Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Citizens Budget Committee Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, May 21, 2015

                                                                                                        
 
Budget Committee Meeting
Minutes
May 21, 2015 6:00pm
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
 
 
  1. CALL TO ORDER
The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:00pm
 
  1. ROLL CALL
Present:
David Runkel          
John Stromberg      
Greg Lemhouse
Rich Rosenthal
Pam Marsh                           
Mike Morris
Carol Voisin 
Stefani Seffinger
Mary Cody
Traci Darrow
Garrett Furuichi
William Gates
Pamela Lucas
Shaun Moran                      
 
Other Attendees:
Dave Kanner                        Budget Officer/City Administrator
Lee Tuneberg                       Finance Director
Kristy Blackman                   Administrative Assistant
 
 
The Chair outlined the duties of the Citizens Budget Committee (CBC).
 
  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
 
M/S
Lucas/Voisin
That the minutes of the following meetings be approved as presented and/or amended.
May 7, 2015 Budget Committee Meeting
May 11, 2015 Budget Committee Meeting
May 14, 2015 Budget Committee Meeting
All ayes
MOTION APPROVED
 
  1. PUBLIC INPUT
The following members of the public appeared in support of the proposed Solar Farm.
  • Donna Swanson
863 plum ridge drive
Ashland OR
 
  • Coeli Dwivedi
557 Fordyce
Ashland OR
 
  • Bruce Fiero Owner of Willpower Electric
209 Samuel Lane Loop
Ashland OR
 
  • Jeff Sharp
553 Fordyce St
Ashland OR
 
  • Huelz Gutcheon
2253 Hwy 99
Ashland OR
 
The following members of the public appeared in support of the proposed SOU Grant.
 
  • Lisa Garcia Hanson – representing SOU
4140 Barbara Jean Way
  •  
 
  • Michele Zundel – Ashland High School Principal.
107 Granite St
  •  
 
 
  1.  DISCUSSION ISSUES FOR BUDGET COMMITTEE
 
  1. PROPOSED CHANGES TO PARKS & RECREATION BUDGET (FROM 5/14/15 PARKS COMMISSION MEMO)
 
M/S
Stromberg/Marsh
To approve the budget changes as presented.
Roll Call Vote
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - No Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
 
13 Yes – 1 No
MOTION PASSED
 
The Chair requested the committee go on record to commend the parks department for initiating the proposed audit.
 
  1. COUNCIL  ACTION ON FUNDING FOR ASHLAND FOREST RESILIENCY (AFR) (INFORMATION ONLY)
Kanner noted that the proposed budget included revenue from increasing the city’s permanent tax rate to its maximum amount which was to fund Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) work. At the moment the city is assessing 8.92¢ below the maximum tax rate. On May 19, 2015, the City Council agreed to a new water bill charge based on meter size that will generate $175,000 per year which will be sufficient to fund the AFR work. He noted that the agenda reflects the current tax rate, not the increased tax rate.
 
 
  1. ADD PACKAGES (INCLUDING DISCUSSION OF GENERAL FUND UNAPPROPRIATED FUND BALANCE)
 
  1. FIVE ADD PACKAGES RECOMMENDED BY BUDGET OFFICER (PAGE 1-9)
 
M/S
Lemhouse/Marsh
To approve of the ad package for Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator increase from .6 to 1.0 FTE at the cost of $28,000 per year from the general fund.
Roll call vote
14-0
MOTION APPROVED
 
Tuneberg handed out summary at Stromberg’s request, of end of year fund balances in comparison to targeted end of year fund balance as well as revenue streams for proposed FTE’s. It was agreed to add this to the agenda after the ECTS Grant allocations.
 
M/S
Vision/Morris
To replace cardiac defibrillators at $66,000 per year using a $330,000 loan from the equipment fund which would be repaid over five years.
Kanner pointed out that there is a possibility the city could receive a grant for these and if they do, the money would remain as a non appropriated fund balance.
Roll call vote
14-0
MOTION APPROVED
 
M/S
Lemhouse/Seffinger
That a vehicle be purchased for the deputy chief for a onetime cost of $30,000 which will be partially offset by elimination of car allowance.
Roll call vote
14-0
MOTION APPROVED
 
M/S
Seffinger/Morris
To replace taser conducted energy weapons, cameras, and support equipment at a onetime cost of $40,000.
Roll call vote
14-0
MOTION APPROVED
 
M/S
Rosenthal/Lemhouse
To approve the ad package for Parks and Recreation for operating expenses for the Grove.
Roll call vote
14-0
MOTION APPROVED
 
  1. SOLAR FARM PROPOSED BY COUNCILOR VOISIN
 
M/S
Voisin/Gates
Move to accept the ad package asking that $75,000 from Economic Development funds be reallocated to the Conservation Division for the purpose of developing and implementing an RFP for a solar park on the Imperatice property.
 
Runkel moved to amend the motion to allocate up to $75,000 for the city to develop a master plan for the use of the property with the possibility of the use of a solar park.
No second.
AMENDMENT FAILED.
 
Roll call vote:
 
Runkel - No Seffinger - No
Stromberg - No Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - No Darrow - No
Rosenthal - No Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - No Gates - Yes
Morris - No Lucas - No
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
5 Yes – 9 No
MOTION FAILS
 
  1. SCHOLARSHIP FUND PROPOSED BY COUNCILOR LEMHOUSE
 
M/S
Lemhouse/Stromberg
That the City of Ashland allocates $50,000 annually for a scholarship that would be awarded to qualifying students that graduate from Ashland High School and enroll in Southern Oregon University.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - No
Stromberg - No Cody - No
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - No
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - No Gates - No
Morris - No Lucas - No
Voisin - No Moran - Yes

5 Yes – 9 No
MOTION FAILS
 
  1. ADD PACKAGES NOT RECOMMENDED BY BUDGET OFFICER (PAGE 1-10)
 
(1) Approval of the replacement of Administrative Services financial software system at an ongoing cost of $100,000 per year for 10 years from the general fund.
Not moved.
 
(2) Approval of the addition of .8 FTE clerical staff in the Fire Department at an ongoing cost of $89,854 from the general fund.
Not moved.
 
(3) Approval of the addition of 1.0 FTE to sworn personnel in the Fire Department at an ongoing cost of $316,000 from the general fund.
Not moved.
 
(4)
M/S
Voisin/Darrow
To approve the purchase of an aerial ladder truck for the fire department at a onetime cost of $1,000,000.
Voisin expressed the need for this truck. Would like to see this paid for with the remaining 8.92¢ of property tax.
Darrow agreed it is needed but doesn’t agree with the funding source.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - No Seffinger - No
Stromberg - No Cody - No
Lemhouse - No Darrow - No
Rosenthal - No Furuichi - No
Marsh - No Gates - No
Morris - No Lucas - No
Voisin - Yes Moran - No
1 Yes – 13 No
MOTION FAILED
(5)
M/S
Stromberg/Voisin
To approve funding for Ashland is Ready citizen emergency preparedness workshops at an ongoing cost of $18,000 per year from the general fund.
Stromberg believes the issue of citizen’s preparedness is underestimated. Thinks this is a good start and could be expanded upon.
Voisin agrees and appreciates what comes out of the workshops.
Rosenthal asked what the funding source would be. Stromberg said he was unsure.
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - No Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - No
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
12 Yes – 2 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
(6) Fire Department Remote Automated Weather Station at a onetime cost of $26,000.
Not Moved.
 
(7) Fire Department Replacement of hydraulic rescue equipment at a onetime cost of $84,000.
Not Moved.
 
(8)
M/S
Furuichi/Voisin
To approve training of current fire personnel at a cost of $16,000 per year to be funded from unappropriated general fund balance.
Furuichi believes this is important training and a small investment in safety.
Voisin believes this is beneficial to public and staff.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - No Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - No Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - No
11 Yes - 3 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
(9) Provide new fiber connection to City Hall at a cost of $15,000 from the general fund.
Moved Stromberg, no second.
 
(10) Replacement of city phone system at a cost of $236,062 from central service fund.
      Not Moved.
 
(11) Add one FTE Park technician – Roving at a cost of $144,900 per year using general fund transfer.
Not Moved.
 
(12)
M/S
Seffinger/Rosenthal
To add one FTE park tech – trails at a cost of $144,900 per year using general fund transfer.
Seffinger noted that maintenance of the trails has sometimes been on an overtime basis. The trails are important to the watershed, public safety and fire safety.
Rosenthal see it as an investment in emerging outdoor business. This is an asset.
Runkel - No Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - No Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - No Darrow - No
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - No Gates - No
Morris - No Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - No
 6 Yes - 8 No
MOTION FAILED
 
(13) Police Department ad one FTE to sworn personnel at a cost of $200,000 from the general fund.
Not Moved.
(14)
M/S
Stromberg/Furuichi
To approve additional Cadets for summer patrol funded from the general fund at a cost of $30,000.
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - No
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
13 Yes - 1 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
 
 
  1. PERS RESERVE TRANSFERS OUT OF INSURANCE FUND FOR ONE-TIME EXPENDITURES (PAGE 1-12)
 
  Project Cost Budgeted
(1) Health Benefits Fund Reserve $500,000 Health Benefits Fund
   
(2) Climate Change and Energy Action Plan $120,000 Central Services Fund/Administration
  Runkel moved to reduce the amount to $20,000 and reserve the remaining $100,000 and reserve the remaining as a cushion.
No second.
 
(3) System and Network Upgrades $232,000 Central Services Fund/Information Technology
   
(4) Voicemail upgrade $65,000 Central Services Fund/Information Technology
   
(5) City Hall and Facilities Master Plan study $200,000  
 
M/S
Marsh/Moran
To reduce the amount to $100,000.
Marsh doesn’t believe that it isn’t necessary at this time to complete the entire study.
Moran agreed.
 
Stromberg recommended the original motion be amended to include direction for the staff to prioritize uses for the $100,000.
 
M/S
Marsh/Moran
To reduce the amount from $200,000 to $100,000 for the City Hall and Facilities Master Plan Study and to direct staff to prioritize uses for those funds.
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - No
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - No
Rosenthal - No Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - No
Voisin - No Moran - Yes
9 Yes – 5 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
(6) Iron Mike repair and restoration $37,500  
   
(7) Other uses to be determined $52,000  
 
M/S Rosenthal/Morris
That the $52,500 be used to fund a performance audit for the Parks & Recreation for parks.
 
Moran proposed the committee adopts a motion to have a performance audit for Ashland Fiber Network (AFN)
There was no second to the motion.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Absent Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
13 Yes – 1 Absent
MOTION APPROVED
 
  TOTAL $1,207,000  
   
 
 
Recess – 8.40PM
 
Reconvene – 8.50PM
 
  1. APPROVAL OF GRANT PROCESS AND ALLOCATIONS
 
Gates questioned the increase in the allocation granted to the Chamber of Commerce. Committee clarified that this amount is allocated by the City Council and that the substantial return from this is available for viewing in the Chambers annual report. It was agreed via a request from Cody, that the committee would be supplied with this report.
 
M/S
Voisin/Rosenthal
That the Economic Cultural Tourism & Sustainability grants allocations as recommended by the Budget Subcommittee be approved as presented.
ALL AYES
 
Gates requested an addition to the agenda in the form of a question to Tuneberg regarding the water plan of 2012 for the water treatment plant and its use. He asked if the city can afford to spend $8,000,000 on a redundant facility.
 
Faught spoke to the importance of this new plant and noted that AWAC spend a lot of time studying this issue. He noted there are several reasons beyond capacity & sustainability that require the city to build a new plant including, time frame of replacement if the plant is disabled or severely damaged, poor location and ageing infrastructure.
 
 
  1. MOTION TO APPROVE THE  BIENNIAL 2015-2017 BUDGET
 
  1. Motion to approve transfers out of reserve fund as part of the 2015-17 budget.
 
M/S
Marsh/Lemhouse
That we amend the recommendation and take a loan for AFN from the equipment fund instead of the reserve fund.
 
M/S
Marsh/Lemhouse
To amend the amendment to include the amount $300,000.
 
M/S
Voisin/Moran
To include in the amended motion that $25,000 of the $300,000 be used for a performance audit of Ashland Fiber Network.  
 
Kanner noted that if the loan is taken out of the equipment fund and forgiven, as originally intended, it will affect all other funds and that it would not affect other funds if it were to be taken from the reserve fund and forgiven. He also pointed out that it was not feasible to conduct a performance audit for $25,000. Lastly he noted that leaving AFN with $275,000 would not be enough for their intended upgrades.
 
Marsh offered to withdraw her original amendment with the guarantee that there will be funds in the reserve fund. Marsh asked what the fall back position was. Kanner was unwilling to answer.  Based on claims experience, he does not believe it will be a problem. He was not prepared to give an answer as to a fallback position but worst case scenario was that it would have to be re submitted to council.
 
Darrow asked what how much money AFN required. Kanner stated $400,000 for this phase.  
 
Marsh withdrew her original amended motion rendering subsequent amendments void.
 
 
M/S
Marsh/Furuichi
To approve a transfer out of the reserve fund to include $400,000 interfund loan to the Ashland Fiber Network and a $450,000 to the Health Benefits fund.
Roll call vote:
Runkel - No Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - No
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - No
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - No Moran - No
9 Yes – 5 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
 
  1. Motion to approve the Budget (as adjusted) and convey it to Council for adoption.
 
M/S
Lemhouse/Stromberg
Motion to approve the Budget (as adjusted) and convey it to Council for adoption.
 
Furuichi pointed out that he would like to see a performance audit for AFN and asked Tuneberg what the ending fund balance (EFB) was before the committee went on to approve the budget.
 
Tuneberg offered revised numbers and said that he would send out the exact figures to the committee the following day. He explained that the general EFB $262,360 plus contingency would be around the million dollar range and that this is about 50% as per policy requirements.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - No
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
13 Yes – 1 No
MOTION APPROVED
 
M/S
Voisin/Stromberg
I move that the City of Ashland budget committee approve property taxes for operating purposes of $4.1973 per $1000 of assessed value for 2015-16 and $4.1973 per $1000 of assessed value for 2016-17, approve property taxes for the payment of the 2005 general obligation bond principal and interest of $296,460 for 2015-16 and $295,650 for 2016-17, approve property taxes for the payment of the 2011 fire station #2 general obligation bond principal and interest of $216,851 for 2015-16 and $219,659 for 2016-17. 
 
Kanner recommended amending the motion to include setting the levy for the local library levy at $0.
 
M/S
Garret/Voisin
To amend the motion to include setting the levy for the local library levy at $0.
 
M/S
Voisin/Stromberg
I move that the City of Ashland budget committee approve property taxes for operating purposes of $4.1973 per $1000 of assessed value for 2015-16 and $4.1973 per $1000 of assessed value for 2016-17, approve property taxes for the payment of the 2005 general obligation bond principal and interest of $296,460 for 2015-16 and $295,650 for 2016-17, approve property taxes for the payment of the 2011 fire station #2 general obligation bond principal and interest of $216,851 for 2015-16 and $219,659 for 2016-17 and establish the levy for the local library at $0.
 
Roll call vote:
Runkel - Yes Seffinger - Yes
Stromberg - Yes Cody - Yes
Lemhouse - Yes Darrow - Yes
Rosenthal - Yes Furuichi - Yes
Marsh - Yes Gates - Yes
Morris - Yes Lucas - Yes
Voisin - Yes Moran - Yes
MOTION APPROVED
 
 
 
 
  1. WRAP UP
 
  1. Debrief - What worked, what didn’t, what would you like to do differently?
 
  • Gates - while he appreciates being part of the process he thought it was long and complicated - would like to see Public Works first on the agenda, thinks more information could be presented.
  • Moran - thanked committee and noted that the process was rewarding and expressed he was concerned about increasing costs of employment. Gates agreed with the statement regarding employment and believes that the cost of employees needs to be looked at.
  • Lemhouse - thanked the chair and gave appreciation to the committee as a whole.
  • Furuichi - would like to see a more in depth look into things and would like to see subcommittees created to discuss capital projects etc. Noted that he is concerned about underestimations.
  • Lucas - finds the biennial budget difficult. Would like to see the city move back to a 1 year budget.
  • Darrow - thanked the committee and staff for their input to the document.
  • Cody - appreciates the quarterly reports.
  • Voisin - agrees with Lucas and would like to see a budget committee study session and look at pros and cons to make a decision about shifting back to an annual budget. Would also like to see a process whereby members can respond to quarterly financial reports as well as reports on the state of the marijuana tax.
  • Marsh – would like to see the chair sit with staff and schedule meetings for off year meetings.
  • Morris – would like to put an end to council sponsored ad packages.
 
 
  1. Biennial Budget – Are there suggestions for specific issues the Budget Committee would like to discuss in off-year meetings?
 
  • AFN
  • Public works
  • Capital projects
    • Success rate
    • Are they on time
    • How do costs rise
  • Planning session
  • More discussion of budget message
  • ECTS grants process
 
Kanner outlined subcommittee rules.
 
 
  1. Other Issues and Suggestions from the Committee
 
 
  1. ADJOURNMENT
 
The meeting was adjourned at 10:01pm

Respectfully Submitted
Kristy Blackman
Administrative Assistant

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