City Operating Budget Initial Presentations

Posted October 9th, 2017 @ 10:35 PM by

I missed the capital budget, but I”m determined to get the operating budget done! We’ll see . . . I tend to be a little too optimistic about my time!

Judge Koval says no significant changes.

Mike Verveer asks that they go through the budget slides. He talks about the services and says the funding will just continue those services.

Shiva Bidar asks about the interpreter services and if it was discussed. Koval says that one of his clerks is working with the language access initiative.

Sheri Carter asks about the Juvenile Restorative Justice Program and if it would be expanded. Koval says that it is for kids 16 & under who get tickets – they are given the alternative to participate in this program and if they complete it the ticket isn’t filed. If they don’t ask for it with the court he can still refer them to the program. It they take that route the case is dismissed. Members of the general public wouldn’t have access to these files. They are looking at expanding it to 17 & over. They want to expand it to more young adults. It makes no sense that a 17 year old in high school can’t get into the program.

They recess the meeting and have the county finance committee join them. The go through all the formalities (call to order, roll call) and then Janelle Heinrich from Public Health does their presentation. She says there is new information since she presented to the county board, there is a change in position authority but there is no change, it is just a reconciliation of the records. Highlights include $2M in tax levy support in the reserves which reduced GPR funding, there is a slight increase in COLA, and some continuation of funds for contracts from the city in the budget. New to them is a proposal to have a public health approach to violence prevention. The goal is to have Public Health be a convener of multiple partners. They will start with prevention and then talk about what is happening in the moment and after the fact. This will have them collectively share the data and ID the scope and scale of violence. They want to paint a holistic picture. They will ID what works and create a comprehensive plan moving forward. The work is convening and identifying data and coming up with a plan. She says the rest of the programs are not new.

They will work on boosting licensing in Animals Services – only about 20% of the dogs are licensed in Dane County, it would generate revenue and help track the dogs. The continue to look at infant mortality, they need to move their study to action and will focus on low birth weight. They need to look at the SDS services and improve services. They have been without an emergency preparedness manager for the past 6 months and it was just filled. Environmental Protection – clean groundwater is to id steal tanks and work on compliance. The lab efforts will continue. They are part of a national standards program for licensed establishment. There have been an increase over the past 4 years and they can add a staff person from the fees. In policy, planning and evaluation is where the violence prevention and other initiatives are located.

Marsha Rummel asks about the Crime Prevention Staff and there was an issue about how soon they would be hiring. They want to start in March and she wants to request the county board people to make it real for them.

Sheri Carter asks about the animal services – as you increase licenses do other community policies impact Madison, so Madison becomes a refuge for people not following the rules. Voegli says that yes, there are some policies that impact Madison. Many communities regulate the number of dogs or cats that you can have and the City does not. Everything else is somewhat the change. In some towns and villages they are able to get 100% licensing and they want to see that in Madison.

Carter asks about infant mortality, are we planning to do more PSA and do we have the same person doing outreach – not constantly changing. Henirich says they are working on outreach and what that will look like. They are looking at the causes and some might be about health care systems, at the community level they are still unsure what outreach might look like. She says that you may see case managers and other dedicated staff doing the work.

Sarah Eskrich asks about the violence prevention initiative and the $250,000 – is that an on-going initiative and will the county match it? Heinrich says its all city funded. She says it will be available once they come back with a plan and they identify what might work. She says a small amount might be available to integrate data more.

Eskrich asks if its realistic that they will have a plan and they will spend the money in 2018. She says during the second half. Eskrich asks how it relates to the CDD money, Heinrich says its a policy decision. Eskrich asks about the vacancy rate in the position. She says they are turning over 25% of the staff. That is to be expected with retirements and they are replacing as quickly as possible. Eskrich asks how long it takes it was about 6 months, but now its 8 months. Used to be 3 – 12 months now its 6 – 18 months.

Mike Verveer asks for them to send the handouts from the CCEC meeting. He asks about the ambitious timeline and the 2 FTE vacant positions. Did you say that the process is underway? Heinrich says they haven’t started yet. They have not started, they looked at what positions they could reclassify. She thinks the city and county agree on this, but haven’t submitted the reclassification. Verveer asks what the best case scenario? Is this a priority for the 4th floor. She says in an ideal world they will be in place January 1, but March to June is realistic.

Verveer asks about room tax enforcement for AirBnB and notes the slide has more info than on page 264 of the city budget books. They asks for money for an additional position months ago, where are we at with that? He appreciates it will be fee paid. Voegli says that they probably have gotten info from Donna who has started working. They are increasing their licenses by the day. They have 75% of the 300-400 people and they have to follow up and you will see more emails on this. With the additional licenses they get more money, its LTE but they think it will remain through the year and he says that he would hope that he will be back to ask for more assistance if there is more licenses. Verveer asks if she does the inspections, yes she does. Verveer asks about the email protocol to send to city council or county board. Voegli says it is in the city system (Acela?) and only the alders get it. Verveer asks if the state legislation would impact any of this and he says it seems to be just clarifying the 29 days. Verveer asks about the room tax, he’s not sure about the room tax but the local licensure remains unchanged.

Supervisor Jeff Pertl talks about asset making projects going on and offers to send information to collaborate.

Bidar asks about how the 2 FTE positions and the reclass is reflected (or not) on page 270. She says the positions are equalized ad asks if the work will be countywide. Laura from Finance says the budget doesn’t accurately reflect the information. 140.55 positions are in the budget and 2 will be re-classified says Bidar – she asks about the changing of salaries. Laura says that the funding is in CDD at the moment and they were not sure how the $250,000 would be spent and when they have the plan they will distribute the money and have a budget amendment.

David Ahrens ask if they have been involved with the data from the police department. Heinrich says that they work with them regularly along with fire and others. They are looking at opioid usage and each partner looks at the data to form a community based approach. Ahrens asks if how their information they are collecting is different from the police department. She says that they don’t look at intentional or unintentional information and they can input info on the victim. Ahrens asks if that is not reporter to the police. Heinrich says it might be reported but it might not go past that person, this will aggregate the data. They can do hot spot maps and see what the activity it is and then engage the neighborhood. IT might be a disruption or prevention.

Mayor says that they are not waiting to fill the position – they are sitting down and working with the police to create a new system of data retrieval reporting. The police uses the federal crime reporting software and they are looking at getting started by looking at what they are missing. He says that the whole system of data collection is going to change.

Ahrens asks about violence prevention and the violence prevention unit, are they aware of that. Heinrich says yes. Ahrens asks if they will each have a violence prevention unit. Heinrich says that will be different – they will do different work and work together to reduce violence.

Ahrens asks about the environmental epidemiologist? Jeff Lafford (sp?), Ahrens asks what he does. Voegli says lead, radon, mercury or industrial issues that are in our purview in stead of the state. Ahrens asks why he wasn’t involved in Kipp and the DNR findings and the EPA findings. Voegli says he has been involved but the lead is John Hausback. He says that is transitioning the program to Jeff so he would be running those at risk communications. This will provide oversight for all the moving parts. He will be handling environmental hazards, they have many that don’t neatly fit into a program and Jeff will take the lead to build up that expertise. He will be the liaison between all the various levels of government.

Matt Phair asks about how the work will be managed when these new positions have been reclassified, its a clerk 1/2 and a well woman case manager(?). The positions have been vacant for a while and were hoping to reclass them in other ways, but the tasks have been reassigned and they will need to figure out how to manage that.

Sheri Carter asks about the violence prevention and if they are working with the hotels and human trafficking? Heinrich says that is an area they will be able to get more information but they are not right now.

Barbara McKinney asks about violence prevention and the collaboration with hospitals and if we are ready to launch. How we move into violence prevention is important. How is it connected to other efforts. Heinrich says it allows them to start – to convene and collaborate. They will be able to come together at a common table with a common definition to decide what it looks like within their scopes of responsibilities. She says that the early and rapid assessment is that there is a lot of good work going on. They want to work better together and assign responsibilities. She says it could be programs or policy changes. They have talked to a lot of people but not everyone yet. McKinney asks about the people who are stakeholders that have been doing this work, are they at the table. Heinrich says yes. McKinney says that is not what she is working. Heinrich says that some are doing violence prevention and others might be work they don’t call violence prevention – but they are talking about a broad range of services. People seem ready and have a desire to come together to maximize each others work as a perspective. The list of partners has grown a lot since last week and by the end of the day they will have 4 pages. Not everyone will be part of the same solution. Hospitals will be doing something different than in the community. McKinney says that when looking at what the hire will do and the reclassification – are you looking at who is already doing this work. Heinrich says they will look at what work is being done, this will not replicate that or replace it.

Supervisor Sheila Stubbs asks if the money is sufficient for equity. Heinrich says that it is never enough, but we are working to move equity into our daily operations. What we are doing is going through training to strategize and reduce disparities in their every day work.

They adjourn the joint meeting, and they go back into the finance meeting. They do the roll again.

They go back to the flex spending item. (sorry, was late and missed the beginning, so I”m skipping this part)

It’s 7:42ish – they spent about 15 minutes on that

Verveer asks about the antiquated software. Koval says that they are working with IT, the software is local and its a great company that many around the state use, but they are working to make it compatible with city programs, they hope to be ready after the new year and train the staff. Verveer says its been 8 years, he feels bad. Verveer asks if this will be available to the public, it will not. Other departments, police and city attorney will have read only access. Verveer asks about an appeal issue when the city attorney didn’t get the decision. Koval says that the notice was provided to the city attorney – if they misplaced it it had nothing to do with the court. Verveer says that he got a lengthy memo about the current system still being open. Verveer asks if the existing system it updated. Koval says that you need to rely on the written decision for legal purposes. That was an issue in their office that needed to be addressed, but the current court system would be updated.

Verveer asks about the caseload that moving violations are down 14% in court. Koval says that there are about 30,000 cases that are filed. The number of cases is not a function of the court, they don’t have control or input over that nor should they. Verveer asks if the trend is necessarily flat. Koval says it is not a bad thing, getting revenue from the tickets shouldn’t be the goal, maybe we are diverting people away and the city might be saving money in other areas. The goal should be to get people to get help and resources they need so we don’t have more cases. Verveer asks if there is any anecdotal issues he can share. Koval says he couldn’t say.

Samba Baldeh asked a question I couldn’t hear. Koval says that $38 of every ticket covers the cost of court services.

Greg Mickells the Library Director has a hand out, he says a lengthy portion of the budget is with the Bubbler program and he wanted to them to have the details. There is a 5.1% increase due to the Bubbler program. They have a decrease in fine revenue because they are notifying people better before they are overdue and the second is for the hourly and overtime pay. The third item was an increase to the Bubbler program. For the 1st 4 years it was funded by private dollars but now that it is a proven project they want city funding, they need that reliable foundation to sustain the program. They have 4 areas of the budget, collection resources and access. They are working more with the school district and looking at more languages. They are also working on community engagement, particularly with the schools, this gives them capacity to get into the community and reach underserved populations. Facilities is to maintain and improve properties where they can. This budget year is to expand custodial services at the neighborhood libraries and the last is public service. They are doing a data analysis of their operations to have deliverables and metrics to determine their impact.

Verveer asks about private revenue that funded the Bubbler, was that revenue all through the wonderful library foundation or were they grants to specific foundations. Mickells says it was both. There was a grant for over $300,000 from IMLS and Google has provided money – they funded 13 programs and they were the only library to get the funding. Evjue Foundation, Madison Community Foundation and others. Verveer asks if the library foundation will still be funding this? Michkells says that the foundation has a twofold approach, they do capital projects and programs and services. It has developed in many ways, they might provide transportation to get people to the library. $175,000 is to replace the funding and the mayor gave you all but $50,000 and in talking to the foundation you are not optimistic they can’t find it elsewhere. Mickells says he appreciates the sustainable base to work from (125,000) but it would be better to be at $250,000. He says it does allow them to show that the city support them and brings in national recognition and allows them to collaborate across the until states. He says this is a solid foundation for their work.

Verveer asks about the case management at the library, with the opening of the Beacon can you talk about the services and why their important and why they should continue it. Mickells says they will maintain their services, but won’t contract for them. He says they are working closely with the Beacon to figure out how they can work together. The social services at the library has been invaluable and they will continue to provide their offices for these services and it has been critical. The other thing is to make sure that their services are complimentary to the Beacon and we want the Beacon to establish the relationships like they have. People who are homeless will continue to use our services and we value that. Verveer asks if they are comfortable without having contracted services. Mickells says they will collaborate with many of the services we have had in the library, they will be working with Welcome Home and they will provide services and connect people to their services. They are also looking at expanding with other agencies. Verveer asks if he is comfortable. Mickells says that it will be valuable to provide a clear runway to the Beacon and not be competing but complimentary.

Rummel asks about Results Madison and Library Take Over. Mickells says Results Madison is data to look at outcomes to see what they are achieving. The Read Up program they can measure if they have an impact. They do a pre-test and post-test with the schools. 75% of the students maintain or improve their reading levels. They get objective and quantitative feedback they are successful. Library takeover is for them to be inspired by the community. They don’t ask for programming, they ask others to come up with the programming and the foundation funds some of the program. They had three programs last year, Namaste, Oscal Mireles and a program for people with disabilities and LGBTQ community. They want to empower the community and be a platform for their needs.

Rummel asks about working with the schools. Mickells says that historically they have not always worked together, but Cheatam has been very collaborative. They do making spaces in the schools too. They build capacity and allow the schools to have that maker experience. They train the teachers. They give them the concept and the training and they decide.

Rummel asks about the digital divide – how are you connected to this. Mickells says they have always worked with IT, they are working on tech companies and exploring. They do a lot of programs and a lot of people come to the library to use the computers. He would love to be able to have them take the laptop home and that is what they are working toward.

Carter asks about rental space for banquets and stuff, do you see that increasing? It looks like that is decreasing. Mickells says that they have limited space and they have competition for public programs. They want to make it available to nonprofits and other entities, the private events is all they charge for.

Carter asks if he plans on having more libraries open on Sunday, he says they don’t have the budget for that.

Carter asks about the Take Over and Reading up – is that in all the libraries. Mickells says its mostly in Central for Take Over because it is a training. Reading up in in 6 schools.

McKinney asks about the cafe and when it will re-open. Mickells says that it is hard for a cafe to be successful because of the hours (we open at 9) and there is an expense to operate. Chocolatarian left in September and stopped catering and changed their business model. They are working to do some workplace training opportunities and a retail outlet for Just Bakery – the price points will be different – a cookie for $.80 instead of $3. They want to be a platform to see how the library can function for them. McKinney asks him to explain what Just Bakery is. Mickells says it is people returning from prison and it provides job training.

14 bodies will staff station 14. They have . . . I can’t hear for some reason – I don’t think he is using the microphone. They will continue to train their teams to get more paramedics. Prevention is community education. Smoke detectors . . . mumble, mumble, mumble.

Denise DeMarb says that there are a list of items the mayor couldn’t fund. The mayor couldn’t fund the detectives and other positions. The chief says that they talked about an engine company and an ambulance. 75% of the time they will be ok with an ambulance only. He says they need to have another study to look at how they are delivering service. They do a tremendous amount of work. To divvy that work over 8 ambulances is creating pressure points in our system. They need more ambulances for transport but they need to look at how they deliver that service. The community paramedic is on the rise and they might have a mental health ambulance. DeMarb says that she heard they are going to step back and take a look and come back next year. The staffing study was done in 1999 and with the adoption of station 14 that completes the plan so they need to look at that again.

DeMarb asks if the firefighters that are in station 14 also be paramedics. Chief says not 100% of the time but they will be EMS trained. They have basic life support for the first 4 – 5 minutes and they can to the basic things, then the paramedics bring the hospital to the living room.

DeMarb asks how they decide when the paramedics should be on duty, are there certain hours. H says there are 16 paramedics on duty, 8 at all times, they have promoted others who are paramedics and they have a pilot program where they have a paramedic on engine 9 on MIdvale, its too soon to tell how that will help. They sprinkle them throughout the area but they ride the ambulances 24/7.

Mayor Paul Soglin says that each department was directed to do a continuation budget from last year with build ins for expansions due ot capital budgets and then he asked what services they would have added. In some instances he included them. There were others on the bubble, sometimes in the budget and sometimes not. Near the end they had some bad news that resulted in $500,000 in cuts and you have an idea what would have been funded if they had more money but his priorities. He says this keeps in mind the ability to add $4M to the budget.

Verveer asks about $330,000 for the academy for 18 firefighters for station 14. Nicole Marie says that they typically overhire, those were funded, they typically have a class of 20, for those who might not pass or move on. Verveer says this is misleading because it was funded? She says that its $150,000 each. Nicole says that the backfill of overtime is included as well. Its the incremental costs.

Verveer asks about overtime they reported mid-year. He says there are acute cases of paramedic burn out, he asks the chief to speak to that. Chief says that the first thing is in 2013 when they opened station 13 they didn’t adequately plan for the additional staff. They typically consider 18 bodies for a company and with the creative staff we didn’t get ahead, we should have hired 21. They have to look at the creative staffing and they need leadership on if they want more FTEs or overtime. That is the philosophy of you and the mayor. A few factors went into this, they have been using more training staff, they sent 11 people to paramedic school and when they take that many bodies out of the field they have to backfill. To have the staffing equalization program they need 9 – 12 more bodies, but they will see when the academy graduates in May, they will be able to get ahead and won’t have as much overtime in the second half of the year but in 2020 they will be back in the same boar. They implemented this program to reduce over time. They have a lot of people calling in sick and FMLA. He says that is generational. The other thing is MUNIS where there is more transparency, Rita used to move money around but we can’t do that any more. The burnout isn’t what people might tell you, people aren’t leaving the ambulance. (Chit chat about how much they are talking)

Verveer asks about the overtime deficit, it wasn’t just burnout, but also because of training and call back overtime needed and unplanned leave. He appreciates that when they didn’t make the right adjustments when they opened station 13. Chief says that is part of that, there are multiple issues, next year it will take care of itself over the next 2 years but in 2020 they have potential. They have injuries on duty, the skill assessment each year leads to injuries. At one tie they had 8 or 9 people who needed to rahab to get them back in. Verveer asks if the figures for overtime of a little under $1M is something they are confident in. Chief says barring any unforeseen incidents yes.

Verveer asks about medical supplies and the flat funding for this year even tho we did a budget amendment last year at this time. Are you confident in that number? Lance says that the narcan vendor jacked the prices up cuz they could and they are going through a new RFP and they will have real time asset management so they know what they are using. With all those measures they think this is the right number.

Verveer asks about the condo fees for fire admin and the utilities were not accurate – are you confident that what is in the budget is accurate. Nicole Marie says yes. The condo fees are finalized but they are working on some credits. She says the actuals have a credit that might offset in future years.

Matt Phair asks about the mental health ambulance, what is that and why? Chief says that mental health is wrongly placed on the feet of police. We need to place it where it belongs or rename it to Mental Criminal. These are patients. You don’t want law enforcement showing up because it will end up with charges. This is a medical issue. They have been providing services under the same model since 1965 when Fire took over EMS from police. In 1972 they changed to paramedics and really haven’t changed since then. The community paramedics are working on community living and wellbeing. They try to coach people into being advocates for themselves. He says they are some special people who are paramedics or mental health workers or both.

Phair asks about the restoration center – chief isn’t familiar with that term – Phair explains that instead of arresting people you take them somewhere where you wrap services around them. Chief likes it and he has talked with Cheeks about having a center where people who are not living effectively on their own to empower people to take control over their own lives. He says we need to change the conversation around mental health. We can keep throwing bad money after good until it perpetuates.

McKinney says that conversation hit home for her because a grandmother came to her because when her daughter goes off her meds the only place she can go is jail and solitary and she committee suicide and she asked if they had been able to treat her would her child still be alive. This is a serious conversation we need to have as we talk about health, when police show up whether they de-escalate or not if they are in that cycle they are there. We will need to begin to look at that.

Chief says there is no question there? He could go on and on about this. In the 90s the mental health system was failing us all and there are problems we are not addressing. Alcohol is the number one problem in our city and we need to be serious about that too. Our cooking fires are 95% – they have no data because that isn’t noted – but alcohol is involved. He talks about a 90 year old lady who was “crocked” at 7am after getting out of the hospital. I’m not running for mayor but . . . There are solutions, but we need to look outside the box we have been put in. He asks if he needs to fill out a registration on this.

DeMarb asks about the “frequent flyers” visiting program – is it still going? Community paramedics look at geriatric discharge people. They look at the top 20 super users and then the paramedics go work wtih them maybe once a month or once a day or several times a day. They have seen huge success – Meriter saved half a million dollars on re-admittance – but they have the data. We don’t have all the data collected and can’t analyze it yet, they are working with public health to make sure they are working on the right data. DeMarb asks how it is getting paid for. Meriter grant is paying $50,000 for staff and $13,000 for other services (bus tickets, groceries), UW-Hospitals is in the 3rd year and they give $69,000 salaries and city contribution as well. They think it will continue to be funded.

Arvina Martin asks if other cities has these mental health ambulances. Chief says that every city our size and some smaller are starting – Fitcrona has a memory care. Seattle?? has social workers. They go out and interact with the patients from the night before if they weren’t appropriate for services. Every community has the ability to decide what we need. You have to figure out what the need it.

McKinney says this was a fruitful conversation – she remembers when the frequent flyer – what are we calling it? Ambulance Alumni says chief. Are you serious asks McKinney, Chief says super users, we have lots of names. McKinney asks when we will talk about this more? Is this a pilot? Chief says this started in 2015, but they want data. THey don’t want to ask for $500,000 if it doesn’t work, in a few years they will have data and partners.

McKinney asks about what has transpired since 2015, how is this incorporated and when would they hear that. Chief says its too new, they know the fire and paramedic system works. We know our fire prevention works, we think our community education works, but right now we don’t have enough data to say this is the wave of the future. We don’t have an overarching medical issue, but we have an overarching mental health issue. We don’t know yet if this works. McKinney says that she doesn’t want to wait for the neatly wrapped package, they need these updates. Mental health is a paramount issues and its a health issue.

(I don’t recognize this guy! Sorry) He goes over the slides, he says they doing an analysis on fleet operations and see if thy can save money through efficiency and improvement. They are looking at preventing collisions, training and sustainable equipment. They are looking at a strategy to have the technicians keep up with all the changes.

Verveer welcomes him to his first budget. Verveer says he usually asks about fuel costs at this point. Which ones are under contract. Dave Schniedicke says Metro diesel is under contract through 2018. Fleet is 1017, we are under not contract and going to the spot market on unleaded. Metro has an $800,000 savings. Fleet is constant but they will review again, the prices hit the lower end in the 4th quarter, there was a little shock with the hurricanes. They don’t expect much changes in the contracts. Verveer asks about contract end dates and Schmiedicke says its calendar years.

Mark Clear asks about best practices of how much, if any, vehicle procurement is capital vs operating. Clear says we are stuck with our process at this point. Staff says in New York City is was over $35,000 it was capital, if under $35,000 was operating. Clear asks if that was a proxy for the life span of the vehicle? He says there could be some adjustment for life span. It’s hard to say universally its about the usage. Schmiedicke says there are hard and fast rules in some areas but with the city we tend to borrow for it but not capitalize it. Clear says in a perfect world it would make financial sense but he doens’t see how we would change it realistically.

Verveer asks about the fleet services vacancy rates on staff. 14%. Do you know if that was purposeful because Bill was retiring? Why do you have so many unfilled positions. Staff says he was not familiar with that. Verveer asks how many vacancies they have. He says he thinks they only have 2 vacancies. He’s not sure where the 14% comes from. Laura from Finance says that the vacancy number was from the end of September and there are 5 vacancies. He asks if they are currently recruiting – staff says no. There are also retirements coming up. Verveer says that some agencies have open positions for salary savings and are worried more than they should have been and you should work with the Finance department on this. Staff says he is reviewing everything they are doing.

They say they kept things simple – status quo. They are adding 3 positions for EAB, $157,000. Decreased Fleet services, $635,000, $118,000 decrease on forestry charge and $200,000 savings in staff. He goes through the slides and I”m not sure I got those numbers quick.

No questions!

Wait . . . Verveer . . .

Verveer says this is Chris Kelley’s last budget meeting and he wants to recognize his 40 years of service. He asks about EAB stump grubbing – he says there are capitalized positions in the capital budget but grubbing is decreasing – if we are hiring 3 people how are costs going on. Kelley says that Finance is moving money. Laura says that they adjusted urban forestry revenue and shuffled some payroll allocations, and that re-shuffling led to the decrease. Verveer asks if they are decreasing, Kelley says they start in March and work til it snows.

Vereer asks about 5 snowfalls, what did it used to be instead before global warming, he says 7. Last year was 5.5.

They say it is similar to last year’s request because they had some large one time expenditures in 2017 that they don’t have in 2018. They are going through a rate increase. They need $8.7M more in revenue and it will be 6 more months before the rate case is done. That will be for infrastructure replacement. They have been borrowing 100% and are trying to get away from that.

Verveer asks to explain the rate increases. Tom says that there was an earlier estimate when they wanted to ask for more to finance, but its 26%. That is about $5 am month on the average household. There won’t be a rate increase in 2017, wasn’t one in 2016, and they don’t expect another for 30 months. The bill is not going up 26%. Mayor says we need to get that information out there, since so much of it is not water. Average bill is $19-20 a month, they don’t know if the residential class will be higher or lower for 26%. The average household is about $50-60 and they are only 1/3 of the bill.

Rob Phillips says they have 163 full-time employees in the various utilities in the engineering division and they are shared among the various areas of the department. The budget for practical purposes houses the employees in this area. They are basically staying the same. They continue to have costs for displaced worked and there are more CCB charges while the municipal building work is going on. They are continuing the green power program. Engineering and Administration is street, bike path & construction designers, preventative maintenance, rating pavement conditions, etc. Pavement is rates every 2 years, bridges are inspected every other year and sidewalks are replaced every 10 years. The renovation of the municipal building will be completed. They are working on several facilities projects – capital east ramp, midtown station, pinney library and public market. They have some big projects coming up to design (I didn’t get them all) and they are working with the Mayor and finance to manage the facilities projects. They are continues facilities operations projects. Mapping and records are doing another flight of the city, they will migrate to autocad and do a comprehensive review of land records.

Sarah Eskrich asks about facilities management staff and capacity issues there. They have 9.5 FTE vacant, do you expect them to help with this work. Phillips says they only have 3 or 4 at the moment, not 9. Laura says that there are maintenance workers held open while the municipal building is in rehab. Phillips says there are 10 people in facilities right now and they need one more short term. When they get past 2018 they won’t need that same level of staffing.

Still Rob Phillips, he says not much has changed. We maintain 5 closed landfills in the city. They monitor gas leaching into ground water and the air.

No questions

Rob Phillips again, Steve is here for specifics. 3% rate increase, attributed to debt service and treatment charges increases $930,000. They do have to do the restaurant sewer charge class and will do it by April 1st. He reads the slides. They are looking at implementing a rating system for sewers.

Verveer asks about the 3% rate increase, is that correct? They haven’t done a full analysis. The rates won’t increase until next year so they don’t know. Verveer asks if the rate increase will go into effect in March? Steve says yes, April 1st. That seems to be the new scheudle, and it includes storm water too.

Rob Phillips again. 3% increase for debt service. They are working on rating projects here too.

No questions

Not many substantive changes. Does have new tax proceeds at Olbrich, he is also reading the slides and talking really, really fast. Gypsy moth spraying is needed more. There is a higher fees for ultimate frisbee to get priority placement, but it does more damage to the field. EAB mitigation plan continues to work on street trees. THey are 6 – 18 months from tree removal to grubbing and then planting. They are coming relatively more quickly. They will do an update in December. They are worried about private trees – if they are untreated they are infested. Still reading the slides – but I think I got a little sloppy here.

Matt Phair asked a question I missed. I think it was about getting projects done. He is now asking about community engagement and how that works – Eric Knepp says the landscape architects do that work.

Marsha Rummel asks about how helping hiring seasonal workers – they hired 5.75 in April and 4 were affirmative hires and 3 have been promoted to a parks maintenance workers, the first female arborist and another promotion. The three positions they hope to fill by the end of the year. The staff are pleased by the results

Verveer asks about staffing, they are rattling off their big projects they are working on and what staff they have.

Verveer asks when they charge to capital projects as opposed to levy. The staff say most are capital, they charge as much as they can. They cover a lot with the capital projects. They hope if they get a new position they can charge it to capital. Verveer asks about the landscape architect position for $75,000, would all of that be charged to capital projects. Eric Knepp says that they think the vast majority would be charged. The proposal is to fully charge it.

Verveer asks why they think they need that. Knepp says that it not that you have to, its quality and volume and they want to engage the community in the design. If they want that level of engagement. In lieu of that projects will slow down and they will pull back on the engagement. You can limit staff time by having less engagement.

Verveer asks about the re-authorizations – will that position help complete the projects more timely. Knepp says that is part of it too.

Verveer asks about the Mall Concourse fees. Mayor says that alcohol creates no income for the city, its costs an extraordinary money on Friday and Saturday nights, it is so bad that we have safety concerns for citizens and city staff. It is only worsened despite the fact that was have additional police and the cost of this should be carried out by those who are serving alcohol that is the main source of the problem. Taxpayers get little benefit from the sale of massive quantities of alcohol. So he thinks we should find a way to have the costs covered by those creating the problem, so that includes these fees if the council continues to approve licenses.

Verveer agrees that we need to charge this, but why mall maintenance, they will see it at $100,000 for downtown safety initiatives and the clerks office. Is it more little. Mayor says we see it at 4am, but the public doesn’t see it at 9am, the staff cleans it up by then. Verveer asks if we will look at the way we charge the fees. Will we look at the formula? Mayor says the formula was devised in 1976 and only been modified slightly but there is a 40% increase in alcohol licenses and square footages. Yes, there are vacancies, but that is the rent the owners are asking. Knepp says they need to modernize and update the formula. Verveer asks if the process would be the Downtown Coordinating Committee or a task force? Knepp says that they would expect the DCC to be involved, but that’s up to the Mayor. Mayor says he hasn’t taken it further than getting a more accurate accounting of what it takes to maintain the area.

Eric Knepp says that it is continuation of services and staff positions. They are working with the golf subcommittee on the future of golf, there are significant long term needs and they want to start with the committee to find solutions. He encourages them to read the annual report.

Verveer asks about a timeline for the huge decisions. Knepp says that there is no timeline, they encouraged them to take the report in August – there is a lot to go through. We have a depreciation issue, the timeline they face will be determined by the Golf Committee and Parks Commission. He hopes they don’t open next year with no direction whatsoever. Knepp says that he will share an emergency management plan if things break. He says if a pump goes down at Yahara for $100,000 they can’t pay for it and it might close the course. The pumps are 20 years old, some is older, drainage is from 1966 at Yahara. They wanted to start the discussion and they put out ideas, some of which are incredibly controversial. Mayor says golf should pay for itself or get rid of the golf courses. He says one of the issues is that other services don’t pay for themselves. He sees a distinction. But then everything should pay for itself – instead of only golf. He is frustrated that they have not made more progress on this and if the Golf Subcommittee is saying what it wants they are not being realistic. He says the choice is to sell Yahara or Monona. He says Monona is the one to sell. If we put this off too long, when we make the decision we will find there is so much capital investment needed we will need to raise the fees so high we won’t attract the necessary rounds. He says this is complicated by the aging of system, rounds played elsewhere and aging population of golfers.

Runmel says that this is a policy decision, she is not there yet, the Mayor might be right, se doesn’t know what sports cover themselves and she’d like to see that analysis if the work has been done. She says that she hears from people who can’t afford other places and she is wondering if the sports complex should be at Yahara. Knepp says have looked at having 36 holes and the sports complex at that location, but it has the biggest capital needs. He says that Yahara brings the price down for everything else. If we closed Yahara we would get rid of the capital needs, but then Monona would go up 30% and run a business. The other problem is that closing Yahara does not provide sizable capital for the other courses. Odana needs a club house. He says neither one is good, but those are the two viable one. Closing 9 or 18 holes is nonsensical, it still has the same costs. WE will not address capital needs with that. Rummel has been hearing the uniqueness of the 9 hole course. Knepp says that they would put foward tees in to make a more playable course. He says there are not a lot of good choices, just least bad.

David Dryer goes through the slides, no increase in positions. Changes are due to Munis and being able to track things better. It’s a maintenance/status quo budget. They are wrapping up the communications project, they always need more money for pavement markings. Signs need to be replaced every 15 – 20 years. Street lights are being upgraded to LEDs to reduce power bill.

Verveer asks about staff time charged to capital projects. TE will likely have a $400,000 deficit and might need to be bailed out at the end of the year. What happened? Dryer says that they are working with staff to charge more specifically. Some of it is a better understanding of the data. Last year they had similar charges and did ok. He says that in the past they charged differently. Dryer again says the staff need to track things better to the right project and sometimes they are working on 10 projects. Verveer asks if they asked staff to go back, they have. Dryer says they tend to close gaps at the end of the year. THey say sit will be significantly less than $400,000. There are some expenses that have not been charged. Things are still shaking out.

Verveer asks about the 2018 budget, was this what you requested. Keith says they have reduced the time. They tried to make it more realistic.

Sabrina says they added on FTE maintenance worker for the Capital East Garage. That will come on line next year and have additional revenue. They also have $395,000 in salary and benefits for the Residential Parking Permit and is revenue neutral. There would be a significant change in the fee. (from $29 to $105/yr to park on the street). They will need to have an ordinance change. They are working on replacing meters for the multispace meters. They are looking at expanding hours of enforcement beyond 6pm.

Verveer asks if the RP3 request was from Parking. She says that the subcommittee had asked about it. They wanted to know what costs were applied to the program and they added the policing costs. They have thought about a tiered system.

Verveer asks again if it were in their budget. He asks the Mayor to explain. He says it is an extraordinary service, people should pay for it. Or we can go back to the way it was. Verveer says that people who live downtown should be penalized by the commuters who park downtown. He says they are hunting permit. He doesn’t think that it should be raised to $105 in one move. He says he doesn’t like that it is hidden in the budget. He says this is a longer term policy question. There is so much money that the 2 hour enforcement brings in and he says it is misguided. Mayor says you should take Laura and David out the woodshed for burying it. Verveer says that puts the parking utility in a bad light. Dave Schiedicke says there was no intent to hide it. He says its a policy decision, it doesn’t pay for itself. I missed a bit here. There is also a question of who pays for the parking enforcement officers.

Verveer asks about the increase in parking rates. Sabrina says the rate change is done on a three year basis, a mid-year change, in part to increase revenue to pay for costs. She says that they also look at the vacancy rates and they look at where people might park to save money. The goal is to spread people throughout the system. The Government East Garage is the highest use historically. They want to have availability at all times. Last year they raised the prices in some ramps and decreased in others. Verveer asks if they seek consultants for input. She says internal staff do the numbers. Verveer asks about the timeline for the expanded enforcement times. They will start working on it next year. It could be a month to month and a half for re-programming. It might be a 6 month timeline from the date it is enacted to going live.

Rummel asks about the $28 to $105 a month. Is that month or a year. $105 to have a right to park downtown doesn’t seem that expensive.

Rummel asks about the role of parking staff at garages vs computerization. She is concerned about the open ended language on page 220. Sabrina says that they are replacing their system and one of the changes will be a bar code system. Right now they are mag stripes. They can’t issue coupons or vouchers at this point. With bar code capability they could do coupons, businesses could sign up for an account and give $1 off and print or email a coupon to customers. There is also a mobile app that will allow maintenance staff to see alarms and information. Rummel says the book talks about entry and exit stations. At Capital East it will computerized. Sabrina says the exit station is the automated and the cashier stations. What we have now is all being replaced. Rummel says so I shouldn’t assume people are being replaced. Sabrina says not at all.

Kemble asks if Parking will get more money or will it go to MPD. Sabrina says that Parking pays for the 5 workers that walk. This is a new allocation. It would be 5 officers that do do time limit enforcement, but up to 11 throughout the year. 41% of those 11 officers salaries are being allocated for RP3, even if we don’t raise the rates. But then the parking utility would lose money.

Kemble asks if there was revenue due to the moped parking fees. No, they expect little impact. That could change, but to date they have not heard but a few calls for moped permits.

Chuck Kamp says their revenues are dropping by over $3M, that is because of Family Care, but the expenses will be reduced. There are service changes and phasing out the in house paratransit. There will be serious federal shortfalls in funding and won’t get any new equipment for paratransit and they won’t have any layoffs. There will be a public hearing on service changes at TPC this week. They are hoping to complete plans for their old and new buildings. They are working on medical testing and the labor contract expires in 2018. They are planning a shuttle on Monroe St. They hope to do the small starts program for Bus Rapid Transit. Crystal Martin says that because of the loss of revenue they will contract out all paratransit services. They have 4 contracts currently and the directly operated service (20% of rides) will be taken over by the contractors. They plan to increase the cash fair, there won’t be door to door service. The Mayor says that in the 70s he was involved in deigning the paratransit policies and its been heartbreaking to see the cuts in all transportation support and particularly the paratransit. It’s federal and state policies doing this and they are just a disaster.

Verveer asks if there really are few options and so what is presented in the Mayor’s budget . . . Kamp says they are not seeing options right now. They are meeting with the managed care systems and if there is a change they will let us know. Right now this is the best estimate with some minor tweaks. Family care will be phased in – in February, so some of the changes will be phase din over time. Verveer asks how many clients. 3700 are authorized riders, 1700 take trips, 700 are MA eligible funded through the program.

Verveer asks about the reserve fund, what is left if we adopt this budget. 2016 was $7M and $5M was transferred to fleet. IN 2017 we had $2.5M and won’t use any of it in 2017 and should have that to start 2018. The current executive budget uses $300,000 of that.

Verveer asks about staff retirements. Kamp says that they are confident they can absorb the paratransit drivers because they have a 20-40 driver turnover every year. He says they will have less savings in personnel. Wayne says that we are currently running a bit over budget in total, we are saving close to projections in salary but overtime is eating that up.

Kemble asks about paratransit, ans says there were several long term transit dependent people on the committee and it passed unanimously and it was the worst piece of work she has done. Metro looks like the bad guy, its not us, its how the managed care organizations choose to spend their budget. If the people who come to the meeting on Wednesday, if they were to organize with the managed care organizations.

Mayor says this transition happened every place else in the state and we are the last hold out. The process that Kemble described it the consequence of that A couple weeks ago they got a call from an organization representing the riders and asked us to try again with the managed care folks. They will make every effort they can. They are communicating to figure out their ask. Kemble says that we will be the public face but we are not the decision makers. Best case scenario is that we won’t need to roll everything out.

Crystal says that they were fortunate to have a good relationship with Dane County and it may take time to develop new relationships and they may be able to undo some of these things.

Laura from Finance says that there si $50,000 to create the department. This is just a starting point for the newly created department. It is a partial year of costs for a new director to staff the department. The budget will need to be amended in 2018 when they know more.

Mayor says that they did research on the earliest they could start and what it would take. The mayor says that at the very earliest they would have a candidate by May or June and given the stature of the position they will need 30 – 60 days to give notice and make the move, with that all as a given it would be earliest would be July 1 and then the $50,000 is not sufficient and they would need about $100,000. In regard to additional staffing he would like to not make changes before the new person gets here. Most of it involved traffic engineering and once they are on board and establish relationships, then they can make the changes. Mayor talks about the Director of Pulbic Works and the 5 departments that worked with them, they only had one staff person, and admin assistant. The rest of the support came from the departments. He says they shouldn’t make changes in structure until they have a new director and get their recommendations.

Kemble asked Rummel to sponsor the amendment, she asks the mayor if he’d sponsor it. He essentially said that he would take the under consideration.

Rummel says that she assumed this was a 3rd quarter start, and she assumed that is what this is.

Laura says they have an increase to annualize the Chief of Staff and putting the legislative analyst from Attorney’s office to the Council office. They will continue to get benefits and still get their individual budgets of $3000.

Rummel says that there is money in the budget for additional consumables.

Laura says that she has prepared a budget to get the office ready for the new people.

No change in positions $1.4M to $1.5M which is health insurance and adjustments to planned projections. A number of initiatives are maintained at their current level.

Eskrich asks about what revenues come in to the mayors office. THere is a one time grant from a foundation for food policy. The $35,000 are legacy amounts that have come in.

Move to recess.

Several alders have gone home – Zellers, Baldeh, DeMarb, McKinney, Ahrens, Carter, Bidar, Cheeks, Martin, Phair, Clear
Still here are Eskrich, Verveer, Rummel, Wood, Skidmore, Kemble.
I don’t think I saw Palm, Hall, King,
Mayor was here most of the night . . .

See you tomorrow at 4:30

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