Budget Committee Meeting
April 28, 2008 6pm
Civic Center, Council Chambers,
The Citizenís Budget Committee meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm on April 28, 2008 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.
Committee members Chapman, Douma, Everson, Gregorio, Hardesty, Heimann, Jackson, Morrison, Navickas, Slattery, Silbiger, Stebbins, and Thompson were present. Hartzell was absent.
STAFF PRESENT: MARTHA BENNETT, CITY ADMINISTRATOR
LEE TUNEBERG, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES/ FINANCE DIRECTOR
BRYN MORRISON, ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE
DIANA SHIPLET, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
BARBARA CHRISTENSEN, CITY RECORDER
ANN SELTZER, MANAGEMENT ANALYST
TINA GRAY, HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
RICHARD APPICELLO, CITY ATTORNEY
PAMELA TURNER, MUNICIPAL JUDGE
VICKI CHRISTENSEN, MUNICIPAL COURT SUPERVISOR
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Everson/Silbiger m/s to approve the minutes of the 4/09/08 and 4/10/08 Budget Committee Meetings. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passes.
Committee member Stebbins stated her general concerns with the budget process and the realities of our current economic situation.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder, gave an overview of the Recorderís office budget and the major responsibilities of the department.
Committee member Navickas arrived 6:14 p.m.
Committee asked for and received clarification on the Recorderís role as investment officer. Christensen gave overview of the Recorderís department accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2008, the budget comparison for the last few years, and the breakdown of the proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget. Committee asked for and received clarification regarding the cost and any commiserate savings related to the use of credit cards.
Christensen gave overview of the significant budget changes and challenges for Fiscal Year 2009. Committee asked if the auditor standards are recommendations or requirements. Christensen stated the ones they are currently working on are requirements.
Committee asked and received clarification related to the banking charges being charged entirely to one fund. Tuneberg reminded the group that the Recorderís Office budget is entirely in the Central Services Fund. Committee asked and received clarification about the revenue from the passport application processing. Committee asked and received clarification about the possibility related to charging a set up fee related to credit cards.
Heimann/Hardesty moved to tentatively approve the City Recorderís budget. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion passes.
ADMINISTRATION, HR, LEGAL
Martha Bennett, City Administrator, gave overview of Administration budget. She stated the Administration budget is the catch-all budget. They attempt to always have anything general purpose local government is in general fund and anything that is overhead is in the central services fund. Bennett gave overview of the departmentís major responsibilities and the major accomplishments from Fiscal Year 2008.
Bennett gave overview of the distribution of the budget and the budget for the past few years. She reminded the committee that the Municipal Court was previously in Administrative Services departments and was moved to the Administration department in Fiscal Year 2008.
Bennett gave overview of the Mayor and Council and Administration divisions proposed budgets. Committee asked for and received clarification related to RVTV charges in relation to the general fund and PEG fees. Committee asked and received clarification related to the increase in fringe benefits related to Mayor and Council. Bennett reminded the committee that we typically budget for full family coverage but this year elected to budget actual cost for the council members who are not up for election and full family for the council positions which are.
Bennett gave overview of Human Resources division budget. She stated she is concerned about this budget because of the reduction of one person from full time to half time - we are hoping we will be able to give the same level of service with only the half time person. Committee asked and received clarification regarding the formation of the labor/management committee which is looking at salary and benefit issues.
Bennett gave overview of Legal and Municipal Court division budgets. Committee asked for and received clarification regarding staffing levels in both Legal and Municipal Court. Committee asked if it is necessary for Ashland to have a court. Bennett stated that it is a benefit to the community not only regarding customer services reasons but also because if we were to depend on the county prosecutor to handle our cases and without our own court many fewer cases would ever be prosecuted. Committee asked for and received clarification regarding the lower amount of revenue from the Court.
Bennett gave overview of the committeeís choices regarding the library levy rate for Fiscal Year 2009. Staff suggests that the committee levy 19 cents per thousand to follow the language in the ballot.
Bennett gave overview of the significant budget changes from Fiscal Year 2008. Committee asked and received clarification regarding the budget for outside council and for the full time employee moving from HR to public works.
Bennett gave overview of the two add packages, both of which relate to council goals. Committee asked and received clarification on what work could be done if the ad package related to strategic planning and economic development were reduced by half. Bennett gave overview of what the estimated amount broke down to and stated that we could not do both the projects and the project timeline would slowdown considerably. Committee asked and received clarification about what each of the different add packages would entail. Committee discussed the reasons why or why not the economic development and strategic plan add packages could be important to the cityís future decision making ability.
Bennett gave overview of the Administration Department challenges for Fiscal Year 2009. Committee asked for and received clarifications on several of the challenges.
Gregorio/Heimann m/s to tentatively approve the Administration Department budget. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passes
Tuneberg gave overview of the Administrative Services Departmentís major responsibilities. Committee asked and received clarification regarding the Administrative Services Departmentís responsibilities related to parking enforcement. Tuneberg gave overview of the major accomplishments and their measurements of services in Fiscal Year 2007-2008. Tuneberg showed the budget comparisons for all the various divisions in Administrative Services.
The overall Administrative Services budget is $3.9 million. Tuneberg gave the breakdown of all the various divisions and funds within that overall budget. He gave overview of the significant budget changes between Fiscal Year 2008 and 2009. Tuneberg stated the challenges for Fiscal Year 2009 are much the same as the challenges for Fiscal Year 2008 and gave overview of those challenges.
Tuneberg gave overview of the operational goals for Fiscal Year 2009. Committee asked if it was the Administrative Servicesí departmentís responsibility to develop new fees. Tuneberg stated they work with the individual department to determine the impacts of each potential fee.
Tuneberg gave overview of the add package related to Fiscal Stability which is a Council Goal. Committee asked if the rate studies were part of the budget for the council goal. Tuneberg stated that rate studies are paid for by the enterprise funds however, Finance handles a great deal of the support work. The council goal is not connected to the rate studies. It is focused more on overall fiscal stability of the city.
Committee asked how much, roughly, we earn from parking tickets/fees. Tuneberg stated that the Hargadine Parking structure pays for the debt services on that structure, the cost of the Diamond Parking contract and earns about $50,000 additional. Committee asked and received clarification about our risk management insurance premiums and claims judgments. Committee asked and received clarification on the totals listed for economic and cultural grants.
Committee asked and received clarification on the monies held for parks acquisition and what the minimum level we can safely budget. Committee asked and received clarification on what is involved in each of the two parts of the council goal add package.
Committee asked and received clarification regarding how well the city has projected the reduction in state gas tax revenues and the potential loss in property tax revenues due to increased foreclosures. Committee asked and received clarification on the staff position included in the add package. Committee asked if the department could use the staff member, regardless of the council goal. Tuneberg confirmed that yes his department needs the position to keep up with current work load and council requests.
Gregorio/Slattery m/s to tentatively approve the Administrative Services budget. DISCUSSION: Committee asked if they are being realistic about budgeting $85,000 for a staff accountant. Tuneberg stated that it is a challenge but he is hoping that someone out there has interest in working for the City. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passes.
This meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.