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07/02/2012 20A Council General Information •+n BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. ® " For Meeting of: July 2, 2012 ITEM TITLE: Council General Information SUBMITTED BY: CONTACT PERSON/TELEPHONE: SUMMARY EXPLANATION: 1. 6/28/12 Weekly Issues Report 2. 6/19/12 Memo regarding Proposed Disc Golf Course 3. 6/27/12 Community Review Board meeting cancellation notice 4. City Meeting Schedule for week of July 2 through 9, 2012 5. Preliminary Future Activities Calendar as of July 2, 2012 6. Preliminary Council Agenda 7. 6/18/12 Memo from Attorney General McKenna to Commissioner Bouchey 8. Newspaper /Magazine /Internet Articles: * "Limit on public- defenders' caseloads puts strain on cities," The Seattle Times, June 25, 2012 * "Washington revenue forecast flat," The Spokesman- Review, June 20, 2012 * "Keeping them swinging," AmericanCityandCounty.com, June 2012 * "Paying for infrastructure," AmericanCityandCounty.com, June 2012 * "Career Paths," AmericanCityandCounty.com, June 2012 Resolution Ordinance Other (specify) Contract: Mail to: Contract Term: Amount: Expiration Date: Insurance Required? No Funding Source: Phone: APPROVED FOR City Manager SUBMITTAL: :. STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD /COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Click to download D Information packet / 0 MEMORANDUM June 28, 2012 TO: The Honorable Mayor and City Council Members FROM: Michael Morales, Interim City Manager SUBJECT: Weekly Issues Report • CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Due to the holiday, the Council meeting will be on Monday instead of Tuesday. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. There` will not be a media briefing on Monday. • ON -LINE PAYMENT FOR UTILITY BILLS: Utility Customer Services is testing the new phone and on line bill pay system this week and it should be operational in the next two weeks. • INDEPENDENCE DAY CITY SERVICES: Reminder, City facilities will be closed Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Refuse services will be suspended that day. They will run through Saturday in order to complete the weekly cycle. Regular transit services will not be available. • 4 of JULY CELEBRATION: The 4 of July annual celebration continues this year at the State Fair Park beginning at noon on Saturday with a fireworks display at 10:00 p m. Yakima Transit will provide free shuttle service to the fairgrounds for the 4 of July celebration from 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The buses will be picking up and dropping off at Target and Eisenhower High School parking lots. • KIWANIS PARK UPDATE: The Upper Kiwanis Park Women's Fast Pitch and Little League Field complex is nearly complete. Hydro- seeding of the three playing fields was completed on June 26, 2012, and the final project punch list of contractor obligations is being completed. The concession /operations building is nearing completion under a separate service club contract. • DOWNTOWN YAKIMA CLEANUP AND PARKING: Block by Block (BBB), the new downtown maintenance and ambassador contractor, will begin work on July 2, 2012. The contractor will conduct cleanup work and half day training during the first week. City staff and BBB are collaborating to create a renewed downtown website to enable electronic exchange of information, concerns, inquiries, and Advisory Board communications. • IMPACT TO CITY RESIDENTS OF COUNTY'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SALES TAX ELECTION: Should the ballot measure to increase sales tax for Yakima County Department of Corrections facilities fail, the County Commissioners are considering a proposal to transfer County road tax funds to the County's General Fund. Under this proposal, a typical household in the City with an assessed value of $150,000 will pay $29 more per year, while a $150,000 home in the County will pay $41 Tess. • COMPLAINT ON CONDITIONS OF PERRY SOCCER FIELDS: A June 28 letter to the editor in the YHR complained about the lack of mowing at the Perry Fields for last weekend's Mid - Summer Classic Soccer Tournament. The fields were mowed on Tuesday of last week, which is the mowing cycle that we always follow. This allows for the Yakima Youth Soccer Association to stripe the fields, and for teams to have access to them in the days just before the tournament. We have received no complaints from the YYSA, nor have we received a request to change the mowing schedule. We had no complaints regarding the conditions at Chesterly Park. Perry Fields do have better soil conditions and watering, so weather conditions can have an impact on the growth rate of the grass, even over the course of a few days. This is an example of why we need to build a field turf soccer complex that is maintained by private organizations like the YYSA. • STATE ISSUES REVISED POPULATION ESTIMATES: The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) released official 2012 population estimates for cities and counties this week. The OFM population estimates are used for allocation of selected State revenues. The City of Yakima was estimated with a 2012 population of 91,930, which is an increase of 300 people from 2011 (less than one -half of a percent increase in one year). The City of Yakima remains the 9th largest city in the state. Memorandum June 19, 2012 To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council Interim City Manager, Michael Morales From: Chris Waarvick, Director of Public Works Ken Wilkinson, Parks and Recreation Manager Subject: Proposed Disc Golf Course at Randall Park In October 2011, Jesse Ingram with the Yakima Valley Disc Golf Association (YVDGA) requested to be placed on the Park Commission Agenda to propose a disc golf (aka Frisbee golf) course at Randall Park. Jesse presented his idea to the Park Commission at the November 9, 2011 meeting. At that meeting, Park Commission asked Jesse to work with park staff to further define the proposal. Staff met with Jesse and created the attached aerial drawing of the 9 hole disc golf course. A second presentation was given to the Park Commission on February 8, 2012. At that meeting, the Park Commission approved the Yakima Valley Disc Golf Association moving forward with fund raising and further refinement of the course design. During the time the project was being discussed, a grant proposal was submitted to Legends Casino for $4,000 for the purchase of disc golf baskets. The grant application was approved by Legends. Jesse and other club members have hosted fund raising events to add to the resources for the development of a course. A letter will be mailed to the residents surrounding Randall Park on July 2, 2012, informing them of the proposed 9 hole disc golf course and giving them an opportunity to comment on the proposal at the July 11, 2012 Park Commission Meeting. A press release will also be sent out informing the general public of the proposal. If the proposal is accepted by the Park Commission, it will be forwarded to City Council for affirmation. Once affirmed, the Yakima Valley Disc Golf Association will utilize volunteer labor to install the disc golf baskets and tee pads in the fall of 2012. If you have any questions or concerns, please to not hesitate to contact Ken Wilkinson at 576 -6416. Yakim DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS PARKS & RECREATION DIVISION :: ark' 2301 Fruitvale Blvd., Yakima, Washington 98902 ' Phone (509) 575 -6020 • Fax (509) 575 -6238 61 ,. 1 " ` "'" '" - "GET INTO THE FUNSHINE WITH PARKS & RECREATION" "THE BENEFITS ARE ENDLESS" July 2, 2012 RE: Randall Park Disc Golf Dear Resident: You are in receipt of this notice due to your proximity to Randall Park The City of Yakima Parks and Recreation Staff, along with the Parks and Recreation Commission, have been approached by the Yakima Valley Disc Golf Association (YVDGA) to discuss the possibility of constructing a Disc Golf (or Frisbee Golf) course at Randall Park. A $4,000 grant from the Yakama Legends Casino Charitable Donations Fund was received to help with construction costs. In addition, almost $1,500 has been donated by local businesses for the course. Disc golf is a sport that is fun for all ages and cheap to play. The premise is similar to regular ball golf, only instead of hitting a golf ball toward a hole participants use round discs and aim for elevated baskets. A typical "hole" consists of a concrete tee -pad (roughly 6X10 feet) and a down -range basket that is between 100 -300 feet from the tee -pad. Disc golf is a great avenue for people to get outside and be active. The enclosed map shows the tentative layout for 9 -hole course at Randall Park. The layout minimizes interaction with other park users by largely following the perimeter of the park and minimizing pathway crossings. If you would like more information, or would like to give input, please attend the July 11 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting where this topic will be discussed. The meeting will take place in the City Hall Council Chambers, 129 N 2" Street, at 5 pm. If you cannot attend the meeting, please contact Joseph Calhoun, Parks Planner, at 575 -6162 or jcalhoun @ci.yakima.wa.us. Sincc;rck. Ken Wilkinson Parks and Recreation Manager Yaks- sae« Athletics 575 -6020 • Aquatics 575 -6046 • Community Enrichment 575 -6020 • Fisher Golf Course 575 -6075 1 111P. • Park Maintenance 575-6020 • Senior Citizen Center 575 -6166 • Tahoma Cemetery 575 -6026 ea City of Yakima - Geographic Information Services i 1 - tit ;.,.9'"j { - - �� ' i¢ - .-.. , 1. . :li r.. 1 .1_,..,..„., _. 1 . . , . .6 Disc Golf Course A _ _. te , . Pr It ' ' �` eV' VIi cilail►Arze Tentative La ' s . t b .... ......,_,J ) , eii [ ' it' • . H . . •••-•.....4,-" . .1 '‘u.,..cl - 1 1 . ..4 m _,-,_,, lis ' . / ,- ,. 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' 416110 1161, 10 . AWL 7! lift ...._ mi airly , ..,. eft s . • 4... Alen -0,- -11.14 •" 1 ■4.4.0- ........ m.m . b...,... * ' ''' ..a111.rONNIIIININISC AMI • c17 MEMORANDUM TO: All Community Review Board Members FROM: Carissa Dellinger, Clerk of the Board DATE: June 27, 2012 SUBJECT: NO CRB 07/04/2012 0 There will not be a Community Review Board meeting on July 4, 2012 in honor of our Independence Day. The next regular scheduled meeting is July 18, 2012. Thank you. 0 Office Of Mayor /City Council Preliminary Future Activities Calendar Please Note: Meetings are subject to change tin . "� �Or.'anizatio:ri;�,. -'n; ,:,a"IUleetirj" .P.ur ='ose•.,.. �;.,. :A,. ,9.. .� d aSr- f - 3 »h• • i . .k v� q Mon. July 2 10.00 a.m. Cit Council Meetin• Scheduled Meetin• Council Council Chambers Tue. July 3 • 12:00 • m. Miscellaneous Issues Scheduled Meetin• Cawle , Adkison TBD Wed. July 4 HOLIDAY - CITY OFFICES CLOSED Fri. July 6 8:00 a.m. Sister Cit Meetin• Scheduled Meetin• Adkison CED Conference Room Mon. July 9 P,,.. ..� 8:30 a.m Pension Board Meetings Board Meetin• Coffe _HR Conference Room Tue. July 10 1000 a.m. City /County Joint Study Scheduled Meeting Council Council Chambers Session - Airport Master Plan 12 .m= Miscellaneous Issues Scheduled Meetin• Cawle Adkison TBD Wed. July 11 11:30 a m. Sports Commission Scheduled Meeting Ettl Clarion Hotel 1:30 p.m EMS Board Meeting Board Meeting Lover Yakima Regional p.m Yakima Planning Scheduled Meeting Ensey Council Chambers Commission 5'30 p m. Parks Commission Meeting Scheduled Meeting Adkison Council Chambers Thur. July 12 1 00 p.m. Harman Center Board Board Meeting Cawley, Adkison Harman Center Meeting 1.30 p.m. Yakima Regional Clean Air Scheduled Meeting Lover Council Chambers Meeting 5 00 p m Cottage in the Meadow Scheduled Event Open 1208 S. 48th Avenue Opening 5.30 p m YCDA Board Meeting Board Meeting Adkison New Vision Office 6:00 p m. Regional Fire Authority Scheduled Meeting Cawley, Adkison, Station 86 Coffe Mon. July 16 "« 10 00 a.m. City Council Media Briefing Scheduled Meeting Bristol Council Chambers Tue. July 17 12=00 p.m. Miscellaneous Issues Scheduled Meeting Cawley, Adkison TBD 2:00 p.m. Yakima County Gang Scheduled Meeting Adkison TBD Commission p m. (T) City Council Executive Scheduled Meeting Council Council Chambers Session 6:00 p.m City Council Meeting Scheduled Meeting Council Council Chambers Wed. July 18 12 p.m. PAL Board Meeting Board Meeting Coffey PAL Center 3.30 •.m. Arts Commission Scheduled Meetin• Adkison CED Conference Room Thur. July 19 10.00 a.m. SIED Board Meetin• Board Meetin• Coffe New Vision Office PRELIMINARY FUTURE COUNCIL AGENDA July 10 10:00 a.m. City /County Joint Study Session — Council Chambers • Airport Master Plan July 17 (T) 4:30 p.m. Executive Session — Council Chambers 6:00 p.m. Business Meeting — Council Chambers • Recognize retiring City Employees Vaughn McBride and Sandy Cox • Public meeting and resolution accepting the report regarding the preference for alignment of the East -West Corridor using "H" Street (Davenport) • Resolution authorizing contract extension with National Development Council for an additional year from September 1, 2012 — August 31, 2013 • Second reading of ordinance amending the 2012 budget in various funds to provide for negotiated labor settlements (Epperson) 7:00 p.m. Public Hearings — Council Chambers • Public Hearing to consider the Hearing Examiner recommendations related to right of way vacation petitions for 7 Avenue and other streets in the vicinity of Davis High School • Public Hearing to consider the Hearing Examiner recommendations related to right of way vacation petitions for a portion of 15 Avenue in the vicinity of Yakima Valley Community College campus • Public meeting to consider final plat approval for Wellington Estates Phase 2, located in the vicinity of S. 58th Avenue and W. Whitman Street 6/27/2012 3.37 PM 1 MEMORANDUM June 18, 2012 To: Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey Fr: Attorney General Rob McKenna, AGO Policy Director Chris Johnson Re: Criminal Street Gangs and Human Trafficking Unlike other many other states, Washington does not have a Department of Justice, Department of Public Safety or any other public agency, with responsibility under public law to prepare an annual statewide crime threat assessment, such as that prepared by the Oregon Department of Justice. Similarly, there is no single criminal intelligence data base which is populated by all law enforcement agencies in the state, and used to share information regarding criminal street gang or human trafficking- related incidents. In 2008, the Washington State Legislature adopted HB 2712 which among other provisions, codified definitions for what constituted a criminal street gang, criminal street gang member or affiliate, criminal street gang offense and pattern of criminal street gang activity. The legislation also created a new aggravating factor for criminal street gang related offenses, for use by prosecutors when seeking an exceptional sentence beyond the standard range. However, four years later, the "gang designation" is being used sparingly by a few law enforcement agencies and by prosecutors in only a handful of counties. One of the likely reasons for this is that the penalties for criminal street gang- related violent personal crimes are the same as for non gang- related personal crimes, so there is little incentive to report an incident as gang - related, file gang - related charges, and gather the extra evidence necessary to prove the gang element of an offense during a criminal proceeding. According to the Statistical Summary of Adult Felony Sentencing (2011), as published by the Caseload Forecast Council, the gang aggravating factor was imposed only twice during that fiscal year. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) have the responsibility under state law, to prepare the annual Uniform Crime Report, known as "Crime in Washington." While the annual report contains both aggregate and individual agency counts for all violent and property crime - related incidents committed statewide, and summarizes domestic violence and hate crime - related incidents as required by law, there is no such requirement for reporting either criminal street gang or human trafficking- related incidents. This fact, combined with the absence of a statewide violent crime threat assessment or statewide criminal intelligence data base which is populated by all law enforcement agencies, means that there is no accurate inventory of gang - related or human trafficking incidents. • However, the national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) has added two federal human trafficking statutes to the list of Part 1 offenses, and will begin collecting information regarding trafficking - related incidents in 2013 after all state level trafficking statutes. have been coded into the system. Currently, Washington is a UCR "summary" reporting state, but is in the process of implementing the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), with its list of 46 crimes labeled as Group A offenses. Presumably, once the conversion has occurred and local law enforcement agencies have received proper training, information regarding criminal street gang and human trafficking- related incidents will be collected and entered into the NIBRS system, and included in the annual "Crime in Washington" report. There has been only one conviction under this state's criminal human trafficking statute RCW 9A.40.100, so we have little ability to accurately track how many trafficking - related prosecutions occur, as many trafficking related incidents result in criminal charges where trafficking is not an element of the offense, such as promoting prostitution, promoting commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, and so forth. However, the case in question, State v. DeShawn Clark, King County Superior Court 64861 -6, involved allegations that members of a West Seattle criminal street gang, The Westside Street MOBB (money over broke bitches), engaged in the forced prostitution of women and. juveniles. In November of 2009, the trial court found Clark guilty of human trafficking 2, promoting prostitution 1, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful imprisonment and criminal conspiracy. The jury also delivered a "yes" verdict on the gang aggravating factor, relating to the criminal conspiracy charge. Clark seeks to have the trial court decision overturned, and oral arguments were heard before the Court of Appeals Division 1, on January 12, 2012. Despite the paucity of hard data regarding the number of criminal street gang or human trafficking- related incidents, there are a number of documents, both open source and law enforcement - sensitive in nature, which suggest that criminal street gang involvement in human trafficking and prostitution is on the rise. In 2011, the National Gang Threat Assessment, as published by the National Gang Intelligence Center, mentions for the first time, a documented link between criminal street gangs and the smuggling of aliens, the trafficking of women and children, and involvement in prostitution as sources of income. While the examples provided reference New England, the Upper Midwest and California, the gang sets involved such as the Bloods, Crips, MS -13 and Surenos, as well as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG's), are all known to have a presence in this region. (See 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment; pp. 24 — 25). In 2011, police in Oceanside, CA, arrested 38 Crips gang members for alleged involvement in a commercial sex trafficking enterprise. (Public Discourse; 10/21/11, L. Lederer). Similarly, MS 13 gang members have allegedly branched out into prostitution in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia areas, resulting in several arrests, charges and convictions under federal law. (See "MS -13 Associate Sentenced to 292 Months for Sex Trafficking Teenage Runaway Girls; " press release, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, November 4, 2011). A law enforcement - sensitive document from another Pacific Coast state notes the rise of hybrid criminal street gang sets explicitly for the purpose of sex trafficking. "The growing popularity of trafficking international and domestic young girls for sexual exploitation as a means for gangs to profit, has led to more cooperation between otherwise mutually- hostile gangs." Moreover, "Rival gangs, operating under the premise that law enforcement would not expect them to collaborate, have reportedly worked together in prostitution rings to avoid detection." According to one recent law enforcement - sensitive document, "King County has approximately 40 percent (120) of the street gangs in Washington State. Pierce County is second..followed by Yakima County with 13 percent (40)." So while no currently available open source or law - enforcement sensitive bulletins have documented a pattern of similar incidents in Washington, the migration into this region of gang sets and members that are known to have engaged in human smuggling, trafficking or prostitution or elsewhere, it would seem appropriate to monitor for similar outcomes here. 2012 Washington State Legislature Anti -Human Trafficking Bills Passed Bill . Brief Title =` Number HB 1983 Reduce demand for commercial sex by increasing fee assessments for those who patron prostitution to support victim service and police intervention on these activities HB 2177 Relating to protecting children from sexual exploitation during mandatory pretrial disclosure of evidence HB 2692 Deter those who promote or permit prostitution of the commercial sex by increasing fee assessments to support victim service and police intervention on these activities SB 6251 Regulating online advertising of commercial sexual abuse of a minor SB 6252 Gives victims'of promoting prostitution by force or threat (first degree) or commercial sexual abuse of a minor the right to file civil remedy suits against their traffickers without requiring a criminal conviction SB 6253 Concerning seizure and forfeiture of property in commercial sexual abuse of a minor and promoting prostitution in the first degree crimes SB 6254 Compelling a person with a mental disability to engage in prostitution is promoting prostitution in the first degree, even absent the use of force SB 6257 Adds sexually explicit act as a form of human trafficking when forced, or when the victim is a minor SB 6255 Vacating sentences for underage victims SB 6258 Concerning unaccompanied persons (minors) because they are often recruited by traffickers Limit on public- defenders' caseloads puts strain on cities 1 Local News 1 The Seattle Times Page 1 of 2 illx$eattteiritnes Winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize Local News Originally published June 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM I Page modified June 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM Limit on public- defenders' caseloads puts strain on cities A state Supreme Court ruling limiting public defender's caseloads is creating a financial strain for cities. By Gene Johnson The Associated Press Officials in cities across Washington state say that even as they're trying to find ways to cut budgets, new guidelines from the state Supreme Court will force them to cough up more money for people who are accused of crimes but can't afford their own attorneys. By a 7 -2 vote this month, the justices adopted new case limits for public defenders — lawyers appointed to represent poor defendants. The standards say that beginning in September 2013, public defenders should not handle more than 300 to 400 misdemeanor cases or 150 felony cases a year, limits designed to make sure the lawyers have enough time to devote to their clients and ensure those defendants are getting their constitutional right to an attorney. The caseloads have been especially high in city courts that handle misdemeanors, with public defenders sometimes taking on 1,000 or more cases annually. Now, city officials busy preparing next year's budgets basically have two options: Provide more money to law firms that represent poor defendants or charge fewer people with crimes. Sedro- Woolley City Attorney Eron Berg says the guidelines could triple or quadruple the public - defense costs there, which now amount to $3o,700 for two part-time lawyers. "The timing is terrible," Berg says. "We're trying to maintain basic staffing. Now to have a rule that sucks all this money out, it's like, go fire a cop or lay off a fireman or close your library, whatever it is. I don't think we have a problem violating defendants' rights here." Some city attorneys and public defenders share another concern that instead of paying more for public defense, cities will grant contracts to less experienced, cheaper lawyers or those willing to certify that they're meeting the standards even when they're not. The state Bar Association had previously set similar caseload limits, but they were little enforced. The Supreme Court's adoption gives them new teeth, and requires lawyers who represent indigent clients to certify quarterly that they're meeting the standards. "My partner and I have 5o years experience doing this type of work, and we frankly think we can handle a lot more cases than the standards indicate," said Tim Goss, whose three - lawyer firm handles public defense work for Tukwila, Burien, Newcastle and Algona. "I'm concerned it's going to drive good attorneys out of public defense." The high court acknowledged the financial burden the ruling would place on cities and counties but said the move is essential in guaranteeing that everyone has adequate legal representation. http: / /seattletimes.nwsource.com/html /localnews /2018528750 publicdefense26.html 6/26/2012 Limit on public - defenders' caseloads puts strain on cities 1 Local News 1 The Seattle Times Page 2 of 2 The workloads of public defenders have long been an issue. The cities of Burlington and Mount Vernon are being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, which says the two lawyers hired to handle misdemeanor cases took on more than 2,100 cases in 2010 alone, and rarely if ever met with their clients or investigated cases. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said evidence suggests that the appointment of public defenders in those cities is "little more than a sham." The cities deny that the plaintiffs' rights were violated and said that even if the public defenders were incompetent or overworked, the cities aren't liable. Grant County has spent the past seven years making changes to its public- defense system, including a reduction in caseloads, under a court settlement with the ACLU and Columbia Legal Services. Since then, the county's felony caseloads per public defender have dropped from about 500 per year to 150. The Legislature has also stepped in to provide money to cities that made strides toward meeting the bar association standards. Last year, a dozen cities received grants ranging from $2,500 to $15o,000. "If a case is important enough to prosecute, it's important enough to defend, and the Constitution says they have to be defended competently," says Bob Boruchowitz, director of the Defender Initiative at Seattle University Law School. "It's long past time for everybody in the criminal justice system to stop tolerating the unfair treatment of poor people." Some jurisdictions, including the city of Spokane, have already trimmed their caseloads by one - third by declining to prosecute driving with a suspended license as a crime. Instead, people are enrolled in plans to pay whatever unpaid fines led them to having their license suspended. In Yakima, City Attorney Jeff Cutter is thinking about changing the way his office files charges. Instead of having police officers charge people with misdemeanors, the officers would send their case files to the City Attorney's Office, which would then determine which cases should be prosecuted. That would cut the number of cases being filed overall, but could increase the work for his prosecutors. Jeff Barrar, whose firm represents indigent defendants in the city of Vancouver and Clark County under contracts worth $600,000 and $775,000, respectively, estimated that meeting the new standards will increase his expenses roughly 20 percent, and his office will have to pass that on to the local governments. "The monkey's on their back to fund enough positions to satisfy this," he said. "I know they're not happy, but they don't have any choice." http:/ /seattletiines.nwsource.com/html /localnews /2018528750 publicdefense26.html 6/26/2012 Washington revenue forecast flat - Spokesman.com - June 20, 2012 Page 1 of 2 THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW June 20, 2012 Washington revenue forecast flat Uncertainty a major concern Jim Camden The Spokesman - Review Tags: Washington state budget Washington state revenue forecast OLYMPIA — Washington's budget and economic outlook didn't change much from February, the panel that reviews the state's finances was told today. For a two -year budget cycle that covers $30.68 billion in expenses, the state is expected to have about $30.7 billion in resources. State Economist Steve Lerch told the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council Washington is experiencing a slow recovery, with about 100,000 fewer jobs now than when the national recession started more than four years ago, but no significant drop from the February forecast. After a series of dismal economic forecasts stretching back to late 2008, some members called that good news. "Stable is good," Rep. Ross Hunter, D- Medina, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and a member of the council said. Barring some major crisis "we will not need to come back into a new special session." Or, as Sen. Ed Murray, D- Seattle, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee put it: "It's not great news, but it's better news than we've seen previously." But Rep. Ed Orcutt, R- Kalama, the chairman of the council, took a more pessimistic view of the forecast. Some people have been out of work for many months and "I'm worried about how long they can hang on." Lerch said the state faces several potential problems beyond its control: a recession in Europe, a slowdown in the Asian economy and the "fiscal cliff' facing the United States at the end of the year, when some tax cuts will expire and programs face mandatory reductions unless Congress reaches an agreement on a different solution to the deficit reduction. http : / /www. spokesman. com/ stories /2012/j un/20 /washington- revenue - forecast - flat / ?print -fr... 6/20/2012 Washington revenue forecast flat - Spokesman.com - June 20, 2012 Page 2 of 2 "Whatever Congress does, it's going to have an impact," Lerch said. Jobs in construction and in state and local government are below historic levels, and small businesses remain pessimistic, making them Tess likely to spend money or hire new employees. There are some bright spots, too, he said. Employment is increasing in aerospace and software publishing is up, exports are growing slowly, and oil prices are starting to come down. New car sales are also up slightly, but that may be because during the recession residents held onto their vehicles longer than normal and now must replace them out of necessity, not just because they want to. The state relies heavily on taxes on consumer spending, from the sales tax on most products other than food and prescription drugs to real estate taxes. Marty Brown, director of the Office of Financial Management, said the state's current budget, which covers spending through June 30, 2013, was "in the realm of OK" at this point. But the state faces significant added expenses through the rest of this decade on education because of a state Supreme Court ruling. In that ruling, known as the McCleary decision, the court said the state must spend more to meet its constitutional obligation to cover basic education as its paramount duty. That could result in an extra $1 billion in spending in the 2013 -15 biennium, $2.5 billion in 2015- 17, and $3 billion in 2017 -19. Get more news and information at Spokesman.com http: / /www. spokesman.com/ stories /2012/jun/20 /washington- revenue - forecast - flat/ ?print -fr... 6/20/2012 Keep i • . swinging Despite budget cuts, creative parks and recreation departments have found ways to keep most services alive r. By Nancy Mann Jackson 4. v s tt 4 1 Y7a;,�`4 „ r. 1 ..�. fJ q 1 'fir ,, 1.0' 4 er ■ J 'bF 3Fl ny t e 8 „4 Fwd ■ f ',4'4',','N',..: { w J 2 „f ` gi 3 ' I 'k :Vry 1 t � 5 F P 1,, x ,, as `. , ?g k` +' r :',,,,,7,4; ` a o e* - } , g e . ` s 1 -, $ t T u ?, �� 9 a �n' a p'4 , 1f f N n u S s I a 'xn "--6 tom 'd : I �� ..jr s 2 ,, 4 -. e .e a y T} a” ^h., i ,�- e" i � � �t 1 + s `� � s� �';� � � I 1,41k � � w " t � " � M �"x l�T ;'3.;', a .�"x �f�',' � `� �` 1' � I S { L 3 .S # t a a °' ' ' e , `' ' �.` r t X+, "fi"r` #v ' '".{:x+ v'+ y .,�� ,,gtn,a} t � , hen parks and recreation MAKING CUTBACKS i officials in Elizabeth City Chesterfield County, Va.'s, Department of Parks and and Pasquotank County, Recreation has decreased its budget by $1 million, N.C., made the decision to or about 10 percent, in recent years, requiring merge their two departments cutbacks in services and programs, says Mark Askin, into one, the timing was assistant director of parks. But choosing which i ideal. The merger began taking effect just as "the programs to eliminate is never an easy decision. economy went south," says Jeff Simpson, golf course/ Askin's first step was to determine the cost for each athletic complex superintendent. The merger has of the department's programs, including youth sports, helped the city maintain a high level of parks and adult sports, classes, and school and library grounds recreation services in the face of deep budget cuts. maintenance. The team eliminated its least valuable Throughout the past few years, parks and recreation programs based on the amount of revenue each departments across the country have faced budget generated. For example, instead of overseeing adult shortfalls, translating into smaller staffs and fewer athletics programs and maintaining the facilities, the resources. But despite the dwindling resources in department now leases out two softball facilities and many cities and counties, some departments have a field soccer facility to local groups that now manage found ways to continue providing the programs team sports for adults as well as maintain the facilities. and services their residents have come to expect. In addition to cutting back on programs, the Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County even parks department reduced its staff by eight full - added several new facilities, converted the greens time positions. Those cuts were made "mostly on the nine -hole municipal golf course to Bermuda through attrition," Askin says. Instead of 80 greens, and launched a new youth baseball and employees, the department now employs 72. softball league just as the economy tanked. "The Chesterfield County also reduced the workload for I I merger [allowed] us to form a larger workforce its remaining employees, especially those involved in and pool our resources together, which in turn grounds maintenance. For instance, rather than mowing I allowed us to better maintain our facilities and non -game turf every week, the department changed to better serve the citizens," Simpson says. a 14-day mowing schedule. Because the local schools While merging with other nearby departments reduced annual payments to the department to maintain may not be a viable option, parks and recreation school grounds from $2.1 million to $1.8 million, professionals have found other, often simple, Askin eliminated mulching at schools and reduced ways to keep their departments thriving during a lining youth football and soccer fields to once every downturn. "We have really had to look at ways in two weeks. The department also eliminated weekend which we could save money, time and labor to get all athletic field maintenance to reduce overtime. "We of the work done we need to do," Simpson says. were trying to still maintain our facilities' integrity and quality but eliminate the cosmetic aspect," Askin says. - , Jr, . - , ....,.. 4 . 56 , 0 ,_ 1 II 1 , ._. � i I II �., am" . � _ -': 3�'4 +, y ' , ____,.._______, ,, ,- _, ,., y ._ ,:,, „, ,,,,,,-- ' _ _ ... ' *4-2. , znt ec '), t ,, , - ,---_.„_ ... , , ,, ,, , £ 1 sl _ *'If) fl f F ,V `"a as � n E *- wn eft tic e'° e ti e ~.” t 4 , '. �{ . e ,PMP'* of budget cutbacks.: . www.americandtyandcounty.com !June 2012 33 's,4 � rii ;al equipment several times to get everything they I needed, and they have been pleased :with the results. -L• ' Simpson also has deferred adding new employees to save money._ "Technology and new specialized equipment are proving the way for us to go to keep up with all of the added tasks and reductions in operating expenses," he says. Chesterfield County's parks department also uses free labor. For instance, the county sheriff's office has an inmate workforce program, which aids in cleaning up highways, historical sites, fairgrounds Chesterfield County reduced mowing at and parks: The department also frequently uses the Robions Landing Park, and Elizabeth volunteers to help with maintenance projects. "A Citj tospecializ.ed equipment lot of churches want to do volunteer projects, such to better maintain its facilities, including as cleanups at schools," Askin says. "Many of them the South Park Sports Complex. know that the county has had budget cuts, and they just want to help out. We've had up to 300 volunteers on one weekend throughout the county." V BUILDING REVENUE ! a 4 r, rf sy „ ! As from cutt costs, the only other way to combat a :t Y r 4� i ` V i,,- et shortfall is to increase revenue. Some parks and , rr �, , , ', ,4- recreation departments, for the first.time, have begun , `t looking for nontraditional ways to build departmental 4l , , '' 1; t ' . revenue. Chesterfield County has increased fees for some programs and has started charging for things i�_`- — offers a lecture series about local hikes and outdoor For instance, the department that used to be free. F activities, and those lectures c used to be open to local residents at no charge. Since the department GETTING CREATIVE started charging an admission fee, attendance In addition to cutting back on programs and actually has increased. "Some things just seem more services, Chesterfield County's parks and recreation valuable if you have to pay for them," Askin says. department found creative ways to make the most Additionally; Askin and his team are working of its resources. For example, because its budget with Sports Backers, a nonprofit organizer, to for equipment replacement dropped from $250,000 develop sports tourism in his county. "We have per year to $80,000, department mechanics drawn some tournaments to our facilities, including have been "rebuilding existing equipment rather soccer, field hockey and lacrosse, and we're than replacing it," Askin says. "For many of our keeping track of how much revenue they bring to mowers, for instance, we've kept the tractor part the county," Askin says. "In the past year, we have and just replaced the mower deck around it." increased revenue from sports tourism by about While Elizabeth City's department first looked 16 percent, from $12 million to $15 million. at adding equipment and staff to meet increased While economists say the U.S. economy is demands from a newly merged department, "it proved rebounding, parks officials cannot expect a return to way too costly," Simpson says. Instead, parks officials hefty budgets any time soon. Lean management and ` purchased larger equipment that was better suited for creative thinking has become the new normal. "With 7 the jobs they need to complete. Although the initial the economy we live in today, you are always going to cost of the equipment was much higher than what the have to come up with new, innovative ideas to keep l budget could normally endure, the equipment's high up with the demand," Simpson says. "The citizens I p t o productivity and the resulting reduction in manpower are always going to want bigger and better facilities, I made it possible for staff to continue to maintain and we are going to have to figure out a way to build facilities even with new facilities coining online. and maintain those facilities with very limited funds. 6 { "It comes down to getting the right equipment You must get ahead of the game and stay ahead by 1 . for the job," Simpson says. "That may mean thinking outside of the box and using technology considering buying re- conditioned equipment to remake your workforce a more productive one." instead of buying new, especially if a department needs to purchase several large, expensive pieces . Nancy Mann Jackson is a Huntsville, of equipment." His department has opted for used Ala. - based freelance writer. 34 June 2012 I www.americancityandcounty.com 0 o v INSIGHT INTO THE LATEST SOCIAL, FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS SHAPING AMERICAS COMMUNITIES i- = — — — — 60 V easi�=.'es not approved Measures approu 1 v 40 E s 1 ^ ! "'h a jeI" . ' ''''!;4;7:71- 'er 7' 44 dr�� 1 3a { ,r 3" 4e 3 J -" , r I a • s ..ue• =a s + s ,0 - W ' K ..04 a t r ,301, 1� � it w 1, ° 1 , 3 i' +,7 -4 , ,* , c 2 - ; �. °-r �`"'*'n r b - a t it E ' S4'-,.'-- ' t -'z s . 5`, 4 7 1 Y, X3 L s ' 00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 `07 '08 '09 '10 '11 • t sounds like a risky proposition: Payng for Go to skeptical voters in a down economy and ask them to ��� approve a tax increase to pay for n tr infrastructure improvements. But that's just what some local With federal funding stalled, some governments are doing — and it's working. local governments are going it alone "Infrastructure s among the findings of oin g g y "Infrastructure 2012: Spotlight on Leadership," a report from the Washington- based Urban Land Institute (U LI) and the financial consulting firm Ernst & Ballot measures to fund Young. The report reveals that local transit improvements governments are using ballot initiatives, - _ have been successful in bond issues, user /toll fees and other • several communities. "on- their -own" strategies to make up for Voters in Dallas fading federal funding for infrastructure. r approved a one cent Transportation ballot initiatives have r— _ ,,.� -'— - sales tax increase for been successful in several localities. From - light rail. The Dallas / 2008 through 2011, ballots allocating Fort Worth metroplex funds to transit capital or operations . now has the longest had a 73 percent success rate. light -rail network, That includes ballot measures in - including the Burbank Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Phoenix; and St. Station, in the country. Louis. Voters in those cities approved sales tax increases to fund various transit improvements. "People are more likely to invest in their own local economies than we might think," says Rachel MacCleery, continued on p. 8 June 2012 I www.americancityandcounty.com a issue & rends 60 Measures not approvf d o !1\ approved pp 40 r \ -- +J 30 0 rep , i1 t6 r� V g „, $ s �< z'' 3 4 x .4"n _,.:� � 5 iakyY` .i Pei .'n. ''., «s 'i4' .t �� ' ,aa. V4" 'Z' a r� 20 a+ A x] 41;41 '' us a '+ 53 Y . I s, , .7., 4 ' ,. Z a 10 , 0 Transit Transit Combination Other/ Road capital operations of transit unknown capital or and roads operations contmi from p.8 ULI vice president for infrastructure infrastructure improvements. Officials From 2008 through and one of the authors of the report. in Wake and Orange counties, still 2011, ballot measures Communities have tapped into that negotiating over revenue and transit allocating funds to sense of self - interest to push infrastructure routes, have yet to schedule referendums transit capital or improvements. "It comes down to to help fund the new system. operations had a 73 leadership," MacCleerysays. "Places that Other communities are focusing on percent success rate. want to invest in infrastructure, they often different infrastructure improvements. have strong leaders that are really making To pay for upgrades to parks and open the case. Mayors, city council people, space, Oklahoma City officials bundled chamber of commerce, all are talking the projects into a Series of ballot about the importance of infrastructure and initiatives called the Metropolitan Area investment in the future of communities." Projects (MAP). Voters approved the Case in point: Durham County, third measure, a one -cent sales tax N.C. In June 2011, Durham County increase, in December 2009. The MAP commissioners scheduled a referendum plans include a grand central park, new on a half -cent sales tax to help fund bicycling trails and other improvements. a regional transit systein. The system Another solution for infrastructure would span the Research Triangle of improvements, MacCleery says, is simply Durham, Wake and Orange counties. to make new or existing infrastructure The ballot measure was supported by more efficient. In San Francisco, a Durham officials, including Mayor Bill technologically advanced parking system Bell, and received endorsements from uses embedded roadway sensors to track several of the county's major political available parking spaces and transmit that action groups, including an unexpected information wirelessly. Drivers can check endorsement from the Friends of for available spaces by smartphone or text 6 Durham, a conservative group that message, then pay for parking by credit traditionally has opposed tax increases. card or phone. "Municipalities increasingly The result: the November 2011 referendum will be looking at new ways of using both passed with 60 percent approval. technology and pricing to operate and But Durham's success also points to fund infrastructure," MacCleery says. one of the challenges- coordinating across different jurisdictions - that Larry Conley communities often face in making . i 10 June 2012 I www.americancityandcounty.com issue & rends st t 14 Al',. ' *;` 1 0 ; '1` '3- fi &,,, s C a r e er paths :..„:04 _,,, m =,,,,,,t,,t .„,,,,,..:::::.., *.i....e: , Reorgan gave employees 'roadma to success 1. In 2007 faced with budget cuts and a hiring freeze, Sarasota ri County, Fla., began reorganizing its workforce to make it Visit www..americancityandcounty.com to smaller and more efficient. The changes, including layoffs hear a podcast of Whitley's interview. ' and restructuring, reduced the county workforce from 2,430 full -time employees in 2007 to 2,065 full -time employees in 2012. American City & County spoke to Joan►e Whitley, performing or was expected to perform. We decided interim director of human resources, about the chnges' what the basic job duties and competencies were for i ' Level 1. From there, we builtLevel2, 3 and 4, based u ` r on increasing the job responsibilities and competencies. Q: One major change that Sarasota It started with Level 1 and built on that toLevel2. County made was to reduce _ To be a 3, you needed to have all (requirements) of the number of internal job 2. To be a Level 4, you needed to have all of Level classifications from O to less 3. That's common through all our career tracks. than 90. IIow was that done? : W'liat effect has the reorganization hau We decided to move more toward, we call them career on the county government «• orkfor ce? tracks. We felt like we had a lot ofjob classifications that were out of date, were obsolete and really did not I think it helped employees to see how they can be more support growth and development in the organization. marketable, how they can help themselves to advance We also realized that sometimes for employees to their skills and knowledge. So, they can feel more grow and develop, it's not always up. Sometimes secure and know that if an opportunity isn't available more like a lattice, in one area, they can look to another area. They can it sideways. Or sometimes it's where you cross over into other areas to learn, to quickly- see what skills and knowledge they need to grow and develop. So we tried to figure out Izow obtain to get into that next opportunity. Because as we could create a path, so employees could clearly things change, I think it helps employees to understand see how they can move along that career path... what they can do to make themselves more secure. And we slid involve employees. We had employee grozips that we met with and got their input. We «V hat sutigestions would d l ou offer didn't do it in a vacuum. We didn't just get the HR to otberhuman resource 1] "lalla: s team togetlzerand create new career tracks. trying to reorganize their.woraorce? First of all, look at your staffing plans. Think : I Jow did the county put these new about what you really need as far as staffing. Get , job classihcations'into practice? employees involved Getting employees together, The fzrstgroup that we did, we had about 120 stating what the issue is, what the opportunity is, administrative support employees throughout the what the goal is, getting their input. They're the organization. They were assigned to about l5 job ones doing the job. Nobody knows the job better than classifications. They might have been called an the employees. Getting employees involved is key administrative assistant, they might have been called a Clerk 2, but they were doing very similar duties. We found that we could come up with benchmarks, which were common job duties that everyone was ij I - June 2012 1 www.americancityandcounty.com