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 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.
- 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.