View Other Items in this Archive |
View All Archives | Printable Version
City Council Meeting Minutes
October 12, 2009
1. Call Roll
Acting Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone.
(Voting and Seating Order for October: Ihlan; Roe; Johnson; Pust; and Klausing)
Acting Mayor Roe noted that Mayor Klausing was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.
City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present.
Closed Executive Session – Discuss Acquisition of portions of property located at 2785 Fairview Avenue North
City Attorney Anderson reviewed the purpose of the Closed Executive Session related to attorney/client privilege and confidential purchase offers and appraisal information in accordance with Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.01; and Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.c respectively. City Attorney Anderson noted that the meeting would be tape recorded with the tape held by the City Attorney until deemed appropriate, if applicable, for public dissemination. City Attorney Anderson noted that there had been previous threats of litigation by Hagen Properties, with those related meetings tape recorded, and suggested that this meeting be taped as well.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, recessing the meeting into Closed Executive Session, at 6:06 p.m., in accordance with Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.01, for the City Council, staff, and legal counsel to discuss attorney/client privileged information and confidential appraisal information related to a discussion regarding acquisition of portions of 2785 Fairview Avenue North; and to include Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.05, subd. 3.c for closure to discuss real property that may be subject to an offer or counter-offer to purchase.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned materials provided to Councilmembers as confidential for the executive session, and whether they were not public information.
City Attorney Anderson advised that the documents provided were solely related to the closed executive session, and were private in that sense. Mr. Anderson advised that if an agreement was reached in closed session, any subsequent action would take place in an open meeting, and upon that action, any tapes and related materials would become public.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that the memorandum from staff and draft agreements did not appear to include confidential information under the Data Privacy Act; and that such agreements were normally included in Council Agenda packets for public review. Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would be voting against discussion in closed executive session, further opining that Open Meeting Law didn’t require closure, and that such an important public issue should be discussed in open session. Councilmember Ihlan further questioned if there was actually any immediate threat of litigation at this point.
Acting Mayor Roe requested clarification from City Attorney Anderson, in reference to the appraisal, and whether it should be made public at this point.
City Attorney Anderson responded negatively, citing Minnesota Statute 13.44, with the appraisal and agreement information shared with the seller only once purchase is completed.
Acting Mayor Roe advised that, if action is to be taken, copies of related materials would be made public at that point. Acting Mayor Roe called the vote, based on tonight’s discussion, with any subsequent action in open session.
Ayes: Roe; Johnson; and Pust.
Acting Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 6:06 pm and reconvened at approximately 6:46 pm in Regular Session.
Acting Mayor Roe, upon reconvening in regular session, advised that there had been no outcome in Executive Session that would prompt action on tonight’s agenda.
2. Approve Agenda
Acting Mayor Roe advised that, based on tonight’s Closed Executive Session, Agenda Item 12.c entitled, “Consider Acquisition of Portions of Property located at 2785 Fairview Avenue,” would be removed.
Councilmember Ihlan clarified that, while no action would be taken on tonight’s agenda, it did not preclude potential action on a subsequent agenda.
Acting Mayor Roe asked that City Attorney Anderson and staff provide clarification and direction as to applicable inclusion of documentation in Council packets at that time, whether exclusive to the closed session or as a normal action item.
By consensus, and due to the absence of a full body, consideration of Agenda Item 12.b entitled, “Adopt a Resolution adopting the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and Tier II Comprehensive Sewer Plan;” was deferred until the October 19, 2009 regular business meeting.
Johnson moved, seconded by Pust to amend Council Meeting agendas to move the 2010 Budget Discussion earlier on agenda at tonight’s meeting and subsequent meetings scheduled between now and the scheduled Truth in Taxation public hearing in December; by moving that discussion to Item 10 entitled, “Presentations” in the agenda and moving other items down accordingly.
Acting Mayor Roe suggested that the motion be amended to address only tonight’s agenda, with specifics related to future agendas addressed at a later point as a rules change.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned whether any amendment of Council Rules was required; as Councilmember Johnson was simply requesting an adjustment be made for future City Council agendas until the Truth in Taxation hearing; and such action could be reaffirmed at the beginning of each meeting, depending on the urgency of other agenda items.
Councilmember Pust noted that such a process may inconvenience the public related to projected timing of agenda items.
Ayes: Ihlan; Roe; Johnson; and Pust.
City Manager Bill Malinen noted that tonight’s agenda included a scheduled Public Hearing that may be a time-sensitive item to consider.
After further deliberation, Councilmembers concurred that tonight’s agenda would revert to it’s original format, minus those items already deleted, with future agendas amended as per the above-referenced motion.
By consensus, the agenda was approved as amended.
3. Public Comment
Acting Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
a. Tam McGehee, 77 Mid Oaks Lane
Ms. McGehee provided, as a bench handout, written comments related to the City’s consideration of property acquisition and consideration of the purchase of a pumper truck.
4. Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report
Acting Mayor Roe announced the upcoming Human Rights Commission-sponsored and hosted Second Annual Welcoming Community and Diversity Forum, to be held at the Roseville Skating Center at 6:00 p.m., stemming from Imagine Roseville 2025 Community Visioning. Acting Mayor Roe noted that the event was free, but that advance registration was requested by registering at City Hall at 651 792-7026.
Acting Mayor Roe, as liaison to the North Suburban Cable Commission, noted discussions initiating in 2010 and over a three year period related to franchise agreements between cities and Comcast; and also their investigation of a new facility, with ongoing discussions on the potential use of one of the City’s Fire Stations.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of September 28, 2009 Regular Meeting
Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the minutes of the September 28, 2009 Regular Meeting as presented.
Ayes: Ihlan and Pust.
Abstentions: Johnson and Roe.
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Acting Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Acting Mayor Roe provided clarification as previously addressed with staff, on pages 3 and 4 of the Check Register, with identical items paid, one of which was in error and since credited accordingly; resulting in net actual payments of approximately $700,000 less than indicated in the Request for Council Action dated October 12, 2009.
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
a. Approve Business Licenses
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one year, for the following applicants:
Type of License
Deborah Bunde @ Red Clover Clinic
2233 N Hamline Avenue
NAD, Inc., d/b/a Adam’s Food & Fuel
2815 Rice Street
Gasoline Station License
Cigarette & Tobacco Products
Network Liquors, LLC
2727 Lexington Avenue N
b. Approve General Purchases or Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of general purchases and/or contracts as follows:
100 tons treated road salt (state
Road salt ice control (state
Safety Grit ice control material
No. Central Truck
Upper Cut Tree
Diseased and hazardous tree
c. Approve One-day Gambling License for Ramsey County Bar Association Foundation for November 14, 2009 at Midland Hills Country Club
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the request of Ramsey County Bar Foundation’s request to conduct Off-Site gambling on November 14, 2009 at the Midland Hills Country Club, located at 2001 Fulham Street.
d. Set a Public Hearing for On-Sale 3.2% Beer and Wine License for Noodles & Company
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, scheduling a Public Hearing on October 26, 2009 for an On-Sale 3.2% Beer and Wine License for Noodles & Company, located at 1655 County Road B-2.
f. Set a Public Hearing for Off-Sale 3.2% Liquor License for NAD, Inc., d/b/a Adam’s Food & Fuel to be held October 26, 2009
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, scheduling a Public Hearing on October 26, 2009 for an Off-Sale 3.2% Beer License for NAD, Inc., d/b/a Adam’s Food & Fuel, located at 2815 Rice Street.
g. Approve Skating Center/OVAL Marquee Sign
Acting Mayor Roe noted that, in accordance with City Code, the OVAL marquee sign message could not change any more than three times in a 24 hour period, and would remain essentially as the current sign, but would now be electronic.
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the requested sign replacement for the Roseville OVAL freestanding monument sign, 2661 County Road C, to be fabricated and installed by Spectrum Sign Systems.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
a. Receive Emerald Ash Borer Update (Former Consent Item 7.h)
At the request of Acting Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed this item.
Councilmember Johnson asked, for public information, how fast this disease was moving, and its proximity to Roseville from that of one year ago; and identification by staff of needs as the Council continued in budget deliberations and related to other needs.
Director of Parks and Recreation Lonnie Brokke advised that the purpose of the staff memorandum was to make the City Council aware of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) as it related to Roseville and for consideration in the 2010 budget process, not simply for removal of Ash trees identified, but also to replace those trees throughout the City. Mr. Brokke estimated that twenty-five percent (25%) of the trees in Roseville are Ash trees. Mr. Brokke estimated that the first phase of funding would be $100,000 to identify and eradicate Ash trees that were in poor shape and more susceptible to EAB. Mr. Brokke clarified that this related to only trees on City boulevards, parks or other city-owned property. Mr. Brokke reminded Councilmembers that the 2009 Budget included no funds for diseased and/or hazardous tree removal, with funding currently coming from the Park Improvement Plan (PIP), which would not be sustainable long-term, and significantly reduced and/or curtailed other park improvements.
Mr. Brokke noted that there was a mixed review on the effectiveness of treatment versus removal; and cautioned homeowners to beware of unrealistic sales tactics. Mr. Brokke advised that community volunteers were in the process of performing a tree inventory throughout the City, which he estimated was 15% completed; and that included a complete tree inventory, including count, type, and condition. Mr. Brokke emphasized the need to replace trees in those areas where eradication was indicated; and advised that a future presentation would be made once more information became available.
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, receipt of a staff report related to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
9. General Ordinances for Adoption
11. Public Hearings
a. Public Hearing to Consider an Off-Sale Liquor License for MGM Liquors, 1149 Larpenteur Avenue
Finance Director Chris Miller summarized the Request for Council Action dated October 12, 2009 for application of an Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for MGM Liquors, located at 1149 Larpenteur Avenue. Mr. Miller recommended approval, advising that all paperwork was in order; further noting that this would activate the tenth and final Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor License allowable in the City, based on current City Code.
Representatives of the applicant were present at tonight’s meeting.
Acting Mayor Roe noted that this is the former Cellars location.
Councilmember Ihlan noted that there was currently an MGM across from this location, and what the plans were for that location.
Applicant, Mike Maglish, co-owner of MGM
Mr. Maglish noted that there was another MGM located across the street in St. Paul, which included an off-sale facility as well as their corporate headquarters. Mr. Maglish advised that this new retail store was a new prototype for MGM, and the future of the existing property was unknown at this time. Mr. Maglish expressed his enthusiasm to be part of the Roseville community; and the addition of 10-12 new employees in the new MGM store.
Acting Mayor Roe opened and closed the Public Hearing at 7:20 p.m.; with no one appearing to speak.
12. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Consider an Off-Sale Liquor License for MGM Liquors, 1149 Larpenteur Avenue
Acting Mayor Roe asked if Mr. Maglish was aware of the City of Roseville Police Department’s optional server and manager training program.
Mr. Maglish advised that MGM was aware of the program, and were supportive of any training programs established by the City for training purposes of their employees; and emphasized his firm’s support for zero tolerance to youth access. Mr. Maglish advised that their firm worked closely with other communities in assuring compliance, took the issue very seriously, and would like to work closely with the City of Roseville’s personnel as well in training opportunities.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for MGM Liquors, located at 1149 Larpenteur Avenue.
Mr. Maglish and MGM were wished well in their business venture in Roseville.
b. Adopt a Resolution Adopting the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and Tier II Comprehensive Sewer Plan
As previously noted, this item was deferred to the October 19, 2009 regular business meeting.
c. Consider Acquisition of Portions of Property located at 2785 Fairview Avenue
As previously noted, there was no applicable action on this item at tonight’s meeting.
d. Authorize the Fire Department to Advertise for Bids for a Fire Rescue/Pumper
Acting Fire Chief Timothy O’Neill and Lt. Commander David Brosnahan summarized the Request for Council Action dated October 12, 2009, seeking authorization for the Fire Department to Advertise for Bids for a Fire Rescue/Pumper Apparatus and Accompanying Equipment. Acting Chief O’Neill advised that this would be replacing Engine #21, currently 22 years old, with anticipated delivery of a new truck during 2010. Acting Chief O’Neill reviewed the ages and conditions of other units in the current fleet, as detailed in the report; advising that the department attempted to obtain a minimum of 20 years for engines before their replacement. Acting Chief O’Neill reviewed effective fleet reductions to-date and related savings achieved over the last six years, while continuing to provide quality service to the community. Acting Chief O’Neill referenced the previously completed Fire Department study and equipment analysis.
Lt. Commander Brosnahan described the specifications under consideration for bid from potential vendors, a 2008/2009 model and comparisons to the current engine #21, providing for increased safety features and equipment; and reviewed recurring problems in the current unit complying with annual inspections. Lt. Commander Brosnahan reviewed the 10 member firefighter committee who had researched various vendors and units, including their teamwork and work with peer metropolitan fire departments to develop specifications.
Acting Chief O’Neill addressed increasing costs in annual maintenance of the current staffed engine, which had been a demonstration model; and advised that the department’s current balance in the Equipment Fund was at $680,000, of which it was estimated that the cost for this apparatus and equipment would be between $450,000 and $500,000.
Discussion among Councilmembers, Acting Chief O’Neill, and Lt. Commander Brosnahan included safety considerations of firefighters, in gear and tanks, as it related to seatbelts, with the proposed unit having recessed seats and three point seatbelts, as well as safety warnings, in accordance with OSHA requirements, and in order to accommodate air tanks, and included stabilized equipment provisions for roll protection.
Further discussion included status of the Fire Department’s Equipment Fund in relation to other departments and their budgets and vehicle replacement funds, and action of the City Council related to those funds during the 2009 budget cycle; and city-wide vehicle prioritization and how this vehicle ranked in relationship to the needs of other departments.
Acting Chief O’Neill noted that the Fire Department did not receive any funds in 2009 to add to the account; however, they had accumulated set-aside funds from previous years, in addition to interest and sale of the ladder truck; but had not purchased any vehicles in 2009.
Finance Director Miller noted that the City Council had suspended annual ongoing funding of Vehicle Replacement Funds in 2009; however, he noted that the Fire Vehicle Fund was a separate and distinct fund, which had previously set-aside $50 - $100,000 annually to address replacement cost needs of the department; and was suggested as a funding source for the proposed vehicle purchase. Mr. Miller clarified that the other departments did not have a separate fund that had been amassed over the years for ongoing vehicle replacements (i.e., Police, Street Maintenance, Parks), with only a nominal amount available of approximately $100,000. Mr. Miller advised that the Fire Department had set aside an amount from each annual budget for vehicle and equipment depreciation, an actual line item within the Fire Department’s budget. Mr. Miller noted that the other departments did not make this provision and depreciation charges in those funds was insufficient to pay for anything beyond one year’s needs, and could not provide long-term sustained funding, an ongoing challenge for the City’s capital investment plan (CIP).
Councilmember Johnson opined that it was his preference that the City would consider depreciation funding for other departments as well in the near future.
Additional discussion included perception for funding a Fire vehicle when not funding other vehicles, even though the Fire Department’s budget succeeded in providing for depreciation; value of assets for trading; trade comparisons for used vehicles between fire equipment and squads, depending on their condition.
Councilmember Pust opined that the Fire Department had been responsible in its budgeting; however, she noted that the funds had been saved from general tax dollars, and could be used for other purposes, particularly when faced with current budget challenges. Councilmember Pust further opined that, as difficult of a discussion as was indicated, the City Council needed to discuss the needs of other departments in addition to those of the Fire Department, even in light of their responsible management. Councilmember Pust opined that the city’s needs were the city’s needs, and unless a fire truck was a higher need, money should not be spent on a fire truck, as the City didn’t have the luxury at this time to reward the Fire Department as they should be rewarded, when compared with other unmet needs within the City.
Acting Chief O’Neill briefly reviewed the City Council’s creation, in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, of a fund for replacement costs, particularly of major vehicle purchases such as those in the Fire Department. Acting Chief O’Neill noted the ages of four department units over 18 years or older; and noted that if the fund balance was utilized for another purpose, in the near future the Fire Department would be at a zero fund balance, with difficulties similar to other departments in attempting to replace vehicles and/or equipment and unable to do so. Acting Chief O’Neill recognized other pending budget discussions; however noted that the request was to go to bid, which would be a process of approximately six weeks, and allowing the City Council to ultimately reject all bids at their discretion.
Councilmember Pust noted the distinction in costs for Fire vehicles and equipment compared to other rolling stock.
Additional discussion included vehicle replacement cycles and annual replacement of a portion of that rolling stock (i.e., Police squads); current versus preferred replacement strategies and funding; the number of calls per year that this engine responds to, estimated at approximately 1500 fire and EMS-related calls, comparable to a busy engine company in St. Paul or Minneapolis; typical staffing of the vehicle with between two to four; and the department’s continual evaluation of their vehicles and equipment, based on maintenance and life expectancy, with Acting Chief O’Neill anticipated that it would be five or six years before replacement of another engine would be necessary, depending on the number of stations determined for operation.
Councilmember Johnson opined that the Fire Department account didn’t seem to be the problem, when they were utilizing their depreciation as it should be and should serve as an example for the City Council in appropriating pro rata funding for other department rolling stock and equipment needs. Councilmember Johnson advised that he didn’t see this as the Fire Department being rewarded, but that it appeared to be working as government should work. Councilmember Johnson noted that while previous City Council’s had abandoned compliance with depreciation accounts, it was important to recognize this as working and move forward to address other rolling stock needs in a less problematic way. Councilmember Johnson expressed his appreciation to the Department for a refreshing look at funding that was working well.
Johnson moved, Roe seconded, authorization for the Fire Department to seek bids for the purchase of a new Fire Rescue/Pumper apparatus and accompanying equipment for said apparatus.
Councilmember Ihlan, while having similar concerns to those of Councilmember Pust, noted that supporting this request was not the equivalent of authorizing purchase; and that an opportunity to revisit subsequent purchase would be possible following further reprioritization exercises in the budget process and in comparison with needs of other departments. Councilmember Ihlan noted that it was apparent that the department was thinking of long-term needs, and that there would be remaining funds to provide future efficiencies as well.
Councilmember Pust spoke in support of the motion; and commended the department on the work they had done in achieving this fund; and expressed her desire that purchase could ultimately be realized.
Acting Mayor Roe echoed the comments of Councilmembers Ihlan and Pust.
Ayes: Ihlan; Roe; Johnson; Pust
Acting Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:00 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:10 p.m.
13. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
a. 2010 Budget Prioritization Process – Phase #1
Councilmember Ihlan noted that the proposed 2010 Budget Meeting Schedule did not reflect the previously-discussed opportunities for public input prior to the Truth in Taxation public hearing date.
Acting Mayor Roe concurred and sought consensus of Councilmembers for an appropriate date.
Councilmember Ihlan suggested November 9 or 16, 2009 at the latest.
Councilmember Pust opined that it was her recollection that there was a consensus to provide that opportunity, but that a specific date had not been chosen.
City Manager Malinen noted that there was an additional meeting date of November 23, 2009 that was not listed on the schedule.
Councilmember Roe noted that this was Thanksgiving week, and as a practical matter suggested that the public hearing not be scheduled that week due to holiday travel schedules.
Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her support of an earlier hearing date, such as November 9 or 16, at mid-point in the budget process.
Finance Director Miller noted that there were a series of iterations in rankings, depending on how far along the City Council was in that process at tonight’s meeting, and on October 19, 2009; allowing sufficient time for staff to arrive at composite rankings to attached 2010 budget numbers to do.
Further discussion ensued related to the schedule, with Acting Mayor Roe suggesting that November 16, 2009 be tentatively scheduled for public input, with further adjustments made accordingly as indicated.
Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her previously-expressed concerns from other meetings in not having a staff-recommended budget from which to work, which she was finding a real handicap in prioritizing in the abstract without an overall spreadsheet budget providing funding specific to each department, whether by line item or more general in nature. Councilmember Ihlan emphasized that she really needed to have that information before her for any meaningful prioritization and ultimate allocations, and asked that the City Council be provided with that information, at least corresponding to the Preliminary Tax Levy to allow the City Council and public something from which to work. Councilmember Ihlan noted a recent press release from staff informing residents that it may be necessary to scale back or suspend programs and/or services in 2010; however there was not budget framework from which to determine potential cuts or suspensions.
Councilmember Johnson opined that he was prepared to move forward with the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process as proposed by staff.
Councilmember Pust opined that additional information would be needed to get to budgetary decision-making. Councilmember Pust noted her consistent skepticism about the BFO process; however, expressed her intention to listen more than speak tonight; noting that at this point, she concurred that additional information was needed.
Acting Mayor Roe advised that the Springsted report had provided the 2009 budget information as a starting point, with 200 programs or functions listed, and their cost to provide in 2009. Acting Mayor Roe opined that the process of setting priorities didn’t need to be linked to dollar amounts at this phase of the process; recognizing that through the remainder of the process, feedback from staff would be required as to ranking impacts for delivery of services and/or programs, at which time the numbers would feed into the process. Acting Mayor Roe opined that he was willing to do the ranking or prioritization in an abstract manner; however, he recognized that it may be difficult for those not used to processing in that way or needing a proposal to react to. However, Acting Mayor Roe advised that the City Council needed to make some indications to staff and the community of their proposed rankings, allowing their reaction, negatively or positively; and in light of the not-to-exceed preliminary levy in place.
Councilmember Ihlan noted that the Preliminary Levy had been set, without a corresponding budget, with a budget needed as a benchmark to ensure that the City Council didn’t miss their absolute deadline of December 31, 2009. Councilmember Ihlan requested receipt of a budget, as previously requested, by October 26, 2009, allowing the City Council and public alternatives to consider. Councilmember Ihlan advised that she could not get around the concept of BFO and ranking without a global budget as a framework.
Ihlan moved, Pust seconded, requesting a 2010 staff-recommended budget, similar to that presented in 2009, as a framework for the BFO process.
Councilmember Pust suggested that the motion be tabled until after tonight’s BFO discussion.
Councilmember Ihlan concurred, conditioned that it would be considered immediately following this discussion.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, tabling the above-referenced motion.
Acting Mayor Roe noted that the City Council had passed a Preliminary Budget in the dollar amount of $38,213,000 on September 14, 2009; which was essentially the 2009 budget amount in addition to adjustments for mandated and/or contractual obligations in 2010.
Finance Director Miller reviewed staff’s rationale in recommending a different budgeting approach and their advocacy for the BFO process; recognizing that it would be challenging and requiring patience on the part of the City Council, staff and the public; but anticipating a favorable end product. Mr. Miller noted that the City had been on an unsustainable budget path for several years, and even after hours upon hours of public debate, little was accomplished to put the City back on a path of sustainability. Mr. Miller, from staff’s perspective, advised that if staff provided a recommended budget, it would serve no productive purpose other than to repeat previous processes without sustainability. Mr. Miller recognized that the BFO process was new, it was change, and initially difficult and awkward; however, he assured the public and City Council that staff was committed to bringing the City back to greatness, but it couldn’t be done without the City Council’s leadership and direction for long-term sustainability, rather than short-term fixes or deferrals.
Mr. Miller briefly reviewed packet information, with staff’s expansion of the Springsted analysis, and proposed ranking process for those mandated and those discretionary or elective services and programs. Mr. Miller noted staff’s inclusion of current levels of service based on their individual experiences and comparables with peer communities, constituting a “best guess” perspective in context with performance measures/service standards, or outputs and how goals and objectives are being met, while not applicable to all programs and services. Mr. Miller noted that staff was available to respond to any questions as the City Council began prioritizing on a preliminary basis, understanding that the process itself was dynamic, but transparent based on value judgments of individual Councilmembers, and corporately as a body. Mr. Miller advised that, once the preliminary ranking was provided, staff would then attach 2010 budget figures accordingly, which was slated for Council consideration in a few weeks. However, Mr. Miller noted the importance of determining ranking without cost identification in this initial phase.
Acting Mayor Roe, referencing Attachment B, noted that, in assigning highest priority to mandated items, was it fair to say, just because something was mandated, it may not require the City’s highest level of resources, as long as it was accomplished (i.e., minimum compliance versus the “gold standard”).
Mr. Miller noted that this was an excellent observation; and that when staff analyzed services and programs, they found that with many of those mandated items, minimum compliance was being achieved. Mr. Miller further noted that some functions had been broken out further, not necessarily by line, but as a specific piece of various programs; and that staff could provide additional explanation to assist the City Council in their ranking process. Mr. Miller advised that part of this was how Roseville was distinct from other communities and why people chose to live in Roseville.
Mr. Miller noted, from a procedural standpoint in Attachment B, if the Council so elected, they could make the process as anonymous as possible for initial compilation of rankings.
Acting Mayor Roe noted that all Councilmembers may not be prepared to do their rankings tonight; and that it may be prudent to concentrate on discussion and questions for staff, allowing for more deliberation on that prioritization following receipt of that information.
Councilmember Johnson opined that it made sense to move forward with the proposed format to determine if additional areas are indicated or further categories needed.
Acting Mayor Roe advised that he wanted to be accountable to voters, and found no need for anonymity, but preferred a transparent process; and suggested review of Attachments A and B, seeking clarification or questions of staff as became apparent; and recommended proceeding by department rather than by individual Councilmember.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned why all departments (i.e., Community Development) were not included, anticipating that concentration was on property tax-funded programs. Councilmember Ihlan opined that, while basically funded by fee, those programs also impacted taxpayers and were essentially funded with public monies. Councilmember Ihlan expressed her interest in performing the BFO process globally for all departments.
Mr. Miller advised that it was staff’s rationale to tackle those programs first, as it was staff consensus that the City was not in a good position to achieve the BFO process for the entire budget, given that the tax-supported programs were the City’s largest problem areas. Mr. Miller advised that, once this initial BFO ranking was completed, the other departments could be considered; however, he noted that those departments were not as time-sensitive for setting the 2010 budget as the proposed General Fund programs and services.
Acting Mayor Roe noted that it was staff’s recommendation to initiate the BFO process at this point.
Further discussion included funding for fee-based community development programs and services, funding substantially by Building Permit fees; State Law requirements related to fees charged and a nexus to services provided, thus the stand-alone nature of the Community Development Department and functions and segregation of their revenues; identification of acronyms and membership links, whether mandatory or discretionary and rationale for participation.
Councilmember Pust noted that the information request related to membership, their function and their cost, was the additional information covered in the motion on the table, thus the need for prioritization values of such memberships, noting that this was always a budget issue.
Mr. Miller admitted that staff did not anticipate that question.
With reference to Attachment A, page 1, and “Other” in the amount of $177,000; Councilmember Ihlan sought clarification as to what that actually included and how it should be ranked.
Mr. Miller advised that he had attempted to preserve the integrity of the Springsted report; and this “Other Unallocated” category was taken from employee time-spent profiles, and their hours apportioned out to many different functions, some as a group and some on an individual level, but not specific to any program or function and difficult to categorize. Mr. Miller asked that Councilmembers use Attachment B, providing more detail for programs and functions in their prioritization process.
Councilmembers proceeded through each department, asking questions of staff as applicable, including levels of service; contingencies allotted in the Finance Department for all departments; ongoing maintenance of department-specific software that was not included in the Joint Powers Agreements (JPA’s) with other cities; and request for a breakdown from the Police Department for mandated programs, whether state or City ordinance mandated, with the information to be provide via e-mail to Councilmembers for their information.
Councilmember Johnson sought clarification from Acting Chief Mathwig, based on citizen requests, of the philosophical relationship of the Fire and Police Departments and first responders to people requesting service, and whether current staffing was “overkill” and could be trimmed.
Acting Chief Mathwig advised that, based on the Police Department’s philosophy, all licensed officers were licensed first responders, and first on the scene. Acting Chief Mathwig advised that, upon their arrival and assessment of the scene, it would be determined if and when they could leave the scene for other calls once other assistance had arrived; and had proven a workable system, allowing streamlined and responsive delivery of service.
Acting Mayor Roe clarified for all departments, in terms of looking at service standards, once this first phase was completed, additional information would be needed related to management of staff and funding to make the process work even better. Acting Mayor Roe encouraged individual Councilmembers to e-mail or call staff with additional questions as they proceeded through their ranking processes.
Acting Fire Chief O’Neill clarified that fire categories (i.e., firefighting, EMS, equipment purchases) had a dollar amount assigned; however, he advised that those amounts included not only the cost of the program, but allocation staff time in performing those duties.
Further discussion related to the Fire Department function included percentage of fire and/or emergency calls on highways versus residential estimated to be 1 – 2%; 70% medical-related calls; set-asides for rolling stock replacement funds and recognition that not all departments have a depreciation mechanism in place; station duties and maintenance for facilities and/or equipment, with firefighters maintaining facilities (i.e., snow removal, lawn care, janitorial services) and most maintenance on small equipment in accordance with OSHA requirements on a daily or weekly basis during their shift assignments as part of their duties; and light maintenance work performed by the Fire Marshal; third party work for major maintenance items.
Councilmember Johnson sought clarification of how first responder units were dispatched by the Fire Department.
Acting Fire Chief O’Neill advised that the suburban vehicle was dispatched for anything less than a full cardiac arrest to assess the situation; approximately 500 lift assists done annually, and depending on the needs indicated; with most calls handled by on-call staff unless a larger event that would require bringing personnel in from home, which happened approximately 30 times annually.
Acting Police Chief Mathwig noted that every medical call is different, with the caller not always able to provide exact details, or providing inadequate or erroneous information, and that by providing first responders from the Police Department, they could better assess a situation and provide that additional information to additional personnel.
Acting Chief O’Neill concurred; noting that many calls came into dispatch as one thing, and turned out to be an entirely different situation; and that it was advantageous for the Fire Department to have the Police Department respond first, for safety considerations as well, followed by the Fire Department freeing the officer from patient control until Allina responded to transport.
Acting Mayor Roe, in moving on to the Public Works Department, noted their negative amount under unallocated.
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that this was do to the way the department tracked their information and broke down categories; and noted that, as he was reviewing the information during tonight’s meeting, may have found several areas that were double-counted in that negative unallocated amount, and needing correction.
Discussion specific to the Public Works Department included allocation of funds for right-of-way maintenance in problem areas that were not the responsibility of the City, but based on complaints and reduced maintenance operations of other agencies (i.e., County and State) were handled by the City.
Further discussion on the need to distinguish tree maintenance by the Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Works Department, with Public Works addressing tree canopies in public rights-of-way during the winter, and Parks and Recreation addressing diseased and hazardous trees.
Councilmember Johnson opined the need for coordination of the two departments on tree maintenance, removal and replacement.
Mr. Schwartz advised that the department was leveling off on mill and overlay of pavements; however, on the utility side, that area was growing and was duly reflected in the CIP for a number of years. Mr. Schwartz anticipated an annual 3-4 miles of mill and overlay of City streets, as well as some Minnesota State Aid (MSA) maintenance requirements; and minimal reconstruction projects anticipated.
Parks and Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke noted the numerous, and often inter-related services and program categories in his department; and the vital impact made by community volunteers in delivery of services and programs. Mr. Brokke noted that the department was 50-60% fee-supported, with revenues often inter-related as well. Mr. Brokke advised that measurement procedures and levels of service were in place based on surveys of all programs, as well as summary reports and regular comment mechanisms.
Discussion included level of services and available facilities impacting senior citizen and arts programs; satisfaction related to offerings available or demands; number of programs versus expectations and available facilities; the accreditation process related to maintenance; and fee-based portion compared to property-tax supported programs and services.
Mr. Miller noted that, in Phase II of this BFO process, an additional column will be added showing program-related revenues attributable; and how much property tax will be needed to support all 140 programs.
Further discussion included those youth programs that are self-sustaining and not relying on any tax dollars; and additional facility and staffing costs.
Councilmember Johnson opined that this is where application of philosophical values and community contributions came into the picture (i.e., girl’s gymnastic program) and the need to be mindful of the intrinsic value of programs and services to the community; as well as the need to continue youth programming to provide positive activities.
Discussion related to miscellaneous areas included set-aside funds included in the 2008 referendum for major repairs and replacements; information technology (IT) funding requirements; surplus monies generated by the License Center, and upcoming facility and equipment diminishing those surplus funds; development of an in-place cost-allocation sharing model for the shared IT fund and applicable indexing on a percentage basis; and maintenance, not reconstruction of the pathway system.
Councilmember Ihlan renewed her motion to get a proposed budget by the end of October in order to have a “big picture” budget and line item proposed budget to put the rankings in context.
Councilmember Johnson sought clarification from staff that it was staff’s intent to provide that information.
Mr. Miller concurred that, once priorities had been received from individual Councilmembers, a staff-recommended budget would be presented based on those priorities, and was earmarked as Phase II scheduled to take place at the November 9 or November 16, 2009 regular meeting.
Acting Mayor Roe opined that this fit into the general timeframe requested by Councilmember Ihlan.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that this was much later than her request; opining that the Council needed clear trends to set the budget, and that a basic, staff-proposed budget was necessary, as presented in past years, and identifying budget gaps and inflationary needs. Councilmember Ihlan opined that staff was aware of where the pressures existed, information not known to individual Councilmembers, and that it was necessary for the City Council to defer to staff for their day-to-day management and administration to identify where the trade-offs exist and what funding needs there are. Councilmember Ihlan further opined that abstract rankings won’t be meaningful without that information; and that a staff-proposed budget was crucial. Councilmember Ihlan expressed frustration and puzzlement in a lack of concurrence from her colleagues related to this matter.
Acting Mayor Roe opined that he anticipated that this would be part of the discussion on November 9; and further opined that it was unfair to staff to ask them to put together a budget without Council priorities, when the whole purpose of the BFO exercise was to provide direction and ranking priorities. Acting Mayor Roe noted that it was conflicting to support the previous approach, or this approach and ask staff to duplicate their efforts.
Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her frustration with this process, and past practice in staff providing spreadsheets at a department level for staff’s perceived needs; opining that this proposed process was not efficient as it related to one of the most important functions of the City in determining fees and taxes. Councilmember Ihlan opined that, while it may be fine to complete the prioritization exercise, she was unclear why a proposed budget could not be available before mid-November.
Acting Mayor Roe, with all due respect to Councilmember Ihlan, reviewed the purpose of the BFO process in identifying as a community what the preferences and priorities were; and the subsequent focus of resources accordingly. Acting Mayor Roe noted that the same process used repeatedly in the last years did not provide for sustainability over the years. Acting Mayor Roe indicated that, once individual Councilmembers had done their initial ranking independent of dollar amounts, staff would then provide the additional budget figures requested by Councilmember Ihlan, representing the next phase of the BFO process. Acting Mayor Roe opined that this process would ultimately be more valuable to the City Council as decision-makers rather than the current crystal ball best guesses by staff.
Councilmember Pust asked Mr. Miller, if the information based on the 2009 budget, was readily available, perhaps it could be provided earlier to allow those needing to process information in a different manner to have access to the numbers earlier in the process. Councilmember Pust sought, without overburdening staff, to have sufficient information as it related to employee health care costs and potential COLA increases included as part of the decision-making at this time, rather than later.
Mr. Miller advised that the 2009 numbers were included on the matrix (Attachment A) in the packet, but that the 2010 numbers were not yet available, with open enrollment pending for employee health care, and other COLA figures not yet available.
Acting Mayor Roe suggested that staff plug into Attachment A more specific items on Attachment B as a helpful starting point.
Councilmember Pust noted that some decision-makers needed numbers from which to work.
Mr. Miller advised that it was staff’s goal to have the numbers included with the priorities and rankings by November 9, 2009; allowing staff to bring forward a staff-recommended budget at that time, program by program, and resources needed to accomplish goals and objectives; allowing the City Council to reallocate or eliminate programs or services accordingly.
Councilmember Johnson opined that the City Council had made an agreement with staff with the Council majority voted on the BFO approach and process; and should be working on the process, rather than the ongoing debate. Councilmember Johnson noted that there was an additional meeting, October 26, 2009 not included on the schedule, allowing additional time for staff to get the numbers into the rankings, or Phase II of the process. Councilmember Johnson offered his continued support of the BFO process, keeping debate to a minimum to accomplish the task at hand.
Acting Mayor Roe noted that staff may need two weeks to compile the information to provide to Councilmembers.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that, in requesting this information, she was trying to make a good faith effort to do prioritizations; however, again expressed her frustration with the lack of support of her colleagues. Councilmember Ihlan questioned why, if she liked to use numbers, why she couldn’t receive the requested numbers to allow her to do her job. Councilmember Ihlan, related to employee health care costs, opined that it was unproductive to put the City Council in a position that programs and/or services would need to be cut to accommodate adequate health care benefits for employees.
Acting Mayor Roe advised that Mr. Miller had already been requested to apply the numbers, based on the 2009 budget and Springsted report.
Councilmember Ihlan renewed and expanded upon her motion:
Ihlan moved, Pust seconded, requesting a 2010 staff-recommended budget by October 26, 2009, that corresponded to the preliminary budget and levy, similar to that presented in 2009, as a framework for the BFO process and for discussion purposes.
Councilmember Johnson expressed confidence that the information would come forward as the BFO process proceeded; however, he recognized that Councilmember Ihlan was apparently indicating that she needed additional information that the process wasn’t providing. Councilmember Johnson noted that he had recommended that more discussion be provided on October 26, 2009; including showing the 2010 preliminary budget.
Councilmember Pust noted that the motion on the table was for the dollar figures to be included as they were associated with the programs/services on the Attachments.
Councilmember Johnson clarified that his proposal was that the ranking be completed first, then Mr. Miller would introduce the proposed budget as Phase II of the process.
Mr. Miller reviewed the purpose of the BFO process, in determining what the City wanted to be great at first, then establishing the budget. However, Mr. Miller advised that staff would proceed as requested in a vacuum, or providing their best guess, for Council reaction which wouldn’t reflect Council priorities at that point.
Councilmember Pust clarified that there were two (2) different things under discussion and different intents in the proposed motion. Councilmember Pust indicated that she was not seeking staff to decide priorities, but was asking for monetary values to be included on Attachment B from the Springsted report as she made her prioritization factors. Councilmember Pust asked that this variable be included if the number currently existed to assist her in making her rankings.
Acting Mayor Roe suggested that this was not the intent of the maker of the motion.
Councilmember Pust concurred and asked that the maker of the motion allow her to restate the motion that staff provide numbers that corresponded to Attachment B to make personal prioritization decisions and within the same timeframe as proposed.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would accept that as a friendly amendment; as long as numbers were provided for employee health care and COLA for 2010, since they would need to be incorporated into a final budget; by including items in Attachment B and attaching dollar amounts, and providing feedback related to COLA discussion and employee health care costs as related aggregately to other inflationary impacts.
Mr. Miller noted that there appeared to be two intended actions: one for 2009 figures to be incorporated; and one to provide 2010 numbers, as requested by Councilmember Ihlan.
Acting Mayor Roe clarified the motion on the table to use the Springsted report numbers to update Attachment B; and preliminary projections for employee health care costs and COLA decisions.
Ayes: Ihlan; Roe; and Pust.
Further discussion included clarification that Councilmembers would hear from City Manager Malinen on October 26, 2009 with the requested updates to Attachment B; projected numbers for health care costs based on the current open enrollment status; and COLA projections.
City Manager Malinen expressed appreciation to the Council for their willingness to continue the BFO process. City Manager Malinen noted that there were not additional personnel costs factored into the process at this time.
Acting Mayor Roe opened discussion for public comment at this time.
Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane
Mr. Grefenberg concurred with the need for numbers as part of this process for senior citizens and others on fixed or limited incomes to allow effective community responses, including potential COLA and related personnel costs.
Mr. Grefenberg expressed appreciation for tonight’s discussion, in particular the questions brought forward by Councilmember Johnson related to Fire and Police personnel being dispatched; however expressed the need for further information on the current level of funding in those departments and whether desk or squad jobs. Mr. Grefenberg opined that he didn’t see the BFO process as all-inclusive without that additional information being provided.
Acting Mayor Roe asked that staff add these matrixes to the City’s website, and noted their availability at City Hall as well, to provide additional information beyond the packet materials, to allow a better community understanding of the process and whether the City Council performed their ranking and prioritization well or not.
14. City Manager Future Agenda Review
15. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:20 pm.