Elected Officials Present:
Tamara Cornwell, Vice Mayor, Commissioner-at-Large 2
Jonathan Davis, Commissioner-at-Large 1
Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1
Tambra Varnadore, Commissioner, Ward 2—(Entered the meeting at 4:45 p.m.)
Brian Williams, Commissioner Ward 3
Elected Officials Absent:
Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor
Mark Barnebey, City Attorney
Jeff Burton, CRA Director
Freeman, City Clerk
Allen Tusing, Public Works Director
Scott Tyler, Chief of Police
Amber LaRowe, Assistant City Clerk
Vice Mayor Cornwell called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.
1. ORDINANCE NO. 2019-02 AND ORDINANCE NO. 2019-03
Scott Christiansen, Attorney for the General and Police Pension Board, discussed the two Ordinances as attached. The following changes were made to the General Employees’ Retirement Ordinance:
· Section 22-88, Disability, amended to more clearly identify those individuals who may be eligible to apply for a disability pension in the event that they have resigned or their employment is terminated. This clarification does not change the way in which this provision has been applied or interpreted in the past. This change is being made because the current language has been challenged in litigation as being unclear and has resulted in unintended application of the language. The recommended change clarifies the language with no change in the intended application.
· Section 22-94, Maximum Pension, subsection (1)(2), is being amended to correct a reference number.
· Section 22-96, Miscellaneous Provisions, is being amended to add subsection (i), Missing Benefit Recipients. This provision is in accordance with a recent IRS Programs Compliance Memorandum that requires plans to have an approved method for locating terminated individuals who are due benefits from the plan.
· Section 22-108, Deferred Retirement Option Plan, is being amended to remove subsection (f)(8), Prevention of Escheat and re-number the remaining subsections. The information contained in this subsection is being expanded in accordance with IRS guidance and moved to the Miscellaneous Provisions Section of the Plan where it will apply to all benefit recipients rather than just DROP recipients.
· Section 22-109, Reemployment After Retirement, is being amended to make several changes as required by the Internal Revenue Code to satisfy the qualification requirements applicable to the reemployment of a disability retiree. Additional changes have been made to clarify reemployment after receipt of early retirement benefits.
Attorney Christiansen then identified the two additional changes to the Police Officers’ Retirement Plan Ordinance besides the five mentioned above. Those two additional changes are:
· Section 171, Definitions, is being amended to amend the definition of credited service to provide that a police officer member, who also has credited service in the Palmetto General Employees’ Retirement System, may use such other credited service to determine eligibility for early or normal retirement and for vesting, but not for determining benefits under this system. A similar provision is already in place in the General Employees’ Retirement System.
· Section 22-200, Supplemental Benefit Component for Special Benefits; Chapter 185 Share Accounts, is being amended for Internal Revenue Code allocation requirements for forfeitures.
The Commission thanked Attorney Christiansen for attending this Workshop to expand upon the changes as attached.
2. RIVERSIDE DRIVE AND 8TH AVENUE PROPERTY DISCUSSION
Tony Veldkamp, Senior Advisor SVN, provided an update with handouts on the Riverside property. A copy of the handouts are attached to the minutes. The location overview and property overview were discussed. Mr. Veldkamp displayed a preliminary site plan 1 that shows the possibility of an apartment/hotel building on the southwest side of the parcel with parking behind along with the possibility of townhomes on the northwest side of the parcel. Preliminary site plan 2 shows apartments on the southwest parcel, hotel on the southeast parcel with a pool in between; townhomes located on the northwest parcel and an out parcel located on the southeast side facing 8th Avenue West.
Matt Fenske, Advisor SVN, discussed with the Commission what has been going on with the parcel since being listed on the market. There have been five serious prospects that will move forward. SVN will ask for a “call for offers” in late April with a goal to be under contract by the end of the second quarter. Developers have been calling about market rate residential, assisted living/independent living facility, or affordable housing which are all great options; however, maybe not the best use for this parcel.
Commissioner Williams expressed his opinions about building residential solely on that parcel; he is not in favor of that being the only thing built on the property.
Mr. Freeman questioned the ranking process and asked for further clarification going forward.
3. PERSONNEL POLICY PRESENTATION
Anne Chapman, Blalock Walters Labor Attorney, discussed the question posed at the last Workshop meeting regarding privacy rights of those seeking donated time for the sick leave donation program. She stated that by the employee filling out the request to seek donated time for their approved Family Medical Leave (FMLA) that is their consent to have some of the information disclosed to other employees. An email or memo will be distributed on their behalf to seek out donated time for their leave and, more than likely, only include their name, that they will be on approved leave, and that they are seeking donated time from their peers; no disclosure of what their illness is.
Commissioner Varnadore reiterated her concerns from the prior meeting as it relates to Section 9.01 C that discusses reimbursement to the City for costs associated with approved training. Mr. Freeman said that no changes have been made to the Personnel Policy at this time; staff is accumulating the concerns and feedback from the Commission first and will then produce a summary of those requested changes. After staff is told that the feedback is correct, then a new draft Personnel Policy will be presented. Mr. Tusing suggested that if the Commission makes changes to Section 9.01 about reimbursement for training, than similar language should be presented in the section regarding tuition reimbursement.
Commission discussed including the Commissioners as available participants in the health insurance that the City offers to full-time employees. Mr. Freeman will reach out to the health insurance carrier to determine if elected officials are able to participate and the cost, if any.
Vice Mayor Cornwell adjourned the meeting at 5:30 p.m.