Richland City Council will have another secret meeting (also known as an executive session) to “evaluate an applicant for public employment or review performance of a public employee.” The agenda says 45 minutes for the discussion, but one of the last times the council had a secret meeting (The Observer is losing track because there are so many) Mayor Ryan Lukson came back on camera and announced the council needed more time. They spent almost two hours behind closed doors. Since the council hired a west-side consultant to help them determine what they need from a city manager, the Observer can only guess that the secret meeting is another one for that purpose.

The agenda has two items on the property taxes. Don’t ask me to explain the process. The simple answer is if your property assessment goes up, your taxes are going to go up too.

The council will also vote on the use of all-terrain vehicles on streets with less than 35 mph speed limits with exceptions which the city plans to put on their website. The matter was discussed at a city council workshop in June.

The pages after the items correspond to the pages in the packet. As per usual, the instructions for commenting are at the top of the agenda.

The warnings, like don’t expect an immediate answer (translation: don’t expect an answer😂🤣), etc., are now included in the instructions for public comment. If the clerk doesn’t have to read these, the council can get on to the secret meeting faster. See, the council is efficient at some things.

The meeting begins

1.New hires and retirements. This has become a regular addition to the council agenda.

Public Hearings – You get 3 minutes to comment here. Follow the instructions on the top of the agenda.

2. The city moved the waterline, so it doesn’t need the easement at Westcliffe Heights. Pg. 60-62.

3. The proposed 2022 budget and the 2022-2027 capital improve plan. Pg. 25-28 The general fund budget is $74,814,544 and total appropriation for everything including electricity, water, etc. is $321,633,329.  Pg. 25-28

4. The city is moving money around to include funding from the American Recovery Plan Act to purchase a fire truck, ambulance, and wildland brush truck. ARPA funding must be appropriated by the end of the year.

In addition, Firehouse Subs donated $22,330 to the Richland Fire Department to purchase automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). The 2021 budget is amended to include this donation. If you recall, the city amended an ordinance to allow the city manager to accept gifts to the city up to a certain amount. The Observer can’t remember the amount and she doesn’t get paid enough to go through the Rundowns and Recaps to tell you what it is. Pg.29-31

Public Comments You know the drill. Unlike the public hearings, you only get two minutes here. Talk fast.

5. Approving minutes for Oct. 19 regular meeting, Oct. 26 workshop meeting and an Oct. 27  SPECIAL MEETING. The special meeting consisted of a Secret Meeting to discuss buying or leasing real property, followed by a vote to approve purchase of real property. I don’t know what the property is. Pg. 9-17

6. The amends the Richland code to allow Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles on roads with 35 mph or less speed limits. There are exceptions. The city will publish the rules soon. Pg. 18-24

7. Resolution 38-21, Amending Title 15 of the Richland Municipal Code related to Solid Waste. It’s Halloween and the city has played a “trick” on the Observer. She finds nothing in the packet for this item.  I will update later. — From the city clerk’s office, here’s the answer to the missing item: “Good morning, Ms.Slovic. Thank you for contacting the City regarding Agenda Item #7, Ord. No. 38-21, Amending Title 15 of the RMC related to Solid Waste. This agenda item was moved to the November 16, 2021 City Council Regular Meeting Agenda for first reading and was inadvertently left on the current agenda. The November 2, 2021 City Council agenda and agenda packet has been updated.” 

8. Approving the 2022 budget – See Item 3.

9. Amending the 2021 budget. See Item 4

10. Approving the Ad Valorem Tax and Property Tax Levies. Herald reporter Cameron Probert gave a better explanation than I can on the Richland Residents Facebook page. I was tempted to cut and past it here, but he might be fired for contributing to the Observer. Therefore, I will give you the short answer. Property assessments are going up and your taxes are going up with them. Pg. 32-35.

11. More on the Ad Valorem Tax Pg. 36-38

12. Approving Amendments to the 2021 budget. According to the city’s summary:

“Ordinance No. 36-21 will amend the 2021 budget appropriations. Net additional appropriations in the amount of $1,971,493 are identified in the attached worksheet. The increases are primarily the result of additional expenditures in the General Fund, Hotel/Motel Tax Fund, Special Lodging Assessment Fund, Solid Waste Utility Fund and Public Works Admin & Engineering Fund. In some instances, it is necessary for the City to declare that a public emergency exists in certain funds, as required by state law, because certain expenses were not originally anticipated when the 2021 Budget was adopted. New revenues support $445,000 of the increase. The remaining $1,526,493 is funded by use of existing fund balances.” Pg. 39-42

13. Setting a public hearing date of December 7 at 6:00 p.m. regarding the proposed vacation of a portion of the Keene Court Right-of-Way.  Pg. 43-45

14. The Richland players will buy 627 sq. ft. at 606 Jadwin Ave. from the city at $2.45 a sq. ft. because their storage shed currently sits on that property. Pg. 46-59

15. Relinquishing the easement at Westcliffe – See Item 2

16. Approving the 2022 Tri-City Regional Hotel-Motel Commission Budget and Marketing Plan. Funds are collected from area hoteliers to support tourism. Pg. 64-65

17. Appointment to the Tri-City Regional Hotel-Motel Commisson. Linda Hendricks. Pg. 66-67

18. Appointing to the Richland Public Facilities District Board: Kristin Lerch. Pg.68

Blah, blah, blah from Interim City Manager, Mayor and Council. It shouldn’t take long; they have to get to that SECRET meeting which is next.