The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Mayor McLallen.


ROLL CALL: Council Members Crawford (present), Mason (absent-excused), Mitzel (present), Pope (absent), Schmid (present), Toth (present), and Mayor McLallen (present)


Present (5) Absent (2-Mason-excused, Pope at 7:15)




ALSO PRESENT: Edward F. Kriewall - City Manager

Les Gibson - Finance Director

Kathy Smith-Roy - Comptroller

Dean Miller - Systems Analyst

Gerry Stipp - City Clerk





It was then,


Moved by Councilman Crawford,

Seconded by Councilman Toth,


That the Agenda be approved as presented.


Yes (6) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried




Mayor McLallen noted this was a budget study session for the 1995-96 budget.








Chairman Vince Marino said they had their 54th meeting. He reported that upgrade of the host computer has been done which speeded up the system. The next thing was to establish a wide area network, and they went out to bids, selected vendors and purchased hardware. He reported that wiring was completed and fiber is completed between the police building and city hall and they will also be tied into the library. He said they were two weeks behind but would still make the July 1st deadline to complete the hardware part of this. Mr. Marino said they had formed several subcommittees who bring their problems to the total committee.


Councilman Pope arrived at 7:15 PM.


Councilman Toth said they added a penalty clause to the contract, and they came in two days early.


Councilman Mitzel asked if they would be providing a way for the council members to dial in from home, and Mr. Marino said it was not planned as of now. He said a subcommittee would have to work on that. Councilman Mitzel said he felt very strongly that all reports, letters, etc. should be provided electronically. We need to decide what convention we want those files in; Mr. Marino said they would have to come back to that. He felt that they would need a programmer on that working 8 hours a day.


Councilman Mitzel asked what the plans were for this year. Councilman Toth said a big chunk of the money in the budget will be for the police department; they will establish the police data base first and were hoping to get some grants. Councilman Mitzel said he would like to see the priorities for this year, and Mr. Marino said he would get that to them.


Chairman Marino indicated that they were trying to be financially frugal. He said if they gave the police all they wanted all at once they would drown. He added that they were going to need some hourly help to install the computers.


Councilman Schmid said this started out at a $300,000 to $400,000 project, but they have not had a clear program. Mr. Schmid said he thought they had to get back to some realistic budget planning. He said this stuff becomes obsolete very quickly, and he asked if they were setting up a system that would last because the city was not a Ford Motor Co. or State Farm. It looks to him that they would need to budget a considerable amount of money each year and meanwhile parking lots were falling apart and the Police building was in need of work. He commented that the Budget Terrorist sits there like Santa, but he would have had a heart attack if it had been any other department; Mr. Marino said they would bring in the plan.


Councilman Schmid said he was not being critical but he was being cautious; he thinks they are way outstripping the money that is available.


Chairman Marino said they have purchased good equipment and the software was here to stay; he added he was concerned about the police and fire departments. They don't have back up and they need a network so they can back up those files. The majority of the work even though they have a computer is manual; they have no basic technology.


Councilman Schmid said there were other priorities in the city; we could get all these computers but the roof was leaking.


Mayor McLallen thanked Mr. Marino and the committee for the presentation.


Councilman Pope said he agreed with Mr. Mitzel's comments. He said they may need a policy regarding the public information question on this. Mayor McLallen suggested they have the city attorney look at it.





1. Council


This budget has two components - salary and membership & dues/conferences & workshops. Councilman Pope said he would like to see subscriptions added and conferences & workshops and subscriptions broken out to each council member. Mayor McLallen has asked that an additional $500 be added for the mayor's conference and the other issue was food and pop purchased for council meetings. Councilman Pope felt those should be in here. He said also the mayor has a credit card - we know that because of the Detroit school board issue, and the legislature may remove them.


Kathy Smith-Roy indicated that there should be some guidelines, and Councilman Pope said he didn't think an elected official should take a department head out and the city pay for it. Kathy Smith-Roy will develop some guidelines based on her experience for consideration by the council. She indicated there had not been a policy on conferences and workshops, but said she would put a policy on the table.


Councilman Toth said he would prefer that the council members indicate at the beginning of the year what conferences they wish to attend rather than assigning a certain amount of money per council member. He said on food and refreshments, that was fine if they wanted to carry that as a line item. He said he thought everything related to council should be under this budget.


Councilman Mitzel requested that when council members request information that all members of the council be copied. He felt that consultants to council meetings should be included in the council budget. He asked how the $12,000 in conferences and workshops was established and indicated that he might attend MSPO but would not be attending NLC and MML.


The Mayor asked if Finance could find out how many conferences were available and the cost. Councilman Pope suggested kicking it up to $15,000 and giving each council member $2,500. Members decided not to put in a separate account for food because of accounting purposes.


Councilman Schmid said there may be some need for adjusting the conferences and workshops line item, but he would recommend that we proceed as we have in the past.


Councilman Mitzel suggested that since it seemed the consensus was not to make a change, he would like to see a monthly report on who was using the account.



2. City Manager


Councilman Schmid asked about the jump in pension, and Kathy Smith-Roy said they were still on the five year phase-in program. Mr. Kriewall said they would find that all through the budget; he said for many years, the city didn't contribute at all because the fund made so much money but things have changed.


Councilman Crawford asked if there was anything he cut out of his own budget that he wanted to make a case for reinstating. Mr. Kriewall said he cut some conferences; he said they were running pretty lean and he wanted to keep it that way.



3. Finance Dept.


Mayor McLallen said the bulk of this budget was in salaries for six employees which showed a slight increase.


Councilman Toth questioned almost $30,000 for office equipment maintenance, and Les Gibson said it was the support for the mini computer and the PCs. It was down from 1993-94 because of the new equipment. Councilman Toth asked if it was backcharged to other departments, and Les Gibson said that W & S got a bit of a hit through the administrative charge and printer cartridges were charged back to the departments.


Councilman Pope asked if the mini computer would go away with the new system, and Les Gibson said not initially although in three or four years it may all be merged into one system.


Mr. Kriewall said they had removed the position of budget analyst because of financial reasons, but he made a plea for the position and felt it could actually make money. He said the city really needed someone to analyze city fees and charges, and no one had time to try to track this. He said they have tried for 3 or 4 years to get this into the budget, and he thought it was a very critical position.


Councilman Toth suggested a contract person for six months and Ed Kriewall said they see this as a continuing process, and at this point in the city's development, the fees we charge should come under a little better scrutiny.


Mayor McLallen asked if there was any way to have a service work for us contractually for a specified period of time - on a continuous basis but not as a full time staff member. Les Gibson said they would be exploring this in all regards of the budget since council has mentioned it several times. He said there were certain positions that lent itself to this.


Mr. Gibson added that there was a flow to the whole budget process that wasn't happening; as soon as one year was finished, they should be going into a total review of that process to find out where the problems were and anticipate how they would impact the current year. He said then they should be flowing into what was happening in the current year making any adjustments and getting ready for the next year's budget. He said what was happening right now was in about a four month period, they cram all that in. Ed Kriewall commented that there were only two departments that were adequately staffed administratively and that was police and fire that had the staff to look at and analyze their operation as to charges, etc.


Councilman Mitzel suggested hiring a company to come in and do a review of all the current fees.


Councilman Schmid said he thought they could make a good case for a financial analyst, and they could possibly pay the salary ten times over with the savings. He said at budget time they would have a better handle on things, and sometime between now and when this decision is made, he had to know where the money was going to go if they went over Truth in Taxation. Mr. Kriewall said just adjusting the water rate if justified would pay for that position.


Les Gibson had a new handout showing the cost of the items brought up if they were put into the budget.


Councilman Toth said they did need some personnel but industry now didn't slot people into departments; they were going with a team approach. He suggested they look at ways of utilizing the people they had and look at contract people or contract firms. Mr. Kriewall said he felt either a direct employee or contract employee would work but the position of financial analyst should be budgeted probably more so than a Weighmaster.


Councilman Pope asked if they had considered making this pitch to RRRASOC instead of council with the city just paying a portion. Mr. Kriewall said he could take that back to them. Mr. Pope said why would they do all that research just to increase the city's fees when the information they were assembling could be valuable to environmental. Mr. Kriewall said he would investigate it.


Councilman Crawford felt Mr. Kriewall made an excellent case for someone in house whether RRRASOC was part of it or not. He asked if direction would be to see this included on the next budget update. Councilmen Mitzel and Schmid felt that the city manager needed to make that determination. The city manager will be back with a recommendation.



4. City Attorney


Councilman Pope asked if there was a way he could put a batting average on how they were doing in court percentage-wise. Mr. Klaver said that request has been made through the Consultant Review Committee but due to unexpected absences, they have only had one meeting with the committee and the report of the committee would not come out until after the budget process.


Councilman Mitzel said he would like to see all the contracts and retainers for consultants, especially JCK. He noted that they see wetland fabric still up when a development is three years old and they don't know who's supposed to take it down.


Councilman Schmid asked what all was included in the $182,000 besides the retainer, and Mr. Kriewall said prosecution and our labor attorneys; he noted there were other legal fees that were charged off to road bonds, etc. Members asked for a print out of total attorney fees and the total number of attorneys retained by the city in different capacities, and Mr. Klaver said he had information ready for Consultant Review Committee showing a three year breakdown on consultants; he distributed that to council.


Administration will put together copies of all retainer agreements and contracts with the consultants we use the most like JCK, Fried, Watson, etc. He noted that for the labor attorneys, there was no contract; council just approved an hourly rate several years ago.



5. City Clerk


Gerry Stipp said she would like to make a pitch for the paper shredder cut out of her budget; she said they have to shred or burn old ballots and the Fire Department will no longer allow burning. She noted that Finance had a small one that would be worn out by the volume so her request was for a heavier duty one. She said the ballots couldn't go to recycling the way they were but if they were shredded then they could be recycled.


Councilman Pope said there was a contract service out of Plymouth that would come out with a shredder on a truck and shred the documents while you watched. The city clerk will investigate because this service would save staff time also.


Councilman Mitzel asked at what point could Ordinance Codification be done cheaper in house; he said there would be an initial up-front cost to convert the code into our own data base because the electronic copy was proprietary from the company but at some point when the city attorney wrote it up, it could be entered into our own data base. He said there was software that did indexes and pages and he felt it could be done for a lot less than $15,000.


Councilman Pope asked what the cost was for the electronic license, and Gerry Stipp said $2,500. Councilman Mitzel said that that copy could not be changed; they would have to get a price from the company to buy everything they had. Gerry Stipp noted there was a lot more to it than just inserting the ordinance as it came from the city attorney into the code.



6. Treasurer


Mayor McLallen said this budget showed a slight increase over the previous year and the bulk of it was in salaries; she noted that the department was hoping to get the part-time position to full time.


Les Gibson said it now appeared that the assistant treasurer would be retiring in July of 1996 and the increase in salaries was because they would like to get someone in a couple of months before that individual leaves. He said it had been a difficult year for the department; Proposal A had a tremendous impact on the work load and one of the full time individuals was off on extended dependent medical leave. He noted that this department along with the Manager's office has not had an increase in personnel in the past ten years and the department is really hurting. He said they have tried to eliminate the extraneous items that kicked in this year feeling they would level off, and they still feel there is a need to upgrade the part time to full time.


The Mayor said this is a critical department with only two people in the front to handle the cash windows and Evelyn Natzel in the back. Les Gibson said they handle all the tax bills, utility bills, licenses, permits, and receipts.


The Mayor said she would like to see projections over the next 3 or 4 years of potential retirement dates so they can begin to look at when they need to bring in people for training and transition. Craig Klaver said they did a ten year study last year and he would update that and give it to them.


Councilman Crawford asked where this left the request to upgrade the part time position. The Mayor said her understanding was Mr. Kriewall will bring back a list of the costs for the department requests and recommendations for those he feels are most critical and council will have to decide which ones they will fund.


Councilman Pope said the amount of the truth in taxation millage rate would not cover all of those things. Councilman Schmid suggested that maybe the amount spent on computers would have to be adjusted, and Mayor McLallen noted there were a few areas in the budget that would add to the revenue.


Les Gibson had a print out of budget changes to date and reviewed the items. He said Truth in Taxation would bring in a net of $350,000, $129,000 would result from Board of Review changes, they would realize another $37,000

on federal grants, and building department and ordinance enforcement revenue would offset additional personnel in those areas. He said the only Truth in Taxation that was reflected in the numbers were for Police & Fire.


Mr. Gibson said so far, council has put in $5,000 for communications equipment in the council chambers, Traffic Improvement Association membership of $7,500 has been transferred from the police department who said they didn't need it any more to the DPW budget to the one mill road fund.


Mayor McLallen asked where the money was coming from and was the city still interested in having a membership; Mr. Kriewall said that was what he asked and Tony Nowicki said they provided a traffic engineering service for certain situations at no charge that we would have to pay our consultants for. He said if the city only used them once a year, it paid for itself.


Council members had previously discussed changing the Thoroughfare plan to Municipal Street Fund, the lake quality assessment study to the Drain fund, and the Grand River Corridor design to Municipal Street fund. Ed Kriewall said this was his recommendation, and he has provided resolutions to that effect. He also recommended adding in the concrete entrance to the building, resurfacing of DPW yard and resurfacing of fire station driveway.


Councilman Pope said he could not understand why there wasn't a savings in police overtime; they were told the change would save money. Kathy Smith-Roy explained that partly because of step increases, they would not see a savings but they would have seen a much larger increase, and Craig Klaver said also the numbers didn't match what was in the budget because those numbers were almost three years old. They would have spent a quarter million dollars more.


Councilman Toth suggested using the example of 3 officers at different steps -1 at 2 years, 1 at 5 years, and 1 at 7 years - and project out the whole scenario over 3 years whether they had kept 12 hours or 8 hours and find out what the percentage difference was and they would take that off. Mr. Klaver said it was 7-1/2%.


Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Klaver would be coming back with a new figure that would include the retro pay and the new rate including the step; he said he would like to see the retro pay separately also because that would be a one time item and that way they could compare with next year. Kathy Smith-Roy said she would show it separately but retro pay would be coming out of the current budget. Councilman Mitzel said then retro pay would not even be considered in the 1995-96 budget and Kathy Smith-Roy said only to the extent that it would affect fund balance.


Kathy Smith-Roy will do the scenario described by Mr. Toth and revise the budget numbers.



7. Funds

Major, Local and Municipal Street Funds

Voted Street Fund and Special Voted Street Fund


Mr. Kriewall said the Major, Local & Municipal Street fund represented the revenue received from the state through Act 51 channels-Gas & Weight taxes-based on street miles and population. Les Gibson said they were able to use $642,000 of fund balance for a budget of $1.9 million; he said they back in all the known numbers and anything else available becomes a construction line item.


Mr. Gibson said they are allowed to transfer up to 25% of the total gas and weight tax received to the local street fund which they always have to do because that has many more miles and less revenues so it can't support itself.


Councilman Toth asked why not cut the appropriated fund balance in half from $642,000 to $321,000; he asked why $642,000 because they haven't done that in the last two years. He suggested putting some in the computer fund.


Mr. Gibson said the fund balance they were appropriating was from the Major Street Fund not the General Fund, and it had to be used on major street activity.


Ed Kriewall said the Major, Local and Municipal Street Funds get lumped together in the Six Year Road Program and this was where all the construction money came from.


Councilman Pope said he would like to see the six year road program adopted with the budget resolution so that it was an appropriation which meant that in the future the road program would need five votes to amend.


Mr. Kriewall said he would argue against that because this council is split on many issues, and he felt they needed a certain amount of flexibility to move in the direction of progress and sometime that can only be done with a 4-3 vote.


Mayor McLallen asked why the Administration figure was so high in this fund and in the Local Street fund and there wasn't any Administration in the Municipal Street fund. Les Gibson said this was where the data management specialist would be charged for a GIS.


Councilman Mitzel asked what the $10,000 for consulting was for and Kathy Smith-Roy said Tony Nowicki has asked that they include a Consulting line item in each of the funds; she said they were currently charging that into Construction. Councilman Mitzel asked if the Major and Local Street funds could only be used for something listed on the 1995-96 road program; Mr. Gibson indicated yes.


Councilman Mitzel said if all the construction in Major, Local and Municipal street funds was added up, it came to more than $1.4 million and that was all that was listed in the road program this year. He said he didn't see where everything matched up and suggested an updated road program. Mr. Kriewall will have Mr. Nowicki update the road program; he said when council saw the updated plan, that was where they determined what they were going to do for the next fiscal year. Mr. Kriewall pointed out that they were looking at fund status and there really was no budgetary impact on what they were looking at right now.


Councilman Pope said what they were giving council now was an accounting requirement and what he was trying to advocate was that the six year road fund had nothing to do with this. He said this was an accounting mechanism only and it was used to avoid the charter requirement on the number of votes needed to appropriate it.


Park Debt Fund


This is to pay this year's principal and interest; payoff is 2011. Joe questioned the small amount of interest earned and Les Gibson explained that they only had the money for a month or two.


Act 175 Debt Fund


This will be paid off in 1998.


Councilman Pope asked if this was the same way Main Street was being financed - through Transportation Bonds; Mr. Gibson said yes. Councilman Pope said then they would see a tab in the future for the main street bonds; Mr. Gibson said yes.


Refunding Bonds


This will be paid off in 2001.


DPW Debt Fund


This will be paid off in 1999.


Police and Fire Fund


Civic Center Debt Fund



8. Administrative and non union wages


Mr. Kriewall said a few weeks ago they provided council with information on their proposals for an across the board 3% wage increase, FAC-3, and various alignments. Administration feels the recommendations are in line and compare to other settlements with employee groups.


Councilman Toth said the alignments were $44,000 and that would buy a budget analyst. He said he did not want to get into individual salaries; he has told administration many times to figure out salary ranges for each position. He said he did not go along with Council making these adjustments and would not vote for it. He felt that was an administration matter and that council should approve the minimum-maximum range for the salaries. He will not support the recommendation.


His other concern was on the retirement. He was been watching retirement escalate and this city pays outstanding benefits compared to private industry. He said the people who follow him will get stuck paying the bill and that bill goes up every year. Councilman Toth said they had benefits in this city that he felt were well out of line with other cities of the same size; he said he couldn't justify all the changes.


Mayor McLallen said while she is very empathetic to the workload, she is concerned about alignments. An alignment meant someone was out of line and needed to be brought in and that seemed to be something that should be a once in a lifetime event. She said if what they were really talking about was a merit pool of money to be assigned and administered to particular employees, she found it offensive that the council has to deal with it. She said the council only has three employees-city manager, adsessor and city clerk-and she did not know enough qualitatively about the workings of any of the other employees and she did not feel it was really her place to know that. She said she would like to create a merit pool and let their direct supervisors recommend them, and Councilman Pope pointed out they already had that. She felt the council should make the recommendations for only the three employees. She said she recommended a merit program and added that she found the word "alignment" not an effective use.


Councilman Schmid asked for the total cost and Mr Kriewall said the cost for the 3% across the board was $48,672 and the alignments were $44,030. He did not have costs for FAC-3.


Councilman Mitzel said he did not have a problem with the across the board raise and since most employees would not have FAC 3, he felt it was fair and reasonable. He said he also had a problem with the alignment system itself; they basically have two merit plans and if they are going to keep this system, the system needs improvement. Mr. Mitzel said he supported pay for performance and suggested combining the two merit programs and budgeting a certain amount and then the administrative plan would have to be amended to appropriately reflect that and keep it similar to what was written under the current merit plan. He noted that the $48,672 and $44,030 amounted to a 5.7% raise for administration; he said he did not feel comfortable with an alignment plan.


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,


That the wage proposal of 3% and FAC 3 for administrative employees as proposed - be approved.


There was no support.


Mayor McLallen asked if he was going to address alignment anywhere, and Councilman Pope said he was just trying to get some issues out of the way and then they could focus on the things they didn't agree on.


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,

Seconded by Councilman Toth,


That the 3% wage increase across-the-board for administrative employees, excluding the Special Recreation Coordinator, be approved.





Councilman Mitzel said he preferred to wait on finalizing this until the budget wrap when a full council was present.


Mayor McLallen said she felt the issue of alignment was a very sensitive issue as proposed; it covered more than 50% of the administrative staff. She said rather than deal with the alignment she would like to offer an amendment to the motion to take the across-the-board wage increase to 4-1/2%.


Councilman Pope said his problem with that was it was easier to do things through a merit system than it was when they had to make those comparisons in an arbitration situation or other times. He said he thought that put them way out of line when the police just came in at 3, 3, and 3% and they were looking at 4-1/2% for administration.


Mayor McLallen said essentially they were giving 5% and 7%, and Councilman Pope said not with this motion. He said he would withdraw his motion if someone wanted to support the mayor's position. She said while she understood his motion and part of her wanted to support it, she was trying to figure out the cleanest way to accommodate giving a rational raise and doing away with the alignment system all in one fell-swoop.


Councilman Pope said he was willing to consider an action where they increase the merit and give the discretion to the city manager for everything other than the council appointed staff and let the city manager put his job on the line in making those decisions. He said maybe council has kept that authority too long and it has become a political hot potato.


Councilman Crawford said maybe the city manager could explain the rationale behind alignments; he thought it was as it said - to bring certain people in alignment with the prevailing wage. He said not necessarily because they were a great person and did a great job; he thought the alignments were to bring them in with comparable jobs in the industry. He said maybe they kept seeing $1,000 or $2,000 for the same people because they were $5,000 or $10,000 out of alignment but administration didn't want to ask for a large amount all at once.


Ed Kriewall noted they have this same discussion every year. His philosophy is to hire low and if they demonstrate good skills and perform well, move them up with a series of alignments; historically this has saved the community thousands of dollars. He said he was happy to take the responsibility but historically some members of council have always wanted to play a role in looking at or at least reviewing where they were moving these people. He said he was driven by the history of this situation and some of the council input and trying to search for compromises. He was convinced the system they employ has saved the community a lot of money yet it gave employees enough incentive to know he could move them forward incrementally year after year and it took out the discrepancies in the system annually. He said essentially it was a range process and advertising the city clerk's job with a salary range that was something less than Gerry Stipp's current salary but comparable was a classic example. He said depending upon the qualifications of the person chose by council, they will be slotted somewhere along that spectrum and based on performance, they would be moved through the range. He noted that the data would show them that no one was overpaid.


Councilman Schmid said the system worked for relatively new employees and he thought his program had some merit but by now most of these positions should be up to scale. He said when another city gave a 6% raise and Novi gave 4%, all they were doing was catching up the next year with an alignment so he wasn't sure it had validity.


Councilman Toth said he did not want to get into internal administration; he said the problem was Mr. Kriewall did not want to set min/max salaries because alignments then couldn't be made beyond a certain level. He said he would not vote on any alignments and that giving a percentage only helped those on the higher end. He felt salaries should be individually adjusted by merit and by what they have done within a salary range.


Councilman Crawford said Mr. Schmid's and Mr. Toth's arguments might have merit but were they willing to budget enough money to cover that if they found many employees were thousands of dollars low. He said this system seemed to him to be a reasonable way to budget over the years and keep people aligned and he agreed with it.


Mayor McLallen called for a vote on the motion granting a 3% raise for administrative employees, excluding the special recreation coordinator.


Mayor McLallen said she would not support 3% because the rate of inflation last year was 2.9% and this barely covered inflation. She suggested 4%.


Yes (5) No (1-McLallen) Motion carried


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,

Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,


That the Special Recreation Coordinator be granted a 3% raise.


It was then,

Moved by Councilman Mitzel,

Seconded by Councilman Pope,


That Councilman Crawford be allowed to abstain from voting on the motion.


Yes (5) No (0) Motion carried


Mayor McLallen called for a vote on the motion.


Yes (5) No (0) Abstain (1-Crawford) Motion carried


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Mitzel,


To direct administration to amend the administrative manual to delete references to alignments, change merit pay notation to say it would be part of the salary and in the objectives section to have a mention of the annual goals and objectives as part of the performance. Under general administration budget where it said "merit plan", budget $40,000 and Mr. Kriewall could follow the administrative manual and distribute the money according to employee evaluations.


Councilman Pope said he would second the motion for purposes of discussion.





Mayor McLallen said this would eliminate the alignment package.


Councilman Mitzel said he made this proposal so council would not have to determine whether proposed alignments were or were not justified. He felt this would be a little more professional and proper and that he believed goals and objectives were an important part of the evaluation also. He said merit pay would be a line item in the budget and they could propose whatever amount they wanted from year to year.


Councilman Schmid said he was still not proposing any individual job caps.


Councilman Crawford said based on what was in front of them and the recommendations for this year might it be appropriate since they were going to address this every year and eliminate alignments to make the motion for $44,000.30 which would address what was proposed this year. He said then Mr. Kriewall could do what he proposes this year. Council members pointed out that it would take at least $56,000 and Councilman Mitzel said he could probably raise the $40,000 to $44,000.


Councilman Toth said he would not support the motion; he said they haven't gone through wrap-up and he didn't know if he wanted to spend $40,000 or $44,000. He said employees were not running away even though Oakland or Wayne county might pay more and he didn't see any reason for them to say they had a real bad situation here. He said they had a poor salary structure and he has often stated it should be looked at. He said all of them that worked in private industry worked within a salary structure and if they didn't like their ceiling, they moved on to the next place or went for a promotion and the same should be true at a city level. He said his point was certain positions would have certain points at which there was no more money available for that position because the market place dictated that; there were plenty of people to fit that particular slot and that was the purpose of a salary structure. He said this was gerrymandering salaries and that was the wrong way to do it. Administration should set a firm salary structure and everybody who fit into that grade got a certain amount of money.


Councilman Schmid said he felt it was double dipping in a sense; they were giving a cost of living increase which very few companies did plus they were giving a merit increase. He said he would like to see them get to a merit increase - period.


Mayor McLallen said this is always the last item and the most sensitive and the most difficult because they know the people. She said there was a dissatisfaction among council with the structure of the salary ranges and actual pay package. She said her solution would be to either handle it under Mr. Mitzel's arrangement this year or under the alignment and direct staff that this is the last time this will ever come forward and that the pay structures correctly put together will be addressed. She said financially, they weren't going to change anything with either program this year, but the issue that council appears to want to stop is the lack of a clear either merit plan or salary range program which they can't pull off this late in the evening.


Councilman Toth noted that they had until July 1st to resolve this issue so there was no reason to rush into it.


Councilman Crawford said he felt this issue needed to be settled now and not tabled. He said Councilman Mitzel's proposal if they went to $44,000 would address this and they could have administration come back with minimum-mid-max salaries; he said the problem was they had 7 legislators trying to be 7 administrators and that was not their role.


Councilman Mitzel said there was another way but it would take more time; they could maybe hire a professional personnel consultant that would evaluate other cities, general pay structures, etc.


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,

Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,


That the motion be tabled until Monday night.


Yes (5) No (1-Crawford) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried


Councilman Pope said he would like to handle two other items he didn't think there was any confusion over.


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,

Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,


The following Resolution re Fire Department pay increases be approved:


WHEREAS, the City of Novi Fire Department staffing system, utilizing Paid on Call and Auxiliary employees provides an efficient and cost effective department; and


WHEREAS, the wage schedule for Paid on Call and Auxiliary employees should provide equitable and competitive compensation for these employees; and


WHEREAS, the hourly rate for these positions has not been increased for the past three years.


NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Level I salary rate shall remain the same and the hourly rate for the Level II, III, IV, Unit II and Auxiliary employees be increased by fifty (50) cents per hour, resulting in the following wage schedule.


Level Present Pay Recommended

I $ 8.00/hr $ 8.00/hr

II $12.00/hr $12.50/hr

III $12.50/hr $13.00/hr

IV $13.00/hr $13.50/hr

Unit II $ 5.00/hr Weekdays $ 5.50/hr

Unit II $ 5.50/hr Weekend $ 6.00/hr


Auxiliary $ 8.00/hr $ 8.50/hr



Yes (6) No (0) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,


To approve the budget direction resolution which would move the three studies-Lakes Quality, Thoroughfare Plan, Grand River Corridor-to the non-funds.


Councilman Schmid said he would support the motion for discussion.





Councilman Mitzel said he would not vote for it; he said he was not satisfied with the information presented about Lake Study Committee yet.


Councilman Schmid said he had similar concerns about the Lake Study; he asked what were the indications they needed this study and where did the request come from.


Councilman Toth said it came from the Planning Department; he said the Stormwater Committee was going through a water quality assessment study. Councilman Schmid asked why they were doing one again if the Stormwater Committee was doing one.


It was then,


Moved by Councilman Pope,

Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,


To amend the motion by removing the Lakes Quality Study.


Yes (5) No (1-Pope) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried



Councilman Toth said he would not support the Grand River study; he believed that should be done by MDOT. He said Grand River served as a service road and secondary access for I-96 when it jammed up and he believed it should be funded by at least matching funds from the State and County.


Yes (4) No (2-Toth, McLallen) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried


Councilman Schmid asked if there weren't more alignments proposed this year than usual, and Councilman Pope said last year they received a five year history of alignments and administration could update that.


Councilman Mitzel said he had the history of millages from 1985 and would be glad to provide it to anyone interested. Additionally, he said if there was any more information for budget wrap-up, he would appreciate receiving it before Monday night so he had time to go through it. He said if that meant not having a meeting Monday and waiting until Thursday, he could support that.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 pm.










Date approved: