MINUTES FOR THE CITY COUNCIL/PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
AD HOC COMMITTEE MEETING
September 4, 2013
340 S. Pioneer Street
Chair Councilor Marsh called the meeting to order at 4:12 p.m. in the Parks Office.
Councilors Rosenthal and Voisin, Parks Commissioners Seffinger and Landt were present. Staff included Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson, City Administrator Dave Kanner and City Attorney Dave Lohman.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the August 7, 2013 meeting were approved as presented.
It was announced that the Joint meeting of the Council and Park Commission is scheduled for October 29 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
Review of Q&A’s
Discussion by members on the Internal Controls Policy that was approved by the Park Commission and the City Council included how the policy was developed and it identified responsibilities of the City and Park Commission. The committee questioned whether there were any other policies or documents to be included in further discussion regarding the Parks budget.
City Attorney Dave Lohman stated that this policy or any others would have no effect on the need to follow Oregon Budget Law including the Budget Officer. It was noted that policies should be respected and could be changed if necessary. Frustration by some members of the committee that the process used to change Park budgeting procedure was not an organized way for government to act. It was suggested that staff would prepare a new policy to be discussed at the joint meeting.
Potential Budget Incentives
Two options were presented to the committee:
- Assignment of budget surplus: Monies budgeted but not spent during the biennium will be added to revenues generated by the department (fees, rental income) that exceed budged amounts; the total will be evenly divided between the general fund and Parks and Recreation.
- Assignment of revenue only: Parks and Recreation will wholly retain revenue generated by the department (fee, rental income) that exceeds budgeted amounts.
Discussion by members on the proposed included:
- What would keep the Budget Committee from keeping the funds – even if incentive is adopted
- Cannot legally segregate Parks Commission
- Work to find an agreement that would stay in place into the future
- Amount of funds is unknown
- Would provide a way for Parks Department to be creative
- Consider different scenarios – incentive is reasonable alternative – need to adapt to staff changes
- Incentive for when departments are achieving and exceeding their goals
Staff explained that the Park Commission and staff could present arguments in favor of their budget to the Budget Committee but none that would be legally binding.
Committee continued to discuss the proposed incentive options and explained that this policy would be just an experiment that could provide guidelines for any other departments if it proved worthwhile.
An Option 3 was considered as the following: savings in Material & Services would be moved to Capital Improvements as this may allow more control over Material & Services. Any surplus and retention of funds would be the responsibility of staff and Park Commission.
Continued comments on options included that Option #1 may increase the independence of the Park Commission. Committee reviewed past discussion on Ending Fund Balances.
Park Commissioner Landt/Councilor Rosenthal m/s to approve incentive document as presented adding Option 3 and adding Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to all options. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Review of documents created by Committee
- Funding principals
- Council/Parks Communication Memo
- Proposed Budget Process
- Confirmation of Management Responsibilities
- Recommendation on current Ending Fund Balance
- Incentive Policy
Committee discussed if there was any other short/long term revenue proposals that could be explored and members offered some suggestions as the following:
- Create new policy/agreement between City and Park Commission which would allow use of property tax for first few years but begin process of incorporating another revenue source – such as Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT
- Citizen vote for Parks dedicated revenue stream that would include Lithia Park being eligible for TOT
- Dedicated percentage of property tax to Special Revenue Fund for Parks – work toward increasing TOT by 1%
It was noted that it is hard to support a specific amount set aside for Parks & Recreation when there is a broader need to solving budget issues and that all budget issues should be addressed. These include changes in programs, growth of the community and many other issues.
It was understood by the committee that when the time came for discussion on increasing the TOT for dedicated park funds, the discussion would include both the City Council and Park Commission. The committee felt that the use of TOT funds is the most promising for identifying long-term funding.
Committee discussed pros and cons on restoring the 2.09 property tax as a dedicated revenue stream as some members felt this was in the spirit of the City Charter. Other members stated that this would not be a recommendation that would be considered and would rather have continued work on researching the possibility of increasing the TOT.
Councilor Voisin motion to recommend that the council restore the 2.09 in the 2015-17 Biennium Budget and in the interim that staff work on increasing TOT by 1% to be dedicated to Lithia Park. Motion died due to lack of second.
Committee continued discussion on investigating the TOT as a potential dedicated option for funding in the next biennium budget process.
Councilor Rosenthal/Commissioner Landt m/s to recommend at the joint committee meeting to explore feasibility of TOT increase dedicated to Park & Recreation funding. DISCUSSION: Members discussed how the vote would be conducted at the joint meeting.
Commissioner Landt/Councilor Marsh m/s to all for the question. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Vote on main motion: Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite Street/Shared her concern on appointments to the Budget Committee. She felt that there should be training offered, more recruiting of citizens, description of the Budget Committee made available, explanation on the role of the Budget Committee and inform the Budget Committee of all policies that are pertinent.
Cindy Dion/Directed her comments and questions to the City Administrator Dave Kanner regarding how things were in place prior to Measure 50.
Councilor Marsh provided a response from the General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regarding Measure 50 and restricted funds. The response included clarification that it is not necessary to close no longer use restricted funds.
Chair Marsh concluded the meeting by offering to draft a report from the committee and would attach all documents that had been created within the committee to the agenda for the joint meeting. She would send the draft report out to the members for any comments.
Consensus by committee was that there is no need to schedule any further meetings.
Meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.