Once again Richland City Council ignores the city’s charter. The new contract for the interim city manager (Item 12) allows for three months severance when the charter specifies two. Several provisions including the ethics committee have fallen by the wayside. The charter requires that city managers live in the city but it was never clear where former City Manager Cindy Reents lived. Sometimes councilmembers take the oath of office as required after they’re elected, sometimes they don’t.

The council regularly amends ordinances to “conform to current practice” but changes to the charter require a vote of the people. That’s why the council ignores the charter rather than amending it.

The agenda

The following item numbers correspond to the agenda. The page numbers will take you to the page in the packet that describes the item. Both the agenda and the packet appear here. The agenda also includes the rules for public comments. There are no public hearings scheduled for this meeting.

  1. 2020 Fire and Emergency Services Annual report from Fire and Emergency Services Director Tom Huntington. You can get a head start on this report by reading this.  Pg. 4

2. Bob Thompson emailed that he had food poisoning that’s why he never showed his face or said a word during the Zoom meeting Feb. 23. He was counted as “in attendance.” Also, up for approval are the minutes for the February 16, 2021 meeting. Pg. 6-15.

3. The municipal code will be updated to match the state requirements for permitting. No permits are required for residential accessory structures (think sheds) that are 200 sq. ft. or less but business accessory structures must be less than 120 sq. ft. to avoid having to file for a permit. Pg. 16-21

4. Rezoning 3.1 acres in Clearwater Creek at the intersection of Steptoe and Center Pkwy from agricultural to commercial. Pg. 22-35

5. This amends parking rules to allow for bike lanes on certain streets. Check the list if you didn’t after it appeared on the Feb. 16 agenda. Pg. 36-47

6. The rules for sign permits are outlined. As noted in the Feb.16 Rundown, Council wants the hearing examiner to hear appeals instead of the city council. Pg. 48-53

7. Firehouse Subs doesn’t want to lose customers to heart attacks so their foundation will give a grant for automated external defibrillators. Pg. 54-56

8. The homeowners at 1061, 1063, 1065, 1043 and 1049 Allenwhite Drive have applied for membership in the exclusive City of Richland Country Club. They are willing to pay the yearly fees. The date for a hearing on their membership application will be held on May 4, 2021. (This is also known as an annexation request). Pg. 56-59

9. Setting the date for the Tiegs annexation. Look at this as a corporate application for membership in the City of Richland Country Club. Badger Mt. Vineyard has 76.54 acres at 1106 N. Jurupa Road. They will meet with the membership committee on the same day that the Allenwhite folks have their meeting, May 4, 2021. Pg. 60-65

10. The city will pay Parametrix, Inc. $96.701 for monitoring ground water and landfill gases at the Horn Rapids landfill. Pg. 66-85

 11. A single bid from Vincent Bros LLP for the wastewater treatment plant digester improvements and replacement generator project came in at $500,000 over the estimate. The bid has been rejected and the city is back to the drawing board revising its bid solicitation. Pg. 86-89

12. Rest in Peace Richland City Charter. According to Section 4.02 of the charter, if the city manager is terminated, they “shall be paid any balance of his salary then due or accrued and an additional amount equal to two months’ salary.” Former City Manager Cindy Reents had six-months’ severance pay in her contract; Interim City Manager Jon Amundson has three-months’ severance in the contract described here. The council negotiates around the charter in the contracts with this clause (Pg. 95): “If City elects to terminate Amundson’s employment for any reason other than for “cause” as defined below, Amundson shall receive a lump sum payment equal to three (3) months salary as severance, rather than the two months provided for in the Richland City Charter.” Pg. 90-97

13. Approving a site-specific rezone on 2.9 acres located at 1769 Leslie Road from C-LB to C-3. Bless her heart, Marianne Boring is probably the only person on the council who reads the packet. Plus, after almost 20 years serving on the Planning Commission and 20 years on the Board of Adjustment, she knows her zoning. She had this item pulled from the Feb.16 consent calendar so that it could be amended to prohibit new development that wasn’t neighborhood friendly. You will not be attending a drive-in movie here. There’s a long list of approved and unapproved uses listed.  Pg. 98-120

Blah, blah, blah from the city manager and the city councilmembers

Then there will be a Secret Meeting with the interim city manager to discuss labor negotiations.

2 thoughts on “Randy’s Rundown, Richland City Council Mar.2 agenda explained

  1. I think the city council should be freshly renewed. Now. It would be healthy with all new members.
    There should be term limits!
    There should be no politics within the council.
    They should “listen” and “respond” immediately to the people. And acted upon!
    They should live within Richland and West Richland borders for quick response. All should have cellphones on to be contacted.
    There should never be city actions taken by themselves but only with voters and not their votes. They work for us.
    They should fully support Richland Police Department and fire department. And their needs and requests. Not deciding for them or disciplining them. That is their Chiefs’ job.
    There has to be support for an animal no kill shelter and food and look for chips and tags on animals and help advertise those animals with owners having to prove they are theirs. There should be available workers to pick up lost or wandering animals. And please pick up deceased animals lying around~ even squirrels and wild animals! Provide income to the animal shelter workers.
    ***Seniors! They are left out. Meals (not one meal on wheels lacking meals), better transportation~dial a ride is a joke.
    Snow removal comes to mind as they are fined if snow on PUBLIC sidewalk in front of residence! They are old. Infirmed for different reasons. Not all neighbors are nice.
    Social needs for the elderly aren’t met. There needs to be a real group for them and then they also can meet together elsewhere. Help each other. They are lonely and claustrophobic. Not good for mental stimulation needed and not good for mental health. Meet in the community center which was built for them.
    And real exercise (which do exist) not silly exercises. At the center as well.
    The homeless children and adults. I have no idea. But it’s horrendous. Action on this should be YESTERDAY!
    And last but certainly not least. I meant to write this under my opinion on the counsil itself.
    ***Mental Illness care and help and providers are non existent!!!!! I know first-hand! How can that be. 99% have a bit or full fledged mental illness some time in their lives!!! It should be known by reading the newspaper when violent people have to taken care of by police who are trained some but are judged by the public for any actions taken when mental health needs to assist!!!!! Most of the adults and teens/children have a mental illness and no place or needed help for them!!!!! Psychiatrists and other medical staff are non existent or lacking. No hospital and the one there is is tiny. And doesn’t accept all insurance. This is the most disgusting and heartbreaking problem!!!
    2 Hanford High school suicides have happened in the last month and a half!!!!! There are many suicides not even told about!
    What will you do about that.
    Everything I wrote is important!

    1. Everything you said certainly is important and I appreciate your sharing your list of concerns. I have heard from a number of people who worry about mental health care and also worry that police deal with mental health issues that would be better handled by people with different training. I wrote about this issue here: https://wordpress.com/post/tricitiesobserver.com/840 We have a modest program for mental health professional to assist police. It has a grant. It needs to be nurtured and expanded. Every community is grappling with homelessness and we are no different here. We are the richest country on the face of the earth, if not here where. Thanks you again for your comments.

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