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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5:01 p.m.

Budget session


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05:05:41 >>MARY MULHERN: City Council is called to order.

05:06:38 We are here for our September 21st, 2011 second public

05:06:44 hearing procedure.

05:06:48 I yield to Councilman Reddick to introduce our invocation.

05:06:52 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you, Madam Chair.

05:06:55 We are privileged to have with us to lead us in the

05:06:58 invocation our city clerk, Ms. Shirley Foxx-Knowles.

05:07:04 Will you all stand, please?

05:07:05 >>SHIRLEY FOXX-KNOWLES: Good evening.

05:07:12 Let us pray.

05:07:12 Father, thank you once again for the opportunity to be here

05:07:15 at this moment in time.

05:07:18 Thank you for your grace and your mercy.

05:07:20 Please continue to bless our council, our mayor, our

05:07:24 administration, our employees, and our wonderful citizens.

05:07:29 Bless this budget hearing and guide our council so that they

05:07:34 do what is best for all of our citizens.

05:07:37 Let us always remember to be instruments of your will.

05:07:42 These things we ask and thanks we give.

05:07:45 Let us all say amen.

05:07:58 (Pledge of Allegiance)

05:08:00 >>MARY MULHERN: Roll call, please.

05:08:11 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Here.

05:08:13 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Present.

05:08:13 >>FRANK REDDICK: Here.

05:08:16 >>HARRY COHEN: Here.

05:08:17 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Here.

05:08:18 >>MARY MULHERN: Here.

05:08:23 Could I have a motion to open the public hearing?

05:08:27 >> So moved.

05:08:28 >> Second.

05:08:29 >>MARY MULHERN: All in favor?

05:08:30 Anyone opposed?

05:08:32 Councilman Cohen, our finance chair.

05:08:34 >>HARRY COHEN: Thank you, Madam Chair.

05:08:38 This is the second public hearing for the City of Tampa

05:08:40 fiscal year 2012 budget.

05:08:42 The proposed millage rate is 5.7326 mills which is 4.11%

05:08:49 less than the rolled-back millage rate of 5.9782 mills.

05:08:55 Property tax funds are used to support the general fund,

05:08:58 operating budget of the city.

05:09:00 This fund includes such departments as fire rescue and

05:09:02 police, human resources, parks and recreation, and public

05:09:06 works.

05:09:10 I believe the City of Tampa is going to make a presentation.

05:09:13 >>MARY MULHERN: Ms. Little, our CFO.

05:09:22 >>SONYA LITTLE: Good afternoon.

05:09:24 This afternoon, I would just like to take you through just a

05:09:27 couple of brief slides as it relates to our proposed budget.

05:09:36 You have already certificated in two workshops related total

05:09:40 budget on June 9th and June 21st, we presented to

05:09:44 you our historical and projected revenues in great detail.

05:09:49 In addition, we provided you with information on our

05:09:52 projected budget shortfall of 3.5 million.

05:09:57 On July 28th, the mayor presented to City Council a

05:10:02 balanced budget where we filled a 34.5 million budget

05:10:09 shortfall, and on September 7th we held our first public

05:10:13 hearing and today we have our second and final public

05:10:15 hearing.

05:10:18 We will just briefly, in a couple of slides, go over the

05:10:21 proposed 2012 budget, in particular highlighting the millage

05:10:24 rate and capital improvement plan.

05:10:31 The city's proposed budget is a total of $765.4 million, and

05:10:36 this is a decrease after 34.7 million over the prior fiscal

05:10:41 year.

05:10:42 This has occurred because we have trimmed and cut back our

05:10:46 overall budget.

05:10:47 As you can see, the large blue area reflects our general

05:10:51 fund of being the largest component of all of our overall

05:10:55 budget.

05:10:56 And this is largely attributable to property taxes which is

05:11:00 on revenue extreme for the City of Tampa.

05:11:03 Other revenues included in our general fund our sales taxes,

05:11:08 franchise fees, permit fees, occupational license fee.

05:11:13 Another very large component of our overall budget is

05:11:16 attributable to our enterprise fund which comprises 36%.

05:11:22 Our enterprise funds are water, wastewater, solid waste and

05:11:26 parking.

05:11:30 As it relates to our general fund expenditures, they total

05:11:36 just under $358 million with the largest component being

05:11:40 attributable to our public safety at 59% of our total

05:11:45 general fund expenditures.

05:11:47 We also have central government, which are our normal

05:11:51 operating expenditures, or nonenterprise costs that are a

05:11:56 part of our general fund expenditures, parks and recs,

05:12:00 public works, economic development, and CIP vehicles.

05:12:06 For the fourth previous fiscal years, our millage rate has

05:12:09 been 5.7326 mills, and for the fifth consecutive year we are

05:12:18 proposing that we maintain that same millage rate.

05:12:22 Again, this is a very large component of our budget, and we

05:12:26 use these funds primarily to cover our public safety

05:12:29 expenses.

05:12:35 Our capital improvement program as part of the budget is a

05:12:39 five-year plan and under Florida statutes we are required to

05:12:43 obtain approval from the Hillsborough County, city-county

05:12:47 Planning Commission.

05:12:48 And on September 13th we received written approval of

05:12:51 our plan as a part of the overall comprehensive plan for the

05:12:55 county.

05:12:56 So we are certainly in compliance as far as receiving that

05:12:59 approval.

05:13:00 You will note here that under the five-year plan, we have

05:13:04 numerous items that again are fully detailed in your actual

05:13:09 budget book, but we wanted to provide with you an overview

05:13:12 by category of the amounts budgeted during this five-year

05:13:16 plan.

05:13:17 In particular, you will note that parks and rec, we are

05:13:20 budgeting over $18 million.

05:13:22 Public works, 13 million.

05:13:25 Transportation 55 million and another line item I would like

05:13:30 to highlight is investing in neighborhoods at just over --

05:13:35 just under $63 million for the five-year period.

05:13:39 For 2012

05:13:40 In this investing in neighborhoods category

05:13:43 We have increased

05:13:45 Our budget for that category over the prior year by

05:13:49 $2.4 million for a total of 12.4 million in fiscal year

05:13:54 2012.

05:13:55 Again, all of these items and particular projects are

05:13:58 highlighted in the full blown budget book.

05:14:02 And with that, I would open it up to questions whenever

05:14:08 appropriate, Madam Chair.

05:14:10 >>MARY MULHERN: Any questions from council?

05:14:18 Councilman Reddick?

05:14:20 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you for your presentation.

05:14:27 I just want to follow up from the first hearing.

05:14:32 Council appointed a citizens committee to make

05:14:36 recommendations.

05:14:38 They came back at the first hearing with several

05:14:40 recommendations that I felt was pretty good that we needed

05:14:44 to take under consideration.

05:14:46 My question is, have you had a chance to review those

05:14:49 recommendations, or do you plan to implement any of those

05:14:54 recommendations from the citizens advisory committee?

05:14:58 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes, sir.

05:14:59 First of all, I would like to thank all of the advisory

05:15:02 committee members for their participation on the committee.

05:15:05 They did do a fine job.

05:15:07 They asked a lot of tough questions and made some great

05:15:10 recommendations, and we are taking them under consideration,

05:15:13 Councilman, but I would like to update you on just a few

05:15:16 things that are already underway, if I may.

05:15:19 As it relates to our solid waste, I believe very early on

05:15:23 during our budget briefing starting back as early as June,

05:15:28 we notified council that there was some strain as it relates

05:15:32 to solid waste and parking.

05:15:35 Queer currently underway with internal studies as it relates

05:15:38 to both those systems in its entirety, and we hope to,

05:15:43 within the next couple of weeks, come back with a proposal

05:15:47 that's to remedy some of the concerns related to those two

05:15:50 systems.

05:15:51 And I believe that was one of the -- two of the items that

05:15:54 the advisory committee did point out and rightfully so.

05:15:59 I believe that there was some discussion regarding parks and

05:16:04 rec's and fees, and I am aware that the administration and

05:16:08 the department are reviewing those requests and suggestions

05:16:12 as well.

05:16:14 Thank you.

05:16:14 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilman Cohen.

05:16:17 >>HARRY COHEN: To follow up on Mr. Reddick's question, I

05:16:20 believe also that the committee recommended that we make

05:16:26 changes in the giving longevity bonuses to employees, and if

05:16:32 I remember correctly the mayor actually made a change in the

05:16:34 policy that the city follows in determining who is eligible

05:16:40 for those longevity bonuses in that future hires will no

05:16:45 longer be eligible.

05:16:48 That is correct?

05:16:49 >>SONYA LITTLE: That is correct.

05:16:51 And there was also a decrease over what's currently in our

05:16:54 policy for the new hires as far as sick leave pay as well.

05:17:01 As a part of the mayor's -- okay, thank you.

05:17:09 I do want to just point out it is as it relates to

05:17:13 nonbargaining units.

05:17:14 Thank you.

05:17:14 >>MARY MULHERN: Any other questions?

05:17:22 Thank you.

05:17:22 Is there anyone from the public that wishes to speak?

05:17:30 >> Jarvis El-Amin.

05:17:47 Good afternoon, council.

05:17:48 So glad that you are here for the final budget hearing.

05:17:52 I have come back with some similar concerns, and this time

05:18:00 it's more sympathy for parks and recreation.

05:18:10 Okay, she's here.

05:18:11 I hope that we can get some more direct answers from her.

05:18:15 Ragan Park in particular went from about 180, 190, for

05:18:20 nonprofits to $500.

05:18:22 So for our youth in the urban core that we try to keep

05:18:26 getting messed up with the system, nonprofit organizations,

05:18:30 such as youth organizations, East Tampa civic association,

05:18:35 all the other community organizations that try to do things

05:18:37 for young people, cannot afford.

05:18:39 Nonprofit raising money can afford to be $500 for youth

05:18:44 activity.

05:18:44 And when we call a place a community center, it should be

05:18:48 available for the community.

05:18:51 And if you are not a nonprofit, it's better $628.

05:18:55 I hope that is directed -- directors are listening.

05:18:59 Perhaps what we can do, council, is take some of the $18

05:19:02 million from the capital improvement that the CFO just said

05:19:05 that she's going to spend on capital improvement.

05:19:07 I'm sure you all heard the presentation.

05:19:08 Take a look at that $18 million, drop the fees down so that

05:19:13 the community can take part, make it pretty so people can

05:19:18 use it.

05:19:20 It's about 14% of the total budget, parks and rec.

05:19:24 And parks and rec is important.

05:19:27 So let's get some clearance from Mrs. Palus, our director

05:19:32 and staff, and last time I was here, I have to be honest

05:19:34 with you, it wasn't very clear.

05:19:36 Everybody seemed to have been talking in riddles.

05:19:39 So I been bringing my little book so can we get some clear

05:19:44 and precise answers?

05:19:48 And that was voted by the citizens to deal with the budget.

05:19:53 That's your main task.

05:19:55 Not ribbon cutting.

05:19:56 Thank you.

05:19:57 >>MARY MULHERN: Mr. El-Amin, did you have a question for

05:20:07 him ever?

05:20:09 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Yes.

05:20:10 On one part where you said about speaking in riddles, I am

05:20:15 not sure what you are referring to.

05:20:17 >> Oh, I was talking to the parks and recreation director,

05:20:22 but I was talking to staff.

05:20:24 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I thought we have all been pretty clear.

05:20:28 >> Making the final determination.

05:20:32 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Because we talked extensively about the

05:20:34 things --

05:20:36 >> Talking about $507 here, do you get a car, you go to the

05:20:40 pool, you got $50, if you come in this time it's free,

05:20:47 that's free, you know.

05:20:48 But clear and concise, what's the deal?

05:20:52 >> And I think we talked about here on the dais at the last

05:20:59 budget hearing and also talked about when Mrs. Palus was

05:21:02 delivering some staff reports over the several months that

05:21:04 we have been here, the schedule of fees is very complicated.

05:21:12 And it is sometimes a matrix that you need a Ph.D. and a

05:21:17 flow chart to figure out.

05:21:19 So if we could work on clarifying that fee schedule, or I

05:21:28 don't know if I want to say simplifying the fee schedule,

05:21:34 that would help.

05:21:35 Another thing that would help would have the Web site

05:21:38 accurately depict what is currently the fee schedule,

05:21:42 because I know sometimes I have gone to the Web site, not

05:21:45 only of the Parks Department but several of our other

05:21:48 departments, to look at things and the information isn't

05:21:51 either right there in front of you, you have to dig for it,

05:21:54 it's hard to get to, so in the effort of good communication,

05:21:59 maybe we can work on some of those things.

05:22:01 >> One suggestion was also the boards at the recreation

05:22:07 center itself for people that don't go to the Web site.

05:22:09 Thank you.

05:22:09 >>MARY MULHERN: Mr. El-Amin.

05:22:18 One other question.

05:22:19 I wasn't clear.

05:22:21 I may not have been listening but -- close enough.

05:22:24 Councilwoman Montelione talked about the fees and the

05:22:27 structure and the complexity of trying to figure it out.

05:22:32 But I thought I heard you talking about the rental fee.

05:22:36 >> That's what I want to put, the laser beam was on.

05:22:41 I was using Ragan Park for an example of the community

05:22:44 center.

05:22:45 For a nonprofit it's citizen 500.

05:22:47 It was about 120.

05:22:52 And now you go from 120 to 500 dollars.

05:22:55 And if you are not a nonprofit, 628.

05:22:57 And utilities from the community and nonprofits would

05:23:03 develop to community projects, you know, giving gifts back.

05:23:06 So if they can find some money to decrease from the capital

05:23:10 improvement and just put some of that money in for a buffer

05:23:12 to lower the fees and get more -- you have low fees, more

05:23:19 people use it, you still make the moneys.

05:23:21 >> Okay, yeah: I wanted to hear what those numbers were.

05:23:26 Thank you.

05:23:27 Oh, Councilwoman Capin.

05:23:31 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Yes, I'm glad you brought up the board,

05:23:34 because you reminded me that than is what I suggested at our

05:23:38 last meeting.

05:23:39 And I was informed that all the centers have computer labs

05:23:44 there.

05:23:45 They may not be available all the time.

05:23:47 So the board will be very helpful.

05:23:50 Thanks for reminding us.

05:23:51 >> I remember than you was the council lady that said that,

05:23:58 and I can jumping with joy.

05:23:59 Because being on the board, you know, really key information

05:24:03 out there.

05:24:07 Anybody else?

05:24:07 I don't want to keep turning back around.

05:24:09 [ Laughter ]

05:24:10 >> It looks like you have a chance to leave now.

05:24:12 No one is asking questions.

05:24:14 [ Laughter ]

05:24:15 >> Leave while I can.

05:24:16 >>FRANK REDDICK: I am going to wait till you sit down, then

05:24:19 I am going to call him back up.

05:24:21 Madam Chairman, before she speaks, could we, once she's

05:24:27 finished, is it possible we could have the parks and

05:24:31 recreation director to come before us?

05:24:33 >>MARY MULHERN: Let's hear public comment.

05:24:35 And then we can ask Ms. Palus if she could update us.

05:24:39 >> Good evening, council.

05:24:40 I'm elder Michelle Patty.

05:24:43 Before we get started, I'm red representing a group of

05:24:46 people and I would like to ask for two extra minutes if

05:24:48 possible because they are asking me to be their spokesperson

05:24:51 tonight.

05:24:51 >>MARY MULHERN: What's the pleasure of council?

05:25:03 Looks like you are the only other person who wants to speak.

05:25:05 >> And I promise not to give a sermon.

05:25:07 >>MARY MULHERN: Mr. Shelby, did you want us to vote on

05:25:13 that?

05:25:14 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Normally there's a speaker waiver form for

05:25:16 a public hearing.

05:25:17 Council can choose to waive that to expedite things if those

05:25:20 people who are waiving their time one just acknowledge that

05:25:23 they are doing that.

05:25:23 Could you just raise your hand?

05:25:25 And -- well, there's more than two hands.

05:25:28 You want how many minutes total?

05:25:30 >> Just five.

05:25:31 I might not need them.

05:25:33 >>MARY MULHERN: And before you start, were there not forms

05:25:37 in the hallway?

05:25:39 Because we talked about that last night.

05:25:40 >> It's just a formality.

05:25:44 I just want to know if they were out there in the hallway.

05:25:46 >>MARY MULHERN: If you find them on are your way out, go

05:25:50 ahead and fill them out for our record.

05:25:52 Thank you.

05:25:52 >> First of all, I would like to say we appreciate the

05:25:56 opportunity to speak to you tonight.

05:25:58 The last time that we were here as brother Johnson stated,

05:26:03 Mrs. Palus stated some things that were not just correct,

05:26:07 and we would just like some clarification.

05:26:09 First of all, $15 seems like nothing.

05:26:14 And in the way she spoke with that jolly face and that

05:26:17 happiness and that warm and fuzzy.

05:26:19 But we got to realize that the State of Florida has one of

05:26:22 the highest unemployment rates, and we are losing -- our

05:26:28 homeless people are being fed outside daily as I stand here.

05:26:32 So $15, $50 for a family of four, there's a difference in

05:26:37 whether a family eats and whether people understand it or

05:26:39 not, the EBT card does not pay for clothes, deodorant, the

05:26:46 necessities of life.

05:26:47 So what we have is the haves and the have nots.

05:26:50 There's a lot of children that are being turned away from

05:26:53 the park, because when they come, whether they want to play

05:26:56 hoops or not, they have to have a card in order to play.

05:27:02 Taxpayers are saying, why can't Johnny play basketball or do

05:27:06 whatever without that card that I expect for him to have at

05:27:11 the YMCA but didn't have it here at the park?

05:27:15 By the time I reached home, I received numerous calls from

05:27:18 the seniors saying, don't leave them out, because they have

05:27:21 not been able to utilize the park, and the information that

05:27:26 I gave you that I received from Mrs. Palus is that the last

05:27:30 trip, the very last trip that the seniors were able to take

05:27:35 was a trip that I paid for.

05:27:38 My business paid for these seniors to go on a field trip.

05:27:41 They were not able to gone to the strawberry festival or do

05:27:44 anything because they are being charged $25 an hour to rent

05:27:49 a van, and I have been told by Mrs. Palus that the van

05:27:55 driver is already on the clock, and that's some kind of

05:27:57 recovery fee.

05:27:58 Then there's also a fee of $15 for the vehicle.

05:28:02 Then we go to a dollar per person to be ride the van one

05:28:07 way.

05:28:08 A dollar per person inside the city.

05:28:10 If they want to go to the strawberry festival, it is $2 a

05:28:15 head.

05:28:15 There's just too much taxing of our citizens who are on a

05:28:21 fixed, low-income budget.

05:28:24 We are talking about doing the budget, but we are doing it

05:28:27 off the backs of our seniors and our children, and that is

05:28:31 not fair for a city that is so great that we can bring in

05:28:36 the national Republican convention here, and throw our

05:28:41 seniors and children out to the wolves.

05:28:43 That's not conducive and should not be of this council.

05:28:46 So what we need to do is make the City of Tampa friendly

05:28:49 year round, year round, not just when we have a Super Bowl

05:28:53 or when we have special guests.

05:28:54 The citizens pay taxes, need to have a better break than

05:28:58 what they are receiving now under this plan.

05:29:01 So these are things -- and I am being told that the seniors

05:29:04 are not utilizing the parks anymore.

05:29:07 They used to go out there every day.

05:29:09 They used to receive their meals out there.

05:29:11 There's a lot of seniors that don't have children.

05:29:13 They don't have family.

05:29:14 So this park was their way of staying alive, whether you

05:29:18 realize it or not, at 70, 380.

05:29:22 My mother-in-law lives out there.

05:29:23 She's 87.

05:29:24 This is her connection to her friends and it brought joy to

05:29:28 them, gave them a chance to speak and talk to one another.

05:29:31 So I'm asking that you not take it lightly.

05:29:33 I'm really disappointed in saying that Councilman Miranda is

05:29:38 still out sick, and because he seemed to understand what is

05:29:44 going on with the seniors in our community.

05:29:45 So if you all could just look at that, and once again, Ragan

05:29:49 Park, and not only Ragan Park, all your facilities, and Mrs.

05:29:54 Palus tried to tell me that this happened several years ago.

05:29:57 And I beg to differ.

05:29:59 The park rates didn't go up seven years ago.

05:30:01 My organization just utilize dollars it at $127 and we had

05:30:06 children galore that came to this event.

05:30:09 And one of the things that the police were complaining about

05:30:14 would Ybor City.

05:30:17 So we stepped up as a nonprofit organization spending money

05:30:20 out of our pocket to keep the youth off the street, and now

05:30:23 the City of Tampa has driven them back to Ybor City and

05:30:26 other places, and they are being killed at alarming rates in

05:30:30 this city.

05:30:31 And you know my personal testimony, losing a child and a

05:30:35 grandson.

05:30:35 So what I'm here speaking on behalf of those who can't come

05:30:39 down at 5:00, at 5:00.

05:30:44 They are getting off work, some folks.

05:30:45 They don't get off till 5:00.

05:30:47 But you have a meeting at 5:00.

05:30:50 And that's not community friendly either.

05:30:52 So I hope that you all would take consideration on what we

05:30:55 are asking you all to do and are more community friendly.

05:30:59 Thank you.

05:30:59 (Bell sounds).

05:31:01 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

05:31:02 Councilwoman Capin has a question.

05:31:07 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Mrs. Patty, your events that you put on are

05:31:09 free.

05:31:10 >> Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not because we

05:31:12 do provide security guards, and we pay the security guard,

05:31:15 we pay the deejay, but it's a very nominal fee that they pay

05:31:20 to get in and those that can't afford it, we come and we

05:31:23 turn no child away.

05:31:26 >>YVONNE CAPIN: So there is a charge?

05:31:29 >> Yes, ma'am.

05:31:30 Those that can, they pay.

05:31:31 >> Is it a general charge or depends on how much the cost

05:31:35 was to put on the event?

05:31:37 >> No.

05:31:37 What we do is we put out $5 ahead.

05:31:43 If they come to the door and can't go in, I go in my pocket

05:31:45 and I pay the difference for the rental, for the deejay, for

05:31:48 the security.

05:31:49 I pay that out of my pocket.

05:31:51 And I don't think we have made a dollar in any event that we

05:31:55 made.

05:31:55 I have gone into my pocket and paid it.

05:31:57 >> I understand that.

05:31:58 Do you have numbers as to the amount of children that came

05:32:03 in free and the amount -- and the total amount that came to

05:32:06 your event?

05:32:07 >> Yes, we can provide that information for you.

05:32:09 Yes, ma'am.

05:32:09 >> I was just curious as to how that works.

05:32:18 Thank you.

05:32:18 >>FRANK REDDICK: You caught me at the wrong time.

05:32:26 Mrs. Patty, let me ask you, because just clarify this for

05:32:31 me.

05:32:31 You say vehicles used citizen 25 an hour.

05:32:37 That's transport?

05:32:40 >> This is seniors.

05:32:44 It's our seniors who want to go from Port Tampa to Ragan

05:32:48 Park.

05:32:49 And used to do that for Thanksgiving, like history month.

05:32:53 Not only the seniors but the children.

05:32:56 It's $25 per hour charge.

05:32:59 So if you go at least three to four hours.

05:33:01 >> Who pays $25, the passengers in the vehicle?

05:33:04 >> Of course.

05:33:08 >> And these are city vehicles?

05:33:10 >> Yes.

05:33:11 I was under the impression that some of them were donated

05:33:13 from transportation, that these vans was donated.

05:33:16 I'm not 100 percent sure.

05:33:18 But that's what I was told.

05:33:19 And the driver don't get the money.

05:33:21 He's already on the clock, he or she is on the clock.

05:33:24 >> All right, this is where I want to ask staff a question.

05:33:27 >> Can I ask a question of you, Mrs. Patty, to get more on

05:33:32 this?

05:33:32 So it's $25 an hour for the vehicle total?

05:33:35 >> Yes.

05:33:36 >> So if you are going for four hours --

05:33:38 >> It's 100.

05:33:40 Yes.

05:33:41 Per.

05:33:42 And don't forget the dollar ahead for one way, and two

05:33:46 dollars ahead for out of the city.

05:33:48 I can't afford that.

05:33:50 Our seniors can't.

05:33:51 >>MARY MULHERN: Any other questions for Mrs. Patty?

05:33:55 >>HARRY COHEN: The dollar is in addition to the 25?

05:33:57 >> Yes, sir.

05:33:58 And the $15 per vehicle.

05:34:03 So why 25 plus 15 plus a dollar plus two dollars?

05:34:08 And where is the money going?

05:34:10 If we can get a clarification on that.

05:34:12 Why so much?

05:34:13 And what are they doing with it?

05:34:14 >> Mrs. Palus?

05:34:27 You don't very much to come back to the mike.

05:34:28 I just want to make a statement.

05:34:31 Our chief is sitting there, and one thing you did mention

05:34:35 was crime and murders.

05:34:36 And I adopt want -- anytime somebody makes a statement like

05:34:40 that just in general without any numbers to support it, I

05:34:43 want to make sure that we remind the community and remind

05:34:47 those who might be watching than our crime rate is down

05:34:51 across the city 67%?

05:34:56 61.5%.

05:34:58 And losing even one child, and the police chief will back me

05:35:03 up on this, is too much.

05:35:05 But I just want to make sure --

05:35:08 >> That clarification --

05:35:10 >>LISA MONTELIONE: The statement is made, it just makes it

05:35:12 sound to the general public like Tampa is a really dangerous

05:35:15 place to be.

05:35:16 >> Well, when you look at my community, it's a reality.

05:35:19 >> My community as well.

05:35:22 >> You can see the pictures where we are still looking for

05:35:25 killers of young people that has not reached the age of 18.

05:35:29 So it is a reality.

05:35:30 And we are not trying to put a blemish on the City of Tampa,

05:35:34 but that's a fact in the community.

05:35:35 And everyone don't die but they are hurt.

05:35:38 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I understand that.

05:35:40 I just want -- I just want to make sure that we are not just

05:35:44 making general statements and --

05:35:47 >> One is too many.

05:35:48 >>LISA MONTELIONE: That's right.

05:35:50 And I just think we need to hear from Mrs. Palus.

05:35:53 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

05:35:56 Is there anyone else from the public who wishes to speak?

05:36:01 Mrs. Palus?

05:36:02 Oh, I'm sorry.

05:36:04 Please, if you want to speak, please come up.

05:36:08 This is the time for the public to speak.

05:36:10 So if you want to speak, be ready.

05:36:12 >> I'm ready.

05:36:13 Will do.

05:36:14 Good evening, City Council.

05:36:16 Madam Chair.

05:36:16 I want to reiterate --

05:36:20 >> I'm sorry.

05:36:21 >> Michael Lewis with first victory church, 2801 east

05:36:26 17th Avenue, Tampa, Florida 336074.

05:36:30 And I serve as the pastor of first victory of faith church

05:36:35 located on 29th street, the corner of 29th and

05:36:38 17th Avenue.

05:36:40 And I rose to reiterate real quickly what elder Patty has

05:36:47 already said.

05:36:47 If there's not some type of reform, and major reform, a

05:36:54 revolution with these parks, kids have nowhere to go.

05:37:02 You have already moved staff from 17th, 18th street

05:37:05 park.

05:37:05 That's no staff there.

05:37:06 And during the summer months, our church is right there.

05:37:10 And these kids have nowhere to go.

05:37:14 They cannot afford YMCA.

05:37:17 They cannot afford the various other summer programs.

05:37:20 I understand that the budgets are tight.

05:37:25 But the way we are budgeting our money, giving tons of money

05:37:30 already to public safety, which is needed.

05:37:31 But surely some of that, and the economic development money

05:37:37 should be going to keep these parks open, keep developing

05:37:45 communities for these children.

05:37:46 You just have been no idea how encompassing it is to see so

05:37:52 many of these kids during the summer months after school and

05:37:55 there's nowhere to go.

05:37:56 Many of the parents are working.

05:37:57 There's nowhere to go.

05:37:59 And I just could not sit there.

05:38:01 I have to overemphasize that something has to be done to

05:38:05 keep these parks, not just a place of recreation.

05:38:09 It's a safety place.

05:38:10 When I grew up, my mother worked two jobs.

05:38:13 The park was all we had.

05:38:15 And it's a place of safety, it's a place of education.

05:38:21 And to all who is listening and looking, we have to

05:38:25 reprioritize our priorities and look again at empowering and

05:38:31 helping these parks stay open.

05:38:33 Okay.

05:38:33 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

05:38:35 Don't go away.

05:38:36 Councilman Reddick.

05:38:37 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you, Mr. Lewis.

05:38:45 I was at a point where I thought we was getting ready to

05:38:48 bring closure to one issue and now you just opened another

05:38:52 issue.

05:38:52 Now, you say 17th Avenue park?

05:38:56 >> I believe that's 18th street.

05:38:58 >> And this is a recreation facility, the rec center?

05:39:04 >> Al Barnes park.

05:39:07 >> Okay, on 17th street.

05:39:09 There's in a staff at that park?

05:39:10 >> No, you all took the staff away.

05:39:12 >> Well, don't say y'all.

05:39:15 [ Laughter ]

05:39:20 I think it's been a year, two years now, there's no staff

05:39:24 there at all.

05:39:28 There used to be a place during the summer months where the

05:39:31 kids could come and get their summer lunch, and I don't

05:39:34 think that's there anymore either.

05:39:36 >> And that park, I know, used to have a lot of activities

05:39:39 out there.

05:39:41 That's one that is adjacent from Reverend Scott's church, if

05:39:45 I am correct.

05:39:46 >> Yes.

05:39:48 >> And they utilize that park a lot.

05:39:51 And now then is during the weekday, there's nobody there,

05:39:58 what you are saying, no staff at all? Okay.

05:40:00 Well, I wanted to get clarification on that, because when

05:40:04 the parks and rec director comes up.

05:40:07 >> And if she wouldn't mind responding, also, we have

05:40:12 attempted to contact parks to be try to be rent facilities

05:40:16 for some of our church events, and that is a very difficult

05:40:20 task, A, getting in touch with someone, getting the exact

05:40:22 amount, getting clarification, getting phone calls back.

05:40:25 It is extremely difficult to be get understanding when you

05:40:31 are trying to do something as a nonprofit organization to

05:40:35 cooperate with that office.

05:40:37 >> Thank you.

05:40:38 >>MARY MULHERN: Mr. Lewis, please wait if council has any

05:40:46 questions.

05:40:49 Councilman Cohen.

05:40:50 >>HARRY COHEN: Is it your view that the reason that people

05:40:53 are unable to access the parks is because the $15 is

05:41:00 unaffordable and, therefore, it's a deal breaker?

05:41:04 >> I think it's a combination of that, and you don't have

05:41:08 staff there who can help foster relationships in the

05:41:11 community.

05:41:12 When I grew up, we went to the park.

05:41:15 The staff is almost like a big brother.

05:41:17 It was almost like a parent for you, you know.

05:41:22 They had influence in your life.

05:41:24 So I think it's a combination with a $15 charge, which is a

05:41:27 major deal breaker, because you are dealing with

05:41:34 impoverished people, people that don't have that kind of

05:41:36 accessible money to be paying that.

05:41:39 So in addition to that, and no staff there, makes a big

05:41:44 difference, yes.

05:41:44 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Mr. Lewis.

05:41:50 Is there anyone else from the public who wishes oh to speak?

05:41:53 >> Madam Chair, council, my name is Michael Hadley, P.O. Box

05:42:05 1132 Tampa, Florida 33680.

05:42:09 I would like to bring to your attention that this is not

05:42:12 just the city parks, I don't know if you have been in

05:42:18 Hillsborough County, but this community from the city to the

05:42:22 county.

05:42:24 The gentleman say that kid are growing up on the park.

05:42:31 Let me give you an example.

05:42:33 I do security for one of the city's property, Moses White,

05:42:37 in Seminole.

05:42:38 Well, across the street, Nuccio park, there's no staff.

05:42:44 It's just a building.

05:42:45 They got the Nuccio boards, 56th street, and they sit

05:42:56 there at that park, and now recruiting teens, 15, 12 years

05:43:01 old, because they can't get into the park.

05:43:03 They have to jump the fence.

05:43:05 They are not safe.

05:43:07 Now, you made a statistic, 65% crime down from what?

05:43:14 You know, the City of Tampa and the community, for parks

05:43:22 where you can walk, there has to be a safety net.

05:43:25 They need this.

05:43:31 16, 17 years old locked in their apartment?

05:43:33 That's not humane.

05:43:35 I know you want to do the right thing but how do we do the

05:43:38 right thing?

05:43:38 You have a city budget.

05:43:40 Hillsborough County.

05:43:41 I know there's a collaboration going on.

05:43:43 What can we do collectively?

05:43:45 Not let's do what we can do, what we can't do, but what

05:43:49 could we do to provide this service to good people in need?

05:43:54 And I don't think it's any malice but sometimes we have to

05:43:59 think outside the box, looking at numbers.

05:44:02 I look at your budget.

05:44:03 And we did 10,000 into the Sports Authority and all these

05:44:08 different across the boards, and you ought to have look at

05:44:10 what's important.

05:44:11 Because every kid that we put in jail, every kid that breaks

05:44:14 into somebody's house, every day that kid is strong armed

05:44:19 where we could have stayed, that's more money that you have

05:44:22 to take him from one place to try to rehabilitate somebody

05:44:26 else.

05:44:27 Because they are going to be in somebody's house.

05:44:30 I don't care what kind of gated community you live in.

05:44:33 Nobody is protected.

05:44:34 Thank you.

05:44:40 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

05:44:41 Is there anyone else who wishes to speak?

05:44:46 Mrs. Palus?

05:44:47 >>KAREN PALUS: Good he can.

05:44:57 Karen Palus, parks and recreation director.

05:44:58 I am going to try to take them item by item for everyone to

05:45:02 make sure we are clear.

05:45:03 I did do a nice layout with all the information for Mrs.

05:45:07 Patty and sent that to her back on the 14th, and also to

05:45:12 Councilman Reddick's office.

05:45:15 They had a copy of all the information they requested, and

05:45:19 shared with them just the excerpts from the fee schedule, so

05:45:24 they would have that information, and if there were further

05:45:27 questions I would have been happy to help with them prior to

05:45:29 this evening.

05:45:30 I just want to shown you regarding the rentals and such and

05:45:35 as far as the fees.

05:45:36 There's been a lot of different things kind of talked about

05:45:39 here, but essentially with Reagan, just recently

05:45:47 reservations, in 2010 we had 136 rentals, 79 of them were

05:45:52 free, and 573 were significantly discounted.

05:45:55 So we have three out of all those rentals that paid full

05:45:58 price, that paid the full amount, which is the $100 an hour,

05:46:02 the $25 and the fee, if they have a deposit.

05:46:05 There are details depending on the type of event, size of

05:46:09 event, scope of event, whether topped is -- TPD is involved,

05:46:12 whether fire res coup is involved.

05:46:15 We sit down with anybody that needs assistance and we walk

05:46:19 through that within them, and we are happy to do that with

05:46:21 any of the folks that were here today.

05:46:23 In regards to rental was our shelters and such, the

05:46:27 gentleman that responsible about how difficult it is, yeah,

05:46:31 during our peak season we received over 1,000 requests of

05:46:38 TXT messages and over a thousand phone calls.

05:46:41 You can see the earlier you make your reservations for

05:46:43 shelter rentals, we extremely busy.

05:46:47 One of the things we are attempting to go is get that up in

05:46:49 automation so you can do it yourself and not use staff

05:46:55 support to secure your location and facility you are looking

05:46:57 for.

05:46:58 Again they can access those at our computer labs locations.

05:47:03 I am happy to go over them within the statistics that I

05:47:06 shared with the rentals, but specifically for this past year

05:47:09 so far, average dollar spent for receipts that we have has

05:47:13 been just shy of $300.

05:47:16 So the numbers that were shared are the maximum numbers but

05:47:19 not the discounts.

05:47:21 There are some things of that have already been co-sponsored

05:47:23 for years.

05:47:24 Then continue to be co-sponsored.

05:47:26 But we have typically had three in one year.

05:47:30 I think we had eight in another year that paid the full

05:47:33 price.

05:47:34 But these are workable and we can continue to work with

05:47:37 folks that need assistance.

05:47:38 We are happy to do that.

05:47:39 I think that answer it is rental fee.

05:47:42 And I can send everyone the full information that I had sent

05:47:46 to Councilman Reddick about this and to Ms. Patty as well,

05:47:50 if you would like.

05:47:51 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilman Suarez?

05:47:55 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Thank you, Ms. Palus.

05:47:58 I have a question for you.

05:47:59 And I think this is probably done prior to our election are

05:48:02 in March.

05:48:05 Did you do have any kind of analysis in terms of what the

05:48:10 cost should be in terms of April card for entrance for the

05:48:14 recreational facilities?

05:48:15 I know two of my sons have those cards.

05:48:19 Then partake in a lot of different activities over there.

05:48:22 But did you all do a study of that?

05:48:24 The second question I had, did you do a study about what the

05:48:27 real rental cost is?

05:48:28 I mean, we are at a spot now in our economy that it must be

05:48:32 extremely difficult for any of these other venues that are

05:48:35 out there to actually rent out.

05:48:39 Are we too close to what that cost is?

05:48:42 Or should we lower it?

05:48:44 Did we do any studies whatsoever about that?

05:48:47 >> Yes, we did a full assessment back in '09.

05:48:51 So we did -- and we worked on this for several years.

05:48:56 It high pressure not been done since the early 80s.

05:49:01 It had not been revisited other than a few incremental

05:49:04 things, so this is a major investment, and benchmarking and

05:49:07 looking at other municipalities, having multiple dialogues

05:49:10 through council, making sure that have been was comfortable,

05:49:13 where we are at, and as they fund those other cities and

05:49:17 such.

05:49:18 Tampa hasn't seen any increases, even small incremental

05:49:22 increases in our fee schedule since the early 80s.

05:49:26 As you can imagine brick that to market where other folks

05:49:29 were, or even close to that, would be a major, major jump.

05:49:34 For example, in the after-school program, not to bring up

05:49:37 that issue, but we proposed half the price of what other

05:49:42 communities were at at the lowest level.

05:49:44 So, I mean, that gives you an example of how we worked at

05:49:49 that, not just wharf else is doing but was right for Tampa

05:49:52 and would eventually work for our folks.

05:49:54 And so we continue to do that.

05:49:56 We continue to invest for looking at our fees each year.

05:50:00 Most of our programs for seniors are essentially free,

05:50:03 unless they are a contracted instructor.

05:50:06 Our rates for seniors -- and I shared all of that

05:50:08 information as well.

05:50:10 We have thousands of programs in our day to day so all you

05:50:15 have to do is punch in what you are looking for, and Tampa

05:50:19 fees and the information come up.

05:50:20 If they are volunteers, those are free.

05:50:23 Some of the programs that are club oriented like the bunko

05:50:28 club and the knitting clubs and -- you name it, there's a

05:50:34 club out there.

05:50:35 And those are all programmed for folks.

05:50:38 >>Are if I can interrupt, Mrs. Palus.

05:50:40 I think it was '09 is when you first instituted the card,

05:50:45 correct?

05:50:45 Or was it earlier?

05:50:47 >> Actually, we have had -- this is called a rec card, what

05:50:51 used to be called the activity fee.

05:50:53 And that has been for dollars per session than for years.

05:50:57 So Z.16 in some parts of town.

05:51:00 >> But you all changed it to a regular --

05:51:03 >> The '09.

05:51:04 >> Okay, it was '09. I remember that because I remember

05:51:08 going in to bring my children to a particular thing at the

05:51:11 park, and they said, where is your rec card?

05:51:14 And I had no idea about it.

05:51:15 The second question I have about not necessarily the fees

05:51:19 itself, but when someone goes to the Web site to find out

05:51:22 how to rent, I mean, it sounds like we are doing a lot, not

05:51:27 in a proactive way, at least not in terms of the Web site,

05:51:31 in terms of saying you can get discounted rentals.

05:51:35 Do you spell that out in the -- on the Web site?

05:51:39 I know it's a difficult thing because if you are talking

05:51:41 about here is the chart for the fee for use of it, do we say

05:51:47 up front, well, you know, if you are a nonprofit you may be

05:51:50 able to get a discount at a rate.

05:51:52 This is the same discounted rate.

05:51:54 I think there's a real issue here based on the conversations

05:51:57 that we have had with some of the public that we are not

05:52:01 doing a good enough job of communicating what we can do to

05:52:06 help nonprofits out, and then of course I think that

05:52:09 dovetails also into the transportation issue which I think

05:52:12 all of us probably want to hear some of the specifics.

05:52:15 You know, we are just trying to figure out, what is going to

05:52:18 be the best thing?

05:52:19 And then the second part of that is be -- and now about best

05:52:24 practices because you study about parks all over the

05:52:26 country.

05:52:26 And to me, I think the nexus between what is it that a park

05:52:30 is supposed to do in terms of the saving?

05:52:34 Provides amenities for those people that work and live here.

05:52:37 It provides a green area for folks to enjoy seeing B.but

05:52:44 there's also a second part of that which is the activities

05:52:47 of those children that are in our city, whether they have

05:52:52 the money to go to another recreational facility or not.

05:52:56 And I guess we need to find out where that balance is at,

05:52:59 because it doesn't look like to folks in the community that

05:53:04 we are striking that balance correctly.

05:53:06 So first thing, if you could just tell me about the Web site

05:53:09 and how it's presented.

05:53:10 And then the other two questions.

05:53:12 Hopefully you remembered them all.

05:53:13 If not you can ask me again.

05:53:14 >>KAREN PALUS: The information is available up there.

05:53:21 We also have in the fee schedule, it lays out specifically

05:53:24 if you are a category 1, 2, 3 or 4, and laid out

05:53:29 sponsorships, sponsored, co-sponsored, not for profit which

05:53:32 means you have to be a 501(c)3, private and --

05:53:37 >> What does sponsored and co-sponsored mean?

05:53:41 City?

05:53:42 >> Yes.

05:53:43 And there's multitudes of those, going to the co-sponsorship

05:53:47 committee.

05:53:48 There's a whole separate committee set up that all of the

05:53:51 different departments that are impacted goes through.

05:53:53 That's all outlined in chapter 28 and chapter 16.

05:53:56 Depending on the type and style and size of an event really

05:54:00 determines where they fall.

05:54:01 So that's why we work very closely with those customers.

05:54:05 And again I speak to the folks that are behind me.

05:54:07 We are happy to sit down, our staff meet with folks day in

05:54:10 and day out to go over their events, help them, give them

05:54:13 ideas.

05:54:14 We work with them to help figure out ways to save money.

05:54:16 A lot of times, depending on the size and scope of the

05:54:19 event, they require additional TPD officers and require

05:54:22 additional security, may require additional rescue.

05:54:25 Those are the types of conversations we have and that's why

05:54:29 those folks are to help them to put on the best event, and

05:54:34 the city, we do a really good job at that.

05:54:37 Hand down when you benchmark to other communities, it's

05:54:40 amazing what we co-sponsor and the amount of dollars we are

05:54:44 helping all those nonprofits because we are doing a lot and

05:54:47 will be happy to share that information with you all as

05:54:50 well.

05:54:51 I am going to go to the next one.

05:54:52 I do want touch go back to one question that you had about

05:54:55 the activity fee and rec card.

05:55:00 What we did because we have all those facilities I mentioned

05:55:03 last time, 26-plus throughout the city, is before we had an

05:55:06 activity fee, so if you paid that fee, in Hyde Park, an art

05:55:14 class but you are also a swimmer, it's not always open at

05:55:19 6:30, 7:00 and we didn't have an automated system.

05:55:23 So how did I know that Ms. Capin had an activity fee at Hyde

05:55:27 Park but it's now a lap swimmer down at Interbay and there

05:55:32 was no way to be communicate that.

05:55:33 So the rec card was a way to do that.

05:55:39 Again, if you are in certain parts of the city, $16 for

05:55:43 that.

05:55:43 Same thing rec card.

05:55:45 If you are in other parts of the city they were $12 a year.

05:55:47 So we standardized that.

05:55:49 Parks and rec came together, we standardized that and that's

05:55:53 where the $15 rec card came from.

05:55:56 We kind of flipped the baby on that eventually.

05:55:59 Okay.

05:56:02 And then the transportation, I shared with Ms. Patty on the

05:56:05 transportation what that is, is that -- essentially we set

05:56:11 up and again this is benchmarked with others.

05:56:16 We have a transportation schedule in regards to

05:56:18 transportation within Tampa Bay as a one way, outside Tampa

05:56:22 Bay two way, and/or direct cost.

05:56:25 Sometimes we chartered for larger groups so we are more air

05:56:29 conditioned, and tan those very nice vehicles.

05:56:34 So interns spread out throughout the entire group that

05:56:38 participate.

05:56:38 I will give you an example.

05:56:39 This is what I shared with her.

05:56:41 On a group of 25 seniors take a four-hour trip, it would

05:56:45 cost them $6 which includes the driver, the vehicle,

05:56:48 everything to participate.

05:56:50 And if there is something we need to assist with, I'm happy

05:56:53 to readdress that and look at it again with our seniors.

05:56:57 But again the majority of our seniors program are free out

05:57:00 there in all of our locations.

05:57:02 The one thing, and I don't remember, Ms. Patty or one of the

05:57:07 other folks, regarding the senior nutritional bunch, that

05:57:11 used to be housed at our Fairoaks facility, however that's

05:57:15 not a program we operated and they chose to no longer offer

05:57:18 that so that is why there was a decrease in the number of

05:57:21 seniors at that location during that time, and there was

05:57:24 another location that was feeding during lunch, and they

05:57:29 consolidated those efforts.

05:57:30 We didn't have the proper facilities and things for what

05:57:32 they needed to do, and they were looking at trying to be

05:57:34 reduce their budget as well.

05:57:36 So that is why that nutritional program went away from

05:57:40 Fairoaks.

05:57:40 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilman Reddick and Capin.

05:57:43 >>FRANK REDDICK: Mrs. Palus, is it true that there is no

05:57:47 staff at 17th street park?

05:57:52 >> It is hard for staff to get over to 18th street as

05:58:00 well as Barnes.

05:58:03 A wonderful man and we pay tribute to that facility.

05:58:06 Actually, in 2006 we used to run a playground program there.

05:58:10 There are no facilities there.

05:58:11 It's shelter only, an open neighborhood park facility.

05:58:15 So during the transition of 2006 to 2007 we made the budget

05:58:19 reduction.

05:58:20 What am that is, the locations that have our rec centers in

05:58:24 close proximity and consolidated our efforts into both

05:58:29 locations.

05:58:29 We ran our summer programs and after-school programs boo in

05:58:32 build pings, not just open and out there.

05:58:34 We do have staff to still oversee the maintenance of that

05:58:38 facility and seems to provide --

05:58:44 >> So every facility that you presented not to be rec

05:58:50 center, so there is no staff.

05:58:52 >> Correct.

05:58:53 It's not a staffed program activity.

05:58:55 >> Staffed program.

05:58:56 Now, the facilities that are staffed programs, are all of

05:59:01 them with staff?

05:59:03 >> Yes, sir.

05:59:05 >>FRANK REDDICK: So every staff program in the city has

05:59:08 staff?

05:59:08 >> Yes.

05:59:09 Like our playground center like Highland pine and Benito,

05:59:14 those facility are staffed and typically open from eight,

05:59:18 and then some of our larger facility are open till 9:00,

05:59:22 10:00 depending on their activities, seen sports and stuff.

05:59:32 They are great not only for the rentals but also for the

05:59:35 sports league.

05:59:36 We have a tremendous amount of sports activities in that

05:59:38 location.

05:59:38 >> So at Al Barnes facility, if someone rents that facility,

05:59:46 I'm assuming that someone from the city goes out and opens

05:59:50 up the restrooms and that type of thing?

05:59:55 >> Yes, sir.

05:59:57 >> And also maintains the cleanliness of the facility?

06:00:00 >> Yes, sir.

06:00:00 >> Then they go back and close it at the end of the day.

06:00:04 That is the only services that have been provided out there

06:00:07 at Al Barnes?

06:00:10 >> Just in oversite, the maintenance.

06:00:13 But we are not running it as an after-school program at that

06:00:18 location.

06:00:19 >> One more question.

06:00:20 Just one more.

06:00:23 With this direct cost base on $25 an hour, the drivers of

06:00:28 those vehicles, are they city employees?

06:00:30 >> Yes, sir, they are.

06:00:31 >> So they are there on full salary?

06:00:36 >> Yes, sir.

06:00:37 >> Do they benefit any extra financial gain through

06:00:41 receiving about driving the vehicles, providing

06:00:46 transportation for these people?

06:00:47 >> No, sir, they do not.

06:00:49 It's part of their normal operation and what we do is our

06:00:54 service attendance fees, a standard service fees as a way of

06:01:00 cost recovery and how we operate.

06:01:02 It standardized versus the actual rate for an employee.

06:01:06 >> These are city owned vehicles?

06:01:08 >> Yes, sir, they are.

06:01:09 >> So the most city owned vehicles --

06:01:18 >> Yes, sir.

06:01:19 >> As well as seat for the handicapped.

06:01:21 And they also utilize -- I see vans out here sometimes, so

06:01:27 I'm pretty sure those vans transport people, even staff to

06:01:33 some places.

06:01:34 Now, what is the purpose of the $25 cost?

06:01:37 >> It's a cost recovery for our program.

06:01:40 >> Who receives the $25?

06:01:42 >> It comes back into our general fund to help offset the

06:01:45 cost of our operations for the Parks and Recreation

06:01:47 Department.

06:01:48 >> As far as this budget, is it fair to say when you get 14%

06:01:57 of the budget, and 50.2 -- I guess million dollars, I

06:02:03 guess -- and does that $25 recovery include into that budget

06:02:10 allocation?

06:02:10 >> Yes, sir, it is.

06:02:12 It's how we balance our budget based on the revenues come in

06:02:15 and what we anticipate from our department.

06:02:18 >> And let me just ask one question to our chief of staff,

06:02:22 Mr. Santiago.

06:02:25 How do you do, sir?

06:02:27 >> Good evening, sir.

06:02:28 >> Oh, you are so cheerful.

06:02:30 >> Well, you know, just sitting holding onto my seat.

06:02:36 [ Laughter ]

06:02:38 You know, this is -- Mr. El-Amin will have a conversation

06:02:45 after the meeting.

06:02:48 Santiago Corrada, chief of staff.

06:02:52 Just like the honorable Montelione writes when something is

06:02:57 thrown out there, usually you don't let to let it lie

06:03:00 without a response.

06:03:00 So I can tell you the one thing I have never been accused of

06:03:04 is talking in riddles.

06:03:06 I'm as clear as I am structurally challenged and short.

06:03:17 So I hope I can answer with transparency.

06:03:19 >> Well, it seemed like you were anxious to get up and say

06:03:23 something.

06:03:23 >> Thank you.

06:03:24 I appreciate that.

06:03:25 >> Let me just ask you one question.

06:03:27 And just for you to -- just on the line of the $24 for

06:03:35 vehicles.

06:03:36 And I'm just asking in a courtesy way as can chief of staff,

06:03:45 would you be willing to go and evaluate this particular

06:03:50 issue about the $25 and see if we could be better utilized

06:03:57 as a service to this community?

06:04:00 Because when I see the budget of $50.2 million, and then I

06:04:05 see a recovery fee, and city employee, city transportation

06:04:10 vehicle, then maintenance cost, or something I can

06:04:15 understand.

06:04:15 But recovery, I don't know why, what it covers.

06:04:21 So if I can ask in a general way if you will be willing to

06:04:24 look into that and just review it?

06:04:27 >> Sir, absolutely.

06:04:28 We will look at the fees.

06:04:29 We will look at the rental fee.

06:04:31 We will look at any other fee.

06:04:33 And if we need to make some modifications and we think it's

06:04:36 in the best interest of the community, we will do.

06:04:38 That I can tell that you that cost recovery came about when

06:04:40 we were trying to augment what revenues the parks and rec

06:04:45 department was receiving to continue to operate when the

06:04:48 economic conditions turned the way they turned.

06:04:51 When we were back in 2009, we mentioned 2009, we were

06:04:54 looking at ways to keep the department afloat, to continue

06:04:57 to provide services to the community, without having to take

06:05:00 the drastic measures that other cities and counties are

06:05:04 taking when they are talking about eliminating programs

06:05:08 completely shutting down centers, closing down pools, so it

06:05:11 was a way to supplement the tax dollars with additional

06:05:16 revenues to continue to keep the department afloat.

06:05:18 And we can certainly look at rentals for not for profits,

06:05:23 cost recovery on field trips for adults and youngsters.

06:05:27 We can do that.

06:05:30 The parks and rec budget only has a small portion that is

06:05:34 attributed to these revenues we are talking about.

06:05:36 So in no way, shape or form should this conversation affect

06:05:39 the passing of this budget.

06:05:40 I mean, it is a small percentage of that $50 million that

06:05:44 goes to parks and rec that is attributed to these revenues,

06:05:48 the rentals, the cost recovery for the use of vehicles.

06:05:51 So, again, we can look at those things, and we can affirm

06:05:55 whether we need to make those changes.

06:05:57 And you know me to be a fair person.

06:05:59 If we need to go ahead and do that we'll go ahead and do.

06:06:02 That but in no way, shape or form should it affect the

06:06:05 passage of this budget because it is a small amount of money

06:06:08 that we can look at.

06:06:09 >> You are absolutely right, chief.

06:06:11 And I will tell you by you stating that on the record, and

06:06:15 giving us assurance for this, I will be more than happy to

06:06:19 support this and be inclined to make the motion for to us

06:06:23 move forward once everybody gets through with their

06:06:26 deliberations.

06:06:26 >> Thank you, sir.

06:06:28 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilwoman Capin.

06:06:32 >>YVONNE CAPIN: I was looking, and I guess Mrs. Palus or

06:06:38 chief of staff Santiago, whichever.

06:06:41 I'm looking at this, the program.

06:06:44 And zero to 17 years old.

06:06:48 Adult 18 to 49.

06:06:49 Seniors 50 years old?

06:06:52 [ Laughter ]

06:07:07 Well, percentage do not apply to programs unless covered by

06:07:11 private agreement, scholarship and/or reduced fees may be

06:07:15 available to youth programs based on need.

06:07:18 When you came up, Mrs. Palus, you said online there was --

06:07:26 if I understood that correctly, that it's available, the

06:07:30 different reductions, scholarships, for seniors.

06:07:35 And I have to tell you, my mother-in-law is 94 years old.

06:07:41 She lives in a wonderful subsidized apartment, excellent

06:07:48 place.

06:07:50 Her income is her Social Security.

06:07:52 My husband and I supplement her income.

06:07:56 She would never be able, if it weren't for the family, to

06:08:03 pay, to come to these.

06:08:07 And she is definitely not going to go online.

06:08:10 Okay?

06:08:18 >> Online is not our only option.

06:08:20 They can go to their closest rec center that is there to

06:08:23 them, and staff is there to assist them with anything they

06:08:27 need.

06:08:32 >>YVONNE CAPIN: And I wrote this down.

06:08:33 We have sliding scale.

06:08:36 That's what the scholarships and reduced fees are? Because

06:08:40 if we have a family that's at poverty or below poverty, the

06:08:46 $15 individual card, is there a way to mitigate that?

06:08:53 >> Yes.

06:08:53 In fact, what I had sent to Mrs. Patty as well is a

06:08:59 scholarship so if a family needs assistance they let the

06:09:04 staff know and we work with them.

06:09:05 >> The forms are there with the staff?

06:09:07 >> Yes.

06:09:08 It's a very simple form.

06:09:12 For clarification, on television, tonight, we don't do the

06:09:15 sliding scale scenario anymore because their after-school

06:09:18 program is free and our summer program is the lowest rate.

06:09:21 We still offer scholarships, but if they still need

06:09:26 assistance to help with that, if it's the $15, sponsor

06:09:30 children and make sure they have their rec card and they can

06:09:33 come, those are only for the activities that have been they

06:09:36 need to register for within the building.

06:09:38 We have kids that are out there, you know, planning

06:09:40 activity, doing football outside, playing basketball, they

06:09:43 are just coming to the park.

06:09:45 There's no rec card required for that.

06:09:48 It's the registered program specific to if it's after

06:09:51 school, summer, if it's gym and dance, if it's Tae Kwon Do,

06:09:57 if it's Zumba.

06:09:59 There are thousands of activity out there.

06:10:02 Again that's the $15, a way of capturing.

06:10:05 We know honor is here.

06:10:08 They have access to the open gym, the open computer lab,

06:10:12 open swim, and anybody of the free volunteer type programs.

06:10:15 >> So that took the place of the program.

06:10:18 But playing basketball is free?

06:10:21 >> If you are outside in a park, yeah.

06:10:23 Any amenities that we have, you don't as a citizen have been

06:10:28 to come anything to come to Al Lopez and run and play and be

06:10:32 on a playground.

06:10:33 Nobody is asking you for a rec carried.

06:10:35 But if you are going to come in and use the fitness center,

06:10:38 yes, and that's $15 to have access to all our numerous

06:10:41 indoor facilities throughout the city and our a kilowatt I

06:10:44 can center.

06:10:44 >> Thank you for clearing that up for me.

06:10:47 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilman Montelione.

06:10:52 >>HARRY COHEN: I wanted to follow up on what Councilwoman

06:10:59 Capin was just asking about.

06:11:00 Because I'm actually still not totally clear.

06:11:04 Is it an accurate statement that if someone cannot afford to

06:11:08 pay the $15, there is a bypass available to them so that

06:11:13 they can basically get a card without paying it?

06:11:16 >>KAREN PALUS: If they need assistance, we go through

06:11:22 friends of --

06:11:24 >> How does that work?

06:11:25 >> There's a little form.

06:11:27 I will shoot to the you by e-mail.

06:11:29 They ask them to provide a little paragraph of what the need

06:11:32 is and what the assistance.

06:11:34 And as long as the parents write, you know, I have four or

06:11:37 five children, I need assistance, I can pay for these Bob

06:11:40 but need your help with the other ones, we do.

06:11:43 If there's programs, all of those types of things, we work

06:11:46 very closely with them and they have been a very big

06:11:48 supporter of us.

06:11:49 >> Are those forms readily available in all the parks?

06:11:51 >> Yes.

06:11:53 And if they don't have one they show up, we can make sure we

06:11:57 get them there.

06:11:58 >> I'm just wondering if people know that the $15 is not a

06:12:03 hurdle that is going to keep them from being able to use the

06:12:06 park.

06:12:07 Because it sounded from the public comment as though there

06:12:09 are people that are not using the parks because they can't

06:12:14 pay the fee.

06:12:15 And so therein seems to be a dissidence between who is using

06:12:22 the park and who thinks they can afford to use the park or

06:12:25 not.

06:12:25 >> Well, I will work with Mrs. Patty and folks in the

06:12:32 community to be make sure we get additional information out

06:12:34 to the folks.

06:12:35 Because I can assure you Al Lopez is 38,000 people on

06:12:38 average there through a month's time that know they can come

06:12:43 use the park without a rec card.

06:12:45 So I am happy to communicate that with the folks that we'll

06:12:49 produce some additional campaign information to make sure

06:12:51 that word is out.

06:12:52 We are happy to do all of that.

06:12:54 Because we want you there.

06:12:55 That's what those facilities are for.

06:12:56 We want those facility bustle with folks and activities, and

06:13:00 I can share with you, out with programs and activity and

06:13:06 make sure we are getting more information out

06:13:09 communicatewise in regards to what we offer and what's

06:13:12 available.

06:13:12 >> Just as a comment, then I am find issued.

06:13:15 Since this program was instituted in 2009, it's my sense

06:13:19 that a lot of people's circumstances may have changed

06:13:22 drastically.

06:13:23 And one of the things that I think has become clear to all

06:13:26 of us as we have been examining different problems in the

06:13:29 community is than not only are there a lot of people that

06:13:33 are homeless and that are without jobs, but there's an awful

06:13:37 lot of people who are this close to the edge, and that $15,

06:13:42 that may have seemed like a reasonable fine-needle

06:13:44 aspiration for anybody to be able to pay, even two or three

06:13:48 years ago, is just going to be at a reach for an awful lot

06:13:51 more people today than it used to be.

06:13:53 >> And we are happy to work with anybody that needs

06:13:56 assistance.

06:13:57 We have worked through that this summer.

06:13:59 We had a handful of folks that submitted applications, and I

06:14:02 think they did almost 40 scholarships for folks that

06:14:06 requested assistance, and we are happy to work with them on

06:14:09 that.

06:14:09 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilwoman Montelione.

06:14:11 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.

06:14:15 Don't Goff away.

06:14:28 One of the speakers mentioned we need to look at different

06:14:31 ways of funding and moving capital around.

06:14:33 Is it possible to use capital improvement money for

06:14:37 scholarships or reduction in fees, something like that?

06:14:39 >> Not that I am aware of.

06:14:41 Capital fund is where the dollars come from, but --

06:14:48 >>LISA MONTELIONE: You have to come to the mike.

06:14:49 You are shaking your head.

06:14:50 >> Dennis Ferrara.

06:14:56 >> You look different.

06:14:58 >> Capital improvements are for big ticket items,

06:15:01 construction.

06:15:03 We wouldn't be able to use that type of funding, for

06:15:05 instance, for scholarships.

06:15:06 >> And the capital improvements, we all have our budget

06:15:12 books in front of us.

06:15:13 But those at home watching or maybe those in the audience

06:15:17 don't have the benefit of having the information right here

06:15:20 in front of us.

06:15:21 But can you tell, I think I counted six different capital

06:15:27 improvement programs that were in effect for this budget,

06:15:30 this next year's budget for parks and recreation?

06:15:33 >> I know it sound about right.

06:15:35 You are referencing, for example, aquatic facilities,

06:15:37 neighborhood improvements, neighborhood projects, in this

06:15:40 particular park.

06:15:41 Yes, ma'am.

06:15:41 >> There's the aquatics facility, neighborhood projects.

06:15:45 There is something, athletic courts, field, repairs,

06:15:51 something like that.

06:15:52 And I just want -- do you know how much money that totals

06:15:56 and what we are investing in capital improvements in parks

06:15:59 and recreation?

06:16:00 >> Yes.

06:16:02 Yes, ma'am, roughly.

06:16:02 With an five-year period included in your budget book, and

06:16:06 which you will be voting on tonight, is approximately $50

06:16:09 million.

06:16:09 >> 50 million?

06:16:11 Okay.

06:16:11 And I just wanted to go through that exercise to reiterate

06:16:16 that we do have a commitment to a community to provide safe

06:16:20 places to play, and places for our seniors to spend time,

06:16:26 and that there isn't -- I know it seems like it's a logical

06:16:31 thing to sometimes take money from one side of, you know,

06:16:35 the pot and put it in the other pot, which is what we do at

06:16:38 home, maybe we move some money around.

06:16:40 But when it comes to these budgets, it's not easily done,

06:16:44 and in some cases it's not possible at all because of

06:16:49 federal regulation or state regulation or general practices.

06:16:55 In the accounting field we can't move money around that

06:16:57 easily sometimes.

06:16:58 Even though it might seem like it makes sense, but it's just

06:17:02 not possible.

06:17:03 And one of the other things going back to something

06:17:06 that's -- Mr. El-Amin has said before, is it doesn't help us

06:17:13 if the people aren't using them.

06:17:15 And there are -- I mean, Councilman Cohen put it, I can tell

06:17:19 you, I'm not in the financial condition today that I was in

06:17:21 five years ago, and I'm sure that many others are of the

06:17:25 same ILK, and it's true.

06:17:28 I mean, every dollar counts.

06:17:30 And when you are looking at fees for parks and recreation

06:17:34 and someplace for the kids to play, you know, sometimes the

06:17:37 dentist still comes first or the doctor will come first,

06:17:40 then that parks and recreation card.

06:17:42 So whatever we can do to help people fill out those forms

06:17:47 to, you know, get relief from those payments that would

06:17:51 certainly help.

06:17:52 But getting back to the facilities, as far as I understand

06:17:57 it, we are not doing a lot of prettying up of that $50

06:18:03 million.

06:18:03 A lot of that $50 million that capital improvements is

06:18:06 looking at doing over the next five years as outlined in

06:18:09 this budget is repairs, maintenance.

06:18:12 I mean, we had during one of our council meetings, we had

06:18:16 people coming in and saying how the paint was peeling, and

06:18:18 the restrooms weren't functioning, and all kind of issues

06:18:23 that we have in some of the parks.

06:18:25 So I just wanted to say that.

06:18:27 Thank you very much for indulge me the time, Madam Chair.

06:18:30 >> And if I could quickly clarify.

06:18:33 It 43.8 million over the next five years for parks and

06:18:37 recreation, capital improvements.

06:18:39 43.8 million.

06:18:41 >> We were rounding to 50.

06:18:46 Thank you.

06:18:46 >>MARY MULHERN: Councilwoman Capin.

06:18:53 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Just reiterating, we can work on -- I'm

06:18:58 very -- I'm convinced that the chief of staff and the

06:19:03 director of parks are willing to work with these programs,

06:19:09 and to try to -- you know, when a child comes in to a

06:19:15 facility and they are told they need a $15 card, sometimes

06:19:18 they'll turn around and walk away.

06:19:20 So we have to be sure that they are aware that this is

06:19:24 available.

06:19:27 And just making that extra effort.

06:19:29 I think your idea of a PR program to get the word out, that

06:19:33 this is available, it's here, is going to be very helpful.

06:19:38 I really believe that.

06:19:40 Thank you for all your efforts.

06:19:42 >>MARY MULHERN: I'm going to ask if there is anyone else

06:19:50 from the public who wishes to speak.

06:19:56 I have afternoon few questions, Mrs. Palus.

06:19:58 I just have a few questions.

06:20:06 Now I can't find it.

06:20:15 Oh, okay.

06:20:16 It's about the scholarships availability from the

06:20:22 scholarship fund or the friends of recreation.

06:20:34 It's been several years that I have been recommending this

06:20:37 and people from the community have been recommending and you

06:20:40 may have adopted.

06:20:41 This we have talked about it in the continue text of

06:20:44 after-school programs, and summer programs that the

06:20:49 determination of the need for -- I mean, application for

06:20:53 assistance, that determination could very easily be made for

06:20:58 children by the free and reduced lunch program.

06:21:05 The school district uses.

06:21:06 That it's a federal program.

06:21:07 Because if you qualify for that, you should be able to

06:21:09 qualify for this.

06:21:10 So have we moved to using that in the parks program?

06:21:14 >> Madam Chairman, that is what we were using previously

06:21:16 when we had the sliding scale before.

06:21:18 That's what we had.

06:21:19 We had that information and we had that program set up

06:21:23 exactly like this.

06:21:24 The school board has previously.

06:21:27 What we don't have is the shared information.

06:21:30 In other words, they filled it out with the school board and

06:21:34 there's no ability for us -- they can't share that

06:21:36 information.

06:21:37 >> Why is that?

06:21:38 Why can't we get that database?

06:21:40 Because it's just a database, and -- okay, we have been

06:21:45 asking the question for three years.

06:21:48 So Wan is --

06:21:49 >> I'm not sure -- it's very similar like background

06:21:54 screenings.

06:21:54 They won't share that either.

06:21:55 That's not something that's shareable at this point.

06:21:58 They collect, and they also have the particular stipulation

06:22:02 on qualification of that, because the federal programming,

06:22:07 and the state part of that programming.

06:22:09 That's not our purview for them to share that with us.

06:22:13 >> I'm not sure -- okay.

06:22:20 I need to hear that probably from the school.

06:22:23 >> I could have them put that in writing.

06:22:27 But dialogue back and forth within background checks for

06:22:30 years now trying to share that information.

06:22:32 So we have been working with that --

06:22:38 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay, so I think this is reminding me,

06:22:41 because than the people in the audience knows and as staff

06:22:49 knows, this is a discussion we have been having for years.

06:22:51 So I don't remember exactly where we are.

06:22:53 But I think what the answer to that to me was, it's

06:22:58 difficult for people to say I can't afford this, I can't

06:23:02 afford to pay this for my child to go here.

06:23:06 So perhaps we can think about just asking that when they

06:23:12 fill out that application.

06:23:15 Do you qualify for this?

06:23:18 And if they volunteer that information, they don't have to

06:23:21 answer it, then that could be the determination.

06:23:23 But we would trust them, because, you know, I know I get

06:23:29 that form in the mail every year, and I look at it, and I

06:23:32 know that I am not going to qualify, that I can afford to

06:23:36 provide lunch for my children.

06:23:38 But there have been times in my life where I have wondered

06:23:42 if maybe I could use that help.

06:23:43 And it's a difficult thing for someone to do.

06:23:46 So I really think it might be worth just making that one

06:23:49 little step easier for people, and trusting them.

06:23:53 If they tell you they qualify --

06:23:56 >> I just want to share that we don't use that anymore

06:23:58 because the fees went back to zero for after-school so we

06:24:02 don't have a sliding scale anymore.

06:24:03 There's no need for one.

06:24:05 The price is zero for after-school in that program.

06:24:07 So when we were doing the sliding scale before for summer

06:24:10 and for that is when the rate was higher, and then you pay

06:24:13 based on your income availability to be able to participate.

06:24:17 Now it's all the low rate.

06:24:19 So there wasn't any for sliding scale anymore.

06:24:24 The scholarship was the solution for that.

06:24:26 If they still need assistance they would use that program.

06:24:29 >> We just had this discussion where we talked about

06:24:31 sometimes people can't afford it.

06:24:34 >> That's the scholarship program with friends we have.

06:24:39 The sliding scale program went away because we don't have --

06:24:42 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay, I'm talking about the scholarship

06:24:44 program.

06:24:47 What would qualify for you for the scholarship.

06:24:50 If you attest when you sign that form that your children are

06:24:53 in that program during the school year that they could get a

06:24:57 scholarship.

06:24:57 >> Let me share with you real quick.

06:25:00 One of the things that they haven't said that have been they

06:25:05 sponsor, because there's a lot of folks that have

06:25:07 extenuating circumstances.

06:25:08 And we found out when we went through that, we had over 2300

06:25:13 folks that went through that, not this past summer, the

06:25:17 summer before last, and there was a lot of folks that kind

06:25:19 of fell in the gaps.

06:25:20 So they made a decision as a board to evaluate them each in

06:25:23 their own circumstances.

06:25:24 So it's not whether you are on --

06:25:27 >> But the question, do you have any other, you know,

06:25:31 circumstances that --

06:25:33 >> And that's what they have done.

06:25:35 And we were very successful with that this sum we are the

06:25:38 folks.

06:25:38 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay, okay.

06:25:40 And then the other thing I wanted to ask, I think -- and

06:25:48 Councilman, Chairman Miranda was really, really was the

06:25:53 champion for finding out about the seniors programs, and

06:25:57 since he hasn't been able to be here the last couple months,

06:26:02 I feel like we need to follow up on that and find out.

06:26:21 You did answer it so all the seniors fees got rolled over?

06:26:24 >> Yes, the seniors fees when we did the roll back on the

06:26:27 nonresident and the disabled, those got rolled back so if

06:26:30 you were out of county, if you were a non-resident you had

06:26:33 resident rates as a senior.

06:26:35 >> Okay, so it whats a non-resident question.

06:26:39 >> Right.

06:26:40 And the programs, typically, the majority of the senior

06:26:43 programs are like Barksdale and such are zero.

06:26:46 It just depends on whether they participate in other

06:26:48 programs or the instructors that are there.

06:26:52 But I would be happy to send that you information.

06:26:54 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.

06:26:55 Thank you.

06:26:59 I just wanted to, I guess, give council background, because

06:27:04 I guess it was for the 2009 budget, so that was the two

06:27:08 budgets ago, and it was in that year that Mrs. Palus told

06:27:22 us, and you probably heard this before, our fees were not in

06:27:26 line with what other people were doing.

06:27:29 And the council -- was that in 2009 or 2008 when we adopted?

06:27:38 The fiscal year 2008?

06:27:49 >> It would be rolled back, and July.

06:27:52 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay, so two years ago after much

06:27:55 discussion and much testimony from the Parks Department, the

06:28:01 council voted to increase fees.

06:28:06 And we had -- we didn't have a lot of questions at the point

06:28:12 where we raised the fee.

06:28:14 As the school year started, as the fees started being

06:28:20 adopted, these chambers were full of people who couldn't,

06:28:25 you know, who had all kind of questions.

06:28:28 Some of the things we are hearing tonight, but some other

06:28:30 things.

06:28:36 The questions and the problems that people were having with

06:28:40 this, even though we were not charging enough, what the

06:28:43 market would bear, you know, or what other markets were

06:28:46 charging at that point, it was a shock to people because we

06:28:51 went from charging almost nothing to way out.

06:28:54 And there wasn't -- there was no sliding scale or

06:28:57 scholarship, or not enough scholarships available.

06:29:00 So over discussions and hearing from the public for months

06:29:07 and months and months, really for probably a whole year,

06:29:10 because the school year, and then we ran into the summer

06:29:14 programs which also had fees raised.

06:29:18 So finally what happened was, it was decided by the last

06:29:26 administration that we were just going to roll everything

06:29:29 back.

06:29:29 So all the work that Karen had done on all this study, we

06:29:37 went back to -- it didn't happen gradually.

06:29:42 It was just too much of a shock to people, they couldn't

06:29:44 afford it.

06:29:45 Some people could afford it.

06:29:46 Some couldn't.

06:29:47 So she has worked very hard to solve a lot of those

06:29:53 problems.

06:29:54 That being said, and I think it's a testimony to the fact

06:29:59 that she has done that, that there were only a few people

06:30:03 here tonight, because there were a lot more people before.

06:30:08 So I think the Parks Department has been working with

06:30:11 people.

06:30:17 I don't think that we can never look at our fees again, and

06:30:20 might not need to raise them in certain circumstances, but,

06:30:23 you know, there were so many problems with the way that the

06:30:27 new fees were adopted, but I was convinced and council was

06:30:33 convinced and eventually the mayor was convinced that we had

06:30:35 to just roll them back.

06:30:37 So that's how we got to be this structure here.

06:30:41 And I think as far as the public's complaints, most of them

06:30:46 were addressed.

06:30:49 There are some still some questions I have.

06:30:52 And I am going to just save this for a future council

06:30:55 meeting so that I can hear from people what problems they

06:31:00 are still having and get a report on the parks and

06:31:03 recreation chair, take what the suggestions -- the questions

06:31:07 I heard from council and from the public, and ask for a

06:31:10 report.

06:31:10 Because the unintended consequence, or whether it was

06:31:15 intended or not, there were programs, because the fees had

06:31:22 gone up so much for virtually -- for an entire year.

06:31:28 A lot of the attendance dropped incredibly.

06:31:31 So a lot of programs got cut.

06:31:35 And aren't any in existence anymore.

06:31:39 The other thing that we didn't really address as council was

06:31:48 I think this is the one thing that I am not sure about, too,

06:31:51 Karen, but I'm not asking to answer it now.

06:31:54 But the question about whether people can come and play in

06:31:56 the parks.

06:31:57 They can play in the park, but they can't go inside if

06:32:02 there's a gym and play basketball.

06:32:04 Right?

06:32:04 If you are going to go inside a center, you have to have the

06:32:07 rec card, right?

06:32:08 So I think that may be something, I don't know finance

06:32:12 that's still a problem or not, but I think we should look

06:32:15 into that.

06:32:16 >> If I may make one point of clarification regarding --

06:32:22 regarding -- we did not cut any programs when the

06:32:26 rollback --

06:32:30 >>MARY MULHERN: Well, you didn't cut any after-school

06:32:35 programs?

06:32:37 >>KAREN PALUS: No.

06:32:38 They were all operating after the constraints of those

06:32:41 facilities and such.

06:32:42 We were still running our programs at all of our locations.

06:32:47 >>CHAIRMAN: Right, but you consolidated some facilities?

06:32:49 >> Yes, back in '06-07 with that budget reduction, we did.

06:32:52 We did not run playground, parks of summer programs but our

06:32:58 building facilities are still running programs.

06:33:00 >>MARY MULHERN: All of the same programs that were in place

06:33:03 back then?

06:33:04 >> Yes.

06:33:04 We had a couple of it facilities that didn't have the busing

06:33:07 any longer.

06:33:08 The school board cut back on their busing so folks couldn't

06:33:11 get to our location.

06:33:12 There was a lot of different things occurring in some of

06:33:14 those facilities where are we don't run them.

06:33:16 But because of the fees were unrelated to that, in those

06:33:21 particular locations.

06:33:22 I would be happy to go back over the information with you.

06:33:24 >>MARY MULHERN: And I'll figure out what questions I have

06:33:29 and have you come and either do a workshop or staff report.

06:33:34 That was my concern.

06:33:35 And I was hearing that from citizens.

06:33:38 So hopefully, that didn't happen.

06:33:41 I did hear differently from some people.

06:33:47 So I guess that's it.

06:33:48 I think it's really, really good news that we had some

06:33:51 questions here tonight.

06:33:53 They may not all have been answered, but we did have a room

06:33:58 full of people, like we did the last few years.

06:34:02 >>FRANK REDDICK: They are come.

06:34:07 >> They are coming?

06:34:08 Well, we will be scheduling the meeting.

06:34:12 Thank you.

06:34:12 Any other questions from council, for staff?

06:34:17 >>FRANK REDDICK: Move to close the public hearing.

06:34:19 >> Second.

06:34:20 >>MARY MULHERN: All in favor?

06:34:22 Anyone opposed?

06:34:27 >>YVONNE CAPIN: I would like to move, to bring forth and

06:34:33 pass the recommended budget -- oh, I'm sorry.

06:34:36 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes.

06:34:40 Our finance chair needs to read it.

06:34:41 >>HARRY COHEN: I am going to read this resolution.

06:34:45 And then I am going make a motion after that to adopt the

06:34:47 millage rate.

06:34:48 And after that everyone can have at it on the budget and the

06:34:54 CIP budget.

06:34:58 Madam Chair, I move a resolution levying an ad valorem tax

06:35:01 at the rate of 5.7326 mills upon all real and personal tax

06:35:10 property in the City of Tampa for the fiscal year 2012

06:35:14 authorizing the mayor and city clerk to certify such

06:35:17 millage, providing an effective date.

06:35:19 Be it resolved by the City Council that the city of Tampa,

06:35:22 Florida, section 1, that an ad valorem tax at the rate of

06:35:26 5.7326 mills affixed in the recommended operating and

06:35:35 capital budget of the City of Tampa to the fiscal year

06:35:38 commencing October 1st, 2011, and ending September

06:35:42 30th, 2012, for the general fund for the maintenance and

06:35:45 operation of the City of Tampa, is hereby levied as provided

06:35:49 by law on all real and personal property, taxable for that

06:35:53 purpose in the City of Tampa.

06:35:55 Section 2.

06:35:56 That the mayor and city clerk as the proper authorities of

06:36:01 the City of Tampa are duly authorized, empowered and

06:36:04 directed to certify to the property appraiser of

06:36:08 Hillsborough County, Florida, the millage to be levied for

06:36:10 all purposes for the fiscal year 2012 in the City of Tampa,

06:36:14 to wit: 5.7326 mills, which is less than the rolled back

06:36:19 rate as defined in section 206.5 subsection one of the

06:36:25 Florida statutes, by 4.171% and to request a levy of the

06:36:30 millage set forth upon all real and personal property in the

06:36:33 City of Tampa as above set forth in accordance with the

06:36:36 provisions of the Constitution and laws of the State of

06:36:39 Florida.

06:36:40 Section 3.

06:36:42 That other proper officers of the City of Tampa are

06:36:45 authorized to do all things necessary and proper in order to

06:36:49 carry out and make effective the terms and conditions of

06:36:52 this resolution which shall become effective immediately

06:36:55 upon its adoption passed and adopted by the City Council of

06:36:59 the City of Tampa on September 21st, 2011.

06:37:02 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Second.

06:37:05 >>MARY MULHERN: Motion made by Councilman Cohen, seconded

06:37:07 by Councilman Suarez.

06:37:09 And we will have roll call vote?

06:37:11 No.

06:37:12 All in favor.

06:37:14 Anyone opposed?

06:37:15 >>HARRY COHEN: I further move the following ordinance on

06:37:21 second reading, an ordinance adopting the budget for the

06:37:24 fiscal year beginning October 1st, 2011 and ending

06:37:29 September 30th, 2012, as presented by the mayor,

06:37:33 providing for the levy as provided by law as a tax on all

06:37:37 taxable property in the City of Tampa and fixing the millage

06:37:40 within said city making appropriations in accordance with

06:37:43 the provisions of said budget, authorizing and directing the

06:37:47 mayor and city clerk as the proper authorities of the City

06:37:50 of Tampa to certify to the property appraiser of

06:37:53 Hillsborough County, Florida, the millage to be levied for

06:37:56 all purposes for the fiscal year 2012 in the City of Tampa,

06:38:00 providing an effective date.

06:38:00 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Second.

06:38:04 >> Second.

06:38:05 >>MARY MULHERN: Do we need a roll call vote for this one?

06:38:08 No.

06:38:10 Motion made by Councilman Cohen, seconded by Councilman

06:38:14 Suarez.

06:38:15 Roll call.

06:38:15 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Yes.

06:38:18 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Yes.

06:38:19 >>FRANK REDDICK: Yes.

06:38:20 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes.

06:38:22 >>HARRY COHEN: Yes.

06:38:23 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Yes.

06:38:26 >> Motion carried with Miranda being absent.

06:38:28 >>FRANK REDDICK: Move the resolution forward?

06:38:39 >>HARRY COHEN: I think next we need a motion to adopt the

06:38:41 annual budget and then another one --

06:38:43 >> I move to adopt.

06:38:44 >> Move the resolution 4.

06:38:49 >>HARRY COHEN: Go ahead.

06:38:51 >>FRANK REDDICK: Just move resolution 4.

06:38:53 >> Second.

06:38:55 >>MARY MULHERN: Motion to adopt the capital improvement

06:38:58 budget?

06:38:58 Motion made by Councilman Reddick, seconded by Councilwoman

06:39:02 Capin.

06:39:03 Roll call?

06:39:04 No.

06:39:05 All in favor?

06:39:07 Anyone opposed?

06:39:09 Motion passes.

06:39:16 That concludes our budget hearing.

06:39:20 We are adjourned.

06:39:20 >> New business?

06:39:30 >>MARY MULHERN: Really?

06:39:32 >> Motion to receive and file. Is there a second?

06:39:34 Motion made by Councilwoman Montelione, seconded by

06:39:37 Councilman Suarez.

06:39:38 All in favor?

06:39:39 Anyone opposed?

06:39:42 We will be having council meeting tomorrow.

06:39:45 So we'll do new business tomorrow.




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