SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

MONDAY, MAY 20, 1996 - 7:30 PM EDT

NOVI CIVIC CENTER - COUNCIL CHAMBERS - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

 

 

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward Kriewall, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Budget Analyst Kim Pittl, Deputy City Clerk Nancy Reutter

 

 

PURPOSE OF MEETING: 1996-97 Budget Session

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

CM-96-05-190: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Dan OíConnell of the Novi Historical Commission asked as a Commission Member, is it true that the Historical Commission is going to have approximately a 50% reduction in Budget and Mayor McLallen said that was correct.

 

Mr. OíConnell said also as a taxpayer and Commission Member, he would like to know if Preservation Novi is going to receive in the neighborhood of approximately $4,000 and if that is related at all to the reduction of the Historic Commissionís Budget. Mayor McLallen said there is no money in this Budget directly related to Preservation Novi as that is a private organization that receives no funding up front.

 

Mr. OíConnell said we have information that Preservation Novi received out of the available funds through the reduction of other commissions/departments throughout the City, some freed-up funds which the Historic Commission in effect contributed to. Mayor McLallen explained Preservation Novi is a private non-profit organization that is not related to the municipality and is an independent organization. This money is municipal money and that private organization is not receiving any money from this Budget.

 

Mr. OíConnell also felt there was a conflict of interest. He said Councilwoman Mutch is in a position that evening to vote down on our Budget on the Historic Commission, which she holds a seat on and at the same time, holds a seat on Preservation Novi and the Historic Society.

 

Mayor McLallen explained we are taking input on a proposed Budget that is a separate issue and this is a public hearing. Mr. OíConnell said he was raising the question whether it is a conflict of interest for Councilwoman Mutch to vote on a reduction of a Department or a Commission that she holds a seat on.

 

Mr. Watson replied it was not, and we have given an opinion on that in the past with regard to personnel departments, people related to members of Council and the conclusion that we reached is that although the Council Member may not vote on that individual Budget item, they do vote on the Budget as a whole.

 

Mr. OíConnell asked if any Council Members have any personal considerations or thoughts on this outside of legal counsel.

 

Mayor McLallen explained when citizens address the Council, they put all their issues on the table and Council typically does not respond, but if there is information that needs to be gathered, we direct the Administration to send it to that person, and essentially a person has three minutes to express their concerns.

 

Mayor McLallen closed the Audience Participation.

 

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION

 

 

APPROVAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE COMPENSATION PROPOSAL

 

Mayor McLallen said essentially this gives all members of the Administration who are not covered by any of the Cityís Unions, an across the board 3% wage increase, and an increase in their dental coverage.

 

Councilman Crawford requested to abstain from voting and discussing this item since his wife is a member of the Administration.

 

 

CM-96-05-191: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That Councilman Crawford would abstain from discussing and voting on this item.

 

Councilman Schmid asked for a clarification of this Budget Hearing. He thought they were going to have a continuance of the Public Hearing after Audience Participation and Mayor McLallen said we just had it.

 

Councilman Schmid thought they were going to have a presentation for the public and assuming we will have that or if it is over, their next item is approval for the administrative compensation proposal and then the next item is approval of the Resolution regarding the Budget. His point is at the last meeting, this Council had discussion and/or agreement for the final proposal for a Budget so he assumed at some point in time we would have an opportunity to discuss this and he was not happy with this Budget and would not vote for it.

 

Councilman Schmid said we havenít even completed discussion on the Budget. He felt we have to have a meeting to talk about some of the issues that are still outstanding before we move to a Resolution that would adopt the 1996-97 Budget, so is that the intent or is it not.

 

Mayor McLallen said all members of this body had a chance to make a motion to remove anything from this Agenda, which was unanimously approved. This Council has met about six times in public session on the issues of the 1996-97 Budget and at our last meeting on the Budget in a Budget Study Session, this Council could come to no conclusion except the majority felt a half mill increase, which has been the original proposal since late April, was not an acceptable number.

 

Mayor McLallen stated this Council has spent two hours trying to find a consensus on issues that were main issues in this Budget and the only issue that received a consensus that evening was the Council needed to appropriate some funding, since we are about to acquire the deed to the Feurst property. She said that was the only issue out of a dozen or so that was written on a blackboard that this Council had any consensus on.

 

Mayor McLallen said at some point, this Council has to come to a consensus and the information has been before us and seven members sitting here tonight, must either approve this Budget or come to a conclusion that evening on some other method but by Charter we have to come to an approval and that is the purpose of this meeting.

 

Mayor McLallen said the Public Hearing has been advertised and it was actually open to the public on two separate evenings and unfortunately the public did not come out in large numbers. At this point, this Council has had an enormous amount of information and it is incumbent upon us to make some decisions based on that information. At this point, by our own rules, we have arrived at Matters for Council Action Item #1 and that item is this discussion.

 

Councilman Schmid said this is the least amount of time that he has ever spent on a Budget in his 15-18 years on this City Council. This is the first time we have ever come before the public for a Public Hearing to adopt a Budget, that there was not at least some consensus by this Council as to what the Budget should be.

 

Councilman Schmid said there was no consensus as far as he was concerned. He felt there should be sufficient time to talk about some of the issues outstanding. He felt there should have been at least one more meeting, and he didnít know how they were going to proceed and he wanted an opportunity to go over this Budget and come to some agreement.

 

Mayor McLallen then said the item in question is called the Administrative Compensation Proposal and it is done by Resolution for those members of City Staff who are not covered by Unions and there are two excepted positions, the position of City Manager and City Clerk because those are direct-at-will hires of the Council. She said for the remaining members, the proposal was a 3% increase in the minimum and maximum salaries and a $1,000 cap in the dental benefits. She said there was also a $20,000 Budget category for performance adjustments and this has been delineated by the City Manager in previous meetings as to where that was spread through these people for their raises.

 

Councilman Crawford then said he had asked to abstain and Mayor McLallen explained Councilman Crawfordís wife is a City employee and he is allowed to abstain with the consensus of this Council from voting on her wage compensation.

 

 

VOTE ON CM-96-05-191: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Mayor McLallen then asked for any further comments or issues on this component only. She said the recommended wage was in line with what most of the Unions received across the board and it was slightly better than inflation this year. The other issue is that the City Manager and City Clerkís salaries are established by City Council and the City Clerkís salary had been adjusted and voted upon by this Council approximately two meetings ago. She said the City Manager is proposing that he receive a 3% increase and that has not been addressed by this Council.

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the second sheet to the Resolution were the ranges and did it include the increase and Mr. Kriewall replied it was the ranges and includes the increase. Councilman Schmid said then somewhere in between those figures is where everyone is at and Mr. Kriewall said yes and normally it was right in the middle because this Council adopted this range system last year and other than any performance adjustments that would be accorded this year, pretty much everyone is right in the middle of that range.

 

Councilman Mitzel said at the bottom of this proposed list, he thought there were additional positions that the Budget proposed, which he didnít see listed there. He noticed the Systems Analyst position but he thought there was another position above that and he thought the Data Processing position had a different title.

 

Mr. Kriewall said we would have to come back to Council even though it may be budgeted at an approximate salary. He said we would come back to Council and verify the salary before we filled it.

 

Councilman Mitzel was curious why it wasnít treated like the other proposed positions, and Mr. Kriewall said we really have no idea at this point in time exactly what we will have to pay for that position.

 

 

CM-96-05-192: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Administrative Compensation Proposal as presented.

 

APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION, RE: ADOPTION OF 1996-97 BUDGET

 

Mayor McLallen said passing this Budget requires 5 votes of Council. There was not 5 votes, although there was a majority to go back to instead of a half mill, to a quarter mill increase in the taxing rate. She said in order to do that, exactly $380,000 had to be removed from the presented Budget.

 

Mayor McLallen said this letter brings the bottom line on the proposed Budget to $15,236,644 and $380,000 was removed and the things that were taken out were the laptop computers for the City Council and certain general administrative ones, half the personnel costs for a Data Processing individual and this individual was moved to a mid-year start date, which would cut the cost to $11,000 and the Historical Commission line item of $11,000 was taken out and $39,000 was taken out from the Planning Commission Budget.

 

Mayor McLallen said in addition to that, $25,000 was added to Building and Grounds for the Feurst property, $59,000 to the Fire Department for three fire protection officers to start mid-year and $7,500 was added to Public Works for sidewalks. She said the remaining cut was then needed of $345,000 and this equated to 8% of Supplies and Other Services line items.

 

Councilman Schmid did not think the $345,000 could be an accurate figure and we started out with $342,000 after putting it into Contingencies and we reduced the sum and then we put some back so the $345,000 cannot be an accurate figure and Mr. Kriewall said that was a preliminary figure.

 

Mayor McLallen continued that 8% was considered too extreme and so the new positions in Assessing and Treasury and Planning & Community Development were moved to mid-year positions, freeing up $73,000 and allowing the Services and Supplies to be cut by 6%.

Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall to walk the Council and the members of the public through where we are at this time. She said essentially what happened in that cut was the deferring of hiring of personnel to mid-year.

 

Mr. Kriewall explained the Budget as presented is comprised of the following components on the revenue side, with taxes being the largest component in the proposed Budget at $6,458,100 and the revenue generated from taxes comprises 42% of the Budget. He indicated non-business permits which is the Building Department revenue is $1,395,000 and that equates to 9% of the total revenue for the Budget. The next significant number is State Revenue sharing which is proposed at $2,800,000 and that comprises 18% of the projected revenue. Other Services and Charges $505,100 - 3%, Fines and Forfeitures $204,300 - 1% and Miscellaneous $648,000 or 4%. He said for the Police and Fire Fund, which represents the specially voted police and fire millage, we are levying to bring in an amount at $2,429,065, which represents 16% of the Budget.

 

Mr. Kriewall said the Fund Balance utilized as a revenue to be expended in the proposed Budget, amounts to $797,079 and we will be expending in the proposed Budget, a total of that number which represents 5% of the income.

 

Mr. Kriewall said the total proposed Budget for Fiscal 1996-97, is $15,236,644.

 

Mr. Kriewall said the next chart is the Appropriation Summary and the proposed amounts are for City Council - $29,285, City Manager - $284,000, Finance Department - $634,000, Data Processing which is a new department - $181,000, Assessing Department - $594,000, City Attorney - $220,000, City Clerk - $392,000, Buildings and Grounds - $398,000, Forestry - $108,000, Public Information Department - $113,000, General Administration - $1,050,000, Police Department - $5,886,992, Fire Department - $2,377,292, Building Department - $1,018,000. He also pointed out that the Building Department is self-funded by permit activity and although that is a significant amount of revenue associated with a particular department, that is self-funding.

 

Mr. Kriewall continued with Ordinance Enforcement - $336,000, Department of Public Works - $691,000, and he explained the reason that number is relatively low for a fairly substantial operation is a good portion of the cost of this department is chargeable to Act 51 Road Monies that we received from the State, so the General Fund burden is only $691,000. He further indicated Planning Commission is $179,000, Community Development - $339,000, Transfers to Other Funds and this is the subsidy that the General Fund gives to the Parks & Recreation Department - $182,000. Contingencies are proposed at $214,959 for a grand total on the Expenditures side of $15,236,644.

 

Mr. Kriewall said they could see by far the most significant amount is expended in the Police Department, followed by the Fire Department and then the self-supporting Building Department.

Mr. Kriewall said the critical watch in terms of the Budget growth is always measured by the additional personnel and with Noviís significant growth in the past 25 years, we have had to keep pace somewhat with the responsibilities of operating the City. In looking at the surrounding cities, we find that we compare extremely favorably but it does get to the point where we have to address mounting community needs and they are represented on the chart.

 

Mr. Kriewall said we are showing an additional person in the Finance Department that is really in the Treasurers Office. For Data Processing we are showing a mid-year addition of an individual to assume the Systems Analyst position over the next year or so when Mr. Dean Miller retires from that position. The Assessing Department has demonstrated a need for a Commercial Industrial Appraiser to keep up with our commercial industrial growth and we are adding one position there, and then the City Clerkís Office has demonstrated they are having difficulty in keeping up with the requirements of that department so there is one position there.

 

Mr. Kriewall said we are also showing three additional Fire Protection Officers in the Fire Department and showing a mid-year addition of a Planning and Community Development staff position and that represents a total increase for the proposed fiscal year 1996-97 of 8 additional personnel.

 

Mr. Kriewall said those that wonder about the lack of adding additional police personnel in this Budget this year, we were advised last week that we will be given four additional officers under a Cops Fast Grant, which would be available to this community effective July 1, 1996.

 

Mr. Kriewall referred to a bar graph of respective personnel in the City of Novi operation and said the Police Department has a significant advantage over the other departments in terms of numbers and personnel.

 

Mr. Kriewall said the millage history is significant to watch and we presented Council with information on the changes as they have been set so far in the Budget process as it is being presented this evening. He then discussed the millages.

 

Mr. Kriewall next explained what this means to the taxpayer in the community. If you have a home that has a $200,000 cash value, the assessed value of $100,000 would be multiplied by the proposed millages, and we will start with using just the operating millage proposed. He said in the prior year, it was set at 7.9559 times the SEV of $100,000 so last year if you had a $200,000 home, your operating tax portion of the City Tax Bill would be $795.59.

 

Mr. Kriewall explained the 1996 taxes and presuming a 1% increase in assessed value, the operating tax rate is proposed at 8.2468 mills and the operating portion of the proposed Budget would be $832.93. The 1995 taxes would have been $100,000 times our total millage levy from last year of 10.1662 and the tax bill would have been $1,016.62. That same home in 1996, presuming a 1% increase in tax value, would be multiplied by the proposed millage of 10.4034 and the tax bill for the proposed Budget year would be $1,050.74.

 

Mr. Kriewall said so the Budget as presented at the present time, would have a net proposed increase for the taxpayer living in a $200,000 home, SEVíd at $100,000, of $34.09, which is approximately 3.3%.

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Mayor McLallen said we have several choices and we can either adopt it as presented, attempt one time to find common ground that will enable us to highlight those things that this body feels is most significant to the community and give our support to those, or if there are any areas which members of Council feel have not been adequately addressed, to present those and how they see them fitting into this program.

 

Councilman Clark indicated he could support the proposed Budget with one exception and that is with the addition of the proposed three personnel to Fire Department that was brought up by the Chief. He said it also became clear in the discussions we had that evening, that certainly when you bring your Budget proposal forward for your respective department, you try and get as much as you can for your department and he had no problem with that, but it was also clear that the Chief felt the department was adequately and appropriately staffed and could meet the fire safety needs of the community with the personnel they had.

 

Councilman Clark said they should bear in mind, that if we were to add three personnel, we are not just adding three personnel, if you are talking about full-time fire personnel and there are also some additional benefits that are going to be included in there as well and we canít ignore that fact.

 

Councilman Clark said overall, he could support the Budget, but with that item deleted and certainly there has been some comment about the fact that we may have an increase in revenue sharing, and if the Chief were to come in and make a case and substantiate the need and justification for three additional fire personnel, we could certainly look at that and we wouldnít be precluded from doing that. He said with that item out, he could support the Budget.

 

Councilman Clark stated he was a big supporter of police and fire because he felt they were the most important aspects of service that any government provides. He said the question is how do we meet those needs and at this point, they were adequately met with the staffing and the personnel that we have so if that additional item of approximately $60,000 were not in the Budget and with the proposed one quarter mill increase, he could support the Budget.

 

Mayor McLallen said to Councilman Clark if that item gains support across the board, is his recommendation to reduce the overall millage to compensate for the $60,000 or do they put the $60,000 in Contingencies and Councilman Clark said to put it into Contingencies at this point in time.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said initially we were presented with a $15,706,700 Budget and the Administration very carefully went to all of its departments and went through a very prudent process of looking at needs for the coming year in a growing City. She said over the period of several months that we have met together, we have cut approximately a half million dollars from this Budget, cutting about $470,067 in overall spending and reducing the millage rate from a half mill increase to a quarter mill increase. She truly believed that all members of this Council have had the best interests of this entire City at heart.

 

Councilwoman Cassis agreed that police and fire make up almost 75% of a Budget and is the main reason why officials like us exist and that is to ensure that we have the highest professional services and ensure the safety of our citizens. She felt they were very well served in this community and we are currently looking at reviewing future staffing needs for both departments and with the information coming forward, she would be more than willing to look at hiring new fire officers, but at this point in time that need has not been firmly established. Councilman Cassis felt she would be reluctant and remiss to go forward with that recommendation at this point. She agreed that the monies make logical sense to be put into Contingencies should that information come back to us and we want to relook the service delivery needs of this community, but again, she felt they have really made a very concerted effort to look at this Budget and go through it and cut out what might be considered to be extra funding that really isnít documented and fully supported.

 

Councilman Schmid said there is no doubt in his mind everyone at this Council table wishes to do what is right for the City as it relates to Budgets. He said he looks at Budgets as the absolute most important item that this Council deals with over the years, and he felt they have to be looked at very carefully. He said the second item would be zoning.

 

Councilman Schmid said he wanted to reiterate at their last meeting, we directed the City Administration, to change from a one-half mill to a one-quarter mill raise in the overall Budget, raise the taxes one quarter as opposed to one-half. The Administration was to come back with their recommendations and they did that, but this is the first time this Council has met, and that night is the first time we received the report from Mr. Gibson who happens to be on vacation.

Councilman Schmid said at any rate, Mr. Gibson proposed in his statement that we would have to reduce $380,000 which he says is the difference between a half mill and a quarter mill, in other words, he is suggesting that $380,000 represents one quarter mill that the taxpayers of this City will be asked to commit to the City in their taxes. He said Mr. Gibson put some of the money in Contingencies, which brought it down to $342,000. From here on, $127,612 was deleted and $92,439 was added by Mr. Gibson.

 

Councilman Schmid said those specific additions made for the Budget were $25,000 for Building and Grounds for the Feurst property which was a general consensus, which he had said he would never spend taxpayersí dollars for the Feurst property, $59,000 to the Fire Department for 3 fire protection officers which was brought up at the very last meeting and it was $100,000 if you were to hire them for a full year, $100,000 plus and in ten years, that is a million dollars.

 

Councilman Schmid said there is no one on this Council that has suggested we should not have good fire protection and police protection and his point was we have a fine fire department and we need no additional staff. He felt we have a very good department and adequately staffed.

 

Councilman Schmid said there is $7,500.00 for sidewalk inspection that Mr. Mitzel wanted to put into it, and the amount that remains to be cut is $345,000 and he had asked the Administration, and Council concurred, to go back and figure out how we are going to reduce that and all he sees is Mr. Gibsonís input here and he didnít know if anyone else had input or not.

 

Councilman Schmid said Mr. Gibson thought 8% was too much to go back in Supplies and Other Services, so he had said the only way we are going to do this is to cut all of the new positions to the half year and he goes on to state the impact of the 97-98 Budget, the 1996-97 Budget balances only because hiring is being deferred for six months for 3 fire protection officers at $59,939 and four other positions at $101,268, for a total of $161,207. Conservatively this would then add $180,000 to the 97-98 Budget.

 

Councilman Schmid said with this action, 97-98 revenue resulting from growth and tax base has been committed and before we even get there, we are committing, according to Mr. Gibson, $180,000 for next yearís Budget. He said Mr. Gibson indicates he has concerns over budgeting for anticipations from the revenue, which may or may not materialize and the three fire people may be covered by a new special millage if the citizens choose to add the millage to their taxes.

 

Mr. Schmid said Mr. Gibsonís memo distracts him terribly and he is not in favor of adding people half-year, because if we need people today, we donít need them half year.

 

Councilman Schmid said this yearís Budget has $1,248,363 more money in it than it had last yearís without any millage, and this Budget has $1,248,360 more from taxpayers in it in other revenues, than last year, without any millage.

 

Councilman Schmid said we added a half mill originally and that was $760,000 and if we reduce that the one-fourth mill, that is $380,000 approximately, so for this yearís Budget we have $1,628,360 more in money than we had last year and we cannot hire full-time people for the full-year.

 

Councilman Schmid said if we were to take 10% off Other Services and Charges, we could come up with $249,000 and if you go through Other Services and Charges, you will probably see in there, that you could probably take off 10% without much problem, and if you would reduce that 50% or 5%, it is still $124,000 and we are spending $1,399,703 in Capital Improvement and we need Capital Improvement, trucks, computers and a lot of things, but $1,399,703 is a considerable amount of money. We could probably find some money there and much of that is in the police and around $500,000 for computers.

 

Councilman Schmid said Fire is spending $458,000 for Capital Improvements and the City Administration/General Funds is spending $470,000

 

Councilman Schmid felt we had sufficient money in this Budget and he didnít want to reduce anyoneís Budget unnecessarily, but it seems we have sufficient dollars. He said he was a proponent to reduce the Budget one quarter mill and hire those people that they can afford to hire for the Budget year and not half year. He did not feel the three fireman were needed now or later in his opinion.

 

Councilman Schmid felt there was money in this Budget that could be reduced in all departments, contrary to Mr. Gibsonís comments and he would not support the Budget as written.

 

Councilman Schmid said he concurred with the bottom line amount and he felt we should hire the people full-time, those that we can afford, and stay within the Budget constraints.

 

Mayor McLallen said Councilman Schmid was in support of the quarter mill, deletion of the three fire personnel, and that Administration should hire all required people for the full year and stay within the Budget.

 

Councilman Crawford said it was amazing to him how seven Council Members can look at the same document and come up with a totally different prospective. He felt this Budget was a skinny Budget as presented at a half mill and was nowhere near a fat Budget.

 

Councilman Crawford said regarding the Fire personnel, he didnít believe that was a last minute request and if you all recall when the Chief was here before us at his particular Budget interview, one of his last comments was he could use some additional personnel. He didnít know how Council can sit here and say that we donít need members now in the Fire Department or that we will never need other Fire personnel and he couldnít make that decision himself as he would have to rely on his professionals. He felt the Chief made a very good case for the additional three people.

 

Councilman Crawford said in the original Budget that was removed before it got to Council, he believed the Chief had asked for 8 Fire protection officers. He didnít think these requests were last minute requests. He felt they went through the Budget procedure this year much more reasonable than we ever have. He felt all departments made their presentations briefly and he saw no objections to speak of from any Council Member as to what was presented and he meant the half mill budget. He saw no objections from any citizens at any public meetings.

 

Councilman Crawford said if anything was the last minute, it was the decision to cut the proposed millage to a quarter mill from the half mill that we had been somewhat proceeding with and he was disappointed with that.

 

Councilman Crawford said as suggested by a couple of members, regarding additional cuts particularly in the Fire Department, he would find himself not voting for the Budget tonight and it would be not voting because we are not levying enough taxes, providing enough services, not because we are levying too much.

 

Mayor McLallen summarized Councilman Crawfordís position that he has indicated if the Fire members are not included in the Budget, he will not support even the half mill.

 

Councilman Crawford indicated he would have reluctantly voted for the Budget as presented, but with the additional comments tonight, if it was a proposal to take out the Fire Protection Officers, to not fund the Feurst Farm, not fund a small portion for sidewalks and a few other items that were mentioned tonight, he would not vote for the Budget.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said the only item she has heard a consensus on is the removal of the three Fire Protection Officers with two members saying to keep that money in the Budget and still levy the quarter mill, but to put that money in Contingencies, open to the possibility that the Chief can come back and make a stronger case for the addition of those personnel.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked for clarification on Councilmanís Schmidís position and the Mayor reiterated that Councilman Schmidís position is in support of a quarter mill, and his direction to the rest of Council and Administration is he is not in support of the three Fire people, but he does support hiring all required personnel that can be accommodated with the quarter mill and hire them for the full year and not put off those that are required.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said Councilman Schmid had suggested cutting 10% of the category Other Services and the amount of money that would be saved by not hiring the three Fire Protection Officers was not enough to cover the full year hiring of the rest and she heard Councilman Schmid suggest cutting 10% of the category Other Services in order to provide a pool of money from which additional personnel could be accommodated and still keep within the quarter mill increase.

 

Councilman Schmid said he had suggested that it would be possible to cut 10% out of those funds if Administration felt they needed that money to hire the full-time people they should be hiring and that was an alternative.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said she brought this up because Councilman Crawford heard more cuts than she did and the only ones she heard were suggested by Councilman Schmid. She said from what she has heard, the opposition to the hiring of the three protection officers is somewhat limited. Her position on that particular item is that while she preferred to see them hired, she felt the Chief would make do and provide the best service possible with whatever we give him to work with and that doesnít mean they are adequately staffed and equipped.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said if the majority of Council is of a mind to say not to hire the three Fire Protection Officers and leave the money in Contingencies, that is the only way she would support that as she felt there was a need for them.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said in addition, she had indicated a willingness to go above the quarter mill and she felt the City Manager and Department heads made a good case for their requests, so she had been willing to support the half mill necessary to provide the services. She felt a good part of this Budget is locked in costs because of Personnel, inflation, contracts, etc., and will not change. Even though the quarter mill is less and provides less revenue and cuts would have to be made, she would support it and not because it is what she felt they should have, but it is more acceptable than some of the more drastic reductions that have been offered.

 

Mayor McLallen summarized Councilwomaní Mutchís comments that she is in support of the quarter mill increase if the Fire protection funding of $59,000 can be left in Contingencies in the event the Chief can make a satisfactory case to the majority of Council to ever bring the money forward.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Kriewall if Mr. Dean Millerís position was a replacement position and Mr. Kriewall replied yes, but for a period of about six months there would be two people. Councilman Mitzel indicated he was concerned that when Mr. Miller retires, it will show up on our graph as an Analyst being vacant and then it will be the supervisory position, when in fact we havenít created a supervisory position and Mr. Kriewall replied he was correct but that could be changed once Mr. Miller retires. Councilman Mitzel questioned it because it was in the pages they were adopting and it should be clarified.

 

Councilman Mitzel said in the memo there was a discussion concerning impact on next yearís Budget and the way he understood the memo, it basically states by hiring new people this year, whether they be full year or half year, at the beginning of next yearís Budget, they are there and now they are additional personnel to support. He believed Mr. Gibson in his memo was stating with those seven positions at the beginning of the 97-98 Budget year, it would be for the full year that would add $180,000, which would then commit any of the increases in revenue resulting from the growth to next year.

 

Councilman Mitzel said so even if we hire them the beginning of the year or in the middle, we are still going to pay for them all of next year. He said that is a concern he has, and it was a large increase in personnel and he would concur with comments about not hiring the Fire Protection Officers right now and leaving that money in Contingencies and that way, it reduces the number of personnel that we are hiring and would help alleviate that impact in next yearís Budget because we would have less full time personnel that would be additional and carried over.

 

Councilman Mitzel said although there wasnít support, the City Forester has made a case for a Street Tree Maintenance Program. He had said with all the street trees being planted, the time for maintenance of those trees would be when they are younger as opposed to when they become a hazard. He indicated the request was for $20,000 to start up the program, and he would like to see if there was a consensus.

 

Councilman Mitzel said he would support the Budget at this point with clarification that the Data Processing personnel would be a replacement position as opposed to a new supervisory position and with the elimination of the full-time Fire Protection Officers and that money going into Contingencies. He said if anyone on Council would support having the Tree Safety Maintenance Program, he would welcome that.

 

Mayor McLallen reiterated Councilman Mitzelís position that he was in support of the quarter mill increase, holding the $59,000 in Contingencies, and clarification that it wasnít an additional mid-year position at this time but merely a wrapping over of those two positions and then questioning Council Members for any support of a $20,000 Street Tree Maintenance Program.

 

Mayor McLallen said overall the consensus appears to be that this Council is supportive of asking their citizens for a quarter mill increase, so the quality of service delivered to those citizens can be improved. The over-riding concern was the issue of the Fire Department personnel and then there is a majority that if the money is kept in Contingencies and if the need is proven, that money can be liberated. If not, it will stay in Contingencies. She said some have also indicated that if the need has been provided that we need this personnel, they shouldnít put off the burden of the cost for another year.

 

Mayor McLallen said she understood completely where Councilman Mitzel was coming from with the Street Tree Maintenance Program, but she had grave concerns with the operation of that department. She felt they could privatize that department. She was concerned that the department still has $10,000 in their Budget to plant trees, when we canít give them any money to maintain the trees they already have.

 

Mayor McLallen was concerned with the issue of the Fire Department. She said the Chief is not an employee who typically makes demands and requests upon this community. He delivers a high level of service. She said our community is exposed with the Mall, the Expo Center, and activities with schools, etc., and our Fire Department is our first line of defense for any major civic accident. If the Chief indicates he needs these people, she would support that and she would like Council to reconsider that position.

 

Councilman Schmid said the issue of the Fire Department is whether we are going to have a volunteer paid on-call part-time Fire Department or a full-time Fire Department. He is opposed to the three new Fire Officers, but not opposed to safety. We have over 80 people that are fighting fires in this City and we have approximately 21 full-time and 60 some part-time paid-on-call and we are not cutting our Fire Department back.

 

 

CM-96-05-193: Motion by Clark, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the Resolution regarding the adoption of the 1996-97 Budget, with the provision that the sum of $59,939 proposed for the Fire Department for three additional Fire Protection Officers go into Contingencies and to also clarify the Systems Analyst position.

 

The Mayor restated the motion for everyone:

 

 

To support the Budget and the quarter mill increase and to take the $59,939 for the cost of the three Fire Protection Officers and put it into Contingencies and to clarify that the Systems Analyst replacement position is a single position and not two.

 

FURTHER DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Kriewall said he has received additional input and there are probably two positions that we really should start immediately based on the feedback from Department Heads and one is the Commercial Appraiser and the other is the addition for the Community Development Department, which will be affected dramatically with the Futuring process. He would recommend those be added to the Budget and it is almost a direct off-set and if they move the three FPOís to Contingencies, the offsetting costs of bringing those two positions would be almost a wash.

 

Councilwoman Mutch felt a case has been made for each of those positions. In previous meetings, she had commented on the Commercial Appraiser position and the Community Development position saying those two areas begin to pay for themselves. She felt the sooner they can add them, the better and Mr. Kriewall has found a way that still allows the consideration of the FPOís later, and she would be very supportive of that.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Watson if they had to approve the Budget today and Mr. Watson replied the Charter indicates not later than the third Monday in May, which is today. He said three things are listed in the Charter to be done by todayís date, which are to adopt a balanced Budget, appropriate from the several funds of the City the sums necessary to finance the Budget and provide for a levy of the amount necessary to be raised by taxes upon real and personal property for municipal purposes.

 

 

Councilman Mitzel said he was willing to support those new positions starting July 1st as opposed to mid-year, but it involves a complicated change in numbers and there has been nothing submitted on paper from Administration to show they would fund another $101,000 and where it would come from and what would be cut. He would recommend Council adopting the Budget today and in the meantime, if Administration does find the proper way to have the $101,000 reallocated to fund these positions in full, they could come forward with a Budget Amendment. It would be well-documented and something tangible for us to work off of. Mr. Kriewall said they could do that the first meeting in June.

 

Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson if Council chooses to levy the quarter mill increase, which generates a specific bottom line, is the adoption the bottom line or every line item.

 

Mr. Watson answered not every line item, but more than the bottom line. He referred to the Resolution and said they have to look at the Booklet to see what pages are a specific part of what they are adopting. The Resolution states with exception of Pages 5-31, 37-40, 44, 57-58, the Budget is adopted and made a part of this Resolution. He said that is the level of detail Council is adopting.

 

Mr. Kriewall said you are really adopting Pages 1-4 and those pages do list Personnel Services and amounts and you are really adopting categories. Mr. Watson said on Page 4 is a specific number for Contingencies that would change and then numbers for specific departments that would change.

 

Mr. Watson said what Mr. Mitzel is suggesting is just fine and then coming back with an amendment.

 

Councilman Crawford concurred they should hire personnel in July when the Budget starts. He felt to put the money into Contingencies for the Fire Protection Officers is a disservice to the safety of this community. He felt they would never get hired and they were needed.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said there were many needs in the City which fall into three categories: recreational needs, road improvements, and public safety. She felt the Fire Department was well-staffed and that Council has come to a reasonable position. She could support the Budget.

 

Mayor McLallen said the motion as stated does not include Councilman Mitzelís suggestion on the full-time hiring and was he going to amend formally and Councilman Mitzel said he didnít think they needed that as part of the motion and it would be separate and Mr. Watson said they would vote on the motion as is and then in the next couple of weeks, the City Administration is going to come back to you with something on that.

 

Councilman Schmid asked are we hiring the additional people in July and the Mayor explained Mr. Watson has explained we can pass this and meet our Charter requirements of passing a balanced Budget that night and then the Administration would come back with a Budget Amendment which would stipulate the specific cost of hiring these people July 1st and Council would vote on the amendment in June.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked would it be better to have a motion to that effect and Mr. Watson indicated it was up to Council and if they are going to make a motion to specifically direct Administration to come back with something, it can be a separate motion.

 

Mayor McLallen then restated the motion:

 

 

To adopt the Resolution approving a quarter mill increase which produces a Budget for Fiscal Year 96-97 of $15,236,644 and to clarify the position of Systems Analyst; and to place the $59,939 in Contingencies to cover the cost of the potential necessity of three FPOís. This includes the Budget Adoption - the Resolution.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-05-193: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: Crawford

 

CM-96-05-194: Motion by Clark, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED: To have Administration get back to Council by the next regular meeting with the financial information necessary for Council to deal with the Commercial Appraiser position and the Community Development position and how they would be funded.

 

FURTHER DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Schmid said Mr. Kriewall is down to two positions and he thought they were starting all positions that were necessary on July 1st. Mr. Kriewall said it was a matter of critical need and based on the feedback received, he believed those two positions were critical and needed to be filled.

 

Councilman Schmid said they are not planning on starting the other positions or hire those other positions then and Mr. Kriewall said we are holding up on the Systems Analyst and the Clerk in the Treasurer Department. He asked do we need them or not and Mr. Kriewall

said yes they do.

 

Councilman Schmid said he supported the Budget on the fact that Mr. Kriewall would hire the people needed by July 1st and those not needed would not be hired, but now he is being told we are going to hire two in July and the rest mid-year which is what he was opposed to in the first place.

 

Councilman Mitzel said regarding the Systems Analyst, we specified that would be half year because it was an overlapping position so he wouldnít want to see that come forward on July 1st so it was down to whether Mr. Kriewall brings forward the Treasurer position.

Councilman Schmid asked are they hiring the Treasurer position and Mr. Kriewall replied mid-year. Councilman Schmid said his point is to find the money to hire the people or donít find the money and he felt it could be taken out of other areas of the Budget. He voted for the Budget and canít reverse his decision and he liked what happened up to the last position.

 

Councilman Crawford asked if it would be accomplished by further reducing positions of the Budget and Mr. Kriewall replied they may have to take some dollars from Contingencies and find more dollars here and there. Councilman Crawford indicated he would support the motion, but if it comes back with any reduction in the Budget, except in the Contingencies, he would not support it.

 

 

VOTE ON CM-96-05-194: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch

Nays: Schmid

 

SCHEDULE AN EXECUTIVE SESSION TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THIS SPECIAL MEETING.

CM-96-05-195: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow this Special Meeting.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Mr. Dan OíConnell of the Historical Commission said as he understood, their Budget is reduced by 50% and Mayor McLallen indicated that was correct. He stated he was disappointed they had no representation here as a branch of City Government and he felt he spoke for the majority of the people on this Committee that rely on this Budget to bring some historic quality to life. He said he didnít know what they could do with a 50% reduction in the Budget as a Historical Commission and he was disappointed with Council tonight not mentioning the Historical Commission Budget or questioning why it was reduced.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Deputy City Clerk

 

 

 

 

Date Approved: August 26, 1996