Clerk                                                       Council President


Council Minutes-Archive

City Council Minutes

The Ralston City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of the month.  The minutes of the meeting are posted below.