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City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

December 2, 2013


1.    Roll Call

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m.  Voting and Seating Order: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.


Mayor Roe noted that Councilmember Willmus had previously been at the meeting, but due to a family situation, had left and would be returning later in the meeting. 


2.         Approve Agenda

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the agenda as presented.


                                                Roll Call

               Ayes: McGehee; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. 

               Nays: None.


3.         Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak.


4.         Council Communications, Reports and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced that City Hall was the collection site for holiday donations for families and children in need by the Fire Angels organization, in conjunction with the Roseville School District, during normal weekday business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through December 6, 2013.


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications

a.            New Police Officer Introduction

Police Chief Rick Mathwig introduced the Department's newest officer additions to the Roseville Police Department and provided a brief bio on both: Officer Ryan Weber and Officer Luke Sturm, both scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday, December 5, 2013 in the City Council Chambers at 3:30 p.m.


b.            Introduction of Communication Manager Gary Bowman

Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon introduced Mr. Bowman who started at the City of Roseville today.


6.         Approve Minutes


7.         Approve Consent Agenda

          Councilmember Willmus returned to the meeting at approximately 6:18 p.m.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.            Approve Payments

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.      


Check Series #


ACH Payments


72110 - 72194





Roll Call

               Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. 

               Nays: None.

            Abstentions: Willmus

            Motion carried.


b.            Approve Business & Other Licenses & Permits

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for the following applicants:



Type of License

Jenifer Cunningham

Massage by Jennifer, LLC at Roseville Hair Design

1129 Larpenteur Avenue W

Massage Therapist

Massage by Jennifer, LLC at Roseville Hair Design

1129 Larpenteur Avenue W

Massage Therapy











Roll Call

            Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. 

            Nays: None.

            Abstentions: Willmus

            Motion carried.


c.            Extension of Janitorial Services Contract for Roseville Facilities

          McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval authorizing staff to extending the current contract for janitorial services for City facilities with Linn Building Maintenance through February 2017; at a not-to-exceed annual increase of 2% in 2014; 2% in 2015; and 2% in 2016.


Roll Call

            Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. 

            Nays: None.

            Abstentions: Willmus

            Motion carried.


8.    Consider Items Removed from Consent


9.    General Ordinances for Adoption


10. Presentations


11. Public Hearings


12. Budget Items


a.            Budget Hearing on Proposed 2014 Budget

Mayor Roe briefly reviewed the protocol for tonight's budget hearing and public questions and comment opportunity regarding the budget or budget process.


Finance Director Chris Miller presented remarks (Attachment A) and reviewed the purpose of the Public Hearing; a snapshot of the proposed 2014 budget; budget process chronology; budget impact items; and a summary of the budget and tax levy summary; historical and peer city comparisons; as well as a review of proposed 2014 utility rates.


Mr. Miller noted that tonight's presentation would focus only on the City portion of the property tax bill and other local fees; and not any other jurisdictions represented on property tax statements.


City Councilmember Questions

Councilmember McGehee questioned the difference in the City of Roseville's standalone infrastructure and utility system versus that of the City of Maplewood as an extension of the City of St. Paul; and compare rates accordingly, and whether there was a benefit for Maplewood residents to be part of the St. Paul infrastructure system.


Mr. Miller, while noting his inability to speak specifically of the Maplewood situation, advised that it depended on what the City of St. Paul would be willing to pay for the City of Roseville's infrastructure if that option was ever considered.  Mr. Miller advised that the City of St. Paul had paid $1.00 for the City of Maplewood's infrastructure system; but the City of Roseville's infrastructure system was much newer than theirs.  Mr. Miller clarified that the City of Roseville accounted for its infrastructure based only on Roseville costs.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee regarding the benefits to the community for the City of Roseville in softening its water and how it was softened, Mr. Miller deferred to Public Works Director Duane Schwartz.  Mayor Roe requested that staff responses not related to the budget discussion be delayed until after public comment.


Councilmember Willmus requested information from Mr. Miller on the amount of surplus funds from 2011 to 2012, and projections for 2012 to 2013.


Mr. Miller advised that he had requested Department Heads to look at their specific department operations, and based on their input and his initial analysis, he projected a small surplus in the General Fund of approximately $50,000.  Mr. Miller noted that this amount would have been higher except for the funds in excess of $200,000 spent for storm response and clean-up.  While the Parks & Recreation Department may have additional surplus funds, Mr. Miller noted that they had deferred some of their smaller capital items at the Skating Center to provide better performance on those financials.  From his recollection, Mr. Miller estimated that General Fund surplus funds from 2011 to 2012 were approximately 43% of the operating budget, in accordance with City Council policy to retain 35-45% reserves. 


Councilmember Willmus asked that Mr. Miller provide an accurate surplus amount from 2011 to 2012 before next week's City Council meeting, which Mr. Miller duly noted. Mayor Roe sought clarification as to which years Councilmember Willmus asked about and which years Mr. Miller answered about. Councilmember Willmus clarified he was asking about 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013, while Mr. Miller noted his answers had been given regarding 2013 to 2014. Mayor Roe noted that this information was also available in the annual certified financial statements from the outside auditors.


Councilmember Etten noted the proposed allotment for $80,000 for wage and step increases for employees, and questioned the wage spectrum of new versus longer-term employees, and how that compared to 5-10 years ago.


Mr. Miller advised that the current hiring cycle and amount of turnover was comparable to that of the last few years, with approximately half of the City's employees reaching their maximum pay grade and to still in the step increase process.


For the benefit of the public, Mayor Roe asked that Mr. Miller provide more information to help residents understand the relationship between the levy and their property value and tax base, questioning if it was correct to basically say that the levy approved by the City Council was then divided by Ramsey County among taxable properties proportional to all their values added together.


Mr. Miller concurred that it was accurate; and noted that how it got paid was the second piece of the puzzle, since not all properties in Roseville went up or down in value simultaneously.  Mr. Miller noted that at this time, residential properties were starting to recover from the recession and their values increasing since that of six years ago.  During that same period, Mr. Miller noted that commercial/retail properties had not been increasing, with residential properties going up faster than commercial properties.  Mr. Miller noted that this situation transferred the tax burden based on that increase faster, from one area to the other; just the opposite of what happened prior to the recession.


Mayor Roe opened the Public Hearing for the purpose of hearing public comment on the 2014 Budget and Tax Levy at approximately 7:05 p.m.; asking that questions be brought forward first, with comments allowed later after staff responded to questions.


Public Comment

A Memorandum dated December 2, 2013 and entitled "Tax Levy for 2014" from Councilmember Tammy McGehee was provided as her personal response to comments posted by resident Gary Grefenberg on the Roseville Issues Forum.



Roger Toogood, 601 Terrace Court

In Mr. Miller's reference to a review of the City Council's 2014 - 2017 Strategic Plan and priorities addressed, Mr. Toogood asked if that plan included anything relative to addressing the increasing situation of the growing number of senior citizens over the age of 65 needing services in Roseville in the next sixteen years.


Jim Mulder, 1880 Shady Beach Road

Mr. Mulder asked if, in the City's budgeting process, why a zero-based budgeting process had not been used.  Mr. Mulder also questioned how the state sales tax exemption now available to the City again based on recent legislation was being treated, as he found no subtraction of that savings to the City's original budget, and questioned if it was instead being allowed as an offset to expenditures.  Mr. Mulder opined that in an effort for more transparency, the sales tax allotment should have been subtracted from each line item or department prior to beginning the budget process to avoid misconceptions that it was an understated increase in the budget.


Ms. Robin Schroeder, 316 N McCarrons Boulevard

1)    When talking about average household, Ms. Schroeder questioned how that was defined (e.g. how many people in the household, value of the home, etc.) and how that compared to her situation.

2)    Ms. Schroeder questioned if there was an automatic annual COLA for City employees.

3)    When talking about market adjustment to people's jobs, Ms. Schroeder questioned if that was based on the fiftieth percentile or what was the goal for Roseville.

4)    In referencing the 1980s and 1990s as the lowest CPI, Ms. Schroeder questioned if the next ten years would be less or continue on that trend.


Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Having arrived later in the meeting, Mr. Grefenberg questioned if Mr. Miller had specifically gone into information provided in the Request for Council Action (RCA) on the tax budget as part of his presentation.


Mayor Roe responded that any information referenced was included in the power point presentation, including the utility rate chart; but not necessarily outlined in detail for the pluses and minuses at this point in the presentation, as that more detailed information and discussion would occur later in the agenda.


Mr. Grefenberg advised that he had provided his questions to Mr. Miller earlier today. 

1)    Mr. Grefenberg expressed appreciation for the meeting documents provided by Mr. Miller, and referenced the quick budget snapshot (page 2 of the RCA); and questioned if the median home value had changed over the last five years, or remained the same; and what the assumption was for defining a median valued home.

2)    Mr. Grefenberg noted that there were eight peer cities used for comparison for water rates; however there were sixty-two peer cities referenced for comparison for tax levy information; and requested who those cities were.


Mayor Roe noted that he wasn't sure if that information could be provided at this point, and Mr. Grefenberg asked that it provided at a later time then, as the only comparison information on cities he had was provided by Ramsey County, and included more than that number of cities.


3)    Of the $20,000 in salary adjustments, or six employees, Mr. Grefenberg sought information on who those selected employees had been to receive market rate salary adjustments.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that the public needed transparency, and he was willing to receive the information privately or publically at the City's discretion.

4)     On page 5 of the staff recommendation, Mr. Grefenberg opined that $317,000 in General Fund cash reserves was listed, which was less than the originally projected $430,000; and questioned if there was anything illegal by the City Council lowering the proposed levy increase through use of those funds to support the tax-supported portion of the budget.

5)    Mr. Grefenberg questioned if action on the hiring of a Volunteer Coordinator position was planned tonight, with Mayor Roe responded that it would be discussed later on tonight's agenda as part of budget discussions.


Staff Response

Strategic Plan and Senior Demographic

Interim City Manager Trudgeon noted that the Strategic Plan did consider changing demographics in the City's senior population, even though current proposed 2014 budget did not address that status quo in any major way, other than the request of the School District to increase funding for senior programs from $6,000 to $10,000.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that he was currently working with several focus groups in addressing this situation and attempting to put together a coalition to consider individual and cooperative responses.  Mr. Trudgeon anticipated that this would evolve in 2014 creating a step forward in addressing senior needs and attempt to identify a variety of funding sources.  Mr. Trudgeon anticipated policy discussions by the City Council during 2014 reflecting that evolution.


Zero-Based Budgeting

Finance Director Miller advised that the City did not use zero-based budgeting. However, the concept was interwoven in the process each year as the City Council and discussed and informed staff on any adjusted services and programs and priorities accordingly, as staff developed the City Manager-recommended Budget to the City Council, and whether to maintain, increase or reduce those services, service levels and programs.


Sales Tax Assumption

Mr. Miller advised that savings the City would realize in 2014 from the State's reinstatement of the sales tax exemption for municipalities had been applied to forgo the need for additional budget dollars.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting for property tax information, levy expenditures would have been more if not for those savings.


Median Value Home Assumption

Mr. Miller advised that the current median value home according to Ramsey County property records was at $185,000, considerably less than five years ago when it had reached a high of $234,000 to $235,000.  While this value has rebounded some in the last year, approximately 3% and starting to move forward, Mr. Miller noted that it had not come back to those levels yet.


Mr. Miller clarified that the City considered a typical, single-family home in Roseville's water usage at 15,000 to 18,000 gallons per quarter.  Mr. Miller further clarified that based on the tax-supported portion of the budget, those median home values were valued by Ramsey County, and while individual home values may increase or decrease, these figures were based on the aggregate.  Mr. Miller noted that inflation-adjusted properties over the last two years had showing that Roseville was behind that average.


Automatic COLA for City Employees

Mr. Miller advised that COLA for employees was not an automatic assumption, but in all fairness, there was usually an adjustment made based on the Consumer Price Index, with some instances of no increase, but not occurring often.


Mayor Roe noted that the last zero increase years for employee COLA were during recession years; and several years had only seen 1% or 2% increases.


Market Rate

Mr. Miller advised that the City compared to peer cities for certain skill sets for employees in the market place, using the peer group average.  While originally proposing that the City make adjustments at 100% of that average, Mr. Miller noted that the City Council established a policy to set that at 98% of the peer average.


Councilmember McGehee clarified that this study had been done by an outside consultant, and not performed by City staff.


Future Projections for Upcoming Decade

When reviewing the current levels of services and programs, Mr. Miller noted that the City had made a number of structural changes and addressed its long-term Capital Improvement Program (CIP) assets.  If nothing was to change and there were no expansions of programs, or no new staff added to improve services to the public, Mr. Miller opined that he would then expect future increases to mirror inflation versus the more substantial increases felt over the last few years in getting back to a sustainable structural budget.  However, Mr. Miller noted that this was up to future City Councils to make that policy call; with those policies determining whether budgets would be inflationary or above, or offset by reductions.


As part of the 20-year CIP, Councilmember McGehee noted that ongoing maintenance had not been fully funded in the past, but with the CIP Asset Program in place, she was anticipating more maintenance monies and maintenance of those assets than in the past.


Mayor Roe noted that, as part of the philosophy in recent changes made in utility rates and property tax collections to cover those capital costs, the City had preliminarily projected twenty years into the future if the City took care of what it had.  In that case, Mayor Roe noted that many funding sources would have been at zero or below; with the current 20-year CIP proposed to sustain the City at a reasonable level above zero.  While this effort is not grandiose, Mayor Roe noted that each annual budget process would include a review and update of the 20-year CIP to keep on that trajectory.  Mayor Roe clarified that new pathway construction and building replacements had not been included in the CIP, as buildings had historically been paid by borrowing money (e.g. bonding).


Identification of Peer Cities

Mayor Roe suggested that staff respond later and provide the identity of those sixty-two peer cities used for levy comparisons in writing and on the City's website.


Employee Compensation Market Study/Adjustment

Mr. Miller advised that he had responded to Mr. Grefenberg's request for identity of those six staff positions identified to receive a market compensation adjustment, by position, not by individual.  Mr. Miller advised that historically, the City had not shared individual employees by name, but what a position paid, and his response had been consistent with past practice.


Mayor Roe clarified that in Mr. Miller's e-mail response to Mr. Grefenberg, it had shown 3-4 positions increased in the $1,500 range; several in the $800 range; and one position found considerably less than the market and rose significantly more than that accordingly.


Mr. Miller concurred, noting that the market wage adjustments ranged from a half percent to 2.5%.


Mayor Roe offered additional information if requested by the public.


Applying Reserve Funds to Reduce the Levy

Mr. Miller advised that the initial figures were provided as part of the City Manager-recommended budget in August of 2013; and based on City Council discussions and indications of where their comfort level was regarding levy increases and additional programming impacts being funded by cash reserves.  Mr. Miller clarified that those original reserves had been identified at $430,000, and after further adjustments as the year and discussions progressed, that had been reduced to $317,000 in cash reserves proposed to fund the 2014 budget.  Specific to Mr. Grefenberg's questions as to whether that additional $100,000 could be used to offset those levy impacts, Mr. Miller responded affirmatively, that the City Council had the authority to spend reserves at a greater pace than proposed by staff.  However, Mr. Miller noted that there would eventually come a day of reckoning, and he could not recommend continued use of reserves for operating expenses, but would continue to advise the City Council to maintain a structurally-balanced budget for the long-term health of the City and its residents.


Mayor Roe noted that the only legal restriction for the City Council was that it could not increase its levy beyond the preliminary levy set in September except in limited circumstances or emergency situations.


Mr. Miller concurred, noting however, that the City Council also had the authority and discretion to amend its budget at any time during the year.



Jim Mulder, 1880 Shady Beach Road

Mr. Mulder encouraged the City Council to look at its budget structure; opining that it did not create a new base when sales tax was eliminated, and should have done so.  Mr. Mulder further opined that, now that base was higher serving to provide the City with a windfall from that, as well as in the Parks Renewal Program and bonding money, since it would not be paying sales tax on park equipment.  Mr. Mulder questioned if the City was spending that windfall on additional equipment or what, and while that may be appropriate, he opined that it should be a conscious City Council discussion and decision and very transparent for the public.  Mr. Mulder opined that similar transparency was needed in the highway department, since they were not paying sales tax on salt, sand or other disposables.


Mr. Mulder opined that the budget became an odd piece that wasn't serving the City Council well; and encouraged them to spend more time using dollar differences versus percentages, since statistics could be very illusive and less effective than real dollars.


Roger Toogood, 601 Terrace Court

Mr. Toogood expressed appreciation for Mr. Trudgeon's response to the growth of the 65 plus demographics in Roseville; and displayed some of those demographics, as well as providing them to staff, showing the percentage of change in Ramsey County population from 2010 to 2030 based on Census and MN State Demographic Center data; noting the high percentages shown for the City of Roseville.  Based on his work with the North Suburban Senior Council, Mr. Toogood suggested that the City establish a Senior Task Force to further study this issue from identifying needs as well as funding sources to address those future needs.  Mr. Toogood noted that the services of the Senior Council would be changing to the School District.  Mr. Toogood advised that he would continue to meet with area cities and school districts to bring this information to their attention as well, anticipating they would work effectively and cooperatively with north suburban communities.


Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Mr. Grefenberg referenced his levy increase information used in his Roseville Issues Forum comments, previously noted as a bench handout.  Mr. Grefenberg expressed his grave concern over this collective amount of levy increases since 2008 compared to the City of St. Paul providing a zero levy increase for 2014.  Mr. Grefenberg suggested that the City's reserve funds needed to be addressed to tap into them to reduce the proposed levy and thereby use reserves for property tax relief, none of which had been seen during the recession years.  Mr. Grefenberg referenced the December 3, 2012 City Council meeting minutes showing a comparable situation. 


Mr. Grefenberg expressed appreciation for the legislature capping levy increases this year, as well as for the more comprehensive budget information provided by staff this year. 


When final 2013 expenditures are known in several months, Mr. Grefenberg expressed his interest in the City adding another step to the budget process by publically presenting actual expenditures as well as surplus remaining.


Peter Ryan, 316 N McCarrons Boulevard

Mr. Ryan advised that he had spoken at Ramsey County as well as providing written comments to all City Council members; however, he expressed his frustration that he continued to receive basically the same response.  As a successful business owner, Mr. Ryan noted that he needed to operate within a given budget, and during the recession he could not always expand or increase his business more than the market could bear.  During that same time over the last decade, Mr. Ryan advised that his overall taxes for Ramsey County and the City of Roseville had gone up over 300%.  Mr. Ryan questioned the level of insight or fiscal responsibility being used by the City; and whether all of the money bonded for was actually needed for parks, or the overall; and opined that to him it seemed like frivolous spending with that spending needing to be refocused.


As a lifelong Roseville resident, and thoroughly enjoying living in Roseville, Mr. Ryan questioned if he could continue to do so based on those ongoing tax increases, and whether or not he could continue to afford his home, opining that living in Roseville was very expensive and didn't provide a real draw for people to move into the community as it once did.  Mr. Ryan opined that it would be nice to see a budget with no increases; and further opined that it could be done and that many of the increases were not necessary.  Mr. Ryan questioned why he needed to keep absorbing those increases, which was wearing more and more on taxpayers who were forced to do with a lot less to pay for those increases and serving to drive people out of the City.  Mr. Ryan opined that the City was no longer bringing in a lot of high-class houses, only apartments; causing his house values to decrease, but taxes to increase.


With no one else appearing to speak, Mayor Roe closed the Public Hearing at approximately 7:52 p.m.; expressing appreciation to those speaking for their good questions and willingness to participate in the City's budget process.


Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:52 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:04 p.m.


b.            Volunteer Coordinator Discussion

Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed the RCA dated December 2, 2013, and his recommendation based on previous discussions on this proposed position.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested a pilot project to determine not if but how the position would function in the future. In his recent discussion with Department Heads as directed by the City Council, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he found acceptance from them in recognizing the value of volunteers, even though impacts were higher in some departments than others, but open to evolution.


As proposed in the RCA, Mr. Trudgeon recommended the immediate creation of a part-time Volunteer Coordinator position as part of the 2014 budget, with $20,000 used from the City's contingency line item, leaving $35,000 for a possible merit pay program at the City Council's discretion. Mr. Trudgeon defined preliminary work of that part-time position in lines 22 - 28 of the RCA; and sought City Council direction.


While recognizing the existing large network of volunteers in the Parks & Recreation Department, Councilmember McGehee spoke in opposition to using that solely as the Pilot Program.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the position needed to initiate across departments to determine coordination and differences between department needs and requirements.  Councilmember McGehee opined that a Volunteer Coordinator Pilot Program to develop a citywide network and an Organization of park volunteers were two entirely separate and different things.


Mr. Trudgeon responded that his intent was to utilize the existing Parks & Recreation Department network to build that citywide network and to determine what did and did not work given this large volunteer pools; and then replicate that for the rest of the City as the program expanded.  Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the intent was not for this position to recruit volunteers, as that was an entirely different task.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the intent would be to establish a database and expand that information as the position expanded to full-time.  Since the amount of time to accomplish that was unknown at this time, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the needs in other departments could be accommodated as much as possible as the system was set up.  For the full breadth of the whole organization to maximize the position, Mr. Trudgeon opined that the position would need to be full-time, but he reiterated that this would only be the first incremental step, with the goal being to incorporate all departments.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon responded that his recommendation to fund the position from the $50,000 contingency fund versus the parks bonding funds was based on the program being city-wide, not just focused on parks.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he had analyzed Enterprise Funds; however, he had found them limited to what could be utilized, leaving only funds from the tax levy available to fund the position.


Councilmember Laliberte reiterated her previous comments that moving communication efforts from a multiple person, multiple department structure to a Communications Manager, she opined that there may be an existing employee who may express interest in developing this pilot program.  Councilmember Laliberte referenced the information provided by Parks & Recreation Director Brokke in a past meeting from the City of St. Louis Park and their volunteer coordinator and program, opining that this information could be utilized in Roseville rather than recreating it.  Regarding the position itself, Councilmember Laliberte opined that the City had a huge asset in its volunteer pool; but needed to define how best to effectively and continue to interest those volunteers and respect their time and talents.  Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in an Intern position versus a permanent employee to be brought in as a project manager to develop the intake process, determine the level of competency and any needed confidentiality of that volunteer pool; and then finding the right fit for those individual volunteers.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that this effort should be done on a citywide level based on the project perspectives, and not limited to parks, which will subsequently be crafted to benefit parks.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that other departments would have different considerations, and expressed her preference for a citywide process to make it work effectively for all departments.


Councilmember Etten spoke in support of a full-time position for a variety of reasons.  Councilmember Etten expressed his belief that this is a key strategy move forward to engage the community and a one-to-one process to involve people, with few positions in the City having more contact with the public than this one.  Councilmember Etten further opined that this position would not only manage current resources, but would need to work directly with other Department Heads to determine how they could best be served; as well as researching other communities using a full-time volunteer coordinator versus creating a pilot program or attempting to operate out of a vacuum.  Councilmember Etten opined that a job description did not need to be recreated, since there were various models already available based on that research. 


Councilmember Etten also noted the amount of time the position would require making community connections and working with various civic, school, and community organizations in order to serve as the contact point for other volunteer organizations and become a community resource.  Councilmember Etten noted the need for this position to build relationships with the public and volunteers, and with a full-time schedule, it would allow more of a connection, including evening events and activities as applicable.


Councilmember Etten noted the huge need coming up for the Parks Renewal Program and natural resources efforts, as well as extra care of park facilities when built, expressing hope that this position could bring active neighborhood groups to the next level of volunteering through coordination.  In reviewing the volunteer needs of other departments, Councilmember Etten noted the need for this position to assist with those community events (e.g. Police Night to Unite or Fire Station Grand Opening) to coordinate volunteers rather than having full-time staff work extensively beyond an advisory or public relations capacity.


Councilmember Etten opined that, over time, this position would save the City money and provide much more for citizens in comparison to and justifying tax dollars to fund the position.  Councilmember Etten opined that the City could fund a full-time position; and noted that he would support a part-time position only with the understanding that it would be expanded in the short-term to a full-time position and serve all departments actively.


Councilmember Willmus concurred with the majority of Councilmember Etten's statements; and expressed that his only concern was that the City look to a full-time position based on the benefit to the City.  Councilmember Willmus noted that his only concern was in funding the position and how to fund it moving forward; and opined that he would leave that door open at this time pending further budget and levy discussions.


Councilmember McGehee seconded the comments of Councilmember Etten, opining that a pilot program was not needed nor was there any need to reinvent the program.  Councilmember McGehee opined that a qualified, competent person could make contact with staff and assimilate programs using models from other communities for a citywide Roseville program.  Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of a full-time position versus a part-time position; and expressed less concern about funding the position compared to the benefit to be derived from the position.  Councilmember McGehee referenced the comments of Mr. Toogood and the extensive volunteer pool available to the City.


Councilmember Etten suggested that more funds from the contingency fund be used to fund this position as full-time; opining that a projected $80,000 to $85,000 seemed more than was needed in the City's current organizational structure, and opined that hiring could be done at a lower point than projected. 


Specific to the proposed revamping of the current merit pay system, Councilmember Etten suggested that a one-time bonus program may be more appropriate.


Mayor Roe expressed his support for a full-time position; however, he did not suggest that such a position would be possible January 1, 2014, but should be feasible later in the year after responsibilities, a wage range and salary are clearly determined before authorizing the position.  From his perspective, Mayor Roe opined that this position would provide a definite benefit to the organization by coordinating volunteers and maintaining their interest and provide a huge civic engagement benefit and connections to the community on a person-to-person basis.  As an example, Mayor Roe considered when the City Council advertised for Advisory Commission members and were not getting responses, this position could research potential candidates based on database interests and skills.  Mayor Roe reiterated his support for the full-time position as long as it did not start until clarification of responsibilities and other details.


Mr. Trudgeon clarified next steps for staff would be to determine the exact cost for a full-time position, based on City Council consensus for a full-time position, conceptually funded in 2014, but not early on, but still allowing for some funding in the 2014 budget, and with a later start providing for some cost savings in 2014.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would attempt to get some more defined numbers together before the December 9, 2014 final budget and levy adoption, at the consensus of the City Council.


Public Comment

Gary Grefenberg

Mr. Grefenberg expressed his concern in Mr. Trudgeon's reference to the civic engagement of this position, noting that this was one of the recommendations of the Civic Engagement Task Force.  Mr. Grefenberg advised that the Task Force recommended a full-time, executive position, but not located in the Parks & Recreation Department.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that the need was to match volunteers with needs in all departments, including the Human Rights Commission which he chaired as an example needing additional volunteers.  Mr. Grefenberg recognized that this was an unusual position for him in suggesting an increase in the budget; however, he referenced the City Council's Strategic Plan and goal to engage people, especially seniors, in the community.  Mr. Grefenberg advised that the Task Force had included a job description as part of their recommendation; and opined that the position should be full-time and housed in the Administration Department and fully interactive with the new Communications Manager.


Councilmember Willmus suggested, as a future discussion point as well, to consider  where to house the position, and while not opposed to the Administration Department, he noted their limited experience with volunteers, while the Parks & Recreation and Police Departments had extensive experience in that area.


Councilmember McGehee argued opposite of Councilmember Willmus, opining that the synergy of the Communications Manager and Administration Department would be beneficial; and their lack of experience did not preclude someone very familiar with volunteerism and overall civic engagement servicing all departments well.


Councilmember Laliberte noted that there could already be someone within the organization who works with volunteers who may be interested in applying for the position.  If that was the case, Councilmember Laliberte suggested further consideration then of whether that existing position needed to be replaced if that person moved to the Volunteer Coordinator position; reiterating her opinion that efficiencies could be found with current staffing and the need to review if that current job was still needed in the department currently housing that existing staff person.


Councilmember Etten expressed concern with Councilmember Laliberte's suggestion, noting that a number of existing employees were simply performing volunteer coordination as one portion of their 60-80 hour work week jobs, with those employees working considerable and unsustainable overtime.  If the duties were reallocated, Councilmember Etten opined that it would serve to bring down their work load, but still not to a realistic full-time job.  Councilmember Etten noted that there would need to be adjustments made, but that it may simply and realistically allow them to focus on their main responsibilities and functions better.


When this issue came back as a full-time position recommendation, Councilmember Laliberte asked that each department weigh in on efficiencies with a specific percentage provided from each department.


Councilmember McGehee opined that it was not appropriate or transparent to pay for the position from reserves, but to be upfront about it.


Mayor Roe reiterated City Council consensus moving forward for staff that the position be full-time, the process be done carefully and realistically in the initial planning stages through creation of a great job description, and then to find a way to fund the position.


c.            Adopt Final 2014 Budget and Tax Levy

Mayor Roe noted that staff had provided information and request from past City Council discussions and directives in their latest RCA dated December 2, 2013; and sought additional input from staff as applicable.


Finance Director Miller advised that he additional information comment regarding budget surpluses to-date or projected at this point, as addressed during tonight's Public Hearing.


General Fund Surplus

2012 = $353,000

2011 =   574,000

Total = $927,000 two year combined

In context, Mr. Miller noted that this provided a cash reserve level of 43%, with the City Council's current reserve policy of 35 - 45%, with reserves therefore at the high end of that range.


Parks & Recreation Department Fund Surplus

2012 = $278,000

          2011 =     50,000

          Total = $338,000 2 year combined

          In context, Mr. Miller noted that this brought that fund into a reserve level of 23%, with City Council's reserve policy for that fund at 25%.


          At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller confirmed that those reserves were built into the budget base, as were all cash reserves until appropriated.  However, Mr. Miller clarified that the City strove for a balanced budget and it therefore did not budget for a surplus, with reasons annually for such a surplus.  As an example, those surplus funds were used for storm events, and the City Council was currently poised to spend $317,000 of those reserve funds toward the 2014 budget needs.


          At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller advised that at this time, that would leave approximately $50,000 based on his current projections.  Mr. Miller noted that the City Council - and public - received an annual report in the spring of the following year for the prior year from the auditor with those special circumstances and other information detailed.


          Mayor Roe noted that an example of one such surplus situation showing up in reserve levels would be the decertification of a tax increment financing district.  Mayor Roe further noted that, the same certified report provided a "Budget" to "Actual" for the previous year, which may not correspond with reserve levels but informing discussions.


          In referencing the Parks & Recreation Department surplus, and in his former capacity as Chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission, Councilmember Etten noted that this large surplus was intentional by the Department to cut back or defer certain costs to increase revenue and bring the reserve closer to the target in conjunction with the Parks Renewal Program in order to accommodate any potential cost overrun or need, keeping those funds in reserve.  Councilmember Etten reiterated that this was very intentional budgeting that year to address potential capital expenditures coming up; and should not be seen as extra money, but actually created a lot of sacrifice by department staff to make that happen.


          Mayor Roe noted that the August 15, 2013 staff memorandum provided to the City Council provided cash level reserves; along with the certified annual financial report, both providing excellent information on those tax-supported funds.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller confirmed that the City had originally scheduled $275,000 for the CIP, but had reduced that to $225,000.


Councilmember McGehee reiterated her concerns in this reduction, as she had stated at previous meetings, cautioning that the CIP fund, only developed two years ago, should continue to be fully-funded, and not be allowed to regress into a situation similar to that of the Parks Improvement Program (PIP).  Councilmember McGehee noted that this City Council was striving to set something in motion for future City Councils to maintain; and without that initiative, capital expenditures would never get back on track.  Councilmember McGehee further reiterated her previous statements from past meetings regarding the need to address maintenance for new trails and capital improvements at parks, as well as the new fire station, in addition to any other costs that will come on line that have yet to be accounted for.

          At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller clarified that maintenance costs had already been programmed into the 2014 numbers for the fire station; but the park improvements had yet to happen, so that additional maintenance burden had not been addressed, and any additional funds should be little if any in 2014. Mr. Miller concurred that those costs needed to be addressed for future budget cycles, and as noted by Mayor Roe, also in long-term CIP programs.


          Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmember McGehee's concern for the need to fund ongoing maintenance of facilities.  With regard to park improvements, however, Councilmember Willmus opined that the City Council could not go down the path of not doing so, and take steps to prevent that from happening. 


          Mayor Roe noted that the CIP Task Force had rolled a number of Park improvement items into the Park CIP going forward to account for them in tracking throughout the City.  Once the Renewal Program cycles through, Mayor Roe noted that there would be expiring bond issues (e.g. City Hall and Public Works buildings) that could be repurposed to fund those adequately.  Mayor Roe noted that the Task Force had also recommended including subsequent levy increases in  the 2017 to 2019 time frame to deal with those current unknowns.  Mayor Roe encouraged that the institutional knowledge of those recommendations and their rationale needed to be clearly carried forward to future City Councils and staff.


          While most entities look at a five year CIP, Councilmember McGehee noted that the longer-term projections became less accurate the further out they were.  However, Councilmember McGehee reiterated that the City Council was choosing to reduce what was initially determined for that CIP need within the first 2 years of the program, while capital improvements continued to be added and paid for with public funds and becoming part of the asset management program, causing the program to fall short at the very beginning, and supporting the previous historical pattern of unsustainability. Councilmember McGehee opined that this needed to   continually brought home and decisions kept upfront for the citizens to uphold future City Councils to keep the pat that had been set.


          Mayor Roe note that, for at least 2015, this sitting City Council was the future council.


          Councilmember Etten clarified that the $225,000 used this year was not from reserves, but being paid by local government aid; with concurrence by Mr. Miller.  Councilmember Etten spoke in support of making sure the CIP was fully funded.


          Councilmember Willmus expressed his ongoing struggle as addressed at previous meetings related to proposed wage adjustments, basing his concern on the October market compensation adjustment, and the proposed 2% COLA for 2014, making that figure significantly outpace inflation over the last two years by 3.25%, opining that was a significant amount of money that could be used elsewhere.  Councilmember Willmus encouraged other Councilmembers to consider options; opining that the suggestion that the City be at 100% of peer cities was flat wrong.  While supporting providing fair wage and benefit package to employees, Councilmember Willmus noted that there were also other things on the table, and questioned if the City could do them all.  Councilmember Willmus opined that comparison numbers and statistics looking back 10 to 20 years could provide anything; thus his preference to look back over only two budget cycles.  Councilmember Willmus opined that this City Council should not be expected to take correction for actions of a City Council of ten years ago.


          Councilmember McGehee opined that this City Council was taking corrective action on the CIP actions of previous City Councils; and clarified that the City did not agree to provide 100% of peer cities, only 98%.  Councilmember McGehee questioned the concerns of Councilmember Willmus, opining that the City's major assets were its staff; and while the employee benefit program was not the premium plan, it was adequate; and further noted the reductions achieved in rates and costs through the City's wellness program, initiated and endorsed by staff as a cost saving measure for the City.  With 54% of the budget representing personnel costs, Councilmember McGehee noted previous concerns expressed with the 24/7 status of the City's Information Technology staff, as well as Councilmember Etten's earlier reference tonight of staff working 70-80 hours per week, opining that it represented an unsustainable work model.  Councilmember McGehee noted that, at the time the City Council agreed to make a wage adjustment based on the outside compensation study, it was clearly understood that the City would also need to implement an annual COLA to remain comparable to the market place and other communities; and was based on inflationary indexes going forward.


          Mayor Roe clarified the action taken by the City Council in October of 2013, with the City currently behind inflation; and the revisions made to address that deviation; with the projection for future considerations based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).


          Councilmember Laliberte noted the difficulty in addressing employee, resident and other needs and department priorities, with everyone wanting it all.  With the largest part of the City's assets being its staff, Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was obvious that it took a large amount of money, but cautioned that some choices needed to be made and everything couldn't be funded at 100%.  Councilmember Laliberte noted that in July, she had voted in favor of no tax increase other than the bonding obligation coming on line in 2014.


          Councilmember Etten opined that the City Council, in October, had purposely avoided a certain percentage goal, and determined a lower percentage to put it at 98%, not 100% average of peer cities.  Councilmember Etten further opined that it was not outlandish to say that the compensation level had been way below average; and noted that it didn't send a good message to staff.  By incorporating the 2% COLA for 2014, Councilmember Etten opined that it continued to keep the City of Roseville comparable with the market place and those peer communities; with the City only making that adjustment every decade, and entirely different than the annual COLA consideration.


          Request for Additional Funding for Senior Programs (RASP)

          Mayor Roe sought City Council comment and/or consensus on the request for additional funding for RASP from the current $6,000 annually to $10,000 annually. 


          Councilmember Willmus stated that he need more information on how those dollars are allocated; opining that as a representative of Roseville taxpayers, he could not subsidize programs for other communities; and needed a better understanding of how those dollars were flowing to Roseville taxpayers.


          Mr. Trudgeon noted that Mr. Miller had sent supplemental information earlier today.


          Mayor Roe noted that the supplemental information indicated that 2/3 of the people using some RASP programs were from Roseville, with Roseville citizens representing 80% of the RASP transportation program.  If the program took their $63,000 projected loss and allocated it proportionately to member cites, Mayor Roe advised that it would amount to something like $46,000 - not the $10,000 being requested.


          While they were looking for additional funding, Councilmember Etten referenced the comments of Mr. Toogood earlier tonight; and opined that further review and analysis of how this program was working through and with the community to serve seniors.  While having no problem increasing funding to this program, Councilmember Etten asked that the senior program look at directly working with and pushing more with other member communities to assist with this deficit, opining that the entire $63,000 was not entirely up to the City of Roseville, but expressed his willingness to help.


          While not begrudging RASP the additional $4,000, Councilmember McGehee suggested a task force to look at Roseville specifically, to address those goals and plans for the community.  Councilmember McGehee recognized this as a great program, and noted that historically, the City had scraped off functions for seniors in Roseville to the School District, she suggested it may be time to step forward and fund the whole thing or plan for its own senior programming.


          At the prompting of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon responded that, while too premature at this point to make a determination, a future discussion should be held, and consideration given to hearing more dialogue from the community on senior issues, and formation of a task force to study those issues and look at them collaboratively.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested a meeting within the next six months, and noted that there may be impacts to the 2015 budget to create or reinvent programs and how to make them happen.  In addressing this specific budget request, Mr. Trudgeon opined that it was relatively small in the overall budget scheme, but it was $4,000; and he offered to pass on tonight's comments, such as the involvement of other communities in funding, opining that they should be receptive to that idea.


          There was consensus on the council to support the additional $4,000 in funding for the 2014 budget, and to include it as part of the final budget decisions next week. 


          Councilmember Laliberte noted that there were other groups out there, with Mayor Roe referencing the faith community as well, who want to do things for seniors and suggested that they work together to make a bigger impact versus working separately.


          Fire Relief Association Funding

          Mr. Miller addressed current contributions and statutory obligations to the Fire Relief Fund, noting that the assumption was the need for $220,000.  However, recent supplemental funding had been passed at the last legislative session, reducing that obligation further to approximately $20,000 versus $70,000.  Mr. Miller provided several options for the City Council to consider, and asked for their direction.

1)    Reduce the portion of the tax levy dedicated to funding the Fire Relief Association;

2)    Provide the Association with more money than statutory requirements dictate; or

3)    Leave funding as is providing some contingencies for an additional $48,000 that the City no longer needed from taxpayer funding.


As the City Council's representative to the Relief Association Board, Mayor Roe noted that the City is mandated to make up the gap between state funding and  actuarial requirements; and in the past the City had been required to add funding over budgeted amounts to cover that funding gap.  However, Mayor Roe noted that, with new firefighters going into PERA versus the Fire Relief Association, they were now moving toward 100% funding and no longer requiring that gap funding.


At the request of Councilmember Etten, Mr. Miller clarified that if extra funds were put in it could provide a cushion for future years to help those future budgets; however, he also noted that there was a potential risk that if investments for the fund did not do well, that additional money may just go by the wayside.  From a staff perspective, Mr. Miller recommended that the City continue to fund according to statutes of the required amount and if additional funding was needed in the future, the City re-evaluate long-term funding requirements of the City for the Fire Relief Fund.


Councilmember Etten expressed interest in and advocated for using the $48,000 toward the General Levy before using reserves.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Miller confirmed that this supplemental funding had been received for 2013, and anticipated for 2014, subject to the State's biennial budget allotment by the state legislature.  At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Miller noted that this surplus had already been factored into the $50,000 projected surplus; and was also a legally-restricted fund; however, it did save levy money going into it.


Mayor Roe opined that his inclination was not to levy those dollars for 2014; and noted that the budget could always be increased; even though he anticipated it would be secure since the funding was part of the state's biennial budget.


Merit Pay Status

Mr. Miller clarified the $30,000 originally and tentatively earmarked for merit pay, as noted by Mr. Trudgeon that would return to the City Council at a later date for further review and discussion.  From the last discussion, Mr. Miller noted that the City Council seemed amenable to a new merit pay program, but left $30,000 in contingency funds, which was still there (page 2 of the RCA).  Mr. Miller sought to clarify that the City Council understood that this was not in the budget.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, noting that if and when the merit pay program was approved by the City Council, with staff preparing for that discussion on December 9, 2013, whether or not approved, the appropriations would then be made accordingly.  Given the timing on the calendar, Mr. Trudgeon wanted to make sure the ongoing discussion had sufficient time for decision-making and comfort levels.


Councilmember Etten opined that he continued to advocate for funding that from reserves as a one-time expenditure versus setting aside budget money going forward.


Councilmembers Laliberte and McGehee concurred that this was a more transparent method.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon noted that this showed up in a line item annually; and he didn't want to give the illusion that it was otherwise, even though funding should be part of the upcoming discussions.


          Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in hearing staff's presentation on this issue, since she had understood from previous discussions that the merit pay system was not favored by staff.


          Councilmember Etten concurred with Councilmember Laliberte, noting that how and when it was used didn't seem to be very consistent, and there needed to be some common ground for such a program to work.


          Rental Licensing Program

          While not having a 2014 levy impact, but in the context of the budget, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the program would implement a half-time position in 2014, eventually moving into a full-time position as projected revenue estimates came in to support the program for the first year of operation.  After that, however, Mr. Trudgeon noted that funding would get more complicated, but with HRA funding participation in 2015, things could work out, but after that, there may be partial funding that would need to be addressed in future years.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the program would be funded 100% in 2014 from rental licensing fees.


          Once the program is established, and using formerly set-aside funds in 2014 from the Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) that would not be done in 2014, and HRA funding at $20,000, funding in the future would need to be identified as the costs will increase based on the full-time position funded 50/50 by the City and HRA.


          At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Trudgeon advised that the HRA would not continue funding beyond that as it was anticipated that user fees could support the program and reflect future appropriations to ensure the program continued to work, with no need for HRA funding at that point.   If for some reason, the City ended up with a larger amount of A and B classified properties, and was not collecting sufficient fees, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that Community Development reserve funds be used for any funding gaps; with the start of a new 3-year cycle in 2017.  After the first year, Mr. Trudgeon anticipated that the cash flow would be better defined.


d.            Adopt Final 2014 HRA Budget and Tax Levy

Staff provided the proposed 2014 HRA Budget and Levy as detailed in the RCA dated December 2, 2013. 


Mayor Roe had several questions regarding line items, with an explanation provided by Mr. Trudgeon on formulas and the NEP program.


Councilmember Laliberte requested color-shaded columns in the next iteration; duly noted by Mr. Trudgeon.


13. Business Items (Action Items)


a.            2014 Utility Fees

Mayor Roe noted that this was a continuation of previous discussions as detailed in the RCA dated December 2, 2013.


Councilmember Laliberte advised that in her general discussions with residents unable to attend tonight, she had offered them an opportunity to provide feedback at next week's meeting; and asked that no action be taken tonight pending that public comment.


Regarding the senior discount program, and request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller advised that he had not taken the opportunity to determine if Ramsey County or other sources could provide a link with the City for income verification for a revised income-based discount program.  Councilmember McGehee requested more information by next week's meeting; noting the potential savings to the City if $290,000 currently being given for discounts was actually available in the Water Fund.


Councilmember Etten clarified that the City Council was looking for more information regarding cost ramifications for a line for income thresholds and costs to the City; with a gradual decline intended to move from seniors to income qualified households, requiring more intensive work by staff with such a program not able to be implemented at this point.


Mayor Roe, with concurrence by Mr. Miller, suggested leaving the fee structure as is at this point and adjust it accordingly at  the time the policy change is implemented.


Councilmember Etten noted that there would be significant background work required for a future system and phasing out of the current system.


Councilmember Laliberte, consistent with comments of Councilmember McGehee, spoke in support of making a change sooner rather than later; and discussions were postponed until 2014, it would be 2015 before it could be implemented, and the phasing out taking even longer.  Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of sooner rather than later implementation.


Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmembers McGehee and Laliberte, expressing interest in setting rates by December 9, 2013.


Based on his recollection of those past discussions, Mr. Miller advised that staff had heard at last week's meeting, that the City Council was interested in a different approach and removing the senior discount program in its current format.  Mr. Miller noted that additional information on income thresholds had been requested of staff; however, he noted that it would take time to determine what other jurisdictions would apply, how they did so and glean information from their processes.  Mr. Miller cautioned the need to also implement an education and awareness campaign for residents to let them know this was coming; noting that the amount of time was dependent on how informative the City Council chose to be before telling the public they were removing that senior discount.  Mr. Miller noted that 25% of single-family homes were  now qualifying for and receiving that senior discount.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller advised that he would need to thoroughly review current City ordinance related to these water rates, and any revisions subsequent to 1970 before responding to whether the program could be closed to new participants pending the program change being made.


Mayor Roe concurred that the information was necessary to the process.


Councilmember McGehee accepted Mr. Miller's recollection of the information previously requested; and proposed closing the current program to any new entrants by December 9, 2013; and set staff guidelines that by mid-year 2014, that program will have merged with a new program and educational information provided to determine if it is an efficient system; and questioned if that was a reasonable timeframe for staff.


Mr. Miller responded that, yes by July of 2014, the staff could accomplish that.


Mayor Roe directed staff to provide close-out information on the current senior discount program by December 9, 2013; to allow the City Council to set rates and address a proposed timeframe to accomplish the proposed new income-eligible discount program.


b.            Confirm Advisory Commission Reappointment/Appointment Process

Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the upcoming vacancies on various commissions, as detailed in the RCA dated December 2, 2013.


Discussion ensued regarding advisory commission cycles and whether or not to consider current commissioners if they remain interested and no candidates apply.


A consensus of Councilmembers confirmed the current process.


Councilmember Willmus excused himself from the meeting at approximately 9:39 p.m.


14.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions


a.            Unified Purchasing Discussion

Mr. Trudgeon referenced staff recommendations detailed in the RCA dated December 2, 2013.


Councilmember McGehee offered her favorable impression with the best value presentation and potential for soliciting information from vendors familiar with the product or service versus departments with limited knowledge doing the purchasing and potentially missing opportunities.


Even with a centralized purchasing person, Mr. Trudgeon opined that there would be limited cost savings, with staff already taking advantage of state contracts, consortium purchasing, and other cost factors in competitive pricing.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the bottom line was the budget, and if was beneficial for staff to obtain the lowest prices possible.


Councilmember Etten questioned any benefit and spoke in support of the current process without adding a middle person to the purchasing process, slowing down business and removing Department Heads from the decision-making process.


Councilmember Laliberte expressed appreciation for the current process; but questioned if there were citywide policies regarding purchases from one department to another, and all operating consistently beyond CIP purchases.


Mr. Trudgeon responded that large purchase decisions are made in advance, and an informal and internal policy was used providing consistency and forethought.


Mr. Miller advised that, while there were no centralized purchasing policies, many were addressed statutorily throughout city.  Mr. Miller concurred with Mr. Trudgeon on general purchases, that the total cost of ownership included not just what you buy, but its optimal replacement time, annual maintenance costs; and other considerations.  Mr. Miller noted that best practices were already involved in the purchasing function, just not through a centralized approach.


By consensus, the City Council indicated that no further consideration of unified purchasing was desired at this time.


15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

Interim City Manager Trudgeon provided a brief review of upcoming agendas.


16.         Councilmember Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Discussion was held at the prompting of Councilmember Laliberte on responses to-date from 25 of the 40 commissioners surveyed by the Commission Subcommittee; and it was the consensus that an initial review of those responses be held at the January 6, 2014 organizational meeting.  Recognizing that there may be points of agreement or disagreement among individual Councilmembers, Mayor Roe suggested this opportunity be used as a starting point in discussions, and Councilmember Etten asked that the Subcommittee provide feedback from commissions by category as well as by commission.

17.         Adjourn

Laliberte moved, Etten seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:53 p.m.


                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. 

Nays: None.