SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MAY 1, 1995 AT 7:00 p.m. EDT
NOVI CIVIC CENTER - ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. with Mayor McLallen presiding.
ROLL CALL: Council Members Crawford (present), Mason (present), Mitzel (present), Pope (present),
Schmid (present), Toth (present) and Mayor McLallen (present)
Present (7) Absent (0)
ALSO PRESENT: Edward Kriewall - City Manager
Craig Klaver - Assistant City Manager
Les Gibson - Director of Finance
Kathy Smith-Roy - Controller
Geraldine Stipp - City Clerk
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Klaver asked that an executive session be scheduled for May 8, 1995 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss pending litigation and union negotiations.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Crawford
That the agenda be approved as amended to add #3-Schedule an executive session May 8, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss litigation and union negotiations.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
Mayor McLallen said on the table was a letter from Mr. Black of the Storm Water Committee, a letter from Mr. Nowicki responding to Councilman Mitzel, a letter from Mr. Kapelczak regarding the paved surfaces within the City Hall Complex, a letter from Chief Lenaghan concerning asphalt concrete work at the fire station, City of Novi budget changes dated 5-1-95, and a letter concerning MERS FAC-3.
The Mayor said the purpose of this special meeting was to take a final look at the budget before the public hearing next week.
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING - 1995-96 Budget Study Session
Mr. Kriewall said Administration had provided Council with additional information on the Administrative Non-Union Wage and Benefit Proposal to help them in their deliberations. He said they had made specific recommendations and would answer any questions that Council might have.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall if he would cover the wage increase once again. Councilman Schmid asked if he was asking for 3% across the board.
Mr. Kriewall said yes; that was approved last week.
Mr. Kriewall said in addition to that they were proposing the FAC-3 retirement benefit which was a 3 year averaging; the last three years of an administrative employee's wages would be utilized instead of the last 5 years which was currently in effect. He said that benefit had been given to three bargaining units already- Police Officers Union, Command Officers Union and the Firefighters Union. He said offsetting that, they recommended that Council delete the merit system which was attached to the evaluation of the individual employees.
Councilman Schmid asked with the 3 year FAC-3 to tell him briefly how it was figured from there.
Mr. Klaver said there were three components basically. He said the final average compensation was the base wage either over the last 5 years or the last 3. Mr. Klaver said if an employee's final average salary was $60,000 and seniority was 25 years, with the current factor of 2%, it would be the number of years times the multiplier of 2% or 50% of $60,000 which would be a $30,000 annual retirement pension.
Councilman Schmid asked what the 3 years had to do with it.
Mr. Klaver said they could use either the last three years or the last five years salary to figure final average compensation.
Mr. Kriewall said they were doing away with the merit plan as it was in the system now. He said there was about $16,000 budgeted annually and that number was divided into the performance scores of all the non-union employees. In other words, when they are evaluated a point system was used based on 1-5 and 3 is average. He said if an employee was an average employee they would get very little in terms of a merit proposal.
Councilman Crawford said they would really get nothing.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid asked where they came up with the $16,000.
Mr. Kriewall said it was based on about 1% of payroll and it was adjusted annually based on whether there was more staff or reduced staff. He said the proposal now was to do away with the 1%.
Councilman Schmid said the $16,000 was divided up among all the staff based on recommendation from their department heads.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said now Administration was going to do away with the $16,000.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct which coincidentally was equivalent to the FAC-3 costs so it was kind of an even exchange. He said the only other element of the wage proposal besides the 3% across the board raise was to provide some funding for merit adjustments.
Councilman Schmid said these are adjustments not merit.
Mr. Kriewall said they are adjustments based on merit. He said they have done this for a number of years but a lot of people have a problem with the terminology so they are relabeling it.
Councilman Schmid asked how they came up with that figure.
Mr. Kriewall said it was based on looking on the complete comparables for all the Administrative employees. In other words it was a number driven by trying to bring people up through the comparable wages that were identified in their analysis. However, it was merit driven and if they happened to be below average for their position and Administration felt that they were not performing above average then they would not get an adjustment.
Councilman Schmid said that someday the merit adjustment would not be used.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct and that once everybody was where they ought to be that could actually be eliminated. He said what had been the problem historically was that apparently some of the other cities give larger percentage increases then Novi did because it seemed Novi was a moving target all the time.
Councilman Schmid said Novi was always falling behind.
Mr. Klaver said another important factor was that staff was being added or replaced and as Mr. Kriewall had said they like to bring people in below what their predecessors were. So if five people are new to the staff they would be near the bottom of that comparable range in which case a few years down the road if they turn out to be excellent performers they would look to do an adjustment for those employees so staff turnover would complicate that as well.
Councilman Schmid said normally there are 5 to 12 people that usually receive the adjustment and this year it seemed that it was everybody on staff. He said they were given 3% and on top of that another 2% for everybody.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said that was unusual wasn't it.
Mr. Kriewall said it probably meant that they were further off the base than they thought they were. He said it changes every year. Wixom for example uses pretty much the same system and they were giving 3% or 4% increases across the board and they are also doing as much as 6% for the high performers. He said they were using a merit approach also and it represents a difference in compensation based on merit which was what they were trying to do.
Councilman Schmid said he understood that but what in effect they were doing was taking the contract figure of 3% or whatever that happened to be and then adding on another 2% each year for compensation. He said he would like to see a percentage across the board but maybe it was better because of merit.
Mr. Kriewall said the unions do the same thing in a more inequitable fashion. He said when the Teamsters negotiate they negotiate very hard for what they call alignment and that was where they might think inspectors were low one year compared to the clerical people and they would tend to move the inspectors for reclassification. He said the only difference was that it lacked merit and people tended to move whether their performance was good or bad.
Councilman Schmid said this year it was $44,000 and it would not be that every year and it could go down to $20,000.
Mr. Kriewall said he expected it would go down next year.
Councilman Schmid asked how that would be determined with the new program. He asked if they would just make a recommendation at budget time.
Mr. Kriewall said Council would still see the back up data but they might look for just a number and when the new system was in effect Council would do budget number.
Councilman Schmid said it was his understanding that there was no where in the County that they knew of where they had job write ups and top dollar evaluations for those jobs.
Mr. Kriewall said they could probably find a thousand programs around the country.
Councilman Schmid asked if any city had that.
Mr. Kriewall said he doubted it and felt that most cities equate merit into how they pay their staff. He said he felt that their system worked as good as any other.
Councilman Toth said first, the Charter Merit Plan said that Council may come across with a merit plan on a year to year basis. He said it didn't say that Council came in with one every year. He said the 3% or 4% whatever Administration decided on was not a mandatory Charter requirement.
Councilman Toth said secondly, under what authorization was Merit Plan B put forth.
Mr. Kriewall said Council approved it and initially budgeted for it and it had probably been around for 10 years.
Councilman Toth asked why the Council got involved in alignments. He said they were not required by Charter and he thought they were something that Administration should handle on an internal basis.
Mr. Kriewall said if the history were looked at in other cities and not just Novi he would find that it varied all over. He said some Councils get more involved in determining specific salaries, especially in smaller cities. He said as the city becomes larger they tend to get away from it.
Councilman Toth said strike the cities-they don't pay our taxes. He said taxes were paid each year by the residents who work at Chrysler, Ford, GM and the other places around here, and Administration never showed Council comparables with Ford, Chrysler, GM, DelWal or anyone else. He said quite frankly, some of the other cities were on shaky ground. He said the cities and schools don't pay the taxes here and he didn't necessarily want the employees of Novi having better benefits then people who live in the city because the people in the city work hard for their money and then pay for them and employees shouldn't have better benefits than what the residents have.
Councilman Toth said he went through the alignments and had to admit Mr. Kriewall had a lot of guts going under the knife and putting this out in front of Council at the same time.
Councilman Toth said he ran a five year average. He said first of all, the $27,000 was absolutely the highest out of all ten years. He said it was $21,000 higher than last year and actually if the numbers are checked it was $23,000 because the numbers were not correct in these columns. He said the average worked out to $9,366 and for a five year average it was only $12,353. He said two years ago they gave $20,778 and actually that came out with the numbers they submitted to $16,543. He said the chart that they provided was very embarrassing. He said if they looked at the bottom half supposedly there had been nothing given to the Deputy Police Chief in the past 10 years, nothing to the DPW Foreman.
Mayor McLallen said the City didn't have that position.
Mr. Klaver asked if he could jump in.
Mr. Klaver said what they had done was they wanted to show Council the accurate historical numbers for each of the ten years across the bottom, however, some positions didn't exist ten years ago and there have been personnel changes. Mr. Klaver used the example of the staff planner position. He said when Mike Csapo was here he had a $2,000 adjustment a couple of years ago and that was shown on the bottom. However, he was no longer with the City so now there was a new staff planner and that alignment for that position was not shown because the person that received that alignment was no longer with the City. He said when his replacement came in he was hired at a lower salary so that alignment dropped off.
Councilman Toth said but it was for the position not for the individual.
Mr. Klaver said it did not go with the position and when they hired a new individual he started at a lower salary.
Councilman Toth said that didn't matter; it was money given by the Council that year.
Mr. Klaver said the problem was if he had three different staff planners in the last ten years and aligned any of them he'd have to track all three of them. The alignment they gave was for an employee who was not here anymore.
Councilman Toth said it was all money spent; it didn't matter whether it was spent on three people or one person it was all spent. He said those alignments were spent by the Council.
Mr. Klaver said they are in the bottom number but didn't attach them to the new person because they didn't apply to the new person.
Councilman Mitzel said technically there was a motion on the floor that was postponed from last the meeting. It was a motion that was to eliminate the alignments as presented and to combine that with the current merit pay plan and review plan that was in the Administrative Manual which included goals, objectives and performance evaluations and that there would be $40,000 budgeted this year for that. He said it would include all the alignments and what was proposed before it on the merit plan.
Councilman Mitzel said he read the background material that the City Manager provided and liked the idea of the extra check or balance of the salary ranges. He said Council would budget a certain amount and it would not always be $40,000, $20,000 or $10,000 a year. He said it could be anything from 0 up to what Council would allow and felt would be appropriate for a merit based plan for the employees. He said it would allow the City Manager the discretion to distribute that money based upon the Administrative Manual which he proposed should have language concerning annual goals and objectives and evaluations as a basis for that with an additional check of the salary ranges so no one person would get a greater portion of that merit that would bump them beyond what would be a reasonable salary range for that position. He was concerned with what was proposed in the Administrative memo about the Council annually approving salary ranges because he felt that would lead to an annual escalation of salary ranges. He didn't think that every year the salary ranges should necessarily be increased or adjusted. He said they could still improve every year but thought they should not escalate.
Mr. Kriewall said that range is moved by the across the board
range every year.
Councilman Mitzel said he was confused over the beginning of Mr. Kriewall's memo which said "in support of doing away with the existing merit plan as connected to the employee evaluation process". He asked if he realized that the proposal was still to have something that was connected to the annual evaluation process.
Mr. Kriewall said they were connected.
Councilman Mitzel said the way the memo was worded it sounded like Administration was leaning toward something that wasn't connected.
Councilman Mitzel said he made the motion last week for $40,000 and he didn't know if that was the appropriate amount or not. He felt that $40,000 was quite a bit and overall it would be about a 4 or 5% raise. He said maybe a little less would be more appropriate.
Councilman Mitzel said that twice the Administration had presented FAC-3 to the Council and twice the Council had declined and formally voted to keep FAC-5. He said the Council's position on that was fairly clear.
Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that there was a motion on the floor and after some debate he would move to amend the motion to include that the Administration prepare the proper amendments to the Administrative Manual including the salary ranges.
Mayor McLallen asked if he wanted it worked into the resolution that the Administration put in.
Councilman Mitzel said he hadn't seen the resolution. He wanted to go over it.
Councilwoman Mason said she had the same concerns; also the resolution said that they would get rid of the merit plan but in the resolution another merit plan would be placed in effect. She said she never agreed with the alignments because she didn't understand how certain categories got nothing and someone could end up over 4 years time with $9,848. She said she felt something better could be done and didn't see how some who had been with the City a long time ended up with nothing and someone with short time ends up with a lot every year and that was added after the increase. She felt it had a lot of work yet for Administration as far as the merit proposal because they really weren't doing away with a lot of money; it was just being moved around and called another name.
Councilman Pope said he had no problem with the resolution as presented except that he would think that $42,000 would be an appropriate number allowing for the City Manager Review Committee to make a recommendation based on the City Manager's salary. He said the City Manager was recommended for an increase. He said this shift was directed at all non-Council appointed employees in the Administrative Staff. He said the authority should be in the City Manager Review Committee to recommend salary for the City Clerk, City Assessor and the City Manager. He said he wasn't trying to skate around the process but thought it should be a part of the annual review process.
Councilman Pope asked Councilman Mitzel if his motion would reflect this resolution or was he prepared to make a new motion.
Councilman Mitzel said he would be prepared to make a new motion.
Councilman Pope said he would withdraw his second to Councilman Mitzel's motion of last week.
Councilwoman Mason asked what the $42,000 included.
Councilman Pope said it would include the current alignments as recommended minus the $16,000 that was already in the budget and they'd be removing that $16,000 and replacing it with $42,000. He said the $16,000 would be for the FAC-3 for this budget.
Mr. Klaver said right now the Administration had budgeted $16,000 in the merit plan and asked for $44,000 in alignments. He said that was $60,000 and would be reduced to $44,000.
Councilman Pope said Councilman Mitzel's motion would delete merit plan A and there would be one merit plan and all of the alignments would be based on merit and the City Manager's review with a report to Council.
Councilwoman Mason said that was basically what there was now with Administrative alignments.
Councilman Pope said at the discretion of the City Manager minus the $16,000 that he had been doing at his discretion without Council input.
Councilwoman Mason asked him to explain how $44,000 was now what was needed for alignments.
Councilman Pope said it would be the merit plan. He said they are getting rid of alignments and they wouldn't be discussed and one amount would be put in the merit plan line item. Presently it was budgeted at $16,000. He said a different way to look at it was they were increasing the $16,000 to $42,000.
Councilwoman Mason said it was just a horse with a different name. She said they were getting rid of the alignments, there's going to be one merit plan and they were really doing the same thing.
Councilman Mitzel said he was proposing to have it changed to language to have it reflect more on annual goals, objectives and performance evaluation as opposed to survey of neighboring communities pay ranges. He said that was the intent-to make it stronger pay for performance as opposed to just merely alignment based on surveys.
Councilwoman Mason asked if that meant there was going to be a specific form that would be used for all non-union people and they would need so many points towards each requirement.
Councilman Mitzel said he thought Administration would handle how they would evaluate internally and work out the process as long as it met the criteria Council set forth in the Administrative Policy Manual. He said the Manual would state that it would be based on performance and annual goals and objectives and performance evaluation. He said Administration should have the professional discretion of developing a system that worked for them.
Councilwoman Mason said that was her point. She said there really was no system before and there would be no system now unless someone comes up with it because that was just how it was. She said that was why Council came up with the City Manager Evaluation System because it was so haphazard.
Mayor McLallen said in the resolution and the conversation last Thursday there was direction from Council to Administration to bring forward exactly what Councilwoman Mason was asking for. She said it asked what would be the criteria, what would be the ranges and Council directed Administration to do that.
Councilwoman Mason asked if it was in the resolution.
Mayor McLallen said it was.
Councilwoman Mason said she had read the resolution and it didn't say that. Basically nobody was giving a directive to the Administration or to the Council or to a committee to come up with guidelines on how to get alignments or merit. She said it was going to be the same as it was now unless they have a committee.
Mayor McLallen said the directive said Administration was to bring that information to the Council by June 1, 1995.
Councilwoman Mason asked to be shown where it said there would be a point system.
Councilman Toth said she was right; it doesn't.
Councilwoman Mason said this resolution said nothing. It said that the Administration could go right back to the way it had been done the last 10 years. It didn't say there had to be a point evaluation system and nothing about specifics.
Mayor McLallen said that was why it had not been adopted and was due back by June 1. She said if Councilwoman Mason wanted these things stated in the resolution it was coming back to Council. She said that was the sentiment that Council was going to get it on clear points where if Council were to disappear tomorrow the staff would still have clear points to be judged by and to earn their merit.
Councilwoman Mason said if Administration disappeared tomorrow and Mr. or Ms. X came in, that person would never have to know the department head. They would just have the evaluation form looking at this person's work, looking at requirements met and rate them 1, 2, 3, 4, and this person should get this much of a merit.
Mayor McLallen said she thought they were in concert on this.
Councilwoman Mason said Council talked about it a lot but it never got on paper.
Mayor McLallen said the document was to be brought back to Council on paper by June 1.
Councilman Crawford said if it wasn't adopted, none of the money would be allocated. He said when it came back and she didn't like it that was the time to fight that battle but not to put all those specifics in a resolution.
Councilwoman Mason said it should be in there.
Councilman Crawford said it should not.
Mayor McLallen said she wanted Councilwoman Mason to realize that here sentiment was what generated everyone going in that direction.
Councilwoman Mason said she was not comfortable with this and would not vote for the resolution. She said when talking about an alignment, they are talking about 3% for Administration which was fine but was Council going to talk about the 7.6% decrease for the police. She asked if Council would talk about that because she felt it was a real serious situation. She said Council should look at what was happening in the City on an overall basis.
Councilman Toth said Councilwoman Mason was right. He said nothing should be approved unless Administration had enough information to come back to Council with a complete package. He said it should include salary ranges, Administrative process that they are going to use, a process for making the yearly requests of the Council and when all of that was put together and Council was happy with the whole process Council would vote on it. He said the $40,000 or $16,000 should not be voted now. He said it could sit in Fund Balance; it wasn't going any place. He felt there was no reason to allocate any money at this time and didn't think a motion was necessary to have it set up for Administration to come back to Council in a reasonable period of time. He said they could come back in 45 days or a year if that was what it took. He said the monkey was on their back to come back with a reasonable and fair process. He said if Council didn't like it and couldn't secure 5 votes, tough.
Mr. Kriewall said that was part of their concern because it had been difficult to get five votes on a lot of things. He felt the money ought to go in there now because they couldn't spend it until the plan was approved any way.
Councilman Mitzel said he was going to make a motion to approve the resolution with amendments and wanted to know if Council wanted him to state his amendments.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel
Seconded by Councilman Pope
That the resolution be approved with amendments as follows:.
WHEREAS, the Novi City Council wishes to implement
a new approach to recognizing merit performance of
Administrative and Staff employees, and,
WHEREAS, it is proposed to implement a system that
incorporates salary adjustments based on achievement
and productivity, and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Manager
is herein directed to re-draft the Administrative
Personnel Policy to provide for the abandonment of the
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Manager is herein
directed to provide for the substitution of the current
merit pay and alignment plan with a new merit adjustment
capability driven by a formal written performance review
and annual goals and objectives process.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Manager is also
directed to provide pay ranges and total compensation for
all Administrative and non-Union Employees by June 1, 1995, and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that $42,000 is to be established
in the General Administration Budget which may be used for purposes of implementing the merit adjustment pay
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Manager is not to
make any adjustments to the base salaries of Administrative Staff through the merit adjustment pay
plan until City Council has adopted amendments to the
Administrative Personnel Policy and until City Council
has approved pay ranges for the entire Administrative
Councilman Mitzel said in the first paragraph where it said "abandonment of the merit pay associated with annual employee evaluations", he thought Council was talking about abandoning the alignment system. He suggested scratching that and replacing it with alignment system.
Second, in the second paragraph it talked about substituting the current merit pay and that was why he thought it was more or less taking alignment out of the current merit plan and transforming it to the new merit plan. He said they were talking about the "substitution of the current merit pay and alignment plan with a new merit adjustment capability driven by a formal written performance review and annual goals and objectives process."
Third, the third paragraph where it said "pay ranges for all" should say "pay ranges and total compensation for all." He said that would include the longevity, company cars and all the other benefits.
Fourth paragraph, Councilman Mitzel said he agreed with Councilman Pope that it should be $42,000. Also after "Administration Budget" he felt it should say "which may be used for purposes."
Councilman Toth said he would not support the motion. He said if they came up with any number at all, $27,000 was the biggest alignment in history. He said the alignments were not a one shot deal; they went on and on and once they are built in, it's a cost year after year. He said it also had a domino effect because it rippled into other costs-the cost of pensions, social security, etc. were all driven up. He said that $27,000 was probably like buying a mortgage with a 20% interest rate. He said they had no idea what that total cost was over the next five or ten years. Councilman Toth had a problem because it was $27,000 now or $40,000 or $42,000 but none of the figures would tell Council what the true cost was. He said the true cost was what it would drive up in terms of longevity, insurance costs, etc. No one was running those numbers by Council. He said suddenly next year Council would see increased cost because of this year. He said they were not going to sell him on $27,000 when he knew down the road it would probably cost $127,000.
Councilman Schmid asked what the difference was between the $42,000, $44,000 and $27,000.
Councilman Crawford said the $27,000 was from 1994-95, last year's alignments.
Councilman Crawford said those costs were going to escalate every year. The point of the alignment, merit whatever it's called was to get a proper wage for the job that was being done. He said if Councilman Toth didn't think people ought to have the proper wage for the job being done that's a different issue. He said this addresses getting people to where they should be. He said Administration would come back with a plan that would put some caps on that or some way to get to that so that would put somewhat of a top cap on the merit/alignment.
Councilman Toth said before he agreed to any adjustment he would like to see the total figures.
Councilman Crawford asked what difference it made. He asked him if he saw the total package would he say he wouldn't give that employee what he ought to be earning because it's going to increase his longevity, etc.
Councilman Toth said there are several options - to do it over a couple of years.
Councilman Crawford said that was exactly what they would probably come back with. He said this was only a partial fix of the alignment procedure that we are in now and modifying for this year. He said most of these wages based on the things that had been received over the last several weeks are not comparable to other jobs in the job category or for the amount of work that was put in for a lot of these jobs.
Councilman Toth said he didn't know.
Councilman Crawford said Councilman Toth saw the list, and not all these people are on the list or their overtime work or their comp time. He said that all went into this whole thing.
Mayor McLallen said the issue before Council was whether to change the process or proceed with the refined process; the hard figures and the actual program would be brought back to Council no later than June 1. The issue tonight was does Council direct staff to put time into bringing that new process back to Council.
Councilman Mitzel restated the motion:
That the resolution be approved with the following changes in paragraph one, strike "merit pay associated with annual employee evaluations" and insert "alignment system". Paragraph two, third sentence saying "current merit pay " add and alignment plan. Also insert after "driven" by "a formal written performance review and annual goals and objectives process. Paragraph three, line two after "pay ranges" insert "and total compensation." Paragraph four, strike "$44,000" and insert "$42,000" and after "General Administration Budget" strike "for" and insert "which may be used for."
Councilman Schmid questioned Mr. Kriewall regarding the third paragraph which stated "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Manager is also directed to provide pay ranges for all Administrative and non-Union Employees." He asked what it meant to him.
Mr. Kriewall said it meant that they would develop a pay range so Council could actually see the range. He said now there was kind of an imaginary range. He said for example the Deputy Parks and Recreation Director pay range would be $25,000 to $35,000; Administration couldn't start below that or go above it.
Councilman Schmid said he would be reluctant to support the resolution. He said he was still having a problem with the $44,000 or $42,000 as opposed to a more historical adoption of six or eight positions. He said they usually had the figures of six to 10 well selected communities. He said total compensation was not there; it was pretty much salary. He said they don't know what the total compensation was, don't know if they contribute to another plan or retirement plan and there was a lot that Council didn't know about what was going into the process. Councilman Schmid was concerned about why alignments were so heavy and why it was necessary that they have the resolution adopted.
Councilman Schmid said he would see nothing wrong with coming back with a well written resolution that means what it says rather than jumping ahead with this resolution. He said he would vote for $40,00-$44,000 if in fact it appeared there were that many people out of the pay scale.
Councilwoman Mason stated she would not vote for the resolution. She felt it was too abstract and at $44,000 that was 29 people averaging $3,229 and that was a problem for her because the lowest was $552 and the highest was $848. She wanted a specific way that this would be put across to these people who are in management. Then regardless of who was City Manager or Assistant City Manager Council would know that if a person met specific criteria they received merit pay. She had never been comfortable with the big diversification of how people get the merit pay. She said some people work extremely hard and it should all be on a merit basis.
Mayor McLallen commented on the resolution and the conversation. She thought it was an area in a very large budget that was very difficult because it involved our staff who really do a wonderful job. She had personally had a lot of problems with the comparisons that are constantly done. Her concern was that these people had chosen to work for Novi and she wanted to be sure that they were paid for Novi. She really didn't care what Wixom or other communities paid; she was not suggesting that money be spent crazily.
Mayor McLallen felt part of the problem was Council was not conversant with the ranges and she felt that the motion addressed getting it to a much clearer format where the Council could finally see that entry level Administrative Assistant with a high school diploma could make X, Y and Z, and administrative Assistant with a Bachelor's could make X, Y and Z. She stated Council didn't know that now and as Councilwoman Mason pointed out, Council didn't know what constituted why the ranges were where they were. She said her reason for supporting this was to get a much more concrete range and once the ranges were established she would have great concerns about the word alignment. She felt it seemed like they were chasing something. She said once the position was established, Council knew that all Administrative Assistants with X education and experience could expect to make between A and B; if they gain education and experience they could move to C and D. She said at this point she didn't feel that Council had that comfort level.
Mayor McLallen said she was supportive of the process. She said if Council could not support the resolution as proposed by Member Mitzel this evening she hoped they could continue to have the support. She said it did appear that Council had the support from Members Schmid and Mason for the end product. She said the money was not the issue at this point; it was establishing a fair way that Council could finally agree every year that they have X amount of money to put in this particular category. She said then Council would not have to worry about whether position A, B or C was funded properly. The steps would finally be established that they could go through.
Mayor McLallen said she didn't care if it was voted on tonight or in 30 days. She said Council would have to appropriate some money within the budget and she didn't mind if it was left in the General Fund but did want to solve the problem of how Council would address clearly delineating those steps through which employees would be paid.
Yes (4-Pope, Crawford, No (3-Mason, Toth, Schmid)
Mitzel, McLallen) Motion carried
Councilman Toth asked if this was appropriating money.
Councilwoman Mason said it was.
Councilman Crawford said it was saying it would be included in the budget.
Councilman Pope said the final resolution had to pass on a 5 to 2 vote and the final resolution could have other issues tied to it.
Councilwoman Mason said this was the final resolution with the changes to be brought back.
Councilman Pope said it was the final resolution establishing the milage rates and then the line items would be before Council on May 8 after the direction Council provided through these meetings meets five votes. He said this was budget direction and the money didn't come until May 8.
Councilman Schmid said this did appropriate $44,000 that could be spent on adjustments and wages unless one chooses to vote against the total budget.
Councilman Pope said that was correct and if Councilman Schmid recalled last year he voted against all the alignments and the raises. He said he did vote for the full budget and held that up as an item as why he was doing that and that was his prerogative.
Councilman Schmid said the difficulty was if on May 8 he still didn't want the $44,000, he must vote against the full budget.
Councilman Pope said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said that was why he hoped it wouldn't pass because he felt additional work should have been done on it so Council could tell if it was a good figure or bad figure.
Councilman Crawford said the same process happened a few nights ago where it was a 4 to 3 vote to include something in the budget.
Councilman Pope said it was a 4 to 2 vote on the direction for the Planning Studies.
The next issue was the FAC-3 Rider.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Crawford
That the Administrative and Staff Employee Benefit Proposal Resolution which provides FAC-3 Retirement Rider for all Administrative and Staff Employees, excluding the Special Recreation Coordinator - be approved as follows:
WHEREAS, the City Manager has recommended a change in
retirement calculation for all Administrative and Staff
employees for fiscal 1995-1996, and,
WHEREAS, the proposed change has been reviewed by the
Novi City Council,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the proposed 1995-
1996 budget being prepared for adoption shall include the
implementation of the FAC-3 Retirement Rider for all Administrative and Staff employees excluding the Special
Councilman Toth said he would vote against this because he felt that Council had to draw the line on the pension program and they didn't have the figures. He said Council had a projected cost for next year which would be about $18,000 to $25,000 and he said they weren't giving the negotiators any latitude. He said if Council gave everything away now, when the Unions came back the negotiators wouldn't have anything to say they were drawing the line at a certain point. He said if Council continued to do this all they were doing was building that balloon payment up. He said the costs were going up and up on this.
Councilman Toth said if their pension was based on the employee's best 5 years, he felt that was sufficient. He said doing it for 3 years, it's their top salary and a lot of employees would be trying to get all the overtime they can and every bit of money they can for that last 3 years because it would raise their pension.
Councilman Schmid said he could not imagine that anyone who would negotiate would allow that kind of a benefit to fire, police or anyone that worked a lot of overtime.
Councilman Mitzel stated he would not support this motion and did not support it the last two times. He said the majority of Novi employees did not have this benefit as they were FAC-5 which included the Teamsters and administrative which was about 2/3 of the employees. He felt that FAC-5 was fair and would not support FAC-3.
Councilman Schmid said he would not vote the resolution if it included overtime.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall to address the issue of paid overtime and compensated overtime in the category of administrative non-union employees.
Mr. Klaver said the only people eligible for overtime in the Administrative category were the Administrative Staff positions which included the foreman, executive secretaries and 2 or 3 other positions. He said the overtime budget for General Administration was $300 and it was very rarely that those employees worked overtime.
Councilman Pope asked if it could be excluded for Administrative employees. He was advised that it could be excluded.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Crawford
That the motion be amended to give FAC-3 to all employees
minus overtime and minus the Special Recreation Coordinator.
Councilman Toth stated a proposal to have the employees contribute to their pension plan had never come before Council. He said he would like the Teamsters and everybody else to start contributing. He said it was an extreme cost to the City and all of these other cities were now having their employees contribute. He said Council had never seen that come across the table; all they ever see was everything that cost the City more money. He said there was no cost containment on the overtime or pension. He said there was no cost sharing and he was getting fed up. He said he was willing to give a fair pension plan but this was all free and it was a pension based on longevity, overtime and everything.
Councilman Crawford said he supported the motion and would support the clarification of the overtime not being included in FAC-3 because in all reality that was what happened anyway. He said the motion did not say that those people would never be eligible for overtime, just that it would not be computed in the FAC-3.
Councilman Mitzel said last year when this policy was brought forward they voted it down. He said this just proves that if the Administration would keep bringing it back enough times Council would finally approve it. He felt that FAC-5 was fair and would not support the motion.
Councilwoman Mason stated that she would not support the motion not because of the motion because she would be in favor of the motion but she was not in favor of everything that happened every single year on Administrative. She felt that there should be one session where Council just talked about it and in a more reasonable understanding way. She thought it should be away from everything else. Councilwoman Mason stated she was not comfortable with Councilman Crawford having discussion when his wife worked for the City. She said even though he voted separately she didn't feel he should be lobbying to do anything favorable in this position because his wife works full time.
Councilwoman Mason said she knew how hard the employees worked and also knew what a good City this was to work for. She felt that this always got out of hand at this position and she felt it had to be presented better and had to be more professional instead of cutting it up like this in the midst of all the other issues.
Councilman Crawford said he thought this had been discussed last year at budget time. He said at that time Council asked for it to be brought back later which was then brought back in the fall and at that time it was voted down. He thought some of the comments then were "let's talk about it at budget time."
Councilman Pope said a lot of this discussion was correct about retirement. He said they get these wacky B-3, B-2, FAC-3 and all of this pension language and the solution to it would be that Council would provide this direction to Administration: when it was available as the MERS system was going to be amended hopefully it would allow defined contribution and not defined benefit. He said now Council was providing a defined benefit proposal where Council had to get the B-3's and FAC-3's and they do these crazy calculations. He said a defined contribution would mean that an employee would receive 5% or 6%, they could put in 3% of their own money. He said Council could move to that opting current employees out of this system and allow them to go into defined contribution at their permission. He said that Council could mandate that all new employees hopefully would take that pension within labor positions. He said Councilman Toth's fear was absolutely right; we are making decisions that could affect the City for 20 years and we don't really know how big that would impact. He said defined contribution would help someone like Mr. Nowicki and Mr. Wahl who haven't stayed in a position like Mr. Gibson or Mr. Kriewall who have been with Novi for many years. He said some people would like a career that took them into a city for a few years, correct some problems and move on but they never qualify for retirement benefits. He said the Chief might never qualify under Michigan's Benefits Program.
Councilman Pope said he was trying to say that even the debate now was transitional because within the year Council would have an option where Council could provide defined comp. He said when they do that Council should take that opportunity because then there would be no worries about B-3, etc. He said a percentage would be set and the City contributes, the employee contributes and it would be yearly and they could take it with them. He said this was working its way through the legislature now. He said the MERS system had to be amended through the legislative process.
Mr. Klaver said Councilman Pope's facts were absolutely correct and the advantages speak for themselves. The difficulty might be negotiating it into the collective bargaining units. He said it would be a very hotly contested issue not only here but throughout the whole State.
Councilman Pope said hopefully the employees would realize that it was a good deal for them and that the union would very much fight it.
Mr. Klaver said there were some circumstances for example the last ten years when it went 5 or 6 years without contributing anything. He said that would not happen under this system. He said if the stock market took off, the benefit would go exclusively to the employee and it wouldn't be a savings for the City.
Yes (Pope, Mitzel, No (3-Toth, Mitzel, Mason)
Crawford, McLallen) Motion carried
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Schmid
That the Resolution for implementation of the FAC-3
Retirement Rider for the Special Recreation Coordinator minus
overtime - be approved.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel
That Councilman Crawford be allowed to abstain from voting on the motion.
Yes (4-Mitzel, Pope, No (2-Mason, Toth) Abstain (1-Crawford) McLallen,
Schmid) Motion failed
Councilman Pope asked for point of clarification. He asked the City Clerk to provide the Council by May 8 the comment from the City Attorney on the vote of 4 to 2 to abstain.
Councilman Pope said he was very uncomfortable, and didn't know if Council had ever done this before, but he understood if someone was opposed to the policy that was before Council. He said he had been as critical of Councilman Crawford as anyone had about salaries but to make him vote on his wife's retirement based on the City Charter requirement it must be unanimous. He asked that someone help him understand that.
Councilman Toth said he ought to vote against the whole budget because it was personal.
Councilman Pope asked how that justified forcing someone to vote on his wife's retirement proposal when he respectfully requested not to vote on the issue.
Councilwoman Mason said it was pretty much Councilman Pope's feelings about the FAC-3 as far as saying it was OK and other times not saying he didn't think it was a good program. She said she would be more than happy to vote yes to let Councilman Crawford abstain however, she didn't feel Councilman Crawford should be lobbying at the Council table for things that had to do with his wife's retirement, salary or anything having to do with it. She said even though Councilman Crawford was not voting on the main proposal with everybody else and he's abstaining for his wife he constantly lobbies to do the best for that position, which is an Administrative/Management position that his wife holds. She stated she was not comfortable with that. She said Councilman Crawford was one of the worst people when it came to Tri-Mount which the Attorney General's office said she had nothing to do with but he consistently votes for things that puts money into his own pocket.
Councilman Crawford asked to respond. He said he thought that the rest of Council would concur that he was not sitting at the Council table constantly lobbying and he didn't think he had said anything about FAC-3 and anything he had said was more in the way of an explanation of how he saw the process not lobbying for any of that.
Councilman Crawford said he appreciated what Councilman Pope said and he had no problem voting for this and he would vote yes for it even though it directly affected his wife because he was following his direction which said that he must vote.
Mayor McLallen called Councilman Crawford out of order.
Vote on main motion
Yes (4-Schmid, Pope, No (3-Toth, Mason,
McLallen) Motion carried
COUNCIL BREAK AT 8:50 p.m. for ten minutes
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Gibson to lay out what the Truth in Taxation entailed.
Mr. Gibson asked Council to look at his memo in their packets and that the attachments summarized it.
Mayor McLallen said the three funds that were proposed to go above Truth In Taxation were the General Fund, Library Fund and the Police and Fire Fund. She said the bulk of the request to go above Truth in Taxation is in order to computerize and improve technology within the City.
Mr. Gibson said they had identified the millages and raised the net of $350,000 because they set aside 10% of that for fund balance. He said they were looking to raise $385,000 in the General Fund and that would be a little over a quarter of a mill, .2652.
Mr. Gibson said Police and Fire millage was subsidized by the General Fund so he was recommending that it go up to the heavy maximum which was .033 mills over the Truth in Taxation benchmark
and would raise $48,000.
Mr. Gibson said the Library Fund had requested a millage increase of .0422 which would generate $61,000 and that was reflected in their numbers.
Mr. Gibson said the bottom part of the schedule demonstrated how it would impact the taxpayer with a $200,000 home assessed at 50%. Their total bill last year for all City millages including debt millage would have been $1,035. He said the average increase in the assessed value to the taxable value was 1.3% so that was what was rolled up a $100,000 assessed value to $101,300. To summarize the impact, adding Truth in Taxation, their bill this year would be $1,022.19, a decrease of $13.24 strictly because of the reduction in the Debt Service Fund.
Mr. Gibson said to pick up the .2652 mills requested for the General Fund would bring their tax bill up to $1,049.05 or a net increase of $13.62 or 1.32% increase over last year.
Mr. Gibson said Police and Fire Millage of .033 would bring that tax bill up to $1,052.42 for a net increase of $16.99 or 1.64% increase.
Mr. Gibson said Parks and Recreation was reviewed and they felt they could get by this year without going above Truth in Taxation so that had no impact.
Mr. Gibson said the Library Fund requested .0422 mills which would bring the tax bill up to $1,056.69 or a total net increase of $21.26 or slightly over a 2% increase from last year's taxes.
Mayor McLallen said the new proposed milage if this were accepted would be 10.4314; Mr. Gibson said that was correct.
Councilman Toth said he didn't think the City Clerk's position started until July 1, 1995 and that was budgeted at $87,000.00 and could probably take a figure of around $60,000 to budget for next year. He said that would save $27,000. He didn't think they would hire someone in at the same rate, conditions. longevity, etc. that Mrs. Stipp had now.
Mr. Gibson said they reviewed those numbers and there was a few thousand dollars that might be cut from that item. He said most of that is anticipating the payout for unused sick days, vacation days, etc. so virtually all of that amount needs to be kept.
Councilman Toth thought that the police overtime should be cut by $100,000. He said the figure of $210,000 for overtime in the police department was ridiculous. He said it might have been justified before but now with three additional officers he thought that should give incentive to cut overtime.
Councilman Toth thought the Recycling Center should be cut to a flat $10,000 and the other $22,998 should go back in to be used for other purposes. He said his trash hauler and he thought just about every trash hauler picked up the bulk of the trash. He said if Council wanted to hold it open say Tuesdays and Thursdays and maybe Saturday for 4 hours for $10,000 that was fine. He felt something should be adjusted there. He saw no reason to spend that kind of money when people are paying trash haulers to pick it up.
Councilman Toth said he thought a Financial Analyst and a Budget Analyst would serve all of the departments. He thought every department should be assessed 1% and have them work for every department. He said based on his own calculations, he came up with $126,051.59. He said even on a half a percent it comes out to $63,025 and 1/2% out of anyone's budget wouldn't be missed at all.
He felt it should be an across the board assessment and they would go in and monitor all the books to be sure they are getting every cent they should have and do analysis on a department by department basis.
Councilman Toth personally thought that Council should use Water and Sewer Funds to fund about $100,000 of the computer effort because a lot of that was information about underground in terms of water and sewer pipes, etc. He thought a portion could be taken out of Water and Sewer because it was crucial to find out where all those pipes were located.
Mr. Gibson said all the GIS information was going to be paid for by 50% out of Water and Sewer, 25% out of Roads and 25% out of the drains. He said the Water and Sewer would be paying its share of GIS.
Councilman Toth thought video cameras should be installed in police cars because legal fees could probably be cut by 50% and that would be a $33,500 savings. He said rather than paying that money out to attorneys he'd rather put it somewhere else. He said if they were bought over the next year or two they could put the cameras into a third of the police cars this year and then some next year and so forth. He said the idea had been around and Council had talked about it but it never showed up as far as he knew. He said in today's paper an officer of the Warren Police Department got shot in his car and still had the license plate number on his lap top computer of the car of the guy that shot him. He said in addition to that it said the City recently also started buying video cameras for the patrol cars. He thought it was a good investment and that it could avoid law suits and other contentions and he thought that legal bills could be cut significantly.
Councilman Toth said he still had concerns over some of the overtime costs. He went over some of the departments and when overtime got beyond 10% per employee there was a problem because that employee can't operate efficiently with 10% overtime for a long period of time. He said some of the overtime figures he saw approached near 35% to 45%.
Mr. Kriewall said Chief Shaeffer had done a good job of bringing the overtime down. He said in addition, after the 8 hour shifts were in effect for one year, he would like to bring PAS or someone in just for the purpose of analyzing overtime, how it was assigned, why there was so much of it and what could be done to control it. He thought at least a year was needed to go through the shift changeover to allow everybody to readjust to that new program. He said he would propose that Council do this in the next budget.
Councilman Toth thought it would be a good idea to lay it on the Union's table when they commence the negotiations. He said he saw that there were certain individuals taking a lot of the overtime and he had a concern about the efficiency of that person putting that many hours in. His concern was for the safety of that officer and the safety of the residents.
Councilman Toth said secondly there were a lot of officers who were not getting their share of the overtime. He thought the union should work out some fair and equitable plan.
Councilman Toth had concerns about the cost of insurance. He said Council had talked about self insurance but no one had come up with any hard numbers or worked anything out. He said he thought that in some areas they could go self insured and felt it was an area that should be aggressively pursued.
Councilman Toth's last concern was personnel. He said he understood some departments were under staffed and others were probably over staffed. He thought some personnel should be moved around, at least temporarily. He said especially at budget time people could be juggled around because they could probably use a half a dozen hands. He felt there should be some movement of people because in industry now a team effort might move people from group to group or department to department. He said many times they talk about co-sharing people where they work in one department and also another department. He said he understood that the assessing department wanted people and people should be moved around and they are all working for the City.
Councilman Pope asked Councilman Toth if he was voting for this or not.
Councilman Toth said he would have to see the final figures.
Councilman Pope asked if Council was trying to wrap up tonight.
Mayor McLallen said that was correct.
Councilman Pope asked if these were just suggestions or was Council going to vote on those things.
Councilman Toth asked the Mayor if she wanted to bring his figures up to a vote at this point or did the Administration want to come back.
Mayor McLallen said this was scheduled to be the budget wrap up and the public hearing on Truth in Taxation was already scheduled for next Monday, May 8. She said three of Councilman Toth's suggestions involve reviews and proposals that she was not sure he wanted to address in this budget but on insurance and legal, Councilman Toth would like to see that as an ongoing practice. She said regarding the Financial Analyst, Councilman Toth made a terrific case on how that could be paid for out of funds that exist now if that was accepted. She said she highly supported his position on recycling. She said he was not asking for more money in the budget he was showing how to either reposition or take some out.
Councilman Toth said he felt $27,000 could be saved on the City Clerk's position. He said police overtime could be cut by $100,000 and recycling center could be cut by $22,998.
Councilman Pope said he understood what Councilman Toth's proposal was but didn't know how Council was wrapping up.
Mayor McLallen said at this time she would like everyone to put their position on the table.
Councilman Pope said Parks and Recreation had been removed but an additional person had been added because of the revenue.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope asked if Council could bond for technology as the schools did. He said if Council went out for a bond proposal for a police building could Council bond for technology.
Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Councilman Pope said then the technology and the systems that the Chief was asking for could be part of a building bond program for the police building.
Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Councilman Pope said Councilman Mitzel pointed out a large confusion in the Road Fund which was confirmed in Ms. Smith-Roy's memo. He asked what it meant that there was $1.5 Million that had not been allocated and we are going to get reallocation for that. He asked if that was a normal thing that they had that large of a cushion.
Mr. Gibson said it was just a matter of programming the resources that are available. He thought what had happened was that physically they take on more projects at this time and it's not impractical and it was restricted funds.
Councilman Pope said he understood and he wasn't talking about computers but Council could do bike paths out of that. He said we could take $100,000 from that 6 mill Road Fund for bike paths.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said he was not advocating that but asked if Council was going to see by May the new 6 year Road Fund or are we sticking with this one.
Mr. Kriewall said this was it and it was revised.
Councilman Pope asked why the excess dollars wouldn't be programmed. He asked if it was a matter of Council not being able to spend all the road dollars that we had.
Mr. Kriewall said Council had to look at it over 5 or 6 years because some of these projects from design to construction took that long.
Councilman Pope said so over the six year period we are on schedule.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said it just happened that there was excess money this year because there were future projects.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct and it happened all the time.
Ms. Smith-Roy said it happened more because like now and the last couple years they are heavily involved with the road bond. She said a lot of projects are being funded out of that program so it's concentrating on that area and once that program was complete the focus would change.
Councilman Pope said the only thing wrong with that answer was that it led him to believe that neighborhood resurfacing had been neglected.
Councilman Pope said he arrived knowing he would not vote for the budget based on going about Truth in Taxation. However, one piece of information was provided for him that wasn't provided before was the reduction in the Debt Funds which was an important piece of information for him because it affected the overall tax rate. He was not aware that there would be a reduction in the debt funds reflecting $13.24 per average household. He said in light of that, he would not support the budget if it had the General Fund over Truth in Taxation, however, he would support the Police and Fire Fund and he would support the Library Fund with reservations and a strong recommendation to the Library Chairman that they look at a Library Master Plan. He said he would not support the increase in mills in the General Fund.
Councilman Pope said from all of the actions that Council took tonight and there was a lot of it already in the budget because Council tried to get it out of the way last week, you can do this budget without the computers at Truth in Taxation with maybe a little bit of tweaking here and there of about $50,000 or $100,000. He said all the salary things, FAC-3, Firemen and all the stuff that had already been done and nothing was added tonight of major importance, and what Council would be going above Truth in Taxation for as proposed now was computers. He said if members didn't want to vote for that and didn't want to do that he would respect that but it would also mean that Council could get the police computers in a bonding proposal and he would consider supporting that.
Councilman Pope said it helped Council to get to five votes, which he thought they were at, but might not be.
Councilman Toth passed the packet from Parks and Recreation
to Les Gibson. He said the packet contained the originals and some of the figures were very soft. He felt a good hard look was needed because he felt some of the figures in the Parks and Recreation budget couldn't be justified.
Mayor McLallen asked if Councilman Toth was indicating that there wasn't enough money in Parks and Recreation or that there was too much money in it.
Councilman Toth said too much money.
Councilman Crawford said he was concerned that there was not enough money in Parks and Rec. He said not specifically Parks and Rec. but the fact that Council had eliminated the request for Truth in Taxation hearing for Parks and Rec. He said his question was if there was any General Fund Supplement for Parks and Rec.
Councilman Pope said there was $145,000.
Councilman Crawford said then why would Council not want to at least levy what was requested if not more. He said his concern with all the funds was that Council continually eroded the base. He said levy .36 mils for Parks and Rec; Council was authorized by a vote years ago to levy a half mill and they were authorized in all the funds to levy more. He thought they were hurting themselves by continually staying under that and eroding the base. He said if Council would levy the half mill that was authorized for Parks and Rec. all of the General Fund supplement might not be needed. He said reduce that General Fund supplement and levy what was authorized under Parks and Rec. He said that was his concern with all of the funds and it had been for several years. He said based on this statement he would probably not vote for the budget either as he had said in previous years, unless some money was spent. He thought it was irresponsible not to levy some of the mills that were authorized and he thought it continually eroded the base and hurt the City. He said council was not talking about major dollars and had they levied in previous years or every other year for the last six or eight years they wouldn't be in the situation that they were now. He said they would have money to fund computers, police officers, pension, dump trucks, etc. He said they'd have sufficient funds and they certainly would not be going crazy on how the City funds were allocated and wouldn't be doing anything that wasn't already authorized.
Councilman Schmid asked if Councilman Crawford said he was not voting for the budget.
Councilman Crawford said unless they spend some more money he was absolutely correct.
Councilman Schmid said on Parks and Recreation.
Councilman Crawford said not just Parks and Recreation but also others.
Councilman Schmid said he didn't have too much to add. He said he was pleased and that the budget had come out better than he thought it would as far as the overall budget. He said he remained disappointed in the Computer Committee particularly with Councilman Toth on that Committee and he was one of the biggest advocates in putting forth information as to what to spend, where to spend it and how. He said they had done absolutely nothing as to a projection on the cost. He said he thought they had spent close to half a million dollars on computers already. He said he was pleased that the budget, without going above Truth in Taxation, met all the requirements that the Administration asked for overall. He said there were a couple of jobs added that he thought were appropriate and he thought the Administration had done an out- standing job in controlling the budget over the years.
Councilman Schmid said he didn't go to cities every day but he dealt with businesses every day and he didn't think he'd ever seen a business with better people as far as being pleasant and apparently doing their job. He said he had never called or asked a question without getting a pleasant response and thought it was outstanding.
Councilman Schmid said he was fairly comfortable with Parks & Recreation not going above Truth in Taxation and had not made up his mind yet on Police & Fire and Library. He said his position would not be definitely known until probably Monday night.
Councilman Mitzel said he would have to echo Councilman Schmid's comments regarding the helpfulness of the staff in getting information. He said he would like to know what the final proposal was for the Planning Commission budget. He said the Grand River Corridor and Thoroughfare Plan had been relocated to the Road Program and the Lake Study was eliminated; he asked if the general fund would fund the other studies and Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Councilman Mitzel said he didn't quite understand why there were two projects listed for Major Street Fund as unfunded - planning, preparation and permits for West Road and Taft Road resurfacing - why weren't they funded if they had $1.8 million available. Les Gibson said he suspected it was because they wouldn't have time to deal with it. Councilman Mitzel said this concerned him because road improvement was a priority for most people and to hear that they had the money to do some things but were not doing it because they didn't have the time.... He said maybe that meant they needed to hire more contractors to do the project or something, but there had to be a solution.
He said he also had questions about street lighting at intersections and street signs on 12 Mile Boulevard; he asked if those could be in the 6 year road program as opposed to line items and Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Councilman Mitzel asked if $4,000 for Forester laptop computer should be removed since they now had a pool of 4 laptops that were available for use. Les Gibson said part of that was for tree program software; it was decided that $2,500 could be backed out of that amount.
Councilman Mitzel said based on the action tonight of changing the merit plan line item from $16,800 to $42,000 and Mr. Gibson had stated that the $42,000 was already in contingencies, shouldn't they now have a savings of that difference. Mr. Gibson said they had anticipated $44,000 in the numbers so there was a $2,000 savings.
Councilman Mitzel asked if there had been an answer about the $50,000 in sidewalk money for matching grants that hasn't been spent this year, and Les Gibson said the way the budget has been presented, it was assumed that it would not be spent this year and therefore it had gone back into fund balance. Councilman Mitzel asked what would happen if they decided to spend it this year, and Les Gibson said fund balance estimate would be off $50,000. Councilman Mitzel asked if there would be $50,000 there next year to match the grant if they were to receive it, and Mr. Gibson said not unless they took it out of contingencies and Mr. Mitzel added or the road program.
Councilman Mitzel said he would like to use the money to fill in some of the gaps and needed sidewalk connections. He asked if a $50,000 difference was critical to the fund balance, and Mr. Gibson said it could be and suggested looking at this again mid to late year.
Councilman Mitzel said he was hesitant to approve the purchase of some capital items like mowers and tractors since the consensus of council seemed to favor administration looking at some sort of strategic long range plan this year of where the city was going with staffing, equipment, whether to outsource, etc. His suggestion was to place those dollars into contingency pending the outcome of the study.
Les Gibson said they could accomplish the same thing by putting a freeze on capital purchases.
Councilman Mitzel said the Building Department had requested one additional clerical worker this year and he would rather wait until they see how the new computer system worked. He said they may gain enough speed and efficiency from the new equipment that they won't need another clerical and the money could be saved or go towards a budget analyst which would benefit the entire city.
Councilwoman Mason said she pretty much agreed with what Mr. Toth and Mr. Mitzel had said. She said a concern of hers was Conferences & Workshops were up $10, 391 over last year. She said she could go with approving an increase in Parks & Rec only if it was to develop all the land they have already purchased.
Mayor McLallen said an area of concern was funding for sidewalk connections and she was willing to trade recycling in this year's budget for sidewalk money. She felt they needed to set aside money every year in the budget for safety paths.
She asked if they pursued a review or long range plan where would the money come from; a proposal she inquired about was $36,000.
Mayor McLallen said at this time she could support going to the truth in taxation levels in that the economy was still strong and the proposed increases were not detrimental to homeowners. She said there were further improvements expressed tonight with no major harm to the budget and she could support the minor increases particularly since they were directed to specific things such as bringing technology a bit more quickly into the city.
Councilman Pope said he didn't want another meeting but it didn't appear they had five votes; he said he hoped the members would come in with written proposals and be ready to make motions on the budget.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
To schedule a budget study session for Thursday, May 4, 1995 at 7:00 PM in the Activities Room.
Councilman Toth said he would support the motion for discussion.
Councilman Mitzel said he was ready to make motions.
Mayor McLallen said her perception was that everyone was going to basically state their position as to where they were and give it their last best effort for the tweaks. She said members suggested decreases and increases but she didn't see a net difference; it was just a matter of repackaging by the staff. She said she thought they were still at a point as to whether they could support Truth in Taxation or not on the various funds and she was prepared to do that this evening.
Mr. Kriewall suggested getting the vote out of the way on each one that has been sent to public hearing and then back into the process. He said if they knew they had to take $350,000 out of the General Fund because it was not supported that might be a better way to deal with it.
Councilman Pope said there seemed to be a consensus to go so he would withdraw the motion.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
To direct administration to adjust the budget to delete the Building Department clerical position and insert a budget financial analyst in its place.
Les Gibson said they were somewhat restricted on how they used Building Department revenues but there were a lot of underlying support costs. He said that revenue had to cover the cost of the Building Department and the cost of the Finance Department.
Councilman Pope said the Building Department was self-funding and the budget analyst wouldn't necessarily fit that in terms of the Building Department.
Mr. Kriewall said in his opinion the budget analyst was going to spend 60% of their time in the first year probably in the Building Department.
Councilman Pope asked if the administration therefore was supporting this proposal, and Mr. Kriewall said yes. Councilman Pope asked then why didn't he recommend it and Mr. Kriewall said he did. Councilman Pope asked if he recommended the clerical and Mr. Kriewall said they did not recommend the clerical. He said they recommended the budget analyst but they had to take the position out for financial purposes. Councilman Pope asked then how were they deleting something that was not in the budget, and Mr. Kriewall said council put the position in the budget.
Mayor McLallen clarified that at this point they were back to the original administration position which was the analyst and not the clerical.
Mayor McLallen said on the issue of support staff, much of the discussion earlier in the budget process has gone to minutes on disk and less copying and the person in the Building Department involved in that and if the workload was reduced on the support staff in the Planning Department, they actually may come up with enough support staff to cross train or use these people as Mr. Toth suggested. She said she would support the motion.
Councilman Toth said it might work out that they put a budget analyst in the Building Department; he personally felt they needed one for every department.
Councilman Mitzel said he didn't mean to put the position in the Building Department - just the funding, and Councilman Toth said the problem would be that Don Saven would think that person was his.
Mr. Kriewall said no.
Councilman Crawford said they previously allocated this clerical position in the Building Department based on what they heard - that it was required based on all the building activity which would self-fund it. He said he understood that if that position wasn't there and the revenue was still there, it would go into the general fund so he wasn't willing to take away this position in the Building Department. He said he was in favor of a budget analyst though because he felt that would also save a lot of money; he said that position would probably be self-funding in the long run based on analyses of all departments.
Councilman Crawford said he would be in favor of inserting a budget analyst but he wouldn't vote for the motion if it took away the Building Department person they already allocated in lieu of that.
Councilman Schmid said he concurred with Mr. Crawford. He said he thought Don Saven made a pretty good case for needing help so he wouldn't vote for the motion. He said he didn't feel that better computers would necessarily mean less people, and he felt an analyst position would probably pay for itself under the present budget.
Councilman Mitzel said Council never took a formal motion on adding a clerical, and administration has already said they didn't recommend a clerical; it was the department head who expressed the need when council asked what was cut. He said he realized that there wasn't a 100% guarantee that computerization would increase the efficiency enough so they wouldn't need another clerical but urged that they give it a try at least this year to see how it worked.
Councilman Crawford asked for clarification of whether or not they added a clerical, and Councilman Mitzel said they didn't take a formal vote on it.
Les Gibson said they picked that up as a recommendation.
Councilman Toth said Mr. Saven made a strong case for a clerical that would be funded by incoming revenues, and Councilman Schmid made a good point that he knew what was needed in the department. He said that was not to say that administration couldn't direct him to look for a financial-type person, but he thought they should allow him to have that assistance in his department and go also for a budget analyst and have that funded through the other departments. He said he would not support the motion.
Yes (4) No(3-Crawford, Schmid, Toth) Motion carried
Mayor McLallen asked if there was support at this point to make motions for specific funds going over Truth in Taxation.
Councilman Mitzel asked if a motion was needed about Mr. Gibson's suggestion of freezing capital purchases for Parks and Water & Sewer until the outcome of the evaluation was known.
Mayor McLallen said she thought they would like clarification of the evaluation and when it was to begin. She said if those improvements were needed for this park season, they may be freezing someone out.
Councilman Mitzel said as he understood the presentation, they needed the equipment to mow the additional parkland that they bought, and Council had asked if it made sense to mow or outsource.
Mayor McLallen asked if they had a timetable for a study on outsourcing, and Mr. Kriewall said there was no specific direction, just kind of a philosophy and he didn't see them coming back in the next 60 days.
Councilman Mitzel said he was thinking before the end of the calendar year, and Mr. Kriewall agreed. Councilman Mitzel said they still haven't purchased all the capital out of this year's budget so his suggestion was to put a freeze on this calendar year.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That the money be approved but a hold be placed on the purchase of capital equipment that could be affected by the outcome of the outsourcing study.
Councilman Crawford asked if this was just for Parks & Rec, and Councilman Mitzel said no. It would include Water & Sewer and DPW, too. Councilman Crawford said he was assuming some of the capital requests were replacements needed this year or next spring, and this could put some programs and capital in jeopardy.
Councilman Mitzel said he wanted to amend the motion to exclude capital replacement equipment. Mr. Kriewall said they could come back with a list of equipment.
Councilman Crawford said he would not vote for the motion. He said they listened to everyone throughout these sessions and one of the philosophies they came up with was to investigate outsourcing but he didn't feel a major piece of the city budget should be put on hold until they found that out. He said he didn't believe they were talking about major dollars for purchases that would be wasted if the results of the study indicated some outsourcing. He commented that he couldn't imagine outsourcing everything they had mentioned.
Yes (3-Mitzel, Mason, Pope) No (4) Motion failed
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That Administration adjust fund balance by $50,000 to reflect Council's attempt to utilize the sidewalk money in the current budget year.
Councilman Crawford asked what the motion would do. Councilman Mitzel said there was $50,000 in the 1994-95 budget and he believed they should utilize that money to fill in the sidewalk gaps and not count on it as fund balance. Councilman Crawford said he assumed then if they didn't pass this motion that $50,000 would be rolled over into fund balance and it wouldn't be allocated for sidewalks and members said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said then they would have to come up with $50,000 somewhere else in the budget if they didn't go above Truth in Taxation, and Mr. Gibson said that was correct.
Councilman Pope asked why this couldn't come out of the Road Fund; he asked why they were taking this out of the general fund. He said they could do it out of the Road Fund if they wanted to.
Councilman Schmid said he couldn't support the motion for that reason.
Councilwoman Mason said if they could take it out of the Road Fund, then she would withdraw her second and another motion could be made.
Councilman Mitzel said he wouldn't make that motion until he knew what could be done with this year's road fund.
Councilman Crawford said he would support the motion on the floor.
Councilman Mitzel said technically it could come from the road fund - it was an allowed use, but he didn't know if there were funds available in this year's Road Fund. He said they could probably do it out of next year's Road Fund and then there was the question of how using road funds for sidewalks would affect road projects.
Mr. Kriewall suggested they discuss that when they discussed the revised Six Year Road Fund which they would hopefully have next Monday.
Yes (4-Crawford, Mason, Mitzel, McLallen) No (3)
Councilman Toth questioned whether four votes was enough; he said the money was appropriated as matching grant money and was not spent. This was re-appropriating the money and he felt five votes were required.
Councilman Mitzel said he didn't mean they had to spend the money tonight; he wanted to give direction to administration to adjust next year's budget to reflect that we would like to spend it this budget year.
Councilman Pope said looking at the Police Chief's memo regarding his wish list, most of it was personnel and bonding so he would make a motion on some of the lower priced items.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That $7,000 for vehicle maintenance equipment and $1,400 for fax equipment be added into the Police Department budget.
Councilman Crawford asked where those items came from, and Councilman Pope said they were in a recent memo. He said the first priority was personnel and they dealt with that in the police budget, second was computers and he didn't know what was going to happen with that so he wasn't going to deal with it right now, third was the police building which would go to bonding, and the fourth was communications at $60,000 which could be bonded. That left vehicle maintenance and the fax machine.
Councilman Crawford said he was trying to address some immediate issues that wouldn't be covered by a bond issue and Mr. Pope said that was right.
Councilman Pope said he had one other motion regarding that department.
Yes (5) No (2-Schmid, Toth) Motion carried
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That the expenditure of $7,845 be approved to continue the Citizens Police Academy.
Councilman Schmid said he felt $300 per person was much too high and that it could be done for about a third of that cost. He said all they were doing was asking the citizens to send these people to cadet school far in excess of what was necessary to get an understanding of the police department. He said he felt it was a very foolish expenditure.
Councilwoman Mason commented that some members of council spend more than that on conferences and workshops.
Councilman Crawford said when they discussed this before there was a strong recommendation and he felt that still stood that the chief investigate other sources of revenue that may reduce this figure which would be participants picking up some of the costs, police union contributing time or resources, and contributions from community organizations. He said he felt it was an important program and he would like to see it continued.
Councilman Pope asked that his motion reflect that this would be a budget line item if it passed.
Councilman Toth said he was the one who found this bombshell, and he was totally opposed to this kind of thing. He said there were many other things far more important than this although this may be politically correct but right now he did not see where any of these things were really earth shattering and worth council spending its time voting on these mundane issues that were just costing the city money.
Councilman Pope said his motion was to get the line item in with the comments of Mr. Crawford that the chief would look at co-pays and other things discussed. He said his intention was to show that council supported the program and it was an appropriate expenditure, but he trusted the city manager and the police chief as administrators to reduce that figure.
Yes (5) No (2-Schmid, Toth) Motion carried
Councilman Pope asked if furniture for the Community Development director had been eliminated, and Mr. Kriewall said it had.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That $5,000 be added into the Community Development Department budget for furniture.
Councilman Pope said the director had put his own furniture in his office and has now requested that the city furnish the office.
Councilman Toth said that person elected to bring his own furniture when the building was built and they moved in. He said he had the opportunity to get furniture at the time that everybody got furniture; he said he could take his furniture home and he was sure Mr. Kriewall could find some other furniture around to stick in that office.
Councilman Crawford said he could appreciate that someone wanted to take their personal furniture home; he asked if there was suitable furniture in the building that could be used - not some old desk and chair. Mr. Kriewall said not that he was aware of. Councilman Crawford said that he felt this was a reasonable expense.
Yes (4) No (3-McLallen, Schmid, Toth) Motion carried
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
To delete the increase in the General Fund and not go above Truth in Taxation.
Councilman Schmid commented that no matter how he voted tonight, that was not an indication of how he would vote Monday night; he said he was not ready to close this tonight.
Mr. Kriewall suggested going to the Public Hearing to see what the public had to say and then meeting again on Thursday after the hearing.
Yes (2-Pope, Mason) No (5) Motion failed
It was then,
Moved by Councilwoman Mason,
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,
To schedule a two hour meeting on Thursday, May 11th at 7:00 PM.
Yes (5) No (2-Pope, Schmid) Motion carried
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 PM.