Live blogged – only 4 members present to start.
Starts off with jokes about Palms cookies and a handbasket and . . .grrr.
No disclosures or recusals.
Consent agenda for 1 – 16 minus items they want to discuss. Bidar-Sielaff exclused 14, Rhodes-Conway 2, 4 and 10. Bidar-Sielaff changes her mind. Palm exclused #5. They adopt all the items.
They move adoption.
Satya Rhodes-Conway asks Metro staff about the program, she says that the advertising program is somewhat controversial and not the favorite of some of the alders, how will this be different. Staff says that instead of a 3rd party doing it the staff will do it. Instead of getting a cut of the revenue, we will get it all but pay for the sales rep. Rhodes-Conway asks if we will have better control of the advertising. He says he can’t answer that, but we can pursue advertisers we want instead of having others make that decision, but we can’t exclude them. Micheal May, city attorney, says they will start with current guidelines and then review them later. We do think that we can change the policies but there is a process we have to go through and it has to be done carefully and thoughtfully. Rhodes-Conway asks how we will keep track of how we approach, who wants to advertise with us etc so we can make those dcisions, will Metro be doing that? Yes.
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff asks about the timeline and when this will come back on the policy? Michael May says that staff talked about it, Metro’s concern was to make sure we can keep the program running while they do that inquiry. They think that sometime in the next year they will look at it further. Bidar-Sielaff encourages a serious discussion, Rhodes-Conway says ditto.
Mike Verveer says he will wait for questions until tomorrow. He is not worried about the content, the Pabst Blue Ribbon wraps, but the issues of wraps themselves and the experience for the riders. He say on the TPC agenda has this item on the agenda, will the wrap policy and number of them not change? The staff (sorry I don’t know his name) says that they keep the budget revenue neutral but it will increase in future years, but they have not determined that yet. They have not decided to make any changes to the wrap policy. Verveer says that in a previous item they didn’t address the issues of the wraps, has TPC discussed advertising and the wrap issue. Chris Schmidt says no. Verveer asks if they have plans. Schmidt says no. Mayor says he asked Metro to come back after they know more about controlling content and then there will be a report and that would be the appropriate time to take it up. Verveer says to warn Chuck he will be asking about this tomorrow.
Palm says taht he supports others in their efforts, but that changing the policy should be changed now. Take a look at it now instead of when new staff are there and have developed a program.
Item 4 – COUNCIL AND MAYOR SALARIES
RHodes-Conway says she has a hard time voting it, not because she thinks the increases should happen annually, but she doesn’t think they should be giving themselves raises.
Mark Clear asks what problem this is trying to solve.
Bidar-Sielaff says that they are trying to create a small increase over the years instead of suddenly larger bumps. Its the yearly cost of living, the same as staff, using the same rates. Instead of waiting and then having a 2 or 4 year jump in salary.
Palm says we should always look at the salaries, the harder thing is when you don’t do consistent increases and then do a giant jump. He is concerned about ti being tied to the managers salaries, but thinks that small and consistent increases. Its harder to say that we haven’t had an increase in 10 years and then ask for $1000 more.
Mayor says that in regard to the council members, the point Palm made is critical, he says no alder is ever going to get paid for their work and if you have kids the costs are great. He says every so often someone realizes there is a need to raise the salaries and then it seems abrupt, but it hasn’t kept up with inflation for years. In terms of the alders and mayor’s salaries are hard to budget if there are abrupt changes, there are 60 or 70 employees that make more than the mayor and there is a compression issue.
Joe Clausius says that instead of a 2 year bump we are just pro-rating it and it is annual instead of 2 year basis and he has no problem with it, he supports it.
Rhodes-Conway moves an amendment that the basis won’t be for the bargaining units but the increase in area median income in the previous two years. It’s seconded.
Palm asks what that is.
David Schmiedicke, Finance Director, says that they would have to pick a date to base that on.
Rhodes-Conway says the reason to tie it to that, if we are doing a good job and growing the local economy then we get a raise. WE don’t have a high degree of control over that, however that is impacting all our constituents too and she isn’t comfortable passing something that isn’t tied to the economy.
Mayor asks if council or council and mayor? She answers mayor too.
Mayor says that what she is doing doesn’t recognize that historically public employees have disproportionately apply increase to health insurance. If you apply this system, especially on the mayor. The mayor will get retirement and health insurance that is part of the structure of the employee agreement but may also get a better salary too. He would argue against that. He also thinks that her assumption is incorrect. If that was in place with Act 10, the consequences could have been negative. He says he has worked with the other system and he is comfortable with that, but not sure the consequences of the other system.
Clear says they could find them selves in the awkward position of getting a bigger raise than city employees, she says that it could be this version or the other, the lower of the two. Her preference would be to lower the mayor’s salary to the median income, but she is not doing that. She says that they need to show their constituents that they understand the impact of the economy. She won’t “die on this hill” she says, as King says.
Maniaci says that they are undervaluing the role of alders, they are under-cutting the council. She says this job acan only be held by people who are retired, have a partner with a job or have ?, she says they are undercutting the position, if we want to right the ship here we have to be able to pay our bills, have access to health insurance and not go broke doing the work to move the city forward.
Mayor says the more we discuss it, the more I am convinced it should be done. First, as a philosophical matter he is opposed to merit pay in the public sector, he believes people do good work to keep their job and need the income and they do great work not for remuneration, but to be part of the team and the satisfaction of what that produces. Michael Jorndan says that none of the individual awards outweighed the NBA championship. He says second, in all the bargaining he has been involved with he has never used lack of revenue to prevent a wage increase and hasn’t allowed others to say that it was a good year so the wages should be raised more. There are other factors and the revenue situation is the least important, ti more about cost of living and the economy around us but do not peg it to income in other areas. He says the public sector has asked us to peg it to something because it is greater than we see in the public sector, within reason he doesn’t mind setting a bar for a good wage, which we will talk about later with privatization of maintenance for police.
Bidar-Sielaff moves to make it increases the same as managers or based on median wage, whichever is smaller.
They vote twice, no’s have it. The motion fails.
Palm asks when they have to pass it by. May says 12/1. Palm says that many of the points Rhodes-Conway brought up are good, but he thinks they need to understand it better. He urges the council to discuss this and flesh out the ideas more before then, he thinks the idea is valid but he can’t make a decision now.
Mayor says they can look into other yardsticks.
POLICE RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Palm thinks this is good, just curious about adding additional communities. Should we be working with more of our neighbors.
Police start to talk about the benefits, Palm says he gets the benefits, but how do we get more agencies involved. Maybe we don’t need it, but then tell us that. More should be better since crime knows no boundaries.
Police says Stoughton is an addition this year. They have been in contact with other villages that might be interested.
HUD 2013 ACTION PLAN
Hmmmm . . . both the Mayor and Verveer turn and grin at me.
Rhodes-Conway asks Hickory Hurie about the split on the housing side and how the funds are allocated between owner occupied and rental. How were those decisions made.
Hurie says that it goes back to the 5 year plan that was adopted. Some would prefer more on the rental side, the committee discussion is a three-fold strategy to invest in current housing stock, getting people into ownership and stabilize neighborhoods where there is an in balance and contribute to more stability and the third is to address rental housing (new and existing)
Rhodes-Conway asks how many units we have that are near the end of their 20 year affordablility time.
Hurie asks if she is referring to tax credits.
She says anything that is timing out. HUD or tax credits, what is the time frame on those expirations. Are there tax credit or HOME funded properties that are approaching the end of their affordability time frame. Is that data we track.
Hurie says they haven’t tracked that recently, in general the sue of HOME and CDBG funds while there is a time out, there is an on-going investment that is separate from the formal regulatory period of affordability and because the agencies have a vision to provide affordable housing so they last longer than the required time.
Rhodes-Conway asks if that is in the contracts or the mission of the agency.
Yes, it is not in the contracts.
Rhodes-Conway asks how many units we will use in the next 5 years. She is concerns that we preserve instead of create affordable housing since that is easier.
Bidar-Sielaff asks when they will see the Neighborhood study.
Hurie says they are finishing up the draft and hopes to have it in 10 days adn then it will go to committees.
Bidar-Sielaff asks about the budget, it presupposed 1.6M shift from Community Services to CDBG.
Hurie says that the he didn’t, he wanted to – yikes, I missed that – didn’t understand it.
I don’t think Bidar-Sielaff did either.
Hurie says that right now if you wanted to know what funding neighborhood centers got is would be in 3 or 4 places and this puts it all in one spot.
Bidar-Sielaff says that some of this is before the budget and it might change in the budget conversation, what is the timeline to submit this and can they wait.
Hurie says that it is important to go ahead with the action plan and then if there are changes they can do a revised action plan. He says that his understanding is that the level of funding and type of funding will be the same, it doesn’t anticipate changing funding from youth to seniors, etc.
Bidar-Sielaff says that this changes things. When does it need to be submitted.
Rhodes-Conway asks they adopt this and don’t move the money in the budget, are we in any trouble?
Rhodes-Conway says nothing pre-supposes that happening? We can do whatever we want?
Mayor asks for differnet information about what agencies requested, where they requested it and what they got.
They complete this portion of the meeting.
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