SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1994 AT 7:00 PM EDT
NOVI CIVIC CENTER - ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 WEST TEN MILE
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with Mayor Pro Tem Crawford presiding.
ROLL CALL: Council Members Crawford (present), Mason (present), Mitzel (present), Pope (present), Schmid (present), Toth (absent-excused), and Mayor McLallen (absent).
Present (5) Absent (2-Toth, McLallen*)
* Mayor McLallen arrived at 7:40 PM.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Approval to purchase laptop computers was added as #9-action to be contingent upon approval of absent Councilman Toth.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Schmid,
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,
That the Agenda be approved as amended.
Yes (5) Absent (2-Toth, McLallen) Motion carried
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING:
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford explained that the purpose of this Special meeting is to hold a budget study session for the 1995-96 budget.
Harry Avagian said he was speaking for himself and he believed also for LARA because he was very happy with the kind of work that Chief Shaeffer and the department has been able to provide the community. His remarks to them in the past have been to adequately fund the police and fire budgets; he commented that for what they spend on fire protection, he felt they had a very fine system in place. Mr. Avagian said he recently met a developer who was coming to LARA to talk about a 205 acre development at South Lake and West Road and there was The Vistas to consider.
He said if what it took was to go back to the community to increase the police & fire millage so they could expand the law enforcement services of the community commensurate with the community's needs, he would be willing to work to bring that about. He added that if council decided to give the police department more people to bear in mind that it took time to interview and do background checks and send them to training school so they really weren't of great value to the department until X number of months down the road.
PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW:
Mr. Kriewall said the first thing they wanted to talk about was the April 4 letter from Plante & Moran administration asked them to draft which had to do with the financial projections they made two months ago because administration couldn't seem to find all the money Plante & Moran thought the city had.
He said there were a few points in the letter he wanted to bring out and quoted from the letter:
"The budget document is prepared in order to authorize the various departments to provide a given level of services to the residents. As such the budget generally includes room for many of the various unforeseen contingencies that occur during the normal course of any given year. Because actual result of operations will generally include many unforeseen events that impact both positively and negatively on a department's operation, the actual expenditures for most departments are ultimately less than the amount budgeted. This can be seen in comparing the annual department budgets to actual expenditures for any of the last several years. Therefore, the budget document generally is not a predictor of total results of operations or of the annual change in fund balance."
"On the other hand, the financial projection was derived from actual results of operations, with an estimated inflationary increase plus several additional specific known events (fire trucks, computers, equipment and pensions). The purpose of the document was to predict future fund balance in a static environment (assuming only those changes from the June 1994 year that were specifically identified) Because the budget document's purpose is to provide legal spending authority for the City's various departments (rather than to be a predictor of fund balance) and because several events have in fact taken place or are anticipated to take place, that were not specifically identified in the financial projection (primarily additional capital outlay items), I would not expect the 1995/96 budget document to match the January financial projection."
Mr. Kriewall said the analysis Plante & Moran performed took a shot at what had happened in the prior budget year, the current year, and the future budget year and said if they just looked at the budget from that standpoint, maybe a 3% or 4% increase would do the job. He said the point was Plante & Moran in their analysis could not deal with unforeseen capital expenditures - roof replacements, etc. - that administration had to deal with in preparing the budget nor did their letter deal with how they should approach the budget from a budgeting standpoint. He said it was really an analysis of three years and a lot of that had to do with department heads spending less than budgeted - an attitude to be encouraged and not punished by cutting department budgets. He said he felt they needed a little more tolerance and help from the council in terms of putting budgets together but the attitude of staff was not to spend everything that was there. Mr. Kriewall said they have in fact lived on a 3% to 4% annual increase in expenditures and done some additional things.
He said the point was that the Plante & Moran analysis did not consider the real world and the budgeting procedure they have to go through to include unforeseen items such as roof replacement, dump truck replacements - things not included in the Plante & Moran analysis. Mr. Kriewall said they were finding out that a 3% or 4% cap did not work because of other restrictions caused by union contracts, etc. He said he felt the letter qualified the prior report; he commented that he did not want council to get too hung up on 3% or 4%. They should be looking at the real needs of the community when they adopt a budget and not getting hung up on Truth in Taxation. In recent discussions with surrounding city managers, Mr. Kriewall said most of them were going above Truth in Taxation and have for the past couple of years.
Mr. Kriewall said they were penalizing theirselves by cranking the millage down but eventually they would have to vote on things like police millages, special millages, roof replacement, because the taxpayers were not covering even the inflationary aspect of government - new growth was taking care of that which was fine but the community had some real needs that needed to be addressed and they had millage capacity left and prudently he felt they had to use it.
Councilwoman Mason asked why Plante & Moran even did an assessment in January, and Les Gibson said there really were two components to this. One was the annual budget but they also wanted to try to look ahead to see where fund balance would be, and this was basically what they did.
Councilwoman Mason said then whatever they heard in January was not true in April so why do they even bother to do it in January. She said when they were doing the assessment, why didn't we tell them we would need a new roof or dump trucks next year. She said basically, the figures the city gave them to make their report in January were not correct.
Les Gibson said he thought there were really two components; the equity of the city - the fund balance, was one part and in the budget process they needed other things for consideration like a number for contingencies. He said at the end of the year, they hoped to get money turned back in because department heads have acted responsibly and not spent everything budgeted. He said he felt it was helpful to look on through the process but the problem they lost in going out more than a year was the impact of adding people.
Councilman Mitzel said he remembered seeing on the report when it was presented in January that it said they did not consider any capital. He said the report was qualified but maybe in the future they could consider a six year capital improvement program which is adopted every year.
Councilman Schmid asked how much less they had to spend this years and Mr. Kriewall said $500,000.
Councilman Pope asked what this budget's proposed fund balance percentage was, and Les Gibson said this budget anticipates 10% set aside. Mr. Pope noted that Plante & Moran had recommended considering 15%; he said they previously claimed the city was at 25%. Les Gibson said the 25% they said we had would be down to 10% as a result of this budget process because they would be spending that 15%. Mr. Pope added plus the $500,000; he asked how much 15% was and Mr. Gibson referred to page 64 and said they expected to draw down the fund balance by $830,000. He said at the end of June 1995 they think the fund balance will be $1,787,000 and after calculating the 10% they want that to remain as fund balance. Anything in excess of that was available to balance the general fund budget.
Councilman Pope said that was $678,000 plus $500,000 for $1.1 million - about a 10% increase over last year's budget.
Les Gibson said the whole general fund budget was $13,487,000 and going back to where they were last year at this time at $13,938,000, the total budget including the impact of fund balance was down by $500,000.
Councilwoman Mason said there was a difference of $162,000 in estimated taxes from the current year to next year's proposed budget; she said 500 new units should be considerably more than $162,000 so where was that money.
Les Gibson said the estimated amount included any Tribunal/Board of Review changes which was primarily where the difference was.
Councilwoman Mason said then if they collected an estimated $500,000 in new taxes, he was predicting they would give back $350,000 from tax tribunals.
1. Revenue Component
Members were referred to current property taxes on page 1 at $5,415,000; Les Gibson said there was pending legislation to change the Truth in Taxation calculation because of Proposal A. The Proposal introduced a new total value figure, however, the most that anyone's value can rise for tax purposes is 2.6% or rate of inflation so the assessor is now tracking several sets of numbers; the difference between true cash value and taxable value amounts to about $27 million.
Mr. Gibson said people are convinced that the Truth in Taxation formula is going to be changed and the benchmark will be increased to a point where the city general fund would realize $111,000 more in revenue.
Under Business Registration Fees, Councilman Pope asked for an explanation of why the city charges a $10.00 fee. Councilwoman Mason commented that she paid the fee and felt it was because the city wanted to make sure she was still in business because they were depending on her personal property taxes. It was noted that the $10.00 did not cover the cost, but registration provided a way to check fire safety, zoning and occupancy.
Mr. Kriewall noted that probably the most volatile number in the budget was building permit fees because they had to predict the level of activity for the coming year. He said they see a slight increase this year because of the possibility of the water moratorium coming off; he noted they had a very healthy building permit activity right now and new homes were selling rapidly.
Councilwoman Mason asked if Non-Business Permit revenues included pass-throughs to JCK, and Cathy Smith-Roy said the figures listed were the city's share. Councilwoman Mason noted that there were no figures listed for Anti-auto theft grant after 93-94 and Cathy Smith-Roy explained that the city no longer received this grant, and they didn't have anyone assigned to it.
Councilman Schmid asked how administration projected State Revenue Sharing, and Les Gibson said they get some early overall projections from the State and as of this week they received the detail. He said the variable in this formula is what the State actually collects in revenues and the formula includes the millage rate levied by the community. Mr. Kriewall commented that Novi got penalized for relative tax effort because it didn't levy very much millage; it was a situation where the more you saved, the less you received. Les Gibson explained that the relative tax effort formula measured what Novi levied for taxes in the state overall average; Novi was running about 80% of the average and any community that levied greater than that received more state shared revenues.
Councilman Mitzel asked that the city clerk look up Ordinance 94-103.07-Lawn Installation Ordinance. He said they gave it immediate effect because the current one charged fees and he thought they had eliminated all fees.
Councilwoman Mason asked for backup material on Miscellaneous Income proposed at $148,000.
Les Gibson said that under Transfers from Other Funds, the police and fire millage fund would not have enough to totally reimburse the General Fund. They were recommending that that particular millage go to the Headlee max and that would still leave it short about $200,000.
It was noted that $678,524 was proposed to be appropriated from Fund Balance which would still leave 10% or $1,108,759 as Fund Balance.
Councilman Crawford questioned the absence of Tree Fees for 1995-96 and Cathy Smith-Roy explained that had become a Trust & Agency Account not available to the General Fund. Mr. Gibson said the ordinance specified that it would be set aside and the interest earnings on it would be isolated. Mr. Crawford asked for an estimate of this item because a comment was made by a petitioner at the Planning Commission last night that he would be contributing over $56,000 to the tree fund this year so if they had underestimated, this one project could boost that up considerably.
Les Gibson was asked to check the figure for COPS Grant; the understanding was this would cover 75% of two officers' salaries but line item is shown at $18,565.
Councilman Crawford questioned Weighmaster fees of $4,300; he felt there was greater potential than that. Cathy Smith-Roy said Tony Swope would be explaining that; he thought there was additional revenue the city was receiving through court fines but not identifying as weighmaster fees.
2. Police Department
Chief Shaeffer said the 1995-96 budget presented was reduced by $88,000 over the current budget year, almost a 2% reduction. He noted that last year the department returned $160,000 in unexpended funds, and the year before that was almost a quarter million dollars and the year before that was $160,000 in unexpended funds. He said they like to think that this is because of some thrifty management and at the same time they are adding programs into their operation.
Chief Shaeffer said the salary account for 1995-96 increased by $113,610 overall which included the two officers obtained in the grant plus the school crossing guard requested by council. He noted that overtime is reduced by $40,000 over the current year; by contracting with private agencies to pay the cost of officers who work on their premises on an overtime basis, it is estimated the city receives $20,000 to $30,000 in reimbursed overtime. He said they charge every single instance when additional manpower is requested and scheduled for a specific business location.
Chief Shaeffer noted an increase in legal fees of about $6,000 and one of the primary reasons for that was because the County prosecutor had less desire to handle the city's larceny cases - shoplifting, bad checks - therefore, prosecutions were being brought by the local prosecutor. Councilman Mitzel asked if that was something the County was supposed to handle, and Chief Shaeffer said the County had previously been handling them but had made an administrative decision not to do it. He said the County would not issue the city a direct policy that said that, but at the same time, they really were not accepting the city's cases in that regard.
Councilman Mitzel asked that Administration check with the County to see if this was their responsibility, and Councilwoman Mason asked that they obtain something in writing from the County Prosecutor's Office. Chief Shaeffer said they have asked for a response on several occasions but one has not been received; Councilman Pope added that he would not expect one. It was noted that the city received more money from cases taken to district court than if the county handled them.
Council members asked what figures were being used for comparison with proposed figures in order to come up with percentage change. Les Gibson said the comparison figure was this year's estimated figure; the estimated figure was being compared with the actual 93-94 figure and that change was noted and then the proposed figure was compared with the estimated figure for 94-95
and that change was noted.
Chief Shaeffer said that 1993-94 was an exceptionally tight budget year and during the year they were asked to keep coming up with additional savings several times by the manager. He said the Police Department did that and saved over $250,000 in their budget that year by locking up spending; to predicate their budget on a year in which they had to force those types of restrictions on expenditures, he thought, did a great disservice to the community and the department.
Chief Shaeffer said vehicle maintenance cost went up $6,000 which they feel is a result of keeping vehicles in service for 80,000 miles instead of the previous 60,000. He said they still feel it is cheaper to do it this way since maintenance costs were lower than replacement vehicle cost would be.
He noted an increase in Conferences & Workshops because of a new item - $823 to send the Officer of the Year to the national police memorial service in Washington DC. He said they would like to utilize this as a way of building pride and give an award to the deserving officer.
Chief Shaeffer noted a new line item - Education & training-grant - a mandate from the Michigan Law Enforcement Training Standards. He said they give the city a significant amount of funding but they want a whole new line item for that themselves that has all the city's associated training costs in it so money was being moved from other accounts to make up the $16,000.
Councilwoman Mason asked if there was an increase or adjustment built into supervisory salaries or permanent salaries; Cathy Smith-Roy said there was not. She said all the salary numbers were based on the current numbers for administration and the union contract that expired in 1992. Les Gibson said the only increases included would be the step increases the new officers were working through.
Councilwoman Mason said then there was money set aside in Contingencies for administrative non-union staff and she asked how much they would be asking for. Mr. Kriewall said they would be bringing forward that request next week.
Councilman Pope asked about backup material for other programs, like the Cadet Program, and Chief Shaeffer said he would be bringing that to them later.
Mayor McLallen said she would like to review the city's printing and publishing contract and the rubbish collection contract. It was noted that printing and publishing was going up across the board as paper cost was going up and rubbish collection included all city pickups except the Library. Both items are bid out. Members said they would like to see a review of both contracts - including the Library.
Chief Shaeffer said they would be replacing four patrol cars this year and he warned that the price of these vehicles right now was exceptionally volatile. Chevy has advised they will not longer make the Caprice leaving it up to Ford which has traditionally been a higher priced fleet package. GM has announced they will be make a police package Lumina, however, no one has seen it yet and they have no idea of pricing.
He noted that overall, the Police budget as presented was down $88,077 from the current year.
Chief Shaeffer began the review of the citizens police academy. He said it could be completed in a very bare bones budget of $4,477 composed of fees to rent the firing range, supply ammunition, graduation certificates, refreshments at each Novi session, binders and miscellaneous office supplies, the coordinator's overtime and additional instructor overtime in Novi sessions. He said they have estimated on the high side for two classes per year at 25 students. He said the second component of this was some of those areas that have been deemed to be kind of controversial where they would pick up the cost of the coordinator attending all training sessions, students would be provided with a cup and T-shirt bearing the logo which are provided by Walled Lake and Wixom to their students, and a graduation dinner. To enhance the basic program would cost an additional $3,367 for a total program cost of $7,845.
He emphasized that Novi was only one of three components in this academy and one of three votes. He noted that he was not in favor of having a full fledged graduation dinner from the onset and even after discussion with Council and he expressed his concern to Walled Lake and Wixom, they outvoted him and those communities would continue to provide these types of things to their citizens.
Chief Shaeffer said there was a class underway currently and Wixom and Walled Lake were going to have a graduation banquet and would be providing T-shirts and cups and were generous enough to provide the cups for Novi this time, however, he did not think that generosity would continue much beyond this. He asked for Council's pleasure.
Mayor McLallen said aside from some economy, was there a reason the three communities were doing this together. Chief Shaeffer said there was the economy of scale, it gave them the opportunity to cross the borders, and it brought citizens and appointed and elected officials together where they could have a venue to come to know each other and have an understanding so they could work together jointly on common problems and interests. He said it would be much more expensive to have a school of our own.
Mayor McLallen asked if he had approached the citizens in Northville or Farmington Hills, and Chief Shaeffer said he had not. He said the way it was structured now provided for ten Novi citizens twice a year, and more communities would mean fewer citizens from Novi just like doing it alone would provide for more Novi citizens. He noted that there were already a few people on the waiting list should there be another class.
Councilman Pope said Wixom funded part of theirs by a golf outing; he asked if there was a way to charge residents a $25 or $35 administrative fee to participate to cover the cups and shirts and dinner. Chief Shaeffer said they could certainly ask.
Councilman Mitzel said there was some discussion previously as to whether this should be run like a Parks & Rec or Community Education program where participants pay a fee.
Councilman Pope asked if they were using the alumni, and Chief Shaeffer said they were going to use them for feedback on problem areas they see in the operation of the department. Councilman Pope said he supported the program and Councilwoman Mason agreed.
Councilman Crawford said he felt it was a worthwhile program and would be willing to fund the whole thing. He said maybe some service clubs would be willing to contribute along with a token contribution from the participants and a contribution from the police and/or council budgets and maybe something from police associations or unions.
Councilman Schmid said there was no doubt it was a worthwhile program but the question was should the people of Novi pay $400 for other citizens to go to school.
Chief Shaeffer reviewed a chart depicting Novi Population vs. Police Manpower predicated on the Bureau of Census population projections. He next reviewed percentage of officers in Oakland County communities per population/crimes/arrest and noted that the average ratio per 1,000 population was 1.59 officers with Novi at 1.19, average officers per 100 crimes was 1.33 with Novi at 1.01 and average officers per 100 arrests was 6.58 with Novi at 4.39.
Chief Shaeffer said if they did not add officers in next year's budget, they would have the lowest ratio of officers per population in the history of Novi. He said that just to maintain the ratio level projected at 1.19 this year would require 3 new officers for every additional 2,000 population and to achieve the Oakland County average ratio of officers per 100 crimes/1,000 population would require 16 new officers.
He said that Part I Crimes-murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny, burglary, auto thief, arson-went up 6.97% last year in the community, calls for services increased by 6.7%, and arrests went up by 4%. Chief Shaeffer noted that the square mile around I-96/Novi Road represented almost 25% of the police workload. He added that 5 officers were eligible for retirement this year and that represented 10% of his work force; it took one full year to bring an untrained person in to where they could work alone and three years before they were fully competent working alone. In 1996, three more officers were eligible for retirement.
Chief Shaeffer's proposal was a five year plan which could be adjusted every year based on what was happening in the community to bring them into the desirable 1.5% ratio of officers per 1,000 population. In terms of adding people, that meant adding 23.29 officers to the organization over the next five years based on conservative population estimates to adding 39.15 officers based on aggressive population estimates. He said they would be able to revise the plan every year based on population.
He said it cost $53,530 to add a new person to the Police Department the first year, and Mayor McLallen said his request for the 1995-96 budget was for 7 officers including the 2 officers they have potentially gotten from COPS FAST. Chief Shaeffer said his recommendation was to follow the historical trend and add 6.2 officers next year not counting the 2 in the grant and then 4.2 per year in future years. He noted that for every two new patrol officers, there was the cost of $26,527 for adding a patrol car to the fleet, and Mayor McLallen commented that the net cost of each additional officer was approximately $65,000 for the first year.
Councilman Pope noted that the Police & Fire millage as proposed in the 1995-96 budget was at about 1.5 mills and the original millage was 1.8. He asked how much money would be raised by going back to 1.8, and Councilman Mitzel replied $436,829. Councilman Pope's suggestion was to go to the voters for a Headlee override rather than taking it from the General Fund to get them back to 1.8. Les Gibson said that still might not be enough since there was a general fund subsidy now and Councilman Pope replied but it would get them there even if they still had to have a general fund subsidy or possibly they could ask for 2 mills. He said for someone who normally argues against those kinds of things, he felt they needed to look at that. He said he felt that needed to happen during this budget process and asked the city clerk to let them know dates and what it would take to get it on the general election ballot.
Councilman Schmid asked why he didn't just suggest raising the general fund millage, and Councilman Pope said because the voters have already said they would approve 1.8 and Headlee lowered it. He said by going to the voters and getting their permission, they were building trust and establishing facts that there were justifiable reasons to do this. He said thirdly, the city only had so much general fund money capped at 6 mills and looking at the growth of the community and the potential of someday losing revenue sharing, that general fund mill money should remain free because it would be more difficult to raise that Charter cap if the money were needed in the future.
Councilman Schmid said that he felt somewhere down the road, the statistics had to take into account technology that changed that ratio; he said he was confident that a police officer today could do more than he could have five of ten years ago. He said historically police and fire departments took most of the budget and because of that, they have had to cut back on all the other departments so he felt police agencies had to get a little more
realistic about numbers they were projecting. He said he wasn't sure he agreed they should look at the special millage because this wasn't the only area where they were going to need some money if they were as concerned about the rest of the city as they were about the police department.
Councilwoman Mason said she agreed with Mr. Pope. She said they have made sure they had enough parkland and more city owned open spaces like that meant more police officers were needed to patrol. She added that when a family with teenagers moved into the city, that also could mean that teenage friends from previous communities would come to visit. She said that happened in her subdivision and it created a rash of crimes so they couldn't afford to be that short on police officers.
Chief Shaeffer presented a master plan and capital improvement program for the police building; he noted that the building capacity was designed for 53 sworn officers and they were presently at 49. The building was designed to accommodate 9 prisoners and they were currently holding 11 prisoners on an average daily basis and with the new court building, they were picking up an additional 4 to 5 prisoners per day on top of the 11 with no isolation cell for infectious or violent prisoners. Some of the items were maintenance and others were building additions and alterations and compliance with the Americans with Disability Act barrier removals for a total cost of $2,370,900. Councilwoman Mason asked if it wasn't true that when other things were done to a building, then it must be brought into compliance; there was no law that said it had to be brought into compliance right now and Chief Shaeffer said they now must comply or they could be found liable in a civil suit or they could be fined. Brenda Borders clarified that they had to comply with the Act for all areas the public came in contact with, and they had to at least file a plan with a set completion date for all other areas.
Chief Shaeffer next proposed a Cadet Program to man the front lobby; the building is currently open 8 am to 5 pm weekdays with the front lobby manned by a records clerk who must call in a patrol officer to take reports. He said they were averaging 15 calls a day to officers to come in from the field. He said five cadets could provide staffing from 7 am until midnight seven days a week at a cost of $60,785 per year. Each cadet would work 24-32 hours per week with no benefits; the cadets would be students in college working toward a degree in law enforcement or associated. To keep the lobby open 24 hours would require seven cadets at a cost of $85,099. Chief Shaeffer warned that the unions might object to the addition of cadets as taking away their work. He said they have asked the clerks and dispatchers union if they would be willing to shift their hours in order to have the lobby open more hours and they have refused as was their right under contract.
Councilman Crawford asked if other communities had a similar program, and Chief Shaeffer said they did. Mr. Crawford asked how they got around potential union grievance, and Chief Shaeffer said he didn't know. Councilman Crawford said he felt it was important to keep the building open 24 hours and if this was a means to do it, he would like to hear more about it.
Councilwoman Mason said she understood prisoners from other areas who were going to court were housed in our police department; she asked if the city was compensated for providing meals and the Chief said they were. She asked if a Novi officer had to be present when prisoners were dropped off or picked up and the Chief said yes. Councilwoman Mason commented then that would increase the city's workload; she asked if the city was compensated for that time and Chief Shaeffer said no.
Councilman Pope asked if Novi was at a point where there was any merit in a metropolitan police agency - looking at Milford, Lyon Township, Wixom, Walled Lake, etc. Chief Shaeffer said the political barrier was by far the largest barrier to overcome but a few areas of the country have been able to do that.
Councilman Pope said Metropolitan Affairs Corporation was now funding studies doing a five department combination for fire in Macomb. He asked if there was any political support the council could give and was that a project that the chief would be interested in taking up if there was council support and was it something do-able. Chief Shaeffer said it was do-able but he would not recommend that they form such a large coalition that they put themselves in the position of a major city or they would suddenly have the problems of a major city. He said he has had some very informal philosophical talks along these lines with other chiefs and there is agreement that there is value in doing this.
Mayor McLallen commented that the realities and the national climate of taxation was such that this was something they would have to pursue. She said they had to look to economy of scale, and it would be very gratifying if this community would take the leadership position.
Chief Shaeffer at the suggestion of council member Schmid said he would be glad to get with his staff and prioritize his list but in the meantime, he would like to quickly go over some of the requests. Listed were in-car camera systems that provide an audio and video recording method within a certain range that provide evidence that can be used in prosecution of cases and investigations into employee wrong doing. 17 units at $4,795 each would cost $81,515. Also listed was Phase III of the Communications Program to provide a third dispatching console with full radio capabilities at $40,000, the addition of one more uninterruptable power supply component to protect additional circuits at $3,000, and the purchase of two portable hand held radios to act as spares for the department at a cost of $2,400 for two.
Chief Shaeffer said the dispatchers were responsible for the video monitoring of jail cells; the current video system is 14 years old with very small monitors and the dispatchers along with him are very concerned about the quality of that monitoring system especially with the over capacity at which they were operating. Upgrade of the system to color with larger monitors was listed at $14,725.
Teleconferencing between the Oakland County Prosecutor's office, the District Court and the police building would allow for review of cases and arraignments of prisoners in the police building without transporting prisoners back and forth to the courts. Cost was listed at $9,305.
Chief Shaeffer said they were requesting a fax machine with fingerprint quality at $1,400, Vehicle Maintenance needed a refrigerant recycling and recharging device as required by State law at a cost of $4,500, replacement tool box at $2,500, and phase I of the computer upgrade system at $250,000. He noted that they were in the process of seeking grants to offset some of the computer cost but he was not optimistic. He believed payments could be arranged over a 5 year period and in the next year or two they would probably request phase II which would provide the technology to officers in the field of remote report writing at a cost of $150,000. Chief Shaeffer said this would be a real labor saver in that officers would not have to come to the station to write reports; they would be transmitted directly from the field and electronically filed plus they would be able to recapture $50,000 to $60,000 a year they were currently spending on other computer equipment that could be devoted to this project.
Councilman Mitzel asked at what point was it more economical for the city to have one central vehicle servicing station instead of DPW, Parks, Fire, etc. each doing maintenance; he said he would hate to see all of them request refrigerant stations or more bays or fuel tanks.
Ed Kriewall said you had to look at the matter of three different operations. Public Works is for maintenance of heavy equipment like dump trucks.... Council members asked that the city manager answer in writing.
Mayor McLallen said the Police budget as presented by administration was $5,210,000. She was presuming that the items Chief Shaeffer just put on the table were not addressed in that budget, and Les Gibson said that was correct. The Mayor said the price tag on the items presented by Chief Shaeffer was close to $4.5 million, and the issues brought up by council tonight were consolidated services with other jurisdictions, going to an election for bonds for major construction and rehab of the police facility, and a discussion of the procedure and pros and cons of going over Headlee on the police millage.
Councilman Crawford asked if it was perhaps time to revive the Needs Assessment Committee as they have in the past because this was a substantial list and he couldn't dispute the need for any of these although he didn't know how they could fund them but a Needs Assessment Committee might be the means to further refine this and investigate it and promote it.
Mr. Kriewall agreed and noted that the architectural firm did a tremendous job.
Mayor McLallen asked the Chief to rank his requests and also that council give administration some direction. Councilman Pope said he thought Mr. Kriewall should put together a resolution forming a Needs Assessment Committee.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
To direct administration to prepare a resolution for a Needs Assessment Committee for police and fire to be on the April 24 agenda for discussion purposes.
Councilman Pope said he felt Craig Klaver and Chief Shaeffer should be the support people of the committee.
Councilman Mitzel noted there was some previous discussion on whether they should go in the direction of multi-community operations; he asked if that was a parallel track. Mr. Kriewall said that would take a long time, probably as much as five years, and Councilman Pope said he would like to see some discussion started.
Yes (6) No (0) Absent (1-Toth) Motion carried
Mayor McLallen asked if there were any items council wanted to review or bring back into the budget or items they would like taken out.
Councilman Crawford said in lieu of waiting for a November decision and revenue after that, he thought they needed to address additional police officers immediately and that would supplement a decision later on.
Mr. Kriewall said they had two officers coming from COPS FAST grant. Chief Shaeffer's request was for six officers total and it was noted that a Headlee override would help pay for more officers.
Chief Shaeffer said they currently had students in the Citizens Police Academy; he asked what council's desire was with regard to a graduation dinner.
Councilman Pope said he didn't think it was a decision for council. The Chief had a budget and he had extra money in it; he just didn't want political flak. Mayor McLallen said for the chief's comfort level, she thought he would like support or non-support on this issue.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That council supports the graduation dinner for the Citizens Police Academy.
Councilman Schmid said he wouldn't support it. He felt it was wrong for the community to pay $400 apiece for ten people; it was not cost effective. He said he could see a two week course or some minor program but this was very expensive.
Councilwoman Mason said she would support it because she thought it was wrong for the community to pay $2,400 for the council members (inaudible)
Councilman Crawford said he disagreed with her comments personally but the difference here was they were already into this program.
Councilman Schmid said he didn't realize they were talking about a class underway; he thought they were talking about future classes. He said he could support this dinner.
Councilman Mitzel said he would support the motion, but in the future, they need to look at contributions from the participants like the other programs the city offers.
Yes (6) No (0) Absent (1-Toth) Motion carried
9. Purchase of 4 Lap Top Computers
Councilman Schmid asked why they were buying four computers regardless of the price. Les Gibson said the Computer Committee has been working on this and they were in agreement and the price they were being offered was several hundred dollars less than they would probably pay any other time. He said with a lap top he could see himself doing work at home, one could be used at this table tonight, and they were talking about using one for taking minutes. He said anyone who needed one would sign it out. Councilman Schmid said he did not see the need - computers were available at city hall.
Councilman Schmid said his question was were they needed and was the money allocated and were they going to buy them this year or next year. Les Gibson said the plan was to buy them out of the current year's budget.
Councilman Pope said his question was not need but why weren't they bidding. Mr. Gibson said they have checked the price and this price they were being offered was about $450 less per unit than what they could buy them for anywhere else.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That the purchase of four (4) NEC laptop computers from Bay Resources, Inc. at a price of $5,800 be approved contingent upon Councilman Toth's agreement to add this to the agenda.
Councilwoman Mason expressed her concern that they only be used for city business.
Councilman Mitzel said he looked on laptops as a way to save the city money; minutes could be done during meetings and city personnel could take one out in the field and have access to needed information.
Yes (5) No (1-Schmid) Absent (1-Toth) Motion carried
The remainder of the agenda items will be carried over to the next budget meeting April 13. The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 pm.