MAY 1, 2012

The regular monthly night meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia was called to order at 5:30 P.M., Tuesday, May 1, 2012, on the Plaza Level of the Government Center, Columbus, Georgia. Honorable Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor, presiding.

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PRESENT: Present other than Mayor Tomlinson was Councilors Mike Baker, Jerry Barnes, Berry H. Henderson, Bruce Huff, Charles E. McDaniel, Jr., Judy Thomas and Evelyn Woodson. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, Assistant City Attorney Lucy Sheftall, Clerk of Council Tiny B. Washington and Deputy Clerk of Council Sandra Davis were also present. Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh took her seat at the Council table at 5:35 p.m. Councilor Glenn Davis took his seat at the Council table at 5:37 p.m.
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ABSENT: Councilor R. Gary Allen was absent. City Attorney Clifton Fay was also absent, but was represented by Assistant City Attorney Lucy Sheftall.
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INVOCATION: Led by Rev. James Taylor, Pastor of Beallwood Baptist Church.
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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Led by students from Waddell Elementary School.

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A Resolution (121-12) – Congratulating the First Robotics Team of the Muscogee County School District. Councilor Henderson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Baker and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Allen being absent.

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A Resolution (122-12) – Congratulating Kingdom Christian Academy Division III Boys Basketball National Champions. Councilor Huff moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor McDaniel and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Allen being absent.

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Mayor Tomlinson then submitted her 2013 Fiscal Year Proposed Budget and read her budget message as outlined below.

Dear Citizens of Columbus, Georgia and City Council:


Last year we began the journey of reviewing our City budget from the perspective of the new economic era in which we find ourselves. The Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government (CCG) has weathered the storm of the Great Recession better than most and that resiliency must be credited to the prudent stewardship of the past, the support and generosity of our citizens, and our hardworking City employees who seem to be asked time and again to do more with less.

In FY2012, we identified budget issues which needed to be addressed, including structural deficits, affiliate subsidies, a large unfunded pension liability, operational limitations, dwindling General Fund Reserve days and stagnant revenue/growth. We also discussed at length in our FY2012 budget hearings the proper use of our newly approved Other Local Option Sales Tax (Other LOST). I want to commend our City Council and our City staff for continuing these important discussions long after the FY2012 Budget was approved. These are complicated and complex issues and our objective, after all, is to get them right. Since the approval of the FY2012 Budget, we have developed potential solutions to some of our identified budget challenges. The fruits of that joint labor, as well as those areas in need of continued review, are reflected in this FY2013 Budget.

Executive Summary

The Mayor’s recommended FY2013 Budget comes in at $266,881,380 just under our FY2012 Modified Budget of $269,783,411, for a 1.08% decrease.

This FY2013 Budget assumes a 2.0% increase in the Tax Digest and continued increases of 3% for our Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenues and 7% for our Other LOST revenues.

There are several bright spots in this budget:

• We have tackled the complex issue of Pension Reform and propose herein a remedy to save taxpayers an expected $1.9 million dollars in the first year of reform and over $25 million in expected savings over 15 years, while making our pension plan more sustainable for our valued employees and while allowing us the opportunity to chip away at our significant unfunded pension liability.
• We have balanced our Integrated Waste Fund and established a plan to achieve a sustainable Integrated Waste System for our city, which includes once a week household garbage pick-up by January 2014, revised landfill operations, revised landfill/bio-waste revenues, improved routing efficiency, and increased recycling in order to increase our landfill capacity.
• We have established a Capital Replacement Plan (beginning in FY2012 mid-year), which sets a baseline annual investment to replace aged and worn vehicles so that we may chip away at the $35 million replacement exposure we previously faced.
• We continue to reduce or eliminate subsidies to third-parties and affiliates; specifically, we have reduced the previous $300,000 annual subsidy to the Civil War Naval Museum by another $50,000 to $200,000 with a three-year collaborative plan to reduce to an even greater extent the Museum’s reliance on the City’s General Fund.
• We have reorganized several Departments to achieve greater efficiencies and to better meet the current needs of our citizens, at little or no additional cost to the taxpayers.
• We have carved out a $3,500,000 Other LOST Reserve Fund for potential future needs and other expected expenses.
• We continue to work to pursue managerial best practices and fiscal efficiencies through a proposed new Forensic Auditor and through Citi-Serv efficiency audits.

There is also sobering news in this budget. The FY2013 Budget consumes 15.5 days of our General Fund Reserve leaving only 61.5 days of remaining Reserve – right at the Government Finance Officers Association recommended minimum balance. The majority of the consumed reserve days (13.26 days) are due to prior economic development commitments and transfers to funds in need of financial support. 2.24 reserve days are used to cover General Government operational expenses, and those additional operational expenses are largely due to increasing fuel, utilities, pension and healthcare costs, as well as new City systems or facilities needing to be staffed and operated.

In FY2012, the Mayor’s Recommended Budget was $255,835,105. Some $1.8 million (or 4.33 General Fund Reserve days) in expenditures were added to that recommended budget through the deliberative budget process. This year there is little luxury of adding to the recommended budget from excess reserve days, though different choices and priorities may be made. With only 61.5 General Fund Reserve days left, we are simply “at the wall” and can go no further, if we expect to maintain our AA+/Aa2 bond rating and have some buffer for unforeseen needs.

However, while we are using General Fund Reserve monies to meet the General Fund budget, we are growing a significant reserve ($3,500,000) in the Other LOST for anticipated future needs. Unlike the relatively flat General Fund revenues, the Other LOST revenues have been notably increasing. This Other LOST Reserve should be maintained to offset expected expenses (operating and personnel) related to the expansion of the county jail to be constructed in 2013.

Necessary and Prudent Pension Reform

In the FY2012 Mayor’s Budget Letter, it was noted that one of our most pressing fiscal issues was that of our employee's Defined Benefit Pension Plan. Previous intentions were to fully fund the Pension Plan in seven years. However, our sizable unfunded pension liability, our increasing annual pension obligation, and the modest investment returns over the past ten years required that we expand the period in which to fully fund our pension plan from seven years to fifteen years simply to reduce our FY2012 pension obligation and make our budget balance. Altering the period in which to fully fund our pension plan is similar to refinancing one's mortgage to a longer repayment period so as to reduce the monthly payment. Such a technique does not reduce the total obligation due and suggests strongly the need to look at one's ability to meet the obligation in a responsible way.

In August 2011, a Pension Review Committee (made up of Pension Board members, City executive management, Finance and Human Resource representatives, additional employee representatives, CCG's actuary consultant and private citizens with large pension reform experience) was convened to look at our Pension Plan's long term sustainability, as well as possible solutions to lower the cost to the City of its weighty annual pension obligation and to reduce the City’s significant unfunded pension liability. Currently, the value of our Pension Plan is approximately $265 million; its value varies daily with the market.

During the months of meetings with the Pension Reform Committee, the City Council and other pension stakeholders were kept informed through Update Letters from the Mayor. These Update Letters laid out the need for reform and discussed some of the nearly one dozen alternative pension proposals analyzed by the Committee. In February 2012, a revised pension plan was proposed for discussion purposes. Forums were held for employees and affiliates to discuss the proposal. The forums were recorded, and DVDs of the forums were forwarded to Department Heads who made the DVDs available for viewing by employees who could not attend in person. Electronic and hard copy surveys were distributed to employees with great response. Some 1,862 employee surveys responses were received and reviewed. City Council met to discuss the proposed pension revision in multiple regular Council sessions and work sessions. Additional resources were consulted and discussed.

After thoughtful consideration of the discussion and feedback from all sectors, I make the following proposal to revise our City's Pension Plan, which proposal has been approved in large part by our City Pension Board and will be formally voted on May 2, 2012:

• CCG will maintain its Defined Benefit Pension Plan;
• Current employees will maintain a 5-year vesting period, a 60% retirement benefit and will make a 4% contribution toward their retirement plan, which 4% contribution will be phased-in at 2% a year over a two year period;
• New employees will have a 10-year vesting period, a 60% retirement benefit and a required 8% contribution toward their retirement plan, which 8% contribution will be phased-in over a two-year period at 6% the first year and 8% the second year and each year thereafter;
• CCG will raise the pay rate at every pay level 2% per year for two years in order to offset the required employee pension contribution;
• CCG will add a no-cost DROP Plan (starting at 58 years of age and 30 years of service or 55 years of age with 35 years of service);
• All CCG affiliate employees (such as Columbus Water Works) may opt out of the CCG Pension Plan, but if not, they too will be expected to contribute the 4% employee pension contribution (as phased-in) for existing employees and 8% pension contribution (as phased-in) for new employees starting July 1, 2012; and,
• There will be no interest paid on monies returned to pension fund participants who cease their employment prior to meeting their vesting period.

The reasons for this reform of our Pension Plan will not be restated here. Those reasons are set forth in the published Update Letters, are now well known and have been much discussed. I will note that this proposed pension reform is absolutely necessary this fiscal year. We cannot continue to add to our unfunded pension liability and must change our Defined Benefit Plan design on a going forward basis for new employees. We must also take advantage of available and appropriate actuarial assumptions by requiring current and future employees to contribute to the existing Defined Benefit Plan. And, we must avoid unnecessary contract impairment challenges by offsetting the required current employee contribution with a corresponding raise.

In the end, this proposal (based on actuarial assumptions) will provide a net savings to taxpayers of $ 1.9 million in FY2013, and that savings is reflected in this budget. The $1.9 million in savings is the primary reason we were able to maintain a 60 day General Fund Reserve. This proposal (based on actuarial assumptions) is expected to provide a net savings of $ 2.8 million over the next 5 years, and a net savings of $ 25.86 million over the next 15 years. This pension reform proposal is good policy all the way around.

Use of General Reserve Funds

The major culprits for our consumption of General Fund Reserve days are: 1) Prior commitments and fund transfers; and, 2) Operation and administrative expenses due to increasing fuel, utilities, pension and healthcare costs and due to new facilities or systems, such as the new City Services building, and the new Natatorium.

1) Prior Commitments and Fund Transfers

Prior economic commitments and annual fund transfers include:

Prior Commitments Amount Committed
Baker Village (Year 7 of 7) $498,715

Development Authority, NCR Project (Year 3 of 10)

River Restoration Project (Year 3 of 3)

Transfer to the Parking Management Fund

Transfer to Bull Creek and Oxbow Golf Courses

Transfer to Civil War Naval Museum

General Government Capital Replacement Plan

Medical Center Prisoner Care Overage
TOTAL $5,502,905
(13.26 Reserve Days)

• Baker Village ($498,715) – This is the last installment in a 7-year commitment that has resulted in 420 new mixed income residential units in a previously distressed area of our community.

• Development Authority, NCR Project ($948,000) –This significant commitment has created over 700 new jobs and has had an economic impact of over $90 million.

• River Restoration Project ($2,041,666) – This is the last year in a three-year commitment that promises to bring 500,000 visitors to our community and tens of millions of dollars in annual economic impact. $375,000 of this commitment was due to be paid last year, but was postponed and, instead, was shifted by Council to subsidize the Civil War Naval Museum and the Bull Creek and Oxbow Golf Courses.

• Parking Management Fund ($164,524) - A collaborative, privately funded parking study is underway, which we hope will lead to the elimination or reduction of the structural deficit in our Parking Management Fund;

• Bull Creek and Oxbow Golf Courses ($350,000) – Both the Bull Creek and Oxbow Golf Courses have seen revenue improvement over the past fiscal year. A marketing and operational study is currently underway at our City owned Golf Courses in an attempt to maximize opportunities and reduce future fund transfers;

• Civil War Naval Museum ($200,000) - This subsidy was reduced $50,000 in the FY2012 Budget from $300,000 to $250,000 and is reduced another $50,000 this fiscal year. The Board of the Naval Museum, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and others has entered into an agreed upon three-year plan to reduce the City’s General Fund subsidy to the Museum. (See Attachment A);

• General Government Capital Replacement Plan ($700,000) – After finding ourselves nearly $35 million behind in our vehicle capital replacement efforts, the City committed that we will fund a baseline minimum for annual vehicle replacement. Our annual allotment toward this minimum for General Government in FY2013 is $700,000; and,

• Medical Center ($600,000) – This transfer covers 50% of the excess charges for prisoner medical care over and above the $500,000 annual allowance required by CCG’s contractual arrangement with the Medical Center.

As we complete certain prior commitments and reduce the number and amount of our fund transfers and subsidies we can begin to rebuild our General Fund Reserve.

2) General Reserve Funds for City Operations

Only 2.24 (or some $ 927,943) of the 15.5 reserve days needed to balance our General Fund are used to cover City operations. These reserve funds are necessary primarily for expected increases in fuel, utilities, pension and healthcare costs, which are projected to cost just over $2 million. In the FY2013 Budget, we have maintained the reduced FY2012 expenditure levels for most all City Departments, and allowed for necessary increases in fuel, utility, pension and healthcare costs.

We also anticipate new General Government positions will be created in FY2013. Most of the newly created positions result from previously approved and funded CCG facilities and systems currently under construction, such as: the new City Services Center (expected to open in May 2013); the new Natatorium (estimated opening in May 2013); and the new Traffic Control Center (expected start date December 2012).

Each of the new positions contemplated for FY2013 is listed below:

(including benefits) AMOUNT
Engineering PT Traffic Control Center Operator
(New Congestion Management System) $20,000
Public Services Facilities Maintenance Supervisor/Plumber II
(New City Services Center) $50,885
Facilities Maintenance Electrician II
(New City Services Center) $46,631
PT Volunteer Coordinator, Animal Care and Control Center (ACCC) $26,213
Parks and Rec FT Aquatics Division Manager (New Natatorium) $15,122
FT Aquatics Facility Manager (New Natatorium) $13,832
2 FT Aquatics Facilities Supervisors
(New Natatorium) $20,405
FT Aquatics Technician (New Natatorium) $9,376
3 FT Head Lifeguards (New Natatorium) $24,838
3 PT Assistant Facility Supervisors (New Natatorium) $16,874
4 PT Park Maintenance Workers (New Natatorium) $19,400
*2 PT Administrative Clerks (New Natatorium) -0-
*PT Lead Concessionaire (New Natatorium) -0-
*PT Lifeguards & Concessionaire Positions
(New Natatorium) -0-
Undesignated/ Miscellaneous Forensic Auditor $66,180
Citi-Serv Consulting Services $100,000
TOTAL $449,459

New FY2013 proposed positions/services not related to new facilities or systems, but which have been discussed previously with Council as being needed for the improved functioning of the city government are also listed in the chart above and are a part-time ACCC Volunteer Coordinator, a Forensic Auditor, and Citi-Serv consultants.

For the past several months we have tested a part-time Volunteer Coordinator position at our ACCC. We have had remarkable progress with our pet adoptions increasing some 369% and our euthanasia rate decreasing from 73% to 46%, below the State and National averages. The part-time Volunteer Coordinator position has shown its effectiveness in leveraging private resources and in furthering our ACCC mission.

We have also discussed hiring a Forensic Auditor to assist our current Internal Auditor with this important function of our City government.

Citi-Serv consulting fees are presently the subject of a Request for Proposal and are not yet precisely determined. This estimated expenditure is believed to be necessary to improve our efficiency and increase our effective use of tax dollars. Having Citi-Serv up and running in FY2013 will allow us to take advantage of recommended savings in the FY2014 Budget.

3) Other General Fund Expenses/Issues for FY2013

We have increased the Department of Elections budget $148,462 to accommodate those periodic election costs, because there will be Primary and General Elections in the first and second quarter of the FY2013.

This FY2013 Budget also provides for a .5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all CCG employees and a .25% COLA increase for all CCG retirees to begin January 5, 2013 at a cost of $310,000. These recommended COLAs are modest compared with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (Bureau of Labor Statistics) recommended COLA of 3.6%. Our small COLA is needed to assist our employees and retirees with rising prices at the gas pump, health insurance costs, and other increasing daily expenses. Annual COLAs help alleviate pay compression when applied (as I suggest here) only to existing employees, as opposed to adjusting the pay structure. A COLA was considered during our FY2012 mid-year budget discussion, but was deferred by Council to this FY2013 Budget process.

In order to allow Directors to effectively manage their Departments, we allowed them to reclassify certain positions or provide raises where they deemed necessary so long as any salary effect was offset by a precisely corresponding decrease in the Department’s budget otherwise. This effort was to alleviate dysfunction and morale issues arising from prior budget cuts and attrition that left employees working what had been previously multiple jobs and roles. Again, the net effect to the budget of these reorganizations or reclassifications is zero. Those Directors that took advantage of the restructuring process believe these selected adjustments were necessary to keep city grown talent and avoid the costs of employee replacement. A list of the net zero reclassifications or adjustments made is provided in Attachment B.

Integrated Waste Fund

The Integrated Waste Fund and its long running deficit has been the subject of much debate in past years. All have agreed that a comprehensive solution to the continuing Fund deficit was needed. Last year Council declined to engage a consulting group to study our Integrated Waste system and propose a comprehensive solution. Our new Public Services Director, together with the City’s executive management, has been working diligently on a comprehensive solution that will be phased in over an expected three-year period. A presentation of Integrated Waste options was presented to Council at our January 31, 2012 Work Session. For the first time in quite a while our Integrated Waste Fund is now proposed to be balanced for FY2013. There are non-residential rate increases and reduction in landfill hours which combine to eliminate the prior yearly fund deficits. The rate increases consist of increased landfill fees ($83,000), elimination of free residential landfill dumping thresholds ($90,000), and increase in fees for commercial stickers, biological waste and downtown refuse bags ($54,600).

It must be noted that the balancing of this fund is made possible by the Capital Replacement Plan that Council put in place earlier this year, which minimally addresses the need for new garbage trucks; however, the need is greater than that minimal investment will cover and is not resolved by this balanced fund. We also must note that this balanced fund does not set aside funds for landfill closure and post-closure costs. And, we have a new recycling center that we expect to come on line mid-2013. Our new Public Services Director has provided a solutions-based proposal that addresses these multifaceted issues and that will get this City on course for a sustainable Integrated Waste Management system.

In summary, the plan envisions the purchase of Pick-Up Routing software (which is expected to net the city a $380,000 savings), the reduction of household garbage pick-up to once a week in January 2014, and the conversion of garbage trucks (freed up due to the routing software and once a week household garbage pick-up) to recycling trucks in order to accommodate our new recycling center. The coordination of these efforts maximizes the potential for success of each component part. The reduction in household garbage pick-up encourages increased recycling at a time when we will have the capacity to handle it through our new recycling center and at a time when the community has been prepared for the evolution of our City’s waste and recycling systems. The reduction to once a week household garbage pick-up also saves the taxpayers $250,000. It is simply no longer environmentally or fiscally responsible to continue the excessive service of twice a week household garbage pick-up when it only encourages, or enables, our citizens to not recycle. Any household that recycles, even minimally, can accommodate once a week garbage pick-up. It is time our community steps firmly into this environmentally conscious era with the well-planned, responsible course being offered.

These comprehensive efforts have the effects of reducing the amount of refuse in our landfills, increasing landfill capacity and useful life, postponing the significant cost of landfill closure and increasing our recycling capacity and the revenues resulting therefrom.

Civic Center Reorganization

Under the direction of new leadership at our City’s Civic Center, we have had an opportunity to rethink its existing business model and to revamp the Ice Rink business plan that was previously developed. The new Director faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpredicted costs from flawed utility assumptions in the new Ice Rink’s original business plan. Instead of an estimated $120,000 annually for electricity, the electricity cost for the Ice Rink facility is $350,000 annually. Similarly, natural gas costs were estimated at $500 annually, when actual costs will be $35,000 annually. The new Director has seen savings opportunities in the elimination of excessive or unnecessary advertising, operating, travel and personnel costs. The new Director also has seen the need to structure the Civic Center Department to better utilize the personnel and other resources we have and need. This reorganization has been done (and unrelated new expense increases related to pension and healthcare costs have been absorbed) with virtually no effect to the Civic Center FY2012 Budget. Some of the notable highlights of this effort are listed below:
• Eliminate Full-time Ice Rink Manager – ($57,493)
• Eliminate Full-time Administrative Clerk – ($39,721)
• Eliminate ineffective or excessive Advertising - ($77,500)
• Decrease Operating Expenses - ($27,812)
• Reclassify 2 Part-time Arena Tech positions - $31,979
• Reclassify 2 Full-time Arena Tech positions - $1,633

This type of fresh thinking and critical analysis is essential to our ability to provide quality city services to our citizens and stakeholders in an effective and efficient manner.

Other LOST Funds

While our General Fund revenues, comprised largely from our tax digest and our original LOST funds, have shown relatively flat or modest growth, the Other LOST revenues have experienced increasing revenue rates. Our Other LOST revenues are to be split 70%/30% between Public Safety needs and Infrastructure needs, such as the Repaving Fund and Stormwater Rehabilitation. The Other LOST revenues for FY2013 are expected to be $35 million, meaning that $24.5 million will go toward Public Safety and $10.5 million will go toward Infrastructure.

1) Public Safety Other LOST

Of the $24.5 million in Public Safety Other LOST funds, we have $15.3 million in recurring annual expenses that are primarily associated with new law enforcement officers. That means for the FY2013 budget, we have $9.2 million in uncommitted Other LOST funds. Previously, the uncommitted Other LOST funds were distributed primarily among the Public Safety Departments by virtue of a formula based on the respective Department’s size. This year, however, we have some looming obligations for which we need to create an Other LOST Fund Reserve; and, we have some opportunities to further the Other LOST objectives.

We will be issuing bonds in 2013 to expand the county jail. The staffing of this jail expansion is expected to require 66 additional positions, thirteen of which have been hired and are on staff. The remaining 53 positions will need to be hired as the jail expansion is completed. This personnel addition is expected to cost $3.96 million. Additionally, the pre-construction costs of this jail expansion, including design fees, etc., are expected to cost $3 million. While this pre-construction cost could be financed through the bond, it is not recommended that we pay interest on these costs when we presently have expected revenues that would cover them. Responsible fiscal policy requires that an Other LOST Reserve Fund be created in the amount of $3,500,000 to cover the first of these anticipated expenditures that will come due in late FY2013 or the first of FY2014.

It is recommended that the remainder of the Other LOST funds be expended to further the stated objective of the sales tax, which is to bolster Public Safety and invest in crime prevention efforts. This FY2013 recommended budget proposes the following expenditures:
Other LOST Expenditures Amount
Columbus Police Dept. – LOTUS Notes license $ 24,500
Fire Dept. – T1 lines, maintenance costs $100,000
Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator $55,331
Crime Prevention Office – Partnership with Parks and Rec to re-open Boxwood Recreation Center (Recreations Specialist II, 2 PT Recreation Center Leaders, and some Remodeling Costs) $93,009
Junior Marshal Program Director $41,733
Recorder’s Court On-Line Ticket Payment System $200,000
Public Defender $62,487
Public Safety Capital Replacement Program $3,812,868
E911 Fund Transfer $858,592
TOTAL $5,739,650

2) Infrastructure Other LOST

The Other LOST Infrastructure funds are proposed to be distributed as follows:

IT Improvements $250,000
Roads Resurfacing/Rehab $3,380,639
Stormwater/Drainage Rehab $750,000
Facility Improvements $800,000
Debt Service $5,274,723
Cost Allocation $44,638
TOTAL $10,500,000

Concluding Remarks

This City is improving every day. We are rethinking, retooling and getting more efficient and more effective. That is good government. Necessarily, when you begin to rethink old habits and retool familiar structures, some will be uncomfortable. But, it is time. The solutions offered over this past year and adopted herein are solid.

This Budget has been prepared to address our continuing General Fund revenue limitations and to administer in a responsible fashion our new Other LOST funds. Over the past year, we have together come up with workable solutions to many financial challenges. Our fortitude in addressing our vehicle capital replacement deficiencies of the past, our unfunded pension liability, our Integrated Waste Fund challenges and our other fund deficits and affiliate subsidies is effective government and should be a source of pride for this city. Not many municipalities have addressed these types of issues, particularly in the face of a prolonged national economic downturn and limited resources to find effective solutions.
I want to thank the City Manager Isaiah Hugley, Finance Director Pam Hodge, our Department Heads and their staff for their extraordinary assistance in the effort of composing this Mayor’s FY2013 Budget.
To our City Council, I respectfully submit this Budget for your review, consideration and approval. I thank you in advance for the hard work that will be necessary to complete this budget process. Many of the decisions made herein were difficult, but I trust you will find them reasonable and necessary under the circumstances presented.
This is the Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government recommended Fiscal Year 2013 Budget submitted for your approval.

After more than forty minutes of the Mayor reading her budget message and then formally presenting the budget to the Council, Director of Finance Pam Hodge then came forward and outlined the Budget Review Schedule for the upcoming month. Meetings will be held on the following dates, May 8th, May 15th, May 22nd and May

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With there being no other business to come before the Council, Mayor Tomlinson then entertained a motion for adjournment. Councilor Woodson so moved. Seconded by Councilor Barnes and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present for this meeting, with Councilor Allen being absent.

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Tiny B. Washington, CMC
Clerk of Council
Council of Columbus, Georgia