City Council (View All)
Thursday, April 20, 2017
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 20, 2017
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, and Darrow were present. Councilor Rosenthal was absent.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Discussion of policy priorities for the 2017-2019 Biennium
Interim Finance Director Bev Adams addressed the General Fund in a document submitted into the record. The General Fund had an $800,000 contingency and an Ending Fund Balance (EFB) of $1,692,204. The EFB was based on 3% of annual operating expenditures per the Financial Policy. The carryover met the policy requirement by 98.4%. Electric, Telecommunications, Insurance Services, and Parks were under the Financial Policy threshold. She went on to correct a statement made the night before regarding the Housing Trust Fund. Housing Trust Funds were budgeted.
Interim Fire Chief Dave Shepherd clarified funds for the Deputy Fire Marshall was $35,000 and not $64,000.
Council voted on the following items:
4 CEAP Implementation: Three votes from Councilor Slattery, Seffinger, and Darrow
7 Parking: no votes
9 Housing Trust Fund: Three votes from Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery, and Darrow
Councilor Darrow wanted to discuss ways to fund all of the items. Councilor Lemhouse suggested retaining them all and moving the ones that did not get votes to the bottom of the list.
14 Rebuild Reserve Fund: Four votes from Councilor Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, and Seffinger
17 Assistant City Administrator: Two votes from Councilor Slattery and Darrow
18 Citywide Urban Design Plan: No votes
22 Emergency Shelter Contract: Two votes from Councilor Lemhouse and Darrow
DH1 Permit Ombudsperson: Four votes from Councilor Slattery, Morris, Seffinger, and Darrow
DH2 1 FTE Deputy Fire Marshall: Two votes from Councilor Slattery and Morris
Council discussed issues they had prioritizing the items and assigning revenue without knowing the complete budget. Some thought these meetings should have occurred during the off year with a full Budget Committee. Other comments were frustrated with the overall process. Council preferred prioritizing the items and having staff designate revenue streams.
Council approved #1-34 on the BN2017-19 Possible Revenue Sources document. Councilor Darrow wanted information on possibly using income from ambulance services for police staffing, a utility user’s tax on cell phone tower use, and a carbon tax. She also wanted to know if the $150,000 in #18 Citywide Urban Design Plan could be used for parking as well as what a 1% reduction across the board in the budget would produce in additional funds. Ms. Adams clarified it could not be a 1% reduction across the board due to fund restrictions. It would apply to the General Fund and possibly a couple other areas. Councilor Darrow wanted to address the employee contribution to the health insurance fund and suggested researching a progressive fee along with an increase in the deductibles. Mayor Stromberg suggested reviewing Councilor Darrow’s suggestions during the next biennium since formal budget meetings began the following week.
Councilor Lemhouse wanted the marijuana tax used for programs that could be altered or delayed and not for personnel. Interim Assistant City Administrator Adam Hanks explained there were two parts to the marijuana tax, city, and state. The state tax was restricted and city was not. Mr. Karns clarified healthcare deductibles and prescription co-pays were increasing July 1, 2017.
Council wanted staff to find money for Community Development training and the winter shelter contract outside of the priorities and remove them from the list. For the CEAP and Assistant City Administrator positions, Council suggested seeing if current staff could cover both positions without hiring by shifting workload. Council was interested in using parking funds for other projects. The Mayor and staff would set up a final special meeting to discuss budget priorities and revenue streams.
Meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor