Budget Committee Meeting
February 10, 2005, 7:00pm
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
The Citizen’s Budget Committee meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. on February 10, 2005, in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street Ashland, Oregon.
Mayor Morrison was present. Councilor Hartzell, Hearn, Silbiger were present. Councilor Amarotico, Jackson, and Hardesty were absent. Budget Committee members Bond, Mackris, Lininger, Thompson, Williams, and Moore were present. Budget Committee member Olsen was absent.
STAFF PRESENT: LEE TUNEBERG, FINANCE DIRECTOR
KEITH WOODLEY, FIRE CHIEF
CINDY HANKS, PROJECT COORDINATOR
BRYN MORRISON, ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY
Mayor John Morrison/Councilor Chris Hearn nominated Jim Moore for Chair and David Williams for Vice Chair. No other nominations were voiced. All ayes.
The Budget Committee introduced themselves.
Approval of minutes from previous Budget Committee meetings dated:
5/5/04 Budget Committee Meeting
5/6/04 Budget Committee Meeting
5/12/04 Budget Committee Meeting
5/13/04 Budget Committee Meeting
5/20/04 Economic and Cultural Sub Committee Meeting
5/21/04 Economic and Cultural Sub Committee Meeting
The Committee agreed to wait to approve the minutes until the next meeting.
Lee Tuneberg, Finance Director began the presentation by speaking to the Oregon Department of Revenue Basic Budgeting Book. He explained the budget process would last through May. He spoke to the grant presentations that will take place, training that will be available, and assumptions that have been developed.
Mr. Tuneberg spoke to revenues that are driven by population or industry activity. He spoke to different operating costs, and that the changes in benefit costs may cause a problem for the City. The City has predicted an 80% increase in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) and has set aside money for the increase. He explained that OPERS is spreading the increase over two years averaging 46.86%. He proposed to budget a 20% increase, and will take money that was set aside last year to defer the costs between the 20-46% increase. He explained that what is not used this year will be used in the subsequent year to apply to the other half of the 80% proposed.
Mr. Tuneberg added that health care would be a 15-20% increase. He spoke to the General Fund assumptions comparison handout. See attached. He pointed to the assessed valuation, and stated that he has been using $3.56 for the tax rate for the last few years. He added that only $2.5 million out of $12 million in the General Fund comes from property taxes.
The Committee discussed the different franchises and impact on the budget. Mr. Tuneberg spoke to the Transient Occupancy Tax and that 1/3 of it funds Economic and Cultural grants, and 2/3 remains as General Fund revenues. He explained that the goals of planning fees are to recover 75% of expenses and building permits recover 100%. He explained that 20 % of the Food and Beverage tax goes to open space and 80% to debt service to pay for the wastewater plant.
Lynn Thompson, Budget Committee member asked which of the revenues sources the City could control. Mr. Tuneberg responded the majority are under City control. He added that a significant portion is state regulated and based on population. Councilor Cate Hartzell asked about the rate that was used for population growth. Mr. Tuneberg responded that the average that they have used the past few years is 1.5% and the difference will not have a substantial impact on the state revenues. Ms. Hartzell asked to clarify the court revenues. Mr. Tuneberg responded that they are the activities the police perform.
Mr. Tuneberg spoke to the handouts on assumptions. See attached.
A. Long Term Assumptions
Mr. Morrison asked if there were any deviations from last year. Mr. Tuneberg responded that there were not. Councilor Russ Silbiger expressed his concern with the inflation rate being unrealistically low. Mr. Tuneberg explained that he would like to use 2% where he can and he will use industry assumptions for others.
Ms. Thompson asked why the assumptions did not include personnel costs and wage increases. Mr. Tuneberg pointed to #6 and explained that all personnel do not belong to a union. Ms. Thompson asked when union contracts where negotiated. Mr. Tuneberg responded every three years.
James Bond, Committee Member asked about the City’s long range goals and if the Budget Committee would have any input. Mr. Tuneberg explained that the City Council establishes the goals.
Morrison/Moore motioned to approve the figures they had been given and instructed Mr. Tuneberg to move ahead to develop the Budget Message. All ayes.
B. Tours and Training
The Committee discussed budget training and Mr. Tuneberg will schedule a time that will accommodate most schedules. It will be noticed in the legal section of the newspaper and Mr. Tuneberg will provide tours of the City for any interested.
Mr. Tuneberg spoke to the calendar presented. See attached. A poll was taken for those who would be interested in participating on the Economic and Cultural and Social Service Subcommittees.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.