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01/10/2012 05Ai Draft Minutes 11-29-2011 Adjourned Meeting / Public Hearing4 H± ITEM TITLE: Adjourned meeting /public hearing -- November 29, 2011 SUBMITTED BY: CONTACT PERSON /TELEPHONE: SUMMARY EXPLANATION: Resolution Ordinance Other (specify) Contract: Mail to: Contract Term: Amount: Expiration Date: Insurance Required? No Funding Source: Phone: APPROVED FOR �t SUBMITTAL: ,J City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD /COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Click to download ❑ Minutes 11/29/11 YAKIMA CITY COUNCIL ADJOURNED MEETING — PUBLIC HEARINGS NOVEMBER 29, 2011 — 7:00 P.M. COUNCIL CHAMBERS — CITY HALL 1. Roll Call Present: Council: Mayor Micah Cawley, presiding, Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey, Council Members Maureen Adkison, Dave Edler, Rick Ensey, Dave Ettl and Bill Lover Staff: City Manager Cooper, City Attorney Cutter and City Clerk Kloster 2. Public Hearings to consider 2012 Budget Revenue Options: A. Up to 6% increase in utility taxes (i.e. Wastewater, Water, Stormwater and Refuse) per the Priorities of Government (POG) model for General Government purposes B. Annual $20 car tab license dedicated to street capital and long -term maintenance City Manager Cooper summarized the budget as he previously presented it to the Council. • Mayor Cawley opened the public hearing.. Verlynn Best, 711 46th Avenue, noted she was speaking as a citizen and understands the Council is in a difficult position; however, she supports the taxes. Rhonda Gabbard, 516 N. 23rd Avenue, thinks there are other areas to cut in the budget instead of eliminating police officers. Bill Duerr, 3206 W. Yakima Avenue, supports a tax increase and /or car tab fee, which he feels should be earmarked for specific accounts. He thinks management and union employees need to work together and recommended the City Council take a 5% pay cut and see what unions will do to follow. Chris Wright, 107 Gilbert Drive, supports a tax increase in order to have a safe, healthy and vibrant community. He also requests the Council have a planned purpose for using the money and be held accountable on how it is spent. Rus McKinney, 2300 River Road, supports a tax increase and the car tab fees, as he is concerned about the quality of life in Yakima and feels we cannot lose any more police officers. His understanding is that businesses may have to pay more for insurance because of an insufficient number of firefighters. He also feels the streets need to be maintained. November 29, 2011 Jim Evans, 4405 Summitview, spoke against any new taxes and complained about City employees. Dana Rutz, 5704 Douglas Drive, indicated nobody wants to pay extra taxes, and the Council needs to make sure it is absolutely necessary. He suggested letting three officers go instead of six and raising utility taxes 3% instead of 6 %. The City should look at using cheaper paper, and not put the city logo on every vehicle. He questioned why the car tab fee couldn't be $10 instead of $20 and possibly delay street improvements for a year. Charles Noel, 1101 N. 4th Street, complained about the federal government and believes all areas in government should be trimmed. He thinks the budget should be adjusted as needed with the money already available and that the City should trim across the board, without eliminating police officer positions. Dennis Thorn, 626 Voltaire Avenue, thinks everyone should pay their fair share, and wondered why the new City Manager received a 30% pay increase. He noted when the power company attempted to increase rates by 22 %, enough people complained and they dropped it to 12 %. He believes the police officer positions should be funded. He believes pay cuts should be from the top down since what the boss does sets an example for everyone else to follow. Larry Bennett, 1604 Cornell, realizes funding is a problem for all cities, and wondered if it is possible to contract service such as garbage, street sweeping, snow removal, water, and irrigation. He believes if the City contracts services, it reduces the cost to the city. He also complained about inefficient employees. Ralph Call, 2608 W. Chestnut Avenue, thinks the City should look at the $20 car tab fee as the City's infrastructure is crumbling. If it'continues to crumble, the cost to rebuild the streets will be more than the cost of repairing them. He didn't feel well versed enough to speak on the utility tax issue, but feels the City should look at contracting services out. Lynn Harden, 913 Pleasant Avenue, does not support a tax increase or car tab fees and favors firefighters performing inspections. Brian McKenna, 1414 Cornell, feels the City has lost a lot of income to Union Gap. He wouldn't mind paying more taxes to get things done. Lynne Kittelson, 305 N. 9th Street, noted in the Council packet there is a list of the top 23 cities in Washington State and their utility tax rates. She is thankful she doesn't live in Grandview, Toppenish, Wapato or Granger, as those have the highest utility taxes; Yakima is ranked 16 out of 23. Adding 6% still keeps us below some of the other lower valley cities, as well as Vancouver. She is in favor of the taxes and would like to make certain that the increase is also used for quality of life issues. K November 29, 2011 Doug Lemon, 1300 S. 72nd Avenue, is against new taxes and complained about City employees. He thinks the police officer positions should not be eliminated; instead they could eliminate public works employees. • Mayor Cawley closed the public hearing. Council Member Lover does not feel the tax increases are necessary. He thinks a blend of tax increases, spending cuts, reduction of employees' pay and benefits, privatization, and contracting out services would be beneficial. When it comes to competitive contracting, he said the following six questions should be asked: Is the activity a core function of government or is it commercial in nature? If it's a core function, can the service be provided more efficiently and effectively through competitive contracting? Does it provide a broad public benefit or only serve a special interest? Does it duplicate the activities of non - profits or other private initiatives? Does it duplicate the efforts of other state agencies or programs? Does the activity demonstrate quantifiable performance? He thinks by answering these questions it will ease us into privatization and performance contracting. Council Member Edler asked the City Manager if Council wanted to move toward a decision to impose the 6% in lieu of tax or implement the license fees, what is the next step? City Manager Cooper replied he needs direction to proceed and the car tab fees may take a year to put in place. If the tax is approved, Assistant Mayor Coffey recommended setting aside a half a million dollars in reserves earmarked for potential cuts from the state. Council Member Ettl noted they are hearing a lot of distrust and suspicion from some citizens and he would like to be a source of accurate information. He stated another common complaint they have heard is about employee inefficiencies. Council Member Ensey noted the City's largest expense is payroll. If Council approves additional taxes for public safety, they don't have control of how that money will be spent. The Unions are likely to go to arbitration for increased compensation and an arbitrator will make the decision. Mayor Cawley stated the price of civilized society is a tax burden. He asked the City Manager what he thinks the labor settlements may cost. City Manager Cooper is assuming approximately half a million dollars. CAWLEY MOVED AND COFFEY SECONDED TO DEFER THE CAR TAB ISSUE UNTIL JANUARY. The motion failed by a 5 -2 roll call vote; Coffey, Edler, Adkison, Ettl and Lover voting no. Mayor Cawley noted the City needs a sustainable streets program. Council Member Edler reminded Council the street maintenance issue has been in a Council Committee for nearly two years. He emphasized when the car tab issue passed at the state level, it was a tool the legislature gave cities for additional revenue. One of his goals on Council was to have a plan for 3 November 29, 2011 repairing the streets. Assistant Mayor Coffey indicated she would like to see it go forward. Assistant Mayor Coffey noted when the County held an advisory vote five years ago, they did not have a plan or a project associated with it; therefore, it is not surprising it was defeated. Council Member Ettl asked if there would be a sunset on the tax. City Attorney Cutter stated this is a Public Facility District (PFD) type of arrangement and they typically expire when the purpose it was created for is fulfilled. If there is a specific list of projects, which are then completed, the PFD would end at that time. Mayor Cawley asked if they established it for three years with a project list how it would work. City Attorney Cutter reported he would need to do more research. Public Works Director Waarvick reported they have outlined a five -year plan, which takes into account the failed street category. The Transportation Benefit District (TBD) law allows you to sunset the TBD at the end of its useful life or as long as any bonds that have incurred debt are still owed, which could be between 10 and 15 years. In the RCW there is a sunset provision inherent to the law. EDLER MOVED AND ADKISON SECONDED TO ASK THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE US TO THE NEXT STEP OF IMPLEMENTING THE CAR TAB FEE, SPECIFICALLY WITH HARD COSTS -- THAT HAS TO DO WITH ASPHALT, SEAL, ROCK CHIPS AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS ON THE GROUND. The motion carried by a 4 -3 roll call vote, Cawley, Ensey and Lover voting no. City Manager Cooper indicated they can prepare a list of projects on a five - year basis and how it would be implemented. EDLER MOVED AND COFFEY SECONDED TO ASK FOR AN ORDINANCE TO BE PREPARED FOR A 6% IN LIEU OF TAX INCREASE. The motion carried by a 4 -3 roll call vote: Ettl, Ensey and Lover voting no. Assistant Mayor Coffey reminded Council that since 2008 the City has cut 41 positions. In this-year's standard budget, they are looking at cutting an additional 13 positions and in the supplemental budget they are looking at eliminating another 8 positions for a total of 62 positions. Her information shows revenues are remaining flat, if not decreasing. Expenditures are lower in comparison. She wants the public to know the Council has been making budget cuts. Council Member Edler noted the City is at the lowest number of police officers per thousand they have ever had. Council Member Ettl believes the citizens should vote on this. Council Member Adkison feels the City is at a crisis point, since we are short police officers now. If they don't do something, the City will be further behind when they receive the Governor's next series of budget cuts. 4 November 29, 2011 Assistant Mayor Coffey stated they are not talking about increasing the police force but trying to keep it at what it should be, which isn't even enough for the western percentages. She has heard talk about privatization, but there are laws which prohibit it for specific reasons. Mayor Cawley stated he takes citizen input seriously, and they have created efficiencies such as credit/debit card bill payments and combining the Purchasing Division with the County. 3. Adjournment EDLER MOVED AND COFFEY SECONDED TO ADJOURN TO THE DECEMBER 6, 2011 BUSINESS MEETING AT 6 P.M. The motion carried by unanimous voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 8:59 p.m. CERTIFICATION READ AND CERTIFIED ACCURATE BY ATTEST: CITY CLERK 0 COUNCIL MEMBER DATE COUNCIL MEMBER DATE MICAH CAWLEY, MAYOR