Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Study Session with Budget Committee

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street


Chair Slattery called the Study Session to order at 6:00 p.m.
  1. Public Input (15 minutes, maximum)
Kenneth Wilson – Ashland – Spoke regarding the Budget Committee into the record after study and discussion the budget process fails to achieve control over spending. Propose the following modifications. He gave a proposal to Staff and the Budget Committee that was written by Citizens years ago:
  • No new staff or employee positions.
  • Expenditure reductions first cut the least essential expenditure.  
  • Long-Term budget shall exclude all future Capital Improvement Projects.
  • CIP projects be undertaken should be received by the Budget Committee and see if any can be postponed or eliminated.
Susan Hall – Ashland – Spoke that she hopes this Committee more transparent than the prior process.  
Huelz Gutcheon – Ashland – Spoke regarding the number of cars in each household. He spoke that Teslas are great cars. 
Eric Navickas – Ashland – Spoke that it was a poor decision to move to a biennial budget process.   He encouraged the Council to recommend going back to an annual budget process. He spoke regarding the issue of the Police and that it is an issue that needs resolution.  He spoke that it is inappropriate to charge people utility taxes to fund General Fund services.
  1. Department Budget Presentations:
Administrative Services Director Mark Welch welcomed the Committee and gave an overview of the of the budget process.  He explained that each department will present to the Budget Committee and the Budget Message will be presented on April 17th.
He went over a PowerPoint regarding the current status of the budget (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • General Fund’s working deficit is $1.8 million a year which is $600,000 larger than the yearly deficit.
  • A plan is being developed to reduce the deficit and remove it entirely.
  • Fund Balance/$49 million.
  • Purposes of the fund balance.
    • General Fund: help to ensure continuation of services when revenue decreases and allowing for a positive cash flow throughout the year.
    • To have resources available for capital projects, debt service and maintenance needs.
  • City Government Financial Structure Terms.
  • Funds organizational chart.
  • Police Department
Chief of Police Tighe O’Meara gave a Staff report and presented a PowerPoint (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • Staff Organizational Chart.
  • Number of Officers per shift.
  • Staffing background.
  • Police Department Services Overview.
  • Shifting needs.
  • Conducted energy weapons(CEW)
  • The importance of having a high visibility CEW.
  • Body Cameras.
  • Department Expenses.
  • Department Accomplishments in 2017 and 2018.
  • Handled 57,000 calls for service in 2017-2018.
  • Completed the 5 year strategic plan.
  • Department Goals.
  • Department Challenges.
  • Department Measurables.
Mayor Stromberg questioned if the City cannot fully fund some of the things in the Department will it reflect in the measurables.  Chief O’Meara answered yes.  He spoke that response time will go up.
Chief O’Meara spoke that the Police Department will always do what they can to keep the community safe; however, if they have to function with less something will suffer.
The Committee discussed having a School Resource Officer position.
  • Fire Department
Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi presented a PowerPoint (see attached).
Items discussed were:
  • Fire Services.
  • Mission Statement.
  • Organizational Chart.
  • Fiscal Year Budget Review.
  • Fiscal Year Budget Revenues.
  • Overtime Expenditures.
  • Materials and Services.
  • Staffing.
  • Staffing needed for different types of calls.
  • National Fire Protection Agency.
  • Insurance Services Office (ISO) Rating.
  • Fell short on deployment analysis due to no ladder truck and daily staffing.
  • Emergency Management.
  • Updated Emergency Management Plan was updated.
  • Nixel was added in 2018.
  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) exercise is planned in April.
  • Emergency Management Community Collaboration.
  • AFR Outreach.
  • Ashland Community Preparedness.
  • Accomplishments, Goals and Future challenges in Fire Services.
  • Fire Operations:
    • 3 Battalion Chiefs.
    • 6 Fire Captains.
    • 6 Fire Engineers.
    • 15 Firefighters.
  • Types of incidents for the calendar year 2018.
  • Total number of responses – 4166
  • Total number of overlapping calls – 753
  • Response data.
Graham asked if AFR had the data on calls that they were unable to respond to.  Chief D’Orazi spoke that he could get that data.
Moran questioned if others in the valley rely on Mercy Flights.  Chief D’Orazi answered yes.  Moran questioned why it makes sense for those that rely on Mercy Flights but not Ashland.
Chief D’Orazi answered that is a decision that needs to be made with services provided.
Seffinger questioned if there a difference in response time and professionalism by just using AFR instead of using Mercy Flights. Chief D’Orazi answered yes to all. He spoke that AFR has excellent service and response time.
  • Assistance from First District 5 as needed.
  • Ambulance Service Area.
Slattery questioned why AFR has the responsibility beyond the borders of Ashland.  Chief D’Orazi explained that in 1999 the City bid on the Ambulance Service area and the County decides how the districts are formed.  
  • Map of Responses.
  • Revenue.
  • Overtime.
Slattery spoke in concern if AFR are outside of Ashland we have less AFR in Ashland.  
Deputy Chief Shepherd spoke regarding the Ambulance Service areas. He spoke that the County looks to provide the best service to all of Jackson County.
  • Response times in Fiscal Year 2018.
  • Accomplishments, goals and future challenges in Fire Operations.
  • Fire & Life Safety Division.
  • Public Education and Training.
  • CERT Program.
  • Accomplishments, goals and future challenges in Fire & Life Safety.
  • Wildfire Division.
  • Wildfire Home Safety: Firewise USA.
  • SmokeWise Ashland.
  • AFR Federal and Private accomplishments from 2015-2018.
  • AFR Outreach and Education.
  • Accomplishments, goals and future challenges in the Wildfire Division.
  • FEMA Wildfire Mitigation Grant.
  • Items to consider for the biennium.
  • Fire training site.
  • The need for aerial apparatus.
  • Occupancy inspections.
  • Fire inspection costs.
  • Consider adding a Deputy Fire Marshall and Fire Inspector positions.
  • Items to consider with future funding opportunities.
The items below will be moved to a future meeting.
  • Administration Department
  • Administrative Services (Insurance/Equipment) Department
  • City Recorder
  1. Adjournment 
The Study Session was adjourned at 8:18 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder Melissa Huhtala
Mayor Stromberg
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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