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File #: Ord 19-18    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Archived
In control: City Council
Final action: 5/8/2019
Title: Amending Chapter 6.03.1 of the Saint Paul City Charter pertaining to the imposition of civil penalties for violations of city ordinances.
Sponsors: Amy Brendmoen
Attachments: 1. Letter to Council re Charter Commission Recommended Changes, 2. Public Hearing Notice Chapter 6.03.pdf, 3. Charter Commission Draft Minutes February 11, 2019, 4. BOMA letter re Ord 19-18, 5. Comment rec'd by Council re Ord 19-18, 6. Online Comment re Ord 19-18
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
5/8/20191 City Council Withdrawn  Action details Meeting details Video Video
4/24/20191 City Council Laid Over to Final AdoptionPass Action details Meeting details Video Video
4/17/20191 City Council Public Hearing Closed; Laid Over to Fourth Reading/Final AdoptionPass Action details Meeting details Video Video
4/10/20191 City Council Laid Over to Third Reading/Public Hearing  Action details Meeting details Video Video
4/3/20191 City Council Laid Over to Second Reading  Action details Meeting details Video Video


Amending Chapter 6.03.1 of the Saint Paul City Charter pertaining to the imposition of civil penalties for violations of city ordinances.



WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul would like the ability to implement an ordinance that provides a civil penalty for appropriate violations of city ordinances; and


WHEREAS, the City believes that civil penalties will assist in reaching compliance goals in a timely, consistent and appropriate manner, and


WHEREAS, the Charter Commission has recommended changes to Chapter 6.03.1 to allow for civil penalties; now, therefore be it


RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Saint Paul does hereby ordain:


Section 1


Section 6.03.1 of the Saint Paul City Charter is hereby amended to read as follows:


Sec. 6.03.1 - Legislative ordinances


Subdivision  1.  Every act of the council which defines, licenses, regulates, suppresses, prevents or prohibits any act, business or person, grants or modifies any franchise, imposes a civil penalty or punishment or is in any way an exercise of legislative powers, shall be done by legislative ordinance. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, such ordinances shall require an affirmative vote of at least four (4) members of the council.


Subdivision 2.  The council shall have full power and authority to establish, enforce, alter, amend or repeal a procedure by ordinance to impose civil penalties for each violation of a city ordinance.  This procedure must provide an opportunity to be heard by a neutral party.


Section 2


This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force ninety (90) days following passage, approval and publication.


Date NameDistrictOpinionCommentAction
5/8/2019 9:02 PMEric Lein   ORD 19-18 Withdrawn. DSI to work with City Attorney's office to revise proposed language for later consideration by the Charter Commission. Thank you, councilmembers, for listening. +4 -2 2
5/8/2019 3:44 PMAlisa Lein Against In short, please listen to the people of St. Paul. Vote No. Unintended consequences are a big deal. If DSI needs more tools in their toolbox, I understand that, but don't have it be a blank check for anything and everything under DSI. If Animal control is causing many issues, look at Animal Control, but don't put full authority over everything without properly engaging the community on the exact details. Organized Trash details were not disclosed to the public and look where we are today with that mess. +4 -2 2
5/8/2019 2:14 PMWard Nichols Against This ordinance came about after the opposition to the trash program, which isn't working. There is a pending court case on that program and a petition is also being circulated opposing Ordinance 19-18 as well. Perhaps the City Council should start listening to their constituents and s**** this new ordinance and allow a vote this fall on the trash program. If the trash program remains, there need to be changes including an opt-out and holding the haulers responsible for missed pickups through credits etc. Property owners that use their duplex as their personal single family dwelling do not need two garbage carts or two recycling carts and shouldn't be charged extra. +4 -2 2
5/6/2019 7:42 PMJohn Purdy Against Travis, Deputy Director used as an example for the need to institute Administrative Citations: "peeling paint", a "serious, cosmetic offense". Travis said that he has issued literally "hundreds" of these citations when he worked in another city. Where was this, Gotham City? +4 -2 2
4/23/2019 3:53 PMColleen Halpine Against This expansion of full power and authority to issue fines sets up new problems for citizens in dealing with the bureaucracy. The Mayor's office is supporting a study on fines so I can't understand why this new expanded penalty power is being pursued so quickly before the study results are public. I can only ***ume it is so the public won't have a chance to understand and discuss the pros and cons before the City Council votes. Charter changes should be voted on by the citizens on the ballot. My late husband, State Senator Don Moe, was not afraid of many things in his life but he was afraid of the extensive power of the DSI inspectors. He did everything he could to comply with all housing codes. Adding more types of fines for every little infraction, will further drive up housing costs. I am against this impulsive move by the City Council. +8 -1 1
4/18/2019 7:45 PMHeather Rowe Against The city council members and Mr. Cervantes aren't being honest with us. They state they don't want to criminalize people who are in violation of ordinances, yet only 100 criminal citations are issued yearly. That doesn't seem to be enough to justify changing the city's charter. They state they want to protect citizens from criminal penalties as it would make it harder to obtain rentals, etc. What they don't say is that if a civil penalty isn't paid, the city would obtain a civil judgement and collection order against the person. This would affect the person's credit rating and renting ability much more than a petty misdemeanor would. They state the only option they have now for ordinance violators is criminal penalties or do nothing, which is a lie. The have the ability to issue summary abatement and special ***essments against ordinance violators. Don't listen to these liars. Each one who votes for this charter amendment needs to be voted out of office this November. +7 -1 1
4/17/2019 10:14 PMMeredith Gillies Against Previously, I paid $33/quarter, taxes included, for trash. I now pay almost $90/quarter for service of a lesser quality. That's a difference of over $60 per quarter, and over $100 a year! If I had that much extra money in my budget, I wouldn't live in Frogtown. My home has already been invaded once, on the anniversary of my father's death, and they took everything I had of value and trashed the interior of my house. Years later, I haven't recovered emotionally or financially. I already work three jobs: one FT and two PT. The only reason I'm not at the meeting today is I'm at work and couldn't get my boss to approve the time off. I own my property and fix it up to the best of my ability on my limited budget. Imposing more penalties just encourages me to sell to HousingHub, let them bring in renters and not owners, and get out of town. +7 -1 1
4/17/2019 6:54 PMMary Leonard Against To further penalize individuals beyond late fees is an abuse of power. The majority of the people that are not paying are senior citizens who cannot afford the new and more expensive service. This is very bad PR for the city. It is time that our city and society show more kindness to their fellow human beings. Someday everyone on the council will know the affects of additional fees when they are on a fixed income. It is time the council think of real solutions, not penalties. Admit the error. Take the example of the Community Action Programs that help with energy bills. +7 -1 1
4/17/2019 6:03 PMBruce Becker Against I am strongly opposed to any and all such penalties for the trash program that continues to strong arm the residents of Saint Paul! +7 -1 1
4/17/2019 4:58 PM  Against It's time to admit the trash program is failing miserably. Amy for once do what's right for the majority. This is another attempt to save face and milk the residents of St. Paul out of more money. +8 -1 1
4/17/2019 8:17 AMTimothy Frankland Against This ordinance to expand the powers of the City Council leaves much to be desired. It states (Section 1, Subdivision 2) that the new proposed process for imposing civil penalties must provide for an opportunity to be heard by a neutral party, but the ordinance completely fails to elaborate beyond that. It fails to explain the proposed process for appeal or argument before a neutral party, it fails to explain how the neutral party should be selected, and it fails to state the time frame for such appeal. These are critical details that should be clearly spelled out in this ordinance, not just left for clarification at a later date. If the City Council wants to expand its powers in connection with the imposition of civil penalties, it should thoroughly explain the argument or appeal process to its residents now as part of this ordinance. As currently written, this ordinance should be voted down. +8 -1 1
4/16/2019 10:27 PMKen Rowe Against The city building official has been caught by the State licensing authority trying to enforce fire codes. His licensing authority has warned him regarding his violation of the MN Statutes, now the city council wants to have the authority to allow their building official to issue fines. St. Paul DSI currently holds more power than the police department yet have limited training and act at the will of the council members. There is no way they should have the authority to issue fines. +8 -1 1
4/16/2019 5:51 PMSoverign Sharon Against Legal Constitutional Notice via Blogs http://bloggin-***** +1 -1 1
4/13/2019 7:56 PM  Against Hopefully there is at least one member of the city council who will have the grace to vote against this attempt to bully and abuse the citizens of St. Paul. +10 -1 1
4/12/2019 4:17 PMCandidateSharonAnderson Against City cannot by Resolution/Ordinance Unconstitutional Issues +1 -1 1
4/6/2019 10:51 AMCandidateSharonAnderson Against also Challenge Marcia Moermond is NOT QUALIFIED to hear all these Cases FURTHER its Illegal to submit millions of Propertys Dollars via Consent Agenda without Public Consent;. +1 -1 1
4/5/2019 5:20 PM    Yet again Amy Brendmoen moves forward with an ordinance making it harder and more expensive for St. Paul residents to stay in their homes. Instead of admitting that the entire trash program has been a failure, she and her council cronies instead push forward with forcing residents to pay more. This ordinance shows just how out of touch Amy Brendmoen is with the wants and needs of her constituents and the greater St. Paul residency. Shame on the council for not standing up for their constituents. +16 -2 2
4/1/2019 5:11 AMEric Lein Against A PETITION REQUESTING A REFERENDUM IS CIRCULATING ----- Ordinance 19-18 amends the City Charter so that “the Council shall have full power and authority to establish, enforce, alter, amend or repeal a procedure by ordinance to impose civil penalties for each violation of a city ordinance.” We, being registered voters residing in the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota, request a referendum on Ordinance 19-18 per MN Statutes 410.12, Subd.7. +14 -1 1