Tuesday, January 24, 2012

At City Commission Special Meeting 1/24

Just got here a few minutes ago...around 7:30 p.m.  They have discussed the City Manager hiring item and passed the property lien search fees.  Ed Fry is here and presented amendments to the budget that allow the repeal of the fire pension and street lighting assessments.  I will get the details later on the various changes.  The Mayor is speaking now and explaining the need for the changes and talking about how to prepare the next budget.  Click here for live link to meeting.

Maxwell is asking about some of the details related to the Sustainability Department's positions, including the GIS.  It has been framed that these positions were transfers from other areas of the general fund and not the creation of new positions.  They are reviewing the changes now - some include delayed hires.  I will get more detail later.

McVoy wants to keep the fire assessment - he thinks that $60 per year is $5 a month and that is a "couple of cups of coffee, depending on where you get your coffee."  It is not a heavy burden.  He doesn't remember hearing people complaining that it was too much money.  At least not the poorest people, he did hear from people of better means.  He thinks it's fair and not such a bad idea.  The Mayor asks about the business sector and McVoy thinks she has a point.  He doesn't want to send a message out that they are negative on business.  He says that it is based upon use that is higher then residents.  That use was based upon cost.  "The methodology was robust."  He is in favor of the assessment.  Amoroso is going back to the positions being kept, delayed or eliminated.  Some are moved to an April hire - so half a year.  Special Events, Marketing and Sustainability Manager are eliminated.  The Public Service director is deferred.  Commissioner Mulvehill asks about training and travel has been cur universally - where does it leave us if training is not included.  There are certifications in the department already now.  The Building division is sstill in need of some people to be certified.  For continuing certification in code compliance - more money is coming from code enforcement than "has been the history for the past ten years" - some of that money can be used for training next year.  Waters says that with the market the way it is, they have had very qualified applicants to choose from in their recent hiring.  Amoroso was concerned about training, but he feels more comfortable now hearing from Waters.

Videos coming tomorrow on discussion regarding repeal of the assessments and future implications.