Budget Review Committee
May 28, 2013
Page 2
Minutes

BUDGET REVIEW COMMITTEE
May 26, 2015

Members Present: Chairperson Berry Henderson, Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh and Councilors R. Gary Allen, Mike Baker, Jerry “Pops” Barnes, Glenn Davis, Bruce Huff, and Judy W. Thomas. Councilor Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson arrived at 2:08 p.m. Also present was Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, City Manager Isaiah Hugley, City Attorney Clifton Fay, Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge, Clerk of Council Tiny B. Washington and Deputy Clerk of Council Lindsey Glisson.

Members Absent: Councilor Tom Buck was absent for this meeting.



Call to Order: Chairperson Henderson called the meeting to order at 2:08 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, of the City Service Center.


The following documents were distributed around the Council table: Responses to Questions and Requests made at the May 19, 2015 Meeting, General Fund ADD/DELETE List, OLOST Funds ADD/DELETE List, Other Funds ADD/DELETE List, Past Budget Comparison of the Sheriff’s Department’s Line Items for Medical, Uniforms & Food Cost for the Muscogee County Jail, and Past Budget Comparison for the Clerk of Municipal Court’s Budget

Provided below is a summarization of discussions as it pertains to the ADD/DELETE List, as well as, any suggestions or recommendations made to the Budget Review Committee.
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Chairman Henderson begins the meeting by stating, the Budget Review Committee will be going through the Add/Delete List one item at a time to address any concerns or discussions to be had by the committee.

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Councilor Thomas stated, she went through the budget line by line, and came up with four categories that she believes should be evaluated, and would like to submit as a referral. The four categories are 6601 Education & Training, which she was told by Finance this line item should be registration fees associated with conferences or classes; the second is 6641 Travel, Schools & Conferences, according to Finance should be devoted to meals, hotel, airfare and millage to attended these conferences and classes; third is, 6657 Membership Dues & Fees, which she believes is associated with the other line items; the last category is 6622 Mobile Phones.

Councilor Thomas gave the following information:

Category:
Funds expended only from the General Fund:
Total cost expended from General Fund and Other Funds (Paving, Sewage, and Civic Center Funds):
6622
Mobile Phones
$153,884
$193,582
6601
Education & Training
$223,300
$280,736
6641
Travel, Schools & Conferences
$291,523
$392,940
6657
Membership Dues & Fees
$138,525
$154,642

Councilor Thomas goes on to say, Council needs to have a discussion on whether or not it is appropriate for almost a million dollars to be spent on these particular line items.

In addition to the referrals made by Councilor Thomas, Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh requests staff to see if there are any offsets to the cost of travel for departments. For example, when Councilors attend conferences or training, the initial payment is made by the City to avoid paying taxes or extra fees. Once the payment is paid by the City, Councilors are required to refund the full amount expended out of the budget.

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Deputy City Manager Hodge explained, the committee will go through each of the items on the Add/Delete List individually, and there must be a total of 6 votes to either be added or deleted from the budget that was submitted.

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GENERAL FUND, ADD/DELETE LIST:

ADD: Parks & Recreation, Security Cameras ($159,379):

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh asked that the security cameras be deleted from the list, and for the Director of Parks & Recreation to apply for a Crime Prevention Grant for these funds.
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ADD: Naval Museum, Subsidy for Payroll ($78,000):

Councilor Huff made a motion to approve the addition of $78,000 to the budget for the payroll subsidy of the Naval Museum, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh asked if the representative for the Naval Museum was present due to the fact there was a possibility these funds could come from another source. Deputy City Manager Hodge responded, the representative was invited, but he was not present at the time.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh requested that this item be delayed until the representative was present. At that time, Councilor Huff withdrew his motion.
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ADD: Tax Commissioner, Take Down Walls ($25,000 estimate):

Councilor Allen made a motion for the addition of $25,000 to the Tax Commissioner’s Budget for the take down of walls in that office, seconded by Councilor Thomas.

Tax Commissioner Lula Huff comes forward to state she wishes to withdraw her budget request for $25,000 to remove a wall in her office. Due to salary savings in her current budget, there are sufficient funds available. In her statement, Commissioner Huff requests permission to remove the walls.

Councilor Allen then withdrew his earlier motion to approve the addition.

Councilor Davis made a motion to delete this item from the list. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting and Councilor Woodson having not arrived yet.
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ADD: Elections & Registration, Elections Expenses ($95,800):

ADD: Elections & Registration, Car Allowance for Director ($7,590):

Councilor Allen made a motion to approve the addition of $95,800 for election expenses and $7,590 for the director’s car allowance in the Elections & Registration Budget, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh.

Councilor Davis then made a substitute motion to approve only the $95,800 for election expenses. This motion died for lack of a second.

With the table being turned by the original motion, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated, the offset for these two items will be 0.25 days of Fund Balance. The motion was then carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: City Manager, Citizen Services Technician G10 ($50,773):

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained, this particular position was in the Mayor’s Office for many years, but was transferred to the City Manager’s Office when the current Mayor took office. The reason for this budget transfer being a part of the FY16 Proposed Budget is to list the position within the appropriate department.

After some discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Tuner Pugh made a motion to delete this item from the Delete List. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Parks & Recreation, 28 Lawn Mowers ($225,000):

Councilor Woodson stated, she requested 4 lawn mowers to be added to the list, that Councilor Huff requested the 28.

In response to a question asked by Councilor Huff, Parks & Recreation Director Dr. Worsley discussed the impact to his department depending on the number of lawn mowers approved.

After some discussion, Councilor Woodson made a motion to add $32,140 for 4 lawn mowers to the Parks & Recreation budget, seconded by Councilor Huff.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh made a substitute motion to approve the 4 lawn mowers, but to re-evaluate at mid-year to determine whether or not additional lawn mowers can be purchased. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and found inconclusive, with Councilors Henderson, Huff, Thomas, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, and Councilors Allen, Baker, Barnes and Davis voting no, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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Deputy City Manager Hodge stated, at the beginning of the meeting there was 60.37 days in Fund Balance, with the additions having been made so far, the Fund Balance is at 60.12 days.
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ADD: Engineering, Sr. Traffic Signal Technician ($46,528):

Councilor Woodson made a motion to approve the addition of $46,528 for a Senior Traffic Signal Technician in the Engineering Department Budget. The motion died for the lack of a second.
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DELETE: Information Technology, Network Engineer G19 ($57,678):

Councilor Thomas made a motion to delete the position of Network Engineer from the Information Technology Budget for $57,678. Seconded by Councilor Allen and was passed by a six to two vote, with Councilors Allen, Barnes, Davis, Henderson, Huff, Thomas and Woodson voting yes, and Councilors Baker and Turner Pugh voting no, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, 8 Investigator Positions ($428,423) / DELETE: Columbus Police Department, 7 Investigators, 1 Crime Analyst ($428,423):

In response to a question asked by Chairperson Henderson, Mayor Tomlinson stated, the Columbus Police Department (CPD) requested 10 investigators and 5 crime analysts in their FY16 budget request. This request would cost more than the City is able to provide; therefore, in attempt to meet the needs of CPD, there was duplicative services found in 2 out of 3 units within the Sheriff’s Department. There are a Narcotics Investigative Unit, Criminal Investigative Unit and a Jail/Other Investigative Unit within the Sheriff’s Department. Looking at the Department’s own resource line item analysis and other information obtained through Human Resources, the proposal is to take the 8 investigators associated with Narcotics and Criminal Investigation Units, leaving the Jail Investigators in the Muscogee County Jail.

Mayor Tomlinson explained that Major Massey stated some of the investigators had been pulled to cover the court security at the Government Center. She said this is normal for elected officials to authorize, but the City is paying the salary of investigators. The proposal leaves the higher ranking investigators, taking 8 to help cover the 10 investigators requested by CPD, and 1 of the 5 analysts needed.

Councilor Thomas stated that this is the explanation of the Administration, not the Sheriff’s Department. She said it is up to Council to listen to the explanation of each to come to a conclusion, and she believes it is a mistake to move these investigators out of the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department knows what is necessary for their office.

Mayor Tomlinson stated, she understands this is a difficult place, but this came as a request from Council during the FY15 budget process for the administration to see if there are duplicative services in the law enforcement agencies. She further stated, there may be more duplicative services within the agencies, but this was the most obvious where you can clearly see there is a Narcotics Investigative Unit in two offices, and there being a real need for investigators in CPD, which is our primary law enforcement agency.

Councilor Barnes asked Police Chief Rick Boren to explain how this move will impact the intelligent policing his department is doing. Chief Boren responds by saying the intelligent policing aspect of the Records Management System, which is a $2.5 million investment, prompted him to request 5 analysts. Since the request was submitted, he chose to reduce that number to 3 analysts. After seeing the condition of the budget, he decided it was best to reduce the request to 1. Chief Boren stated, Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh added 2 more, bringing the request back to 3 analysts, which he feels is what is needed for the process.

Chief Boren has a brief discussion with Councilor Barnes on the process for the Records Management System.

Chief Boren stated his department investigates approximately 10,500 cases each year, with a total of 54 investigators in CPD, which narrows down to 198 cases per investigator a year. Most of these cases are property crimes, burglaries, forgeries and white collar crimes; this is where CPD is in need of investigators.

Mayor Tomlinson explained the work load and overtime required to investigate these cases by CPD is the reason for the proposal. Chief Boren added, last year there was $174,000 paid in overtime to the officers in the Bureau of Investigative Services.

There was a brief discussion on the job vacancies that are currently in CPD. Chief Boren stated that the positions he has open in the department currently are for street officers. Without this move being approved, he will not be able to promote any officers to the investigative unit, because his budget will not support it.

Major Mike Massey, with the Sheriff’s Department explained there are not divisions within their investigative unit. The 8 investigators in their unit investigate criminal activity, whether in the jail, on the street, or anywhere else. The department also has an Office of Professional Standards to investigate the department itself.

Major Massey stated, for the record, the Sheriff’s Department does not have a unit that investigates narcotics only. They do however, have one officer assigned to Metro Narcotics, but there is not a sole unit assigned to investigate narcotic cases.

Councilor Davis asked Sheriff John Darr, if the Sheriff’s Department could utilize the Internal Investigation Unit at CPD to perform the same duties, to which the Sheriff replied, no.

Councilor Woodson stated she did not understand why the internal investigations for the Sheriff’s Department could not be done by CPD, with the budget being under such a restraint. Chief Boren responded by saying he would not want to order one of his officers to investigate one of the Sheriff’s deputies, this is an order that should come from the Sheriff himself.

In a response to a question asked by Councilor Huff, Chief Boren stated he has always put the emergency calls first, and with the number of officers he has, he is not able to promote into investigations to handle the case load.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh stated if she supports this, she wants Council to come back to continue this conversation for the knowledge of not only Council, but also the citizens.

Councilor Davis makes a suggestion to Sheriff Darr to allow the Internal Auditor, John Redmond, to come into his department to conduct an audit on the services that are being discussed to bring back a report to Council and the citizens. Sheriff Darr stated he does not have any objections to allowing an audit to be conducted in his department, but he would prefer someone from an outside entity to ensure unbiased results.

Councilor Thomas made a motion to add the 8 investigators back into the Sheriff’s budget at a cost of $428,423, and delete the 7 investigators and 1 crime analyst positions from the CPD budget. Seconded by Councilor Huff and passed with a seven to two vote, with Councilors Allen, Davis, Henderson, Huff, Thomas, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Baker and Barnes voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, Rapid Response Initiative ($458,093):

DELETE: District Attorney, Rapid Response Initiative ($249,305):

DELETE: Public Defender, Rapid Response Initiative ($208,788):

Councilor Allen made a motion moving the funding for the Rapid Response Initiative Program be moved to the Crime Prevention Office at $458,093. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and went into discussion.

Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown stated though this program does meet the criteria to get a Crime Prevention Grant, his concern is that $458,093 would almost completely deplete his budget.

In response, Councilor Allen stated Council would need to consider increasing the Crime Prevention’s Budget to accommodate this program.

Mr. Steve Craft, with the Public Defender’s Office, explained the benefits and possible savings associated with the implementation of this program, with savings on the daily cost of housing an inmate and healthcare costs they may acquire during their time in the jail.

In response to a question asked by Councilor Thomas, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated she would not recommend Council make any kind of allocation change that would impact Fund Balance. She recommends that Council take the funds from a department that already has the funds budgeted, and it should be a reduction on the Sheriff Department’s budget since they will not have to absorb the cost associated with those inmates. This recommendation was part of the proposal made by the Mayor, to shift those cost savings from the Sheriff’s budget to the Public Defender and District Attorney.

After some discussion, Sheriff Darr stated, his department is more than willing to give up his department’s 10 vacancy reserve positions within the OLOST Fund for the funding of this program.

Councilor Allen made a substitute motion to move the funding of the Rapid Response Initiative Program to the OLOST Fund for the Crime Prevention Office at $458,093. Seconded by Councilor Huff and found inconclusive by a four to four vote, with Councilors Allen, Henderson, Huff and Turner Pugh voting yes, Councilors Baker, Barnes, Davis and Thomas voting no, Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

After some discussion, Councilor Davis made a motion to reduce the Sheriff’s budget by $458,093, and increasing the District Attorney’s budget by $249,305 and the Public Defender’s budget by $208,788 to fund the Rapid Response Initiative Program. Seconded by Councilor Barnes, after a brief discussion, was passed by a seven to two vote, with Councilors Allen, Baker, Barnes, Davis, Henderson, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Huff and Thomas voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Naval Museum, Subsidy for Payroll ($78,000):

Mr. Kendrick David, Chairman of the Columbus National Naval Museum Board, came forward to speak on the payroll subsidy of $78,000.

Mr. David stated the museum brings in approximately 20,000 visitors each year. In the past the revenue was not there, but with the hiring of the new director from Texas, the board is working diligently to cut cost and increase revenues.

Councilor Huff made a motion to add the $78,000 payroll subsidy into the FY16 Budget for the Naval Museum. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and opened up for further discussion.

Deputy City Manager Hodge stated, this subsidy, if passed, would reduce the Fund Balance by 0.19 days, taking the balance to 60.07 days.

There was a brief discussion on capital campaign and fundraising efforts conducted by the board.

With the motion on the table to add the subsidy into the budget at $78,000, a vote was taken and found inconclusive by a four to five vote, with Councilors Allen, Huff, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Baker, Barnes, Davis, Henderson and Thomas voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

A substitute motion was then made by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh to add a subsidy of $40,000 into the FY16 Budget for the Naval Museum. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and opened up for discussion.

There was discussion on the past subsidies allocated to the Naval Museum in order to aid the facility during financial hardships.

With a substitute motion on the table to add $40,000 into the budget for the Naval Museum, a vote was taken and found inconclusive by a four to five vote, with Councilors Allen, Huff, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Baker, Barnes, Davis, Henderson and Thomas voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

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Deputy City Manager Hodge stated as it stands the Fund Balance is at 60.26 days.

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With the regular scheduled Council Meeting starting at 5:30 p.m., the Budget Review Committee was adjourned at 5:16 p.m., to reconvene after the Council Meeting.

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The Budget Review Committee Meeting was reconvened at 7:20 p.m., and continued with the Add/Delete List.

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DELETE: Mayor, Mayor’s Reclassifications ($0):

Councilor Thomas stated, she requested the Mayor’s reclassification of the positions in her office be added to the list so as the committee would be able to have a discussion about it. Councilor Thomas had a conversation with Mayor Tomlinson in the past about her changing the duties of the employees in her office. She stated she fully supports the Mayor having the authority to change the duties in her office as she sees fit.

Councilor Thomas stated she understands that it is budget neutral, with one position being decreased by $15,000, one being increased by $5,000, and one being increased by $10,000. She went on to say she cannot in good conscience vote in favor of giving any one employee of this government, with the budget today, a $5,000 or a $10,000 pay increase. Regardless of the reclassification being budget neutral, she stated she will not be able to face the other government employees, and tell them Council gave other employees increases of this amount.

Councilor Thomas then made a motion for the Mayor’s reclassification of these positions be deleted from the FY16 Budget. Seconded by Councilor Allen and defeated by a vote of three to two, with Councilors Allen, Huff and Thomas voting yes, Councilors Baker, Barnes, Davis, Henderson, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: Non-Departmental, Subsidy for Uptown Columbus ($44,988):

Executive Director of Uptown Columbus, Richard Bishop came forward to give a presentation on the benefits to the City because of the events sponsored by Uptown Columbus.
________________________________________________________________________
Public/Private Partnership
________________________________________________________________________
Public/Private Partnership
________________________________________________________________________
Capital Projects
________________________________________________________________________

There were multiple slides shown that pictured various events, businesses, landscaping and personnel through Uptown Columbus.
________________________________________________________________________
Summary
________________________________________________________________________
Budget Reduction Impact
________________________________________________________________________
The Partnership
________________________________________________________________________
By the Numbers, 5 years
________________________________________________________________________
Uptown by the Numbers, 2014
________________________________________________________________________

After some discussion, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated the city collected $33,432.28 in revenue from the Whitewater and Zip line attractions for FY14, and $28,482.22 year to date, for a total of $61,914.50. This revenue is reserved for Whitewater maintenance costs as determined in the agreement approved by Council.

There was no motion made to take any action, therefore, the Uptown Columbus subsidy of $44,988 will remain in the FY Budget.
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DELETE: Non-Departmental, Subsidy for DFCS ($48,135):

Deputy City Manager Hodge stated there was not a DFCS representative present, but the department did submit a response to the use of the subsidy provided by the city. The response explained $30,000 is used for general services for assisting Muscogee County families and children, $11,500 is used for foster care that assists families with foster children needs, and $6,635 is used for other operating costs for employee appreciation, staff training and development, safety deposit box rental fees, and other miscellaneous costs.

Councilor Thomas stated that she has some concerns as to why the City is contributing to a State agency. In response, Mayor Tomlinson stated the subsidy has been reduced by 50% in the last 5 years, and the subsidy is to aid in DFCS providing services to the citizens of Muscogee County.

Councilor Thomas made a motion to reduce the DFCS subsidy by $6,635, for a total of $41,500 to be allocated to the department from the budget. Seconded by Councilor Allen and opened up for further discussion.

Deputy City Manager Hodge pointed out the DFCS subsidy was $100,000, but has been reduced over the years to $48,135.

After a brief discussion, the motion was passed by a seven to two vote, with Councilors Allen, Baker, Davis, Henderson, Huff, Thomas and Turner Pugh voting yes, Councilors Barnes and Woodson voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: Non-Departmental, Subsidy for New Horizons ($144,932):

Deputy City Manger Hodge explained the New Horizons subsidy was $260,914 in 2005, which was later reduced to $234,000, and has now been reduced to $144,000.

After an overview was given on the services New Horizons provides for the community, Councilor Thomas expressed concern of not being provided a detailed list of the services specifically provided by the subsidy from the City. In response, Mayor Tomlinson stated, New Horizons provides services for the homeless, mentally ill, and aids law enforcement with their efforts for individuals with substance abuse problems.

Councilor Thomas stated she would prefer a detailed explanation of what the subsidy is used for, similar to the detailed list given by DFCS.

Councilor Davis stated he is aware that New Horizons has been seeking money from multiple organizations, and any reduction in their budget would put them in a critical situation.

There was no action taken on this line item.
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DELETE: City Council, Membership Dues ($6,800):

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained the $6,800 listed in the City Council’s Budget is for membership dues and fees for GMA and ACCG.

In response to a question asked by Councilor Thomas, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated these dues are based on the area population, which has increased. With the increase in population the dues are estimated to be approximately $51,000, compared to the amount of $49,078.88 that has been expended year to date.

No action was taken on this line item.
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ADD: Marshal, 6 Deputies / DELETE: Public Safety Reserve ($294,294):

In response to a question asked by Councilor Huff, Chief Boren stated the Deputy Marshals would have a position within the Columbus Police Department, as long as they are able to pass the appropriate qualifications to work for the department. He further stated that these deputies have an advantage of already being Post Certified.

Councilor Huff stated he has received numerous calls from citizens within the real estate community, who are concerned with the services that are being provided by the Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Department, and how the timeliness of these services will be impacted with the loss of positions.

Councilor Huff further explained if the issue is with the Marshal’s Office running radar, then it would be an easy fix to ask the department to stick to their core mission.

Chief Deputy Garry Moore, of the Marshal’s Office, came to the podium to address questions asked by Councilor Huff.

Chief Deputy Moore stated the redundancy of the duplicative services stem from three areas. These three areas are whether or not the Marshal’s Office has investigators, which they do not, whether or not the department has a SWAT Team, which they do not, and the last being traffic enforcement. As far as an investigator, if there is a need for an investigation within the Marshal’s Office, with his 26 years with the GBI, Chief Deputy Moore said he would be the one to conduct such investigation.

Chief Deputy Moore stated the Marshal’s Office has done an analysis, which indicated their deputies conduct traffic enforcement less than 1% of their time. Conducting traffic enforcement allows the deputies to keep their skills sharpened in case of an unexpected situation. In his mind, he is unable to understand how 1% is equivalent to 6 positions within the Marshal’s Office.

Councilor Huff asked if the Marshal’s Office would be willing to cease traffic enforcement for the time being if the 6 positions being proposed to transfer were to be left in the department. Chief Moore stated this would be a decision that would have to be made by Marshal Greg Countryman, but that we will definitely take that suggestion back to him for consideration.

Councilor Huff made a motion to add the 6 positions back into the Marshal’s budget for a cost of $294,294. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and opened up for discussion.

Councilor Allen stated he is going to have to oppose the motion, because of the spending within the Marshal’s Office over the years, for example the purchase of the drone that the department has. Chief Deputy Moore responded the Marshal’s Office did not purchase a drone out of their budget; it was purchased by the Georgia Marshal’s Training Network, which is a separate fraternal organization from city government.

Chairperson Henderson stated the Marshal had a lunch, where he met with the real estate community and informed them that the eviction process would take up to three months if these 6 positions were to be taken from his office. He stated that one citizen stated he felt as if he was being threatened regarding the timeliness of the process.

Chairperson Henderson explained he believes the Marshal to be a good manager, and he does not see the process going from 10 days to 90 days due to the loss of three to six personnel.

In response to a question asked by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, Chief Deputy Moore stated there are 13 deputies who perform the duties associated with the eviction process. He further stated there are 20 sworn positions within the Marshal’s Office, 1 position that is on administrative leave, 1 position is vacant, and the remaining 18 includes the Marshal himself.

Chief Deputy Moore stated it has been said there are 11 supervisor positions within the office, which is not true. He said the Marshal is considered the CEO of the office, therefore, does not count as a supervisor or manager. Other than the Marshal the department has the Chief Deputy, 2 captains, 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants and 2 corporals. He stated unlike other agencies, the corporals positions are not supervisor positions, but are positions where these individuals are being groomed to be promoted later on in their career. The 2 sergeants are in the field with the deputies handling civil processes, and the lieutenant is over these sergeants. One of the captains is over the administration and courts, and the other captain is over the field services.

Mayor Tomlinson stated the proposal is to move the funding for six G14 positions to move into the reserve.

After some discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh expressed her concern that the funding for the vacant position has been used for other purposes. Chief Deputy Moore responded there was a deputy who left last October that the department chose not to fill to use the salary savings to make up the difference in their budget.

Chief Deputy Moore stated that last year they had to appear before Council to request more money for their fuel cost before the fiscal year had ended. He said in order to handle their budget, whereas not to have to request more funding, they have opted to utilize the money from the vacant position to help in areas such as this.

Councilor Davis made a substitute motion to add the funding for 4 deputies back in the Marshal’s budget. Seconded by Councilor Huff and opened up for discussion.

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained this motion, if passed would reduce the reserve by $196,196, and place that money into the Marshal’s budget.

After some discussion, Councilor Davis requests that Chief Deputy Moore ask Marshal Countryman if he would be open to an operational audit to be conducted by Internal Auditor John Redmond.

Human Resources Director Reather Hollowell and Councilor Woodson had a brief discussion on the salary savings being utilized for other purposes and the appropriateness of this process.

Councilor Allen stated in all his years on Council he has never heard of a department handling their budgets in this manner. He said it concerns him that a department could come before Council requesting funding for a number of positions, but just not fill those positions and utilize the funds for other purposes. With the personnel that currently is on administrative leave due to litigation, he expressed concern that if this employee was to receive a settlement, to include back pay, the funds for this would have to be expended out of the General Fund since the money would have been spent.

In response to a question asked earlier by Councilor Allen, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated the Marshal’s Office has transferred a total of $56,200 from the vacant position and the position that the employee is on administrative leave to operations year to date. To add, City Attorney Fay stated the purpose of administrative leave without pay is that the citizens do not have to pay that position’s salary during the interim.

Going back to the substitute motion, Councilor Davis requested that these positions be further evaluated and discussed during next budget year.

The motion was then passed with a seven to two vote, with Councilors Baker, Davis, Henderson, Huff, Thomas, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Allen and Barnes voting no, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh then made a referral requesting that a list be provided to Council of positions that have been held vacant for three or more months.

Councilor Woodson made a referral requesting staff to see if the availability of salary funds for personnel out on administrative leave being used for other purposes was a policy that was put into place or how did these practices come about. If this process was authorized by a City Ordinance, she would like to have that policy amended.
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DELETE: Various Public Safety Departments, Sign-On Bonus ($50,000):

In regard to the sign-on bonuses for Public Safety Departments being deleted from the budget, Sheriff Darr stated his department has not had a problem with recruiting, therefore, the deletion of this line item would not affect his department.

Chief Boren stated the sign-on bonus has helped CPD in recruiting new officers over the years. He stated in 2007 his department received 270 applications, which went to 501 applications in 2008 after the penny tax was implemented, which allowed for the $3,000 sign-on bonus. In addition, CPD received 601 applications in 2009. He stated the increase in applications speaks on the impact the sign-on bonus has had on his department.

Chief Meyer stated the sign-on bonus was instrumental in recruiting applicants that are already nationally certified, Advanced EMTs, and/or paramedics. He said being able to hire these qualified applicants has saved the City money.

In response to a question asked by Chairperson Henderson, Chief Meyer stated his department is still short on paramedics and the sign-on bonus has helped entice applicants to be interested in coming to Columbus, Georgia.

After a brief discussion, Councilor Davis stated the sign-on bonuses is something that can be looked into later if the Public Safety Director sees there is a need.

Councilor Davis made a motion to delete the sign-on bonuses for the various Public Safety Departments for $50,000 from the FY16 budget, and seconded by Councilor Barnes, which he later withdrew his second. The motion then died for the lack of a second.

Councilor Allen made a motion to delete the sign-on bonus from all Public Safety Departments except for the Columbus Police Department and Fire & EMS. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

Councilor Woodson requested that the Muscogee County Prison be informed of this discussion, so they will have the opportunity to decide whether or not it would be beneficial for the sign-on bonus to continue for recruiting within their agency.
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ADD: Columbus Police Department, Sign-On Bonus ($73,700) / DELETE: Columbus Police Department, Eliminate Year 1; Add to Years 5 & 7 to Pay Reform ($60,000):

Councilor Davis made a motion to continue the CPD sign-on bonus, but to eliminate the year 1 salary increase as stated in the Police Pay Reform, with taking the savings of $750 and adding to years 5 & 7. Seconded by Councilor Huff and opened up for discussion.

After an extensive discussion, the motion was passed unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, 3 SWAT Positions ($147,141)/ DELETE: Public Safety Reserve ($147,141):

Councilor Thomas made a motion to add the funding for 3 SWAT positions to the Sheriff Department’s budget, with the offset of $147,141 from the Public Safety Reserve. Seconded by Councilor Huff, and after a brief discussion was approved by a seven to two vote, with Councilors Allen, Henderson, Huff, Thomas, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Baker and Barnes voting no, Councilor Davis being absent for this vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Clerk of Municipal Court, Operating ($45,000):

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained the original FY15 operating budget for the Clerk of Municipal Court was $28,971, and the amount spent year to date is $19,078, with the department transferring $4,000 from overtime into operating. She said in FY14 & FY15 the department only spent $24,000 and $25,000 in operating costs, therefore, it appears the $28,971 has been sufficient in the last two years and the current year.

In response to a question asked by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated the department’s overtime budget for FY15 was $23,000, $4,000 was transferred to operating costs, and $17,619 has been spent year to date. In FY13 $13,000 was spent and in FY14 $12,000 was spent in overtime.

With Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh stating the Clerk is saying that money was spent on witness fees, Deputy City Manager Hodge added, the FY15 witness fee budget was $5,000, to which the department has expended $750 and transferred $4,000 to another line item. In FY13 $1,000 was spent and in FY14 $1,400 was spent on witness fees.

Councilor Huff made a motion to add $45,000 into the Clerk of Municipal Court’s budget, which died for the lack of a second.
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ADD: Clerk of Municipal Court, Postage, Printing, Mobile Phones ($13,500):

Councilor Woodson made a motion to add $13,500 into the Clerk of Municipal Court’s budget for training, postage, and printing. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and found inconclusive by a three to five vote, with Councilors Huff, Turner Pugh and Woodson voting yes, Councilors Allen, Baker, Barnes, Henderson and Thomas voting no, Councilor Davis being absent for this vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Clerk of Council, Council Recording Equipment ($1,050):

Councilor Allen made a motion to approve the addition of $1,050 to the Clerk of Council’s budget for recording equipment. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Davis being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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Deputy City Manager Hodge informed Council the Reserve Balance is at 60.37 days at that point in the meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, Uniforms ($46,000):

ADD: Sheriff, Medical ($40,000):

ADD: Sheriff, Pharmacy ($7,910):

Councilor Woodson made a motion to add $40,000 for medial services and $7,910 for pharmaceuticals in the Muscogee County Jail for a total of $47,910.

Councilor Woodson stated she wants to add the additional funding for medial and pharmaceuticals into the Sheriff’s budget in case something unforeseen happens, and they are not able to take care of an inmate.

Mayor Tomlinson pointed out that $60,000 had been transferred out of these lines items for other purposes. She stated they have ample funding in these line items, and are utilizing the funds else where.

Sheriff Darr stated there was no funding in the budget for medical services for inmates in the last two years. He stated the money in which the Mayor is referring to was moved from one line item to another for expenses associated with inmate medical services.

Mayor Tomlinson stated she receives her information from the Finance Director, and was told the $60,000 that was transferred from the medical line item was used for uniforms and other operational expenses.

Councilor Woodson made a referral to Deputy City Manager Hodge and requested that she keep Council informed if they are appropriating funds to help a department with a need that has been expressed, and if the department is transferring those funds for other uses.

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained to Council the original adopted Medical Services Budget was $4,156,569 and currently has a balance of $4,945,830, with $66,110.70 transferred out of medical and into administrative and uniform line items. She further stated the total funding for inmate medical services and medical supplies are put into the medical supply fund instead of being divided between the two.

Sheriff Darr stated the budget his office provided for Council’s consideration had a specified amount for medical services and a specified amount for medical supplies. He stated these funds should not be combined within a budget.

Councilor Woodson restated her motion to add $40,000 for medial services and $7,910 for pharmaceuticals in the Muscogee County Jail for a total of $47,910. Seconded by Councilor Huff and opened up for further discussion.

In response to a question asked by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated the funding for these two items would come from Fund Balance at a total of 0.12 days, leaving the balance at 60.25 days.

A vote was then taken and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Davis being absent for this vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

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OLOST FUNDS, ADD/DELETE LIST:

ADD: Fire & EMS, 9 Vehicles with Lease Program ($510,000) / DELETE: 2 Ambulances ($510,000):

Councilor Thomas made a motion to add $510,000 for leasing programs for 9 vehicles, and the deletion of $510,000 for the purchase of 2 ambulances in the Fire & EMS budget. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those 9 members of Council present, with Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Columbus Police Department, 2 Criminal Analysts G16 ($101,542):

After a brief discussion, Councilor Davis made a motion to add $101,542 from the OLOST Funds into the CPD budget for 2 Criminal Analysts, at a Pay Grade G16. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Woodson being absent for this vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, 8 Investigator Positions Supplements ($32,128) / DELETE: Columbus Police Department, 7 Investigator Positions Supplements ($28,112):

Councilor Davis made a motion to add $32,128 to the Sheriff’s budget and delete $28,112 from the CPD budget for investigator position supplements. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Marshal, 6 Deputy Marshal Supplements ($24,096):

Councilor Davis made a motion to add $24,096 to the Marshal’s budget for Deputy Marshal Supplements. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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ADD: Sheriff, 3 SRT Deputies ($12,045):

Councilor Thomas made a motion to add $12,045 into the Sheriff’s budget for 3 SRT Deputies. Seconded by Councilor Allen and approved by a six to 1 vote, with Councilors Allen, Baker, Davis, Henderson, Huff, Thomas and Turner Pugh voting yes, Councilor Barnes voting no, Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.

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OTHER FUNDS, ADD/DELETE LIST:

ADD: Public Works, Plastic Bag Proposal ($26,500) / Public Works, Offset by Residential Fee Increase of $0.05/month ($26,500):

ADD: Public Works, Reinstate Use of Plastic Bags, (3 Trucks & Drivers), ($495,000):

Public Works Director Pat Biegler, in response to comments made by Councilor Davis, stated the proposal of eliminating the use of plastic bags will prevent problems in the routes, spending so much time at each individual stops, and it will take 3 fewer trucks to complete the routes.

Councilor Davis stated this proposal is projecting the cost onto the citizens by prohibiting the use of plastic bags for waste disposal.

After some discussion, Councilor Davis made a motion to add the use of plastic bags with an offset of increasing the Integrated Waste Fee by $0.05, which would cover the $26,500.

Councilor Henderson stated the increase would offset the expense of $26,500, but did not address the cost of adding an additional route to cover the workload of allowing the use of plastic bags for waste disposal. In response, Councilor Davis stated that there would not be a need for the replacement of trucks if this is done.

Director Bielger stated this was absolutely not the case, since the Public Works Department is 17 trucks and drivers short as they currently stand. This shortage is based on the increase in recycling and the growth of the population in the last 10 years.

After some discussion, Councilor Thomas made a referral requesting that staff communicate with the local stores suggesting that they provide these bio-degradable bags for the citizens.

Councilor Davis made a substitute motion to allow the continued use of plastic bags for waste disposal at a proposed cost of $26,500 in the FY16 budget. Seconded by Councilor Allen and found inconclusive by a four to four vote, with Councilors Allen, Davis, Huff and Thomas voting yes, Councilors Baker, Barnes, Henderson and Turner Pugh voting no, Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: Public Works, Eliminate Glass Recycling (3 Trucks & Drivers), Revenue Reduction of $4,800, ($495,000):

Councilor Allen made a motion to eliminate glass recycling. Seconded by Councilor Barnes and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: Public Works, 2 Correctional Detail Officers G12 at the Recycling Center ($98,838):

In response to a question asked by Councilor Thomas, Director Biegler explained her department expressed a need for two additional Correctional Detail Officers when the new recycling plant was constructed. In the original facility there were 16 inmates working, with 2 officers to oversee them. Now, there are 38 inmates working in the new recycling facility, and she is pulling personnel from other areas of Public Works to oversee these inmates in order to abide by legal standards.

No action was taken.
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DELETE: Public Works, Keep Columbus Beautiful (General Fund subsidy was eliminated), ($62,208):

Councilor Thomas made a motion to not allow the funding for this subsidy of $62,208 to come from the Integrated Waste Fund. Seconded by Councilor Allen and found inconclusive by a three to five vote, with Councilors Allen, Baker and Thomas voting yes, Councilors Barnes, Davis, Henderson, Huff and Turner Pugh voting no, Councilor Woodson being absent for the vote, and Councilor Buck being absent for this meeting.
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DELETE: Trade Center, Facility Engineer G23 ($78,587):

Director David Bevins stated the current staff does not have the expertise to maintain the Trade Center facility as it needs to. He stated there have been structural problems found in the building that had not been addressed for many years.

After further discussion, there was no action take by the eight members of Council present.

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Deputy City Manager Hodge explained the Taxpayer Bill of Rights advertisement will be in the newspaper on June 2, 2015.

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There being no other budget related items to discuss, Chairman Henderson announced that the meeting is adjourned with those eight members present, and the time being 11:38 p.m.

________________________
Lindsey A. Glisson
Deputy Clerk of Council
Council of Columbus, Georgia