January 4, 2011 wrks
Minutes of the Centerville City Council work session meeting held Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 5:50 p.m. in the Centerville City Council Chambers, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.
Mayor Ronald G. Russell
Council Members Justin Y. Allen
MEMBERS ABSENT Ken Averett
STAFF PRESENT Steve Thacker, City Manager
VISITORS Roger Barrus, State Representative
BUSINESS – OPEN DISCUSSION RE: 2011 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Mayor Ronald G. Russell welcomed State Representative Roger Barrus and State Senator Dan Liljenquist. (Senator Stuart Adams arrived after the meeting started). The Mayor expressed appreciation for their service at the Legislature and asked them to tell the Council what committees they were serving on and their assignments and issues that would be of interest to cities and that the Council should be watching and be concerned about.
Representative Roger Barrus reported that his assignments haven’t changed a great deal. He has chaired Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment for the last six years. He also served on the Appropriations Committee and is happy to continue with these. He has the opportunity to work with the Environment area and look at that budget. He believes that the EPA has overreached their authority from Congress and is doing things, from an environmental standpoint, that have a great impact on the ability of the State of Utah to continue to be profitable and foster a good economy. He has worked with Rob Bishop regarding Public Lands. Natural Resources covers seven areas including Forestry, Fish and Wildlife & water conservation districts. One thing to note for Centerville City is a change in regulations regarding the application of insecticides and fungicides that will affect waterways and the permitting process. Representative Barrus is also working with the Public Utilities and Technology Committee. He sees the main issues, in general, as the budget (with no tax increases foreseen), and immigration.
Senator Liljenquist chairs the Ethics Committee and Retirement Committee. They are trying to consolidate all HR related functions in the State. There will be some type of Medicaid legislation because Medicaid has grown by 300% in the last 10 years and is on pace to wipe us out in the next 10 years. They will be looking at outsourcing to get control of costs. Senator Liljenquist also serves on the Rules Committee and on Business and Labor. As far as issues, he mentioned budget, immigration (looking at broader than just enforcement), substantial restructuring of Medicaid, and pension reform regarding “double dipping” laws.
Senator Stuart Adams referred to the effort by the U. S. House of Representatives to defund the health care program. If that happens, he thinks we’ll see Utah step up and exercise their State’s rights. However, Immigration is a Federal responsibility. He chairs the Transportation Committee and Revenue and Tax Committee. They will be looking at connecting the HOV lane from Farmington to Beck Street.
Representative Barrus said we’ll see more movement toward States rights rather than intrusion of Federal government. He also commented on energy costs and that the EPA, without congressional approval, created whole new criteria for pollutants and that carbon dioxide may become a regulated pollutant regulating what emissions will be coming out of buildings. He is working with the Attorney General’s office and they, along with other states, have filed suit against EPA.
Mayor Russell concurred that Immigration enforcement and associated costs is a major issue. What is our funding source going to be to deal with it as cities?
Councilman Cutler referenced Chief Worsley’s memo regarding checking status when a person is arrested--not just stopped.
In regard to illegal immigration, Councilman Wright said that agencies are working at cross purposes with each other. We must look at all levels of government where the State touches or serves people and that encourages them to remain in Utah. There is a need to eliminate centers of gravity for jobs, services, etc.
Senator Adams commented on the possibility of raising the sales tax on food.
Mayor Russell believes there are a couple of tax issues that would impact us, the Gas Tax and the Restaurant Tax.
Councilman Wright would like to see a pedestrian overpass in Centerville to the Legacy development to protect those walking (i.e., young people) to the Megaplex Theaters.
Councilman Cutler expressed the thought that the number of restaurant liquor licenses needs to be expanded. Excess tavern licenses could be converted to restaurant licenses.
Jim Pedersen, Planning Commission chair, asked about any land use issues, especially concerning affordable housing. As far as is known, it will not be an issue this year.
Mayor Russell said we are part of the South Davis Metro Fire Agency. We may want to talk about fixing taxing districts for the next session, to make the board more representative of the member entities.