The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Posts Tagged ‘Justin Shields’

‘Vendo’ world is not Monica Vernon’s idea of an afternoon at the pool; she wants Ellis pool fix to include a concession stand

In City Hall, Justin Shields, Monica Vernon on July 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm

The City Council pushed ahead Wednesday evening with plans to fix the flood-damaged Ellis Park swimming pool at an estimated cost of $367,000.

Bids on the work will be opened on July 16 with work to proceed after that.

Council member Monica Vernon, though, is still unhappy with one change that is coming for the renovated pool. It’s the change that will replace a concession stand operated by summer employees with “a collection of vending machines for more efficient operations,” according to a city staff report.

At Wednesday evening’s council meeting, Vernon pointed to the council’s vision statement that calls for the city to build “a vibrant urban hometown.” Vending machines at the swimming pool does not fit that bill, Vernon said.

“I’m sure the vendo companies will be mad at me now,” she said.

Council member Justin Shields agreed. Shields said he’d prefer a city employee operating a concession stand to young children fumbling around with change trying to get a vending machine to work.

Vernon and Shields were the only ones to vote against the Ellis renovation as now configured, but Vernon said she’s going to take another run at her council colleagues to keep a concession stand at the pool.

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Council rejects push for special new committee in fight for $118.5-million in I-JOBS money; it says established flood-recovery committee is already there to help

In City Hall, Floods on May 21, 2009 at 8:10 am

The business community apparently continues to want to create new entities to try to help the City Council.

This time, City Council member Justin Shields told his council colleagues Wednesday evening that a noontime meeting Wednesday of some local business and other leaders led to the suggestion of a special new committee to help the city decide which projects it should get behind in the competition for $118.5 million in state I-JOBS stimulus funds.

Backers of several local projects are interested in a piece of the $118.5 million in state-distributed funds, including, no doubt, those eager for a new community center/recreation center and also those who want to upgrade the U.S. Cellular Center and add a convention center to it.

At the suggestion of new help, the council, though, decided it didn’t need to create something new to decide how best to compete for the state I-JOBS money.

The council will use the City Hall-based Recovery and Reinvestment Coordinating Team, which has been in place and providing advice to the council since the early days of flood recovery.

Shields and council member Chuck Wieneke both noted that the RRCT has representation from a wide sector of community interests, including the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown District as well as leaders in housing, arts and culture, non-profit agencies, neighborhoods and government.

Council member Monica Vernon and Shields said it was important that the council pick a couple of quality projects and get them submitted to the state I-JOBS competition quickly.

Forget the “wish lists,” Shields said.

As for getting pushed by outside forces, the council currently is in the process of hiring a flood recovery manager, the majority of whose salary will be paid for by the private sector. This was a private-sector idea pushed by Rockwell Collins.

The council also is contributing some money to a private-sector creation, the Economic Planning and Redevelopment Corp., which came to be, to a degree, from some private-sector frustration with City Hall over the pace of flood recovery.

Shields last night said there is a sense in the community that Cedar Rapids never fares very well in competitions for money that the state hands out. So, he said, it was important to make a good case.

At the same time, the state already has earmarked other I-JOBS money to Cedar Rapids and Linn County in the tune of $45.5 million. Proposals to secure these funds must be submitted by Sept. 1.

Of that money, $5 million goes to each of three flood-damaged city buildings, the library, Public Works Building and Paramount Theatre, with another $5 million to provide steam replacement assistance for those who have been on the flood-wrecked downtown steam system. The National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library is receiving $10 million as are backers of a new human services building. Options of Linn County is getting $5 million the city of Palo’s fire station, $500,000.

Deadline for news on huge pot of federal buyout money has passed; City Hall upbeat that good news will arrive soon

In City Hall, Floods, Jim Prosser, Justin Shields on May 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

It’s been something of the Great Waiting at City Hall.

State officials who have come to Cedar Rapids in recent weeks, and city officials themselves, have said that the federal government would make a crucial disaster-funding announcement by the end of April on how it intended to divvy up a huge, $4-billion pot of national disaster relief.

It’s May 7.

These federal Community Development Block Grant funds are the ones that City Hall intends to use to pay for most of the buyouts of 1,300 flood-damaged Cedar Rapids homes. The city has put the cost at about $175 million.

In a talk yesterday, May 6, council member Justin Shields and Sue Vavroch, the city’s treasury operations manager who doubles as a key legislative point person for the city, both noted that they and others at City Hall were sitting on the edge of their chairs on Friday, May 1, expecting an announcement on the crucial federal funds.

Shields said there were “wild rumors” circulating. But nothing came.

Shields and Vavroch said the expectation now is that the announcement will come within the next couple of weeks.

“We are frustrated that we haven’t heard. But we are very hopeful,” Vavroch said.

Shields said he remains upbeat and confident that the dollars will come in.

A big concern of City Hall’s and of the state of Iowa’s has been the way the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development dispensed an earlier allocation of CDBG disaster funds last year. The thought is that Iowa got shortchanged in favor of former President George Bush’s state of Texas, Cedar Rapids and Iowa officials have suggested.

This week, Shields and Vavroch said that it was likely that the federal formula used to divide up the latest $4 billion in CDBG money will be more favorable to Iowa.

City Manager Jim Prosser characterized the arrival of the expected new round of CDBG funds as “huge.”

He noted that the city has been busy putting into place a buyout registration system so that it can begin the process of buyouts as speedily as possible once money arrives.

Vavroch emphasized that the announcement of the new allocation comes first. Actual allocation of funds will take another couple months at least, Prosser said.

Buyouts in the proposed greenway along the Cedar River – there are 192 properties there – will be made with flood-mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Those funds are expected to arrive in the next few to several months, city officials have said.

Council wrestles over hiring local firm vs. hiring “more responsive” one and sides, 5-4, with the Minneapolis outfit

In City Hall, Floods on April 25, 2009 at 8:14 am

Do you hire a professional firm because it’s a local one with a less expensive proposal even if a City Hall review team has concluded another firm from out of state has a better proposal and brings more horses to the task?

That was the central question this week that provoked a spirited debate among City Council members, who, in a rare 5-4 vote, awarded the contract to ProSource Technologies Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

The city will pay ProSource an estimated $516,400 over six months for the firm to provide data required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the estimated 1,300 flood-damaged homes and other flood-damaged properties that the city hopes to buy out.

The contractor will obtain right of entry to properties, verify ownership, document the property’s legal description, check an owner’s insurance coverage at the time of the flood and notify lien holders of the intent to demolish a property.

ProSource’s proposal charges the city $380 per property while a bid by AllTrans Inc. of Cedar Rapids would have charged $350 per property for the work.

The City Hall’s review team concluded that ProSource and a third contractor, JCG Land Services of Cedar Rapids, were the top two of four proposals based on of the four contractors’ overall proposals, experience, method of approach to the project and cost.

Council members Tom Podzimek, Monica Vernon, Jerry McGrane and Pat Shey voted to award the contract to AllTrans Inc., while Mayor Kay Halloran and council members Brian Fagan, Kris Gulick, Justin Shields and Chuck Wieneke supported the city staff recommendation to award the contract to ProSource.

Podzimek argued that the council has spent some time over many months discussing what steps it might take to purchase more products and services from local companies. It didn’t make any sense to talk about buying locally if the city wasn’t, too, going to look at hiring locally as well, he said.

Podzimek said this contract related to property acquisitions was a chance to use a local employer with local employees and a chance to give a young, local firm the opportunity to build skills that the firm then could use to bid on other jobs. The city would be using its disaster recovery, he said, to help beef up the resume of a local firm for other disaster recovery projects.

The inference was that the Cedar Rapids firm then could become the out-of-state consultant – the council here as gotten some criticism for hiring out-of-state consultants – that other cities in other states might hire.

On the other side of the debate, council member Shields used the example of a boiler and said he didn’t want anyone building a boiler under the theory that, let’s give this person the job, “You got to learn sometime.” Cedar Rapids needed to hire “the very best,” he said.

Disagreeing with Shields, council member Vernon – she and Shields have been a one-two punch in recent weeks in trying, unsuccessfully, to arrange to have a new flood-recovery chief sidestep City Manager Jim Prosser – said the contract to assess properties for buyouts was a “great opportunity” to buy local and award the contract to the low-cost bidder. She said the contract involved “basic things” for which previous like experience might not be as important as other work the city needs to be completed.

Both Rita Rasmussen, the city’s senior real estate officer, and Prosser emphasized that the local firm did not provide a “detailed scope” of plans of how they would deliver the service.

Rasmussen told the council that the city’s proposal review team had concerns about whether AllTrans had the capacity to do the work in a timely manner. AllTrans did not address “capacity issues,” she said.

Council member Kris Gulick asked, specifically, about “adequate staffing,” and he wondered how many staff members AllTrans would bring to the job and how many ProSource would. Rasmussen said AllTrans listed four employees while ProSource said it would bring many more than that to the job.

The 5-4 council vote backed a resolution awarding the contract to the Minneapolis firm ProSource because it had submitted the “most responsive and responsible” proposal.

In hiring professional firms, cost is only one of several variables that jurisdictions look at in a competition for a city contract.

In matters involving price bids — street contracts, for instance — jurisdictions must pick the lowest responsible bidder.

At private-sector’s push, City Council launches quest for flood-recovery manager with a job description fit for Superman

In City Hall, Floods on April 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm

More than five weeks have passed now since council member Tom Podzimek suggested that an unsuccessful move by three council members related to a flood-recovery CEO was tantamount to a coup d’état.

Council members Justin Shields, Monica Vernon and Jerry McGrane all wanted this flood-recovery chief to bypass City Manager Jim Prosser and report directly to them and the other six on the City Council. But the other six dismissed the notion out of hand. The city charter calls for one CEO who reports to the council, not two, the six said.

With all the pizzazz of government overthrow now put aside, the council still is in the process of filling the position that Shields and Vernon, in particular, had agitated for.

All of the council members have gotten in line behind the position — the job is now called flood-recovery manager and the person filling it will report to Prosser — and it comes with an unusual twist. The city’s largest employer, Rockwell Collins, has pushed for the City Hall position, and Rockwell Collins is joining other private-sector contributors to pay most of the cost of the public-sector flood-recovery manager.

Conni Huber, the city’s human resources director, last week noted that the council resolution creating the position anticipates that 80 percent of the cost will be paid by private-sector corporations and/or people.

Huber last week also reported to the City Council that a multi-stepped process is underway to try to fill the flood-recovery manager position. There have been two sessions in which the public offered suggestions about the qualifications and experience that the new flood-recovery manager should possess. Council members have weighed in on the matter, too, and others have filled out surveys via the city’s Web page, Huber said.

It wasn’t clear if there was anyone in America who could fill the role after Huber had told the council what kind of person that the public and council members said they were looking for.

The new manager will need to be a top-notch coordinator, a person who can make connections, someone who is a great communicator, who can become the “face of Cedar Rapids flood recovery and reinvestment,” Huber said. The new manager must be expert in finding funding and someone who can quantify how much he or she is accomplishing. The new manager must be a leader, a consensus-builder, articulate, an effective advocate for Cedar Rapids, experienced in disaster recovery and have an advanced degree in public administration, management or some other relevant field.

After Huber finished, Mayor Kay Halloran asked, “Do you feel you can find people (to meet the qualifications)?”

“I always have to be optimistic,” Huber said. “People are out there,” she assured. The task, she added, was to connect with them.

The city now has begun to advertise the new job and hopes to have a list of applicants by May 4.

Interviews will be held June 1 and 2 with council members and others with the hope that the job will be filled by the June 12/13 anniversary of the 2008 flood.

The private-sector push by Rockwell Collins to have a private-sector-backed presence inside City Hall came even as a different local private-sector initiative here created something called the Economic Planning & Redevelopment Corp. The City Council has contributed $50,000 to the EPRC and Linn County about half that amount, but it’s a little murky what the mission of the EPRC’s director, Doug Neumann, will be once the private sector has a flood-recovery manager inside City Hall.

Council member Chuck Wieneke has suggested that the City Council take back its $50,000 from the EPRC now that the city is creating a new position at City Hall.

Council passes new budget, but not without anti-Prosser theatrics by three of nine council members

In City Hall, Jerry McGrane, Jim Prosser, Justin Shields, Monica Vernon on April 9, 2009 at 9:01 am

It is easy to be caught by surprise when the City Council finally gets around to voting on the annual city budget.

The final vote always comes after much discussion and many long, nighttime meetings over three or so months with the final pre-vote meeting seeming to bring some consensus of what the council has tossed into the mix.

But once again on Wednesday evening, three of the nine City Council members – Justin Shields, Monica Vernon and Jerry McGrane — opted to use the council budget vote as theater and as symbolism which they knew would have no bearing on the majority’s vote to approve the budget.

It was the threesome’s chance to lodge a protest vote against City Manager Jim Prosser.

The new budget, approved on a 6-3 vote, adds 26 new employees, increasing the city’s total number of employees to 1,422.

The new budget is huge by Cedar Rapids city budget standards. The regular piece of the budget amounts to $392 million, but the flood fund portion of the budget adds another $359.5 million to the budget, raising the total size of the thing to $752 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

However, Shields, Vernon and McGrane rejected the budget over raises totaling $23,358 to two of the city’s top department heads, Conni Huber, human resources director, and Christine Butterfield, community development director.

The raises came outside the council’s budget deliberations as City Manager Jim Prosser has explained that he was bringing the department heads’ salaries in line with the other six department directors that report to Prosser and in line with salaries of such positions in 23 other cities in the Midwest.

On Wednesday evening, Prosser noted that the move to establish pay equity for the city’s department directors began two years ago, but got pushed aside by last summer’s flood and by the focus on flood recovery. That’s why the two raises came now.

Shields, Vernon and McGrane said they didn’t think Huber and Butterfield should have been singled out for special consideration — Huber’s raise was 15.8 percent and Butterfield’s, 10.2 percent — when the 400 or so other city employees not represented by bargaining units were getting just 2 percent raises and another 800-plus bargaining-unit employees were getting raises in the 3-percent range.

Shields wondered if Prosser had spent any time looking at other classes of city employees to see if their wages were in line with other cities.

Prosser said, in fact, the city does that on an ongoing basis.

Vernon, a business owner, said her employees aren’t given the luxury of a review of 23 other cities to justify where their salaries should be.

Council member Tom Podzimek said the issue was about “fair compensation” based on a review of many other cities. Podzimek wondered if the city really wanted to lose its top directors or if the city wanted to become a “second class city.”

In a moment unusual for him, Prosser got exercised. He said it was his decision to raise the salaries of two of his directors and if Shields or the council had a problem with it they could address it during his performance review. He said he had no difficulty defending the raises so that the salaries were in line with the city’s other department directors and other cities’ directors.

“If you don’t think I did it right, take it out of my salary,” Prosser said.

Shields came right back at Prosser: “Those comments don’t change my mind,” Shields said. “I don’t agree with singling out two employees.”

Shields and Vernon have been at public odds with the city manager.

In recent weeks, the two made a much-publicized attempt to hire a flood CEO that would sidestep Prosser and report directly to the council. McGrane agreed with them.

The council majority, though, dismissed the move out of hand, arguing that the city’s still-new council/manager government is designed with one top dog, the city manager, to report to the council. The council has agreed to hire a flood manager, but that manager will report to Prosser.

It is a City Hall election year.

Six of nine seats are up for a vote, including Shields’ District 5 seat and McGrane’s District 3 seat. Vernon, the District 2 council member, has been thinking of running for mayor.

First post-flood victory for new ‘affordable’ replacement housing: Cedar Pond Townhouses to go up on a part of what had been Chapman Fun World

In City Hall, Floods on March 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Neighbors out along Wilson Avenue SW near Williams Boulevard and Westdale Mall lost out this week on their attempt to block the construction of 90 rental units on about 11 acres of land.

Part of the site used to be home to the Chapman Fun World, but for opposing neighbors, the fun is long gone. Some 224 people signed a petition against the development, called Cedar Pond Townhouses.

The 6-2 City Council vote in favor of the development clears the way for the first newly built, affordable rental housing to be built to replace affordable housing lost in the June 2008 flood.

Much has gone into City Hall’s effort to do just that, build more affordable housing, since the first months after the city’s flood disaster.

The City Council created a Replacement Housing Task Force last September and then it successfully lobbied the federal government to increase a key federal funding tool – federal tax credits – for the state of Iowa.

The Cedar Pond development will use tax credits and some local financial incentives for much of its funding. For the tax-credit financing piece, private investors pay money upfront for a housing project’s construction and, in turn, have their federal tax liability reduced.

The upfront money allows the developer to take on much less debt, and, as a result, the developer can and must keep rents affordable. At Cedar Pond, only those earning at or below 60 percent of the average medium income for Linn County can rent the units.

The opponents made good arguments on Wednesday evening about potential problems with water runoff from the proposed development and about traffic problems that already exist in the area.

District 5 council member Justin Shields — this is his council district — was convinced. He said the site was too wet for the development. And he said he had heard before how a developer’s engineers were going to take care of everything, and then they do not.

But in these discussions about affordable housing, a central concern, too, is just who might live in affordable housing.

It’s clear it’s an issue, not so much by what opponents say, as what proponents and the developer say.

In this instance, Greg and Candace McClenahan, of EverGreen Real Estate Development Corp., Prior Lake, Minn., are the developers, and Candace McClenahan emphasized to the City Council and to the opponents in the audience that people who live at Cedar Pond must have jobs so they can pay up to $570 in rent and $78 a month for utilities each month for a two-bedroom apartment and $670 and $101 for utilities a month.

There is even a new term — work force housing — for these kinds of developments, which Mayor Kay Halloran used to express her support for the project. Given the affordable housing lost to the flood, this is “new housing for our work force,” she said.

Council member Tom Podzimek took exception to neighbors who called the rental development incompatible with the area.

“Affordable housing doesn’t seem like an incompatible use,” he said.

At the end of the day, the opposing neighbors had a tough case to make, in large part, because an early development on the same site had been given approval a few years ago. And that development had three-story buildings, not two-story ones, and it had 38 more rental units.

The McClenahans also came along with a plan at a good time when the City Council was eager to replace some of what the 2008 flood destroyed. And the McClenahans spent much time refining their plan and scaling it back as they worked to please the city’s Replacement Housing Task Force. Task force member Ben Henderson told the council just that on Wednesday evening.

Two members of the City Planning Commission also came to the council meeting to explain why the commission earlier had backed the project.

Chris Dostal, a 2005 City Council candidate, was among neighbors arguing against the development because of the traffic nightmare that he said already exists on and around Wilson Avenue SW. But the timing of that argument wasn’t the best either: the city’s multimillion-dollar viaduct project on 33rd Avenue SW will be ready for traffic in the fall and should reduce traffic on Wilson Avenue by a third, a city engineer said.

Cedar Pond now heads to Des Moines to secure tax credits from the Iowa Finance Authority. This comfortable territory for the McClenahans: They’ve built 11, regulation-heavy, tax-credit projects in Iowa and Minnesota in the last 12 years.

Three other new, new-construction, tax-credit projects have been proposed for Cedar Rapids since last September. One intended for the former Ellis Golf Course chipping area has been abandoned in the face of neighbor objections. A second at 1100 O Ave. NW is opposed by neighbors and has gotten a lukewarm reaction to date from the City Planning Commission. A third project, planned for the Oak Hill Neighborhood has yet to secure tax credits.

Council members Vernon, Shields still frustrated: ‘I didn’t run to walk in St. Patrick’s Day parades,’ says Vernon. ‘Give me a committee. Give me some policy.’

In City Hall, Justin Shields, Monica Vernon on March 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Council members Monica Vernon and Justin Shields stopped by The Gazette on Wednesday to talk to the newspaper’s editorial board at Vernon’s request.

Vernon conceded that part of the intent of the meeting was for her to “vent” a little.

She and Shields last week advocated for the hiring of a city flood-recovery manager — Vernon at one point called the job a flood-recovery CEO –- a move that their City Council colleagues endorsed.

But six of the nine council members rejected the Vernon-Shields idea that the new employee should be hired and report directly to the council and not to the council’s top employee, City Manager Jim Prosser.

The council majority said the city’s still-new council/manager government was designed with one CEO, the city manager.

On Wednesday, Vernon and Shields continued to make their case for their minority position in the table-of-organization debate to The Gazette editorial board.

Along the way, they insisted that their unsuccessful move to get a new employee reporting to the council was not a move around or against Prosser.

Shields and Vernon said their central interest is to get more done on flood recovery better and sooner.

“I’m not blaming Jim Prosser for that,” Shields said. “I’m blaming myself for that because I’ve not been able to move anything to help do it better.”

In their view of City Hall, the part-time council and part-time mayor in a council/manager government play a too-small role in governing and are too dependent on the city manager to set the agenda and to bring items to the council for discussion and votes.

In their view, city government and all of its 1,400 employees and all the city’s consultants are there to work for Prosser, not the City Council.

Vernon even suggested reconvening a Home Rule Charter Commission to modify the City Charter so that the City Council might have clear responsibility for more employees whom the council could direct.

The City Charter, which was put in place by voters in June 2005, calls for the Charter Commission to reconvene, in any event, in 2011 and every 10 years after that.

In addition, the charter allows for amendments by the council itself, subject to a voter referendum upon a petition request.

Organizational charts aside, Vernon and Shields acknowledged that there were things that they could try to do to remedy what they see as a problem: that is, too much coming from the city manager and too little from the council.

Vernon said the council needed a better way to get ideas to the table from themselves and from the public and then a better way to sort through those.

Vernon called for the council to establish committees, where small groups of council members can take time to dig into particular topics and then bring the results back to the full council for discussion.

Prosser, she said, doesn’t favor council committees and Mayor Kay Halloran hasn’t created them.

Shields said most every form of government uses committees.

“My God, the federal government would collapse if they didn’t have committees,” he said. “They wouldn’t know what to do.”

At the end of the day, Vernon told The Gazette editorial board that what she and Shields were shouting about was about better government and the ability of the elected council to play a bigger role to get it done.

“This is not a petty deal with the city manager,” Vernon said. “This is about how should the structure work and what should we be doing and are we able to do what we were elected to do.

“… If everything flows through that person (the city manager), who I thought was sort of an operations person, then you tell me what my role is. (Is it) to walk in St. Patrick’s Day parades? Is that the role?

“I didn’t run (for council) to walk in St. Patrick’s Day parades. I don’t mind it. It’s kind of fun. But give me a committee. Give me some policy. Give me a problem to solve.”

The Tycoon closed for St. Pat’s; City Council backs police remediation plan to reform rowdy bars

In City Hall, Police Department on March 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

The owner of downtown bar The Tycoon managed to convince five council members to put his expedited case for  liquor-license renewal on the agenda of a special noon council meeting on Monday. The meeting had been called for another reason, the selection the city’s new Local-Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee.

Why the rush for the bar? Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day. What bar doesn’t want to be open for St. Patrick’s Day seemed to be at least part of the reason The Tycoon’s plight surfaced at City Hall on Monday.

The Tycoon shouldn’t have bothered.

For starters, The Tycoon needed a quick license renewal because it had failed to abide by the city procedure that requires a 30-day notice for such a renewal. The 30-day period gives the Police Department time to conduct a routine check to see if the bar’s license should be renewed.

Council member Justin Shields was sympathetic to The Tycoon when he first moved see if the bar’s license renewal could be expedited.

But Shields withdrew his interest in the expedited renewal after a presentation by Police Chief Greg Graham and comments by City Manager Jim Prosser.

Graham noted that police had been called to The Tycoon 17 times since the first of the year, a “high” number for a bar of its size, especially so since the bar has been open only two nights a week, the chief said.

Many of those calls to the police were from the bar owner or bar employees, noted Graham, which he said was a good thing.

“But clearly, he’s not doing enough,” the chief said of the owner, Tim Bushaw.

Graham said bar owners can take steps to reduce the need for police calls by making sure they have an adequate number of employees on duty, by banning misbehaving customers or by not serving too much to those who have had too much to drink.

The Police Department’s plan had been to handle The Tycoon much as it handled the R & R Corner Bar, 700 E Ave. NW, a few months ago. That plan would give the bar a six-month license if the bar owner was willing to sign an agreement to improve bar behavior and so cut down on the number of police calls.

City Manager Jim Prosser called the effort “problem-solving” and not punishment.

“We are not security for bars or other liquor establishments,” he said.

One possibility on Monday was to grant The Tycoon an expedited liquor-license renewal if it was willing to enter into an agreement with the Police Department to find a way to reduce police calls to the bar.

But Shields withdrew his interest, saying the owner’s version of police activity at the bar had not squared with the Police Department’s documentation of calls.

In the future, council member Tom Podzimek said businesses that miss important deadlines like this need to pay penalties to the city. Those penalties will help people meet deadlines and will help the city defray extra costs that come when it tries to expedite services, he said.

The Police Department had to hustle its review of The Tycoon after the owner managed to make it in expedited fashion to Monday’s council agenda.