Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Administration & Legal, Administrative Services and City Recorder

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Agenda for the Budget Committee Meeting



Administration and Legal, Administrative Services, City Recorder


May 2, 2002, 7:00pm

City Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Present: Jim Moore, Alan DeBoer, Marty Levine, David Williams, Diana Goodwin-Shavey, Regina Stepahin, Chris

Hearn, Ray Olsen, Russ Silbiger, Don Laws and Cate Hartzell arrived at 7:50pm.

Absent: Cameron Hanson.

Staff: Greg Scoles, Municipal Judge Allen Drescher, City Recorder/Treasurer Barbara Christensen, Lee Tuneberg, Paul Nolte, Ann Seltzer, Joanie Baker, Sharon Laws and Vicki Christensen.

Others: Miles Murphy (Daily Tidings).


Levine called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.


Administration and Legal Page 3-3

Greg Scoles, City Administrator, and Paul Nolte, City Attorney, presented for the Administration Department. Scoles pointed out that the Department has two divisions: Administration and Legal. He referred to pages 3-4 and 3-5 saying the budget for administration is status quo, and that the total adopted budget for 2001-2002 was $694.000, and the proposed budget for 2002-2003 is $610,000. He addressed significant changes in the Department, which included moving Personnel to the Administrative Services Department, thus enabling the consolidation of different services into one grouping. He recalled the elimination of the Assistant Administrator position a year ago, saying that some of those duties have moved to the Administrative Services Director position, which was new this year. He stated that was one reason for the reduction in staffing and overall budget. He said the issues are the same as they were last year, with some small adjustments in the Legal Department.

Nolte pointed out that he has a legal assistant, but that to keep up with the volume, they now utilize a half-time position to do production typing, etc. Scoles moved on to the parking lot issues, and pointed out that all parking lot issues are not in the budget. There was brief discussion about where the Administrative Secretary position had been put in the budget and if it had been called a secretary last year. Nolte stated that the position was now called an administrative secretary and had been increased to .5 FTE in this year's budget.

Goodwin-Shavey asked whether the goals for the public art policy would have any financial impact on the budget this year. Scoles said it might have a minimal financial impact this fiscal year, and that the policy is being worked on, but is not yet in draft form.

Stepahin asked how it was working not having an assistant administrator and could they see reinstating that position two or three years down the line. Scoles answered that they have been doing double duty, but that they have created the Administrative Services Director, which was not a position they'd had before. He said he had eliminated his old position (the assistant's position) and moved some of the duties to the Administrative Services Director, and that when Dick Wanderscheid moved from Administrative Services to Electric Director, he took the Conservation Division with him. Scoles gave an overview of the distribution of duties that went to the Personnel Analyst and the Marketing and Communications Manager. He noted that the Administrative Services Director provides additional management and oversight to Senior, Courts, Personnel and Communication and Marketing. He thinks because that part of the organization has grown, he was able to eliminate the one position, which has made the organization more efficient. He said they might grow somewhere else, with help in other departments in four or five years, but that Administration seems to be set. Stepahin said she was pleased and hoped it was not peculiar to Scoles' set of skills and abilities.

Nolte addressed the Proposed Budget for Legal, saying it was status quo except for the parking lot issues. He pointed out that the Legal Department has existed for 11 years with no increase in personnel, except for the half-time Administrative Secretary position, which grew from .25 FTE to .50 FTE. He said there is an increasing volume of legal work as well as increasing complexities, and he attributes the Department's ability to keep up with the work to excellent assistance as well as computerization, which makes them more efficient. Nolte referred to the parking lot, saying that by utilizing an assistant attorney half-time, discrete functions could be assigned to that position, including municipal prosecutions and collections for food and beverage. He noted the financial aspects of adding the half-time position, saying that the position would only be for nine months because there is no space to put anyone until the Hillah is open. He said to add this half-time position for nine months, would only increase the budget by $25,000. The discussion ensued regarding the Assistant City Attorney position.

Public Input

Levine opened the meeting for public comment; there were none so the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Approval of Departmental Budget

Moore/Shavey m/s to forward budget as presented to the Full Budget Committee for approval. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Administrative Services Page 3-9

Scoles gave an overview of the Administrative Services Department, saying that it included Marketing and Communications, Personnel, Senior Programs and in addition this year, the Court Division. He noted that courts have been well managed by the Judge, however the judge shouldn't have to encumber this kind of responsibility. He said that the work unit will be more in the mainstream. Scoles clarified that the Administrative Services Director would not manage the court system, but would manage the staff working in the Courts Division. He highlighted that the Conservation Division had been moved out of that department to Electric, and the Energy Analyst as well as a half-time secretary moved, 2.6 FTE's, but others have been added in, which included Courts, Personnel Analyst, and changes in Administrative Secretary. He said another quarter of the half-time secretary position is in Administrative Services and the other quarter is in conservation.

Courts Page 3-13

Allen Drescher, Municipal Court Judge said that during the first four months of this year monthly gross receipts have increased $10,000 a month, which has doubled substantially from last year. He talked about the new computer system, which will cost $23,000. He said it works efficiently and they paid for it in the first two months of this year. He said Courts are getting the use of an employee from the Police Department for a deferred sentencing program started this year. He said the program is no additional cost to the City and is working exceptionally well. He said they have an average of two offenders per week who enroll in the deferred sentencing program, which primarily deals with substance abuse. There was a discussion about traffic ticket revenues and the Court Division's budget.

Public Input

Levine opened the meeting for public comment; there were none so the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Senior Program Page 3-12

Scoles referred to pages 3-11 and 3-12, stating that there had been a change in Senior's overall budget. He noted a correction in the Proposed Budget document saying that the Senior Program's budget is $108,000. He said the budget was status quo, although there have been some slight modifications in the way they are going to do business. They are getting some additional help from part-time employees. He said it is a very efficient operation, to Sharon's credit, and the budget has been very stable over the past two years. Goodwin-Shavey asked about the Ashland Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (ALIEAP). Sharon Laws said that (ALIEAP) provides assistance for people of any age who have difficulty paying their utility bills during the winter. She said they qualified on the basis of family income, and other citizens' who send in money when they pay their own utility bills support it. Goodwin-Shavey asked if that was different from the Senior Discount Program. Sharon Laws said yes, the Senior Discount Program is for seniors' 65 years and over and also based on income. Scoles said also these programs are managed by Sharon, in conjunction, as they are crossover programs. Sharon Laws said they have experience in screening, so it seemed like a logical fit.

Public Input

Levine opened the meeting for public comment; there were none so the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Committee Questions

Levine asked about the Senior Program budget on page 3-12. Scoles gave an overview of each division in the Administrative Services Department and reiterated the move of some functions and divisions into that department. The Committee continued discussion about the Administrative Services budget.

Williams questioned the duties of the Communications and Marketing Manager position. Scoles clarified the job description and handed out a memo detailing the history, responsibilities and accomplishments of the position. Laws said there is a brief description of the position on page 3-10. Williams said he was referring to the original presentation involving that job in marketing for AFN. He explained that some of the positions requested in the Parking Lot by various departments are similar and he wondered if one marketing manager might equal two clerical functions. Scoles gave an overview of all the changes with the Marketing and Communications Manager position. The discussion ensued.

Approval of Departmental Budget

Moore/Olsen m/s to forward budget as presented to full budget committee for approval. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed. Laws abstained from the vote, since his wife is the Senior Program Director.

City Recorder Page 3-25

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer, began the presentation referring to pages 3-26 and 3-27, saying they are looking to replace the document scanner/imager they have been using heavily since 1996. She clarified that her .75 FTE assistant went to 1.0 FTE and is in the budget. She then explained the parking lot issue regarding WebLink document imaging software. She said that this software stores scanned documents in a computer file cabinet, which is a more cost effective and efficient way of storing documents. She noted that they have a recovery plan in place in case there is a problem with the computer system. She also noted that documents can be set-up with various security levels, and the public would be able to access certain documents through Internet from the webpage. She pointed out that staff would not have to make copies for anyone, and that to put documents in this WebLink they don't have to be converted to HTML files or cut-and-pasted, as they do now. Levine asked about security. Christensen replied that the security level would allow them to print and view, but not go in and make any kind of changes, because it is only an image, rather than in text form. Christensen stated that this would be advancement and is keeping up with the technology, offering access and more information to the public. There was continued discussion about WebLink.

Public Input

Levine opened the meeting for public comment; there were none so the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Approval of Departmental Budget

Hartzell/Hearn m/s to forward budget as presented to the Full Budget Committee for approval. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Meeting adjourned 8:25pm.

Respectfully submitted by Kirsten Bakke, Administrative Assistant

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