Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Budget Committee Meeting

Thursday, April 30, 2009




Budget Committee Meeting


April 30, 2009  6:00pm

Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street





The budget meeting was called to order at  6:05 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2009 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.





Mayor Stromberg was present.  Committee members Boenheim, Chapman, Douma, Everson, Gregorio, Heimann, Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, Thompson and Voisin were present.  Silbiger and Slattery were absent.


STAFF PRESENT:          














Approval of Minutes from previous meeting dated:


4/1/09 and 4/2/09 Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations


Everson/Jackson ms approval of the minutes.  All Ayes.




The Committee discussed Social Services and Economic & Cultural Grant Allocations (see handouts).


No discussion needed for the Social Services Grants. 


The Committee questioned the Economic Cultural grant for KSKQ.  KSKQ did not receive grant money.  The Committee discussed the requirements and criteria for receiving money for the Economic Cultural Grants.   Some felt that the criteria changed mid-stream.  The Committee for the Economic Cultural Grants questioned what economic impact would each organization have for the City.  Some felt that by asking that organizations weren’t fully prepared. 


The Committee recommended that KSKQ not receive Grant money because in the presentation given by the organization they spoke to the services provided, which is a service that is provided by many other radio stations in the area.  It was felt that KSKQ would not bring in much Cultural value.  Other members of the Committee stated that it was a frustrating process.  The Committee stated that $20,000 is too much money granted to the Artisan Gallery and felt it was a best to spread smaller amounts of money to more organizations while others felt it was best to grant the money to those who would benefit the economic status of the City. 


The Committee suggested shifting $2500.00 from the Artisan Gallery to KSKQ.


The Committee stated that they gave Artisan Gallery $10,000 with a contingency on the second $10,000 that the organization is able to execute their entire plan before they receive the money. 


The Committee felt that it is not an easy process, but there was good discussion before coming to a decision. 


The Committee continued to discuss whether or not KSKQ should receive grant money. 


Navickas/Boenhiem m/s to shift $2,500 of the Economic and Cultural Development grant money from the Ashland Artisan Gallery and Art Center to KSKQ.  The money shifted from the initial $10,000 of Ashland Artisan Gallery and Art Center money.  DISCUSSION:  The Committee stated that the grant money is a limited amount of money that will hopefully see returns on quickly, to put contingencies on it is not the wisest choice.  The Committee stated that without reviewing the Subcommittee’s work to redistribute a decision is not right.   

The Subcommittee stated that the City should not get into political organizations.   




Denise Baxter spoke regarding the Ashland Artisan Gallery and Art Center.  She stated that progress is going well with the organization.  Their goal was to earn $125,000 to sign their lease and currently they have earned just under $90,000.  The lease is expected to be signed on June 2, 2009.  Contributions are continuing to come in.  Two grants that have been looked into will be decided on the first week of May.  Thanked the Committee for their support.  The Art Center will be a huge attraction for Ashland Oregon.


The Committee questioned the money going into the property and improvements for the interior of the Artisan Gallery.  Ms. Baxter answered the renovations are $40,000 total, and hope to refurnish the building in a way that maintains its historical integrity. 


The Committee questioned if the $90,000 included the $20,000 grant from the City.  Ms. Baxter answered yes but it does not include any other grants.



Connie Saldano spoke in regards to KSKQ.  The radio at KSKQ does not have a political perspective KSKQ is neutral.  Everybody in the community can share their own view, which contributes to our culture.  KSKQ applied 100% cultural for the grant and feels that they do all the things asked for in the application.  She encouraged the Committee to support the radio station.


The committee questioned the grant criteria.  Sounds like there is confusion on what the grant committee is.  An organization can apply 100% to one category.  The Committee stated that it looked as though criteria changed mid-stream and is not clear on the best way to clarify this, and questioned whether the economic impact should be applied to every organization.  The Committee stated that the Subcommittee should possibly regroup.


Roll Call Vote:Boenheim, Chapman, Douma, Everson, Gregorio, Heimann, Jackson, Lemhouse, Navickas, Thompson; NO, Stromberg, Voisin; YES.  Motion Fails 10-2.


Douma/Gregorio m/s the Subcommittee to reconvene and address the issues discussed regarding KSKQ and Artisan Gallery. And to address the entire grant process for the Economic and Cultural Development grant.  DISCUSSION:  The Committee stated frustration in being second guessed in the decisions that were made within the Subcommittee.  The Subcommittee was a group of people that studied the information, took testimony, agreed and disagreed before coming to conclusions.  Stated feeling very comfortable with the decisions made.  The decisions made were the best for the City it wasn’t personal or political. 


The Committee stated a concern that in future years if people are not pleased with the decisions made by the Subcommittee are going to take advantage of the opportunity and come back in front of the Budget Committee.  Some members of Committee are not in favor of reopening the process.    Unfortunately there will always be people who are dissatisfied.


Roll Call Vote: Boenheim, Chapman, Everson, Heimann, Jackson, Lemhouse, Thompson; NO, Stromberg, Douma, Gregorio, Navickas, Voisin; YES.  Motion fails 7-5.


The Committee encouraged more people to get involved with the small grant applications in the future. 


Boenheim/Chapman m/s to approve the Social Service Grant allocations.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  Motion passes.


Chapman/Boenheim m/s to approve the Economic and Cultural Development Grant allocations.  Voice Vote:  10 ayes, 2 no.  Motion passes.




Edeltraud Von Rymonlipinski spoke regarding the CERT program and has been with CERT since the program began.  She stated the importance of the program and would not like to see it go.


CITY RECORDER                                      


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer, gave an overview of the Recorder’s office budget and the major responsibilities of the department See slide budget of her office over the years. 


Ms. Christensen discussed the City Recorder’s budget over time (see attached).  The increase the current FY is due replacing of the scanner which was $7000.00.  Ms. Christensen stated that a scanner is critical for document imaging.  The Budget will go down in 2010 due to some travel and training elimination and a change in staff.


Ms. Christensen gave an overview of the breakdown of the proposed budget, and the upcoming work for FY 2010(see attached). 


Ms. Christensen discussed challenges that will be faced FY 2010. 


The Committee questioned if the bank that the City Recorder uses has to be a local bank.   Ms. Christensen answered that it is mandatory that a branch in the community is used. 


The Committee questioned the magnitude of the credit card fee increase.  Ms. Christensen answered that fees are based on usage and does not have a set number at this time. 


Ms. Christensen gave an overview of the City Recorder/Treasurer matrix (see attached).


The Committee questioned why there is no longer a passport service.  Ms. Christensen answered that during the change of staff she was the only one running the office and was in the process of training.  The work load was too great at the time.  By the time staff was trained and was able to provide the service the City Hall had a change in security measures which make it too difficult to provide the service.


The Committee questioned the impact in the City Recorders office with the elimination of training.  Ms. Christensen answered that training is really important especially because the City Recorder’s Department must be aware of certain laws, but given the cut alternatives will be made.    





City Administrator, Martha Bennett gave an overview of the Administration Department (see attached).  She discussed the components of the Administration Department.


Ms. Bennett stated that money spent to televise meetings was been cut in the last year due to a change in how funds are received for government television.  As a result 3 televised City meetings have been cut per month.


Ms. Bennett stated that $1.3 million of the $2.2 in Administration is in the Central Services Fund and roughly $976,000 in Administration is in the General Fund.  


The Committee questioned the addition of the Project Manager.  Ms. Bennett answered that the staff person was not added, this was approved in last year’s budget.  The Project Manger was transferred from Community Development. 


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of the distribution of the proposed FY 2010 budget (see attached). 

She stated that the Mayor and Council proposed budget is about $14,000 less then last year due to the election year. 


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of Administration Division.  Since last year there has been a $22,000 reduction.  In this budget are Mayor and Council support and outreach and communication programs.  Special projects have been cut as well as travel spending.


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of Human Resources division budget.  This budget is $68,000 reduced since last year due to the elimination of a half time position and because of bargaining on 3 laboring contracts.  She stated Human Resources are understaffed given the workload. 


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of Municipal Court and Legal division budgets.  This budget is $22,000 less then last year’s budget.  There was an elimination of a half time court clerk position, which has caused the division to be flexible.  The Legal division’s budget is $36,000 less then last year. 


The Committee stated concern of the elimination of 3 televised meetings per month. 


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of the work for FY 2010 (see attached). 


Ms. Bennett discussed the Central Service and General Fund functions matrix analysis (see attached).  The matrix analysis was based on primary budget drivers for each function. 


Ms. Bennett gave an overview of the significant budget changes from FY 2009 (see attached).    


The Committee questioned the compensation study.  It was a $55,000 contract.  The budget last year was increased for the contract.   





Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of the Administrative Services Department (see attached). Administrative Services is made up of 2 groups of activities; operating and non-operating.  Mr. Tuneberg discussed the differences between operating and non-operating activities. 


Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of the proposed Administrative Services operating and non-operating FY 2010 budget (see attached). 


Mr. Tuneberg discussed the work for FY 2010.  He stated that there is a council goal to work on fiscal stability.   There will be more time spent on the budget process it is almost a 12 month process. 


Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of the matrix analysis (see attached).  This matrix analysis showed the activities that fall under each category.  The categories are Administration & Finance, Accounting, and Customer Service Utility Billing.   


Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of priorities and decisions for the Administration Department (see attached).  Administrative Services Department provides the majority of the City’s business managing bills and collecting over $50,000 million in revenue.  Utilities alone collect $25,000 million.


Mr. Tuneberg discussed the significant budget changes from FY 2009.  Reductions were made in spending for supplies, contract services and training.  Contract services for consulting, software review and for additional parking enforcement after hours.  He stated that currently there is no capital outlay. 


Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of proposed revenue increases which he stated is more like cost containment.  Administrative Services has avoided cuts that will compromise core services. 


The Committee questioned how the Band is broke down.  Mr. Tuneberg answered that the band was held at a 5% decrease.  The Band reduced the number of performances and the cost to certain musicians.  The Band income is charter mandated. 


The Committee questioned if there is anything the Budget Committee or Council can do in changing the way funds are restricted to allow Administrative Services to be less costly. Mr. Tuneberg responded that nothing can be done in Accounting, even by giving Parks accounting back someone would still have to do it.  He stated one way to reduce cost would be to reduce availability to the public by closing the office for a certain amount of time. 


The Committee questioned the surplus in restricted funds.  Ms. Bennett stated that it is the Council’s decision on how to allocate those funds and would probably go into the General Fund. 






This meeting adjourned at 9:23 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,




Melissa Huhtala




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