Minutes for the Citizen Budget Committee Meeting
February 21, 2013
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
The Citizens Budget Committee meeting was called to order at 6:06 pm.
Council members Carol Voisin, Michael Morris, Greg Lemhouse, Rich Rosenthal, Dennis Slattery, Pam Marsh and Mayor John Stromberg were present. Citizen members William Heimann, David Runkel and Roberta Stebbins were present. Denise Daehler arrived at 6:09 pm and Chuck Keil arrived at 6:49 pm. Dee Anne Everson and Lynn Thompson were absent.
ELECTION OF CHAIR & VICE-CHAIR
Heimann/Lemhouse m/s to appoint Stebbins as chair. VOICE VOTE: ALL AYES.
Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to appoint Heimann as vice chair. VOICE VOTE: ALL AYES.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
PUBLIC INPUT JoAnne Eggars 221 Granite Street Ashland spoke to the committee about how important the Parks Department and the funding of it is to the City of Ashland.
PRESENTATION BY STAFF (see attached PowerPoint slides)
Insurance charges to departments
Personnel costing assumptions
Central Service Fund charges
Budgeting for the Parks Department
City Administrator Dave Kanner spoke to the above topics as referenced in the attached memo. The budget is being built as a “current service level” budget. Departments are instructed to prepare a budget that assumes we will continue to offer the same services at the same levels through the 2013-15 biennium that we are offering in the current fiscal year.
Kanner spoke to the increase in PERS rates for the upcoming biennium. Mr. Runkel asked if it is possible to lower the amount picked up by the employer for the employee to help offset the PERS increase. Discussion followed regarding the fact that the bargaining unit contracts stipulate the PERS contributions. Kanner stated that PERS projected these rates and we have to budget for the increase. As PERS rates continue to go up, there will be political pressure for the State to do something.
Kanner spoke to the City converting to a self-funded health insurance plan. He stated that claims are very unpredictable and we would have a health benefits reserve. As required under state law. The City would also purchase aggregate re-insurance which would allow for a cushion in the case of a bad claims year. Insurance premiums will be charged to each department based on a flat per FTE charge for each employee in the City. A third party administrator will be hired to handle all claims and streamline the process so employees won’t notice anything different.
Kanner discussed a 2% increase in each year of the biennium for the Central Service fund.
He also discussed the proposal on the table to change the recording of Parks revenue as a transfer from General Fund (rather than directly from property taxes) which frees up for ongoing appropriation funds that currently sit in an unappropriated fund balance. Mr. Rosenthal raised questions on this topic and spoke to the fact that Parks funding is very important for the City.
Mr. Stromberg said that a meeting will be held between the Parks Commission and the City Council to discuss the goals for each and how they interrelate. During the next study session the Council will discuss the goals and how those can be accomplished and funded. State budget law states that only the budget officer (City Administrator or other designee) can propose the budget. Kanner said the Mayor has been very good about meeting with each Parks Commissioner to discuss the process. The Parks & Rec Funding for FY 2013-15 working draft document (see attached) was handed out to the committee.
The budget committee calendar was presented (see attached) and the alternate dates were offered. If anyone should have a conflict on any of the dates they are asked to let the Finance Department know so changes can be made if necessary.
SOCIAL SERVICE GRANT DISCUSSION
Volunteers for the sub-committee
Meetings on March 20 & 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm
ECONOMIC & CULTURAL GRANT DISCUSSION
Changes to process and procedure
Meetings on April 17 & 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Volunteers were encouraged to sign up for either or both grant subcommittees. Anyone interested was asked to let Lee or Tami know.
DISCUSSION BY COMMITTEE
Voison recommended that a letter be sent to Doug Gentry thanking him for his time served on the Budget Committee. Everyone agreed that a letter should be sent to him. Finance will be in charge of the letter.
Keil was recommended as Liaison to the Audit committee. Tuneberg explained what it entails. Keil accepted.
Stromberg/Heimann m/s to approve the budget assumptions and budget process as presented by Dave Kanner. Roll Call Vote: Stromberg, Lemhouse, Marsh, Runkel, Stebbins, Daehler, YES; Rosenthal, Slattery, Morris, Heimann, Voison and Keil, NO. Motion failed 6-6.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:41 p.m.
Tami De Mille-Campos