By: Tommy Smigiel
This week I have highlighted three items of interest on the City Council formal agenda. Below you will find a consent item which is a quarterly update on the City’s Legal Debt Margin. I thought the public would like to know where we stand on our debt limit. I am also including the presentation made by our new City Manager Marcus Jones, regarding the mid-year budget update. Click here for the presentation. I was impressed with the presentation as he broke it down in terms of Economics 101. This was helpful to those who are new to council and might not understand budget terminology.
On the Regular Agenda are two items of interest. R-1 is an ordinance to allow an automobile title loan establishment. This item was passed by at a previous council meeting because some members wanted additional information. I voted against tabling it to the next meeting because I read the document and was ready to vote NO on allowing this business to establish. This business falls into a category of predatory lender and preys on people who are desperate for cash by allowing them to sign over the title of their pre-paid car for a higher-interest loan. Here is a link from cnn.com explaining why car title lenders are bad ideas.
R-2 deals with language missing out of the City Code dealing with the operation of “mobile power equipment” (lawnmowers). This ordinance will reestablish the allowable times of 7:00am-9:00pm. Does anyone else think that 7:00am is too early and 9:00pm too late for your neighbor or local landscaping company to be cutting grass?
C-1 Statement of Legal Debt Margin – December 31, 2011 – The purpose of this quarterly notice is to advise City Council of the compliance with the City’s Legal Debt Margin. The Commonwealth of Virginia limits the City’s ability to issue general obligation bonds (which pledge the full faith and taxing power of the City as security for repayment) in excess of 10% of the City’s Taxable Assessed Value. As of December 31, 2010, the City’s existing general obligations are 4.46% of assessed value (44.60% of legal capacity). No action is requested from City Council. Click here for more information.
R-1 Special Exception – 6400 East Virginia Beach Blvd – Titlemax If approved, this ordinance would permit Titlemax to operate an automobile title loan establishment at 6400 East Virginia Beach Boulevard. The applicant would be required to make a number of site improvements, including the installation of landscaping on both East Virginia Beach Boulevard and George Street. Approval is recommended, based on compliance with technical ordinance requirements, consistency with approved plans, and considering the application of accepted standards for determining a concentration of uses that potentially pose problems for a neighborhood. Click here for more information.
R-3 Correction and Clarification of Section 26-3(b)(1) – Sound Levels If approved, this ordinance will amend the City Code § 26-3(b)(1) in order to state the exact hours of operation of mobile power equipment and remove a reference to a code section that no longer exists. Approval is recommended. Click here for more information.