Chair Councilor Marsh called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. in the Parks Office of 340 S. Pioneer Street.
Councilors Rosenthal, and Voisin, Park Commissioners Seffinger and Landt, City Attorney Dave Lohman were present. Staff present: Don Robertson, Parks & Recreation Director, Dave Kanner and City Administrator.
The minutes of March 28, 2013 were approved as presented.
Review of Parks & Recreation action from Monday, April 22, 2013
Explanation on a motion, previously approved by the Parks & Recreation Commissioners, and the result of a Resolution was brought forward to the committee. It was stated that the rationale for this action were several that included the following: There were goals in the Comprehensive Plan that had not been reached; new process for funding and establishing Ending Fund Balances (EFB) had not been approved by the voters; request that the Council and Budget Officer refrain from using EFB until a policy was in place; assurance that the City Charter retains its directive as it pertains to Parks & Recreation Commission; approval to rescind approval of Parks & Recreation Budget and to not accept any EFB.
A cover letter from the Parks Commissioners provided additional clarification regarding the title of the Resolution and the desire of the Commissioners to work positively with Citizen Budget Committee. Goal of the Commissioners was to protect the integrity of the Park Commission and City Charter language.
The effect of Measure 50 was noted and that there had been many opportunities to change the City Charter to reflect this change. It was suggested that the committee request a change to the City Charter. Clarification and process for placing a charter amendment on the ballot was explained.
City Administrator Dave Kanner answered questions and provided explanation on the Parks Budget for Ending Fund Balances (EFB). These included some of the following: EFB was determined to 12.5% but could also be determined to be 0%; new process guaranteed by City General Fund; agreed that percentage determination is political but also typical; Department budgets do not have EFB; Parks & Recreation is their own Fund, is part of the City, but has its own governing body.
Discussion was held on what type of entity Parks & Recreation is considering that they have their own Employee Identification Number (EIN) and PERS identification number. Parks & Recreation was described as a “unit of city government.”
Mr. Kanner continued to provide explanation on Ending Fund Balances and how Beginning Work Capital is determined. He stated that “add packages” would be considered by the Citizen Budget Committee and that the Parks Budget would eventually have to compete with other departments for these.
Concerns were raised that the Park Commissioners would lose their authority for budgeting, deep staff knowledge and understanding the needs of Parks & Recreation. It was stated that the Park Commissioners have little ability for input of appointments to the Citizen Budget Committee. Members questioned what Parks funding would look like in two years and what the process for the budget would be.
Mr. Kanner explained that the budget process would continue in the same manner as is current. He noted that the future is difficult to forecast due to issues regarding PERS and any unforeseen challenges. Mr. Kanner was asked if this “process for the budget” could be put in writing to show some assurance to the Parks Commission that the integrity of the Commission would not change.
City Attorney Dave Lohman provided clarification regarding the City Charter and how Measure 50 changed the Park Commission independence. He stated that this had happened in many Cities and provided some examples. He understood that the past agreements between the Park Commission and Budget Committee had been “year to year” agreements.
Discussion on the ability of the Parks Commission to access funds included a suggestion that a Reserve Fund be established in place of the Ending Fund Balance. It was clarified that Ending Fund Balances could not be spent as this becomes Beginning Cash Balance.
Suggestion was made that a Special District be formed for the Parks & Recreation. Concern was raised on the difficulty the Parks Commission would have generating revenue. It was agreed that the decision to make the change regarding the Parks & Recreation budget was political.
Members continued discussion on the current Ending Fund Balance and how the rate was determined. All agreed that further public input was important.
Review and discussion of motion passed at the last Ad Hoc meeting
Several suggestions, along with pros and cons were made for consideration of change to the motion previously made. These included the following: Move EFB into a Reserve fund which could be used for Parks; use entire 12.5% EFB with any unused funds rolled into EFB; continue to fund the Reserve fund with projected Parks revenue; cannot use EFB; cannot replenish Reserve Fund; would be policy decision by Citizen Budget Committee on an annual basis; and consider using contingency fund. It was understood that the goal would be to make funds available for appropriations for the Parks Commission.
Continued discussion included acknowledging that the ultimate decision would be made by the Citizen Budget Committee for any changes to the Parks & Recreation Budget. It was also stated it may be possible for a process to be set up through political means, “political binding,” that could make it difficult for future City Councils to make changes.
Park Commissioner Landt/Councilor Rosenthal m/s to rescind prior motion of March 28, 2013 meeting. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Park Commissioner Landt/Seffinger m/s that the Ad Hoc Committee proposes to the Citizen Budget Committee that a new Park Reserve Fund be created with the purpose of these funds to be used for repair, restoration and improvements to Lithia Park. That the current proposed Ending Fund Balance of $750,000 is a “zero” balance and that this amount of $750,000 be the amount budgeted in the 2013-15 Budget for the Parks Reserve Fund.
Voice Vote: Landt, Marsh, Voisin, Seffinger and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
Discussion of process for analysis of long-term Parks & Recreation funding
Chair Marsh presented to the committee a suggested structure to follow for the long-term discussion. She asked that the future meetings are “hands on” and that members prepare using the following:
List of concerns, questions, arguments in regards to proposed changes
Criteria/Concepts for funding Parks mechanism – what needs to exit long-term
Brainstorming mechanisms to fund Parks
Consider criteria qualities in Parks funding
Consider how to change funding mechanism in order to respond
Future meetings were set for May 28 @4:30 p.m.; June 11 @4:00 p.m. and June 24 @4:00 p.m. All meetings will be held in the Parks Office Building.
Cyndi Dion voiced concern with proposed intergovernmental revenue in the budget and questioned fund transfers from General Fund.
Allison Date shared that she volunteers for the Parks & Recreation and has concern for funding Parks.
Mikey Cloney questioned how dollars are used and encouraged accountability and sustainability.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.