MINUTES FOR THE CITY COUNCIL/PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
AD HOC COMMITTEE MEETING
August 7, 2012
340 S. Pioneer Street
Chair Councilor Marsh called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. in the Parks Office.
Councilors Rosenthal and Voisin, Parks Commissioners Seffinger and Landt were present. Staff included Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson and City Administrator Dave Kanner.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the July 23, 2013 meeting were approved as presented.
Review of ongoing work
Materials for the joint meeting of Council and Parks Commission were in the process of being approved by the committee along with the Findings of the Ad Hoc Committee to determine if the committee has completed its assignment.
Committee discussed additional recommendations and management responsibilities to include Cost of Living (COLA)/benefits and classifications and the ability for Parks to determine their own process for this within the budget.
There is a current Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Parks that addresses issues under discussion. Committee discussed recommending some amendments to the MOU that includes current action and agreement between the bodies.
City Administrator Dave Kanner and Parks Director Don Robertson provided to the committee a proposed budget process and budget calendar. The recommendations included the following:
- Allowing the Park Commission Chair to accompany the Parks Director when meeting with the Budget Officer to present budget
- Parks Director presents proposed budget to Parks Commission in a regular commission meeting – Commission makes specific recommendations to be sent to Budget Committee in advance of first budget meeting (but not in advance of the budget being delivered to the committee)
- Parks Director makes budget presentation at Budget Committee meeting – Park Commission recommends any modifications during presentation.
Committee discussed the opportunity for the Parks Commission to schedule a joint meeting with the City Council prior to the beginning of the budget calendar cycle in order to communicate any concerns. It was noted that communication is very important between the Budget Officer and the Parks Commission. Timing is serious and dates need to be upheld as any changes may have subsequent effects on other funds.
Committee discussed the suggestion that the Parks Commission participate in the City Council annual goal setting process as budget items are based on goals and objections that result from these sessions.
Chair Marsh provided to the committee, for review and discussion, a draft memo to City Council and Parks Commission regarding Communication between the Council and Commission. The memo outlined two options for the City Council and Parks Commission to consider: 1) Joint Committee comprised of two council members and two parks commissioners and 2) Establish a schedule of regular joint meetings of the full bodies.
Committee comments regarding the draft memo included concern that the joint committee may supersede the Parks Commission and have unintended consequences and that the joint committee could provide smaller ad hoc committees with specific duties and functions. Committee discussed the pros and cons for smaller and larger number of members on committees and acknowledged that the goal is to commit to communicate between the two groups. Committee members agreed that there was value to both options and discussed a third option of a joint planning committee. Further discussion was held on who would provide the agenda for a joint meeting and who would chair a joint meeting.
Committee discussed again the suggestion that there be a joint meeting at the beginning of the budget process to discuss common goals after each group had conducted their goal setting session.
Potential funding recommendations were identified as the following:
- Property taxes
- Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) – determine if Lithia Park would qualify for State taxes
- Meals Tax – possible use of this for parks in 2030
- Increase program fees – entrepreneur concept suggested
Committee discussed the “entrepreneur concept” as to how this would work. Discussion included the flexibility it would allow for Parks that may generate additional funds and whether it should be considered citywide and if it should be allowed. City departments should be currently managing their budget in ways that would result in savings to the taxpayers.
It was agreed that further discussion would be needed on this topic along with the continued discussion of identifying further funding sources for short-term dedicated funding sources.
The committee would begin their next meeting with discussion on identifying further short-term dedicated funding sources and what happened in the prior budget process involving the Parks. Discussion would also continue on addressing and discussing the $600,000 Ending Fund Balance for Parks.
Committee agreed that creating an understanding and providing communication tools for the two bodies is important and that all departments have adequate funding.
The committee will meet again on August 19th
at 4 p.m.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/
Voiced support for a joint meeting of the two bodies and appreciated the discussion by the committee on the budget process. She felt that it was important to have a process in place and security that Parks would have necessary funding.
Voiced support for finding sustainable funding for the Parks and hope the committee would continue with this discussion at the beginning of their next meeting
Meeting adjourned at 6:06 p.m.