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Tampa City Council
Thursday, September 15, 2005
5:30 p.m.

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[Sounding gavel]
>>GWEN MILLER: Tampa City Council is called to order. The chair will yield to Mr. Kevin White.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Tonight for our invocation we will have the Reverend Eric Campbell.
Reverend Campbell is senior pastor of missionary Baptist church, he attended Florida theological seminary majoring in Christian education and is a member of the board of the Florida association for the state and is progressive is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and is married with three children.
At this time we ask reverend Campbell to cam Ford and give us his invocation and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance.
>> Reverend Campbell: Let us pray.
Eternal God, we come this evening to say thank you to you for all the many blessings that have already been bestowed upon us.
We ask, O God, this evening that you would bless these endeavors.
Guide each and every one all officials and leaders that are in this meeting and this assembled body.
Bless O God that they would reason together.
In your name we pray.
Amen.

>>GWEN MILLER: Roll call.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Here.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Here.
>>ROSE FERLITA: (No response.)
>>KEVIN WHITE: Here.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Here.
>>GWEN MILLER: Here.
At this time we need to open our public hearing.
>> So moved.
>> Second.
(Motion carried)
>>GWEN MILLER: I turn it over to Mr. White.
>>KEVIN WHITE: This is the first public hearing for the City of Tampa fiscal year 2006 budget.
The proposed millage rate is 6.539 mills, which is 11.22% more than the roll back millage rate of 6.1453 mills, property tax funds are used to support the General Fund operating budget of the City of Tampa.
This fund includes such departments as fire, fire rescue, police, human resources, parks and recreation, and public works.
At this point in time we will have budget staff come forward.
>>BONNIE WISE: Director of revenue and finance.
I want to thank you for getting us to this point in the process.
Tonight is the first public hearing.
I want to thank you for your input not just in our budget workshops but also throughout the whole year.
You all have met with the mayor and me individually.
You have met with Jim and me during this process and I appreciate that.
I also want to thank the citizens who have provided input throughout the year as well and especially to Jim Stefan who is the budget officer and the entire budget staff who worked so diligently throughout the summer, especially, but throughout the entire year.
As I mentioned, this is the first public hearing.
The second public hearing will be on September 29th, here in City Hall council chambers.
And I'm going to go through just a very brief presentation, because during your workshops, you did ask me some questions about the budget and some numbers.
I wanted to see if I can clarify some of those numbers for you.
And give you and the public of course an opportunity to speak so I'm going to keep it brief.
Some of these charts, some numbers I showed you already but some are new.
And I'll answer any questions that you might have.
The theme of this year's budget once again is "people first."
As was previously mentioned, first we find public safety needs, then parks and recreation, and really addressing the items that improve our citizens' lives on a day-to-day basis.
We are also emphasizing an increase in our reserves and fund balances this year.
I am going to go into some more detail on each of these items.
The other thing I just quickly wanted to mention and probably you saw this in the newspaper yesterday, the citizens report.
So it was in the newspaper, in the Tampa Tribune yesterday.
Tomorrow, it will be in La Gaceta in Spanish and also in the Sentinel Bulletin.
So you could look out for that.
This will also be on the city's web page.
And as you know, since the budget presentation, in August, all budget books have been on the city's web site.
So any questions that the citizens might have.
Now I am going to go to a PowerPoint presentation.
Do you all have copies?
Of the document?
Okay.
People first.
As I previously mentioned, the city's budget is $674 million.
And that is the same number as last year.
It is comprised of our tax operating funds of $389 million, which is a 4% increase over last year.
Our enterprise funds having a 6% increase over last year, internal service and other funds of $27 million, a 4% increase over last year, which is a total appropriation of $664 million.
That total is about a 5% increase over last year.
The difference of course as you can see is in the bond funds which is significantly lower than last year, at $10 million.
Our tax operating revenues of $389 million.
You can see there with the largest percentage coming from property taxes.
Fees and charges of $58 million, that includes everything from occupational license fees, building permits, TPD fines and forfeitures, convention center, that type of revenue.
Here I wanted to break down for you the $389 million from the previous page of which the General Fund you can see did increase about $8 million, utility tax we have a slight decline, community investment tax fund a slight decline.
So I wanted to you see some of the changes that occurred line by line.
In those areas.
The General Fund, generally we did have an increase in fire, at 1.2 million dollars, parks and rec 2.8 million, public works 1.5 million.
As you might recall, public safety that we use about 47% of our funds in this area for public safety purposes.
I want to go through a little more detail on those General Fund revenues.
You can see a historical perspective.
Our property taxes did increase from 121 million to 139 million.
We are seeing an increase in sales tax, and in electric Fran chase a slight increase.
You can see there on building permits that we really are experiencing a higher than budgeted in building permits for fiscal year 05.
That is about a 22% increase.
Of course it's uncertain whether that will continue as we go into 06.
So we did budget slight increase from over 05 at 5.4 million.
Also, at the convention center you can see that our 05 budget we are being consistent in 06.
But we have really benefited from W the 05, the convention center staff has done a tremendous job bringing in extra revenue.
State revenue sharing increased slightly.
Fines and forfeitures is an area that we are seeing a fair amount of decline regarding changes in article 5.
We are really researching that area to see what's happening there.
And of course our interest going down significantly because our fund balances are lower, partially due to moneys that we had to pay out during the hurricanes, that we have not yet been reimbursed.
There's the historical chart on our property taxes, an increase of 14.4% over the prior year.
Just for you to note, one mill is worth about 12.2 million dollars.
The millage rate of course staying at the 6.539 mills.
And here's some historical basis for you on sales tax.
We did see some growth in sales tax revenue during fiscal year 05.
And here are some other revenue sources where we are seeing some of these revenues remaining flat and even some like communication services taxi previously mentioned where we are actually budgeting a $2 million decline.
These are some of the significant areas of General Fund increase of $8 million.
I previously mentioned fire at 1.2 million.
Once again we did add seven firefighters plus the six paramedics for station 21.
Parks and recreation an increase of about 3 million.
We did add the three summer intern teachers for the parks and recreation programs, and public works of 1.5 million dollars.
They do have some new positions in that particular department.
As we are embarking on fiscal year 06, there are things that we do need to address and things that do concern as we move forward.
We all of course are very familiar with what's happening in fuel.
From fiscal year 05 to now, our fuel costs have increased 58% from what we budgeted last year.
So that is of course, you know, significant impact, as I previously mentioned, a penny costs the city -- penny increase in fuel cost costs the city about $26,000 a year.
We are seeing an increase in construction costs.
Steve Daignault was telling me just the other day that the bids that we are receiving are much higher than what we have budgeted.
We are receiving fewer bids.
So that is going to have a significant impact as we move forward.
Chemical costs, our costs of chlorine has increased 153% this year.
Caustic soda increased 32%, various other chemicals increased as well.
On our personnel side we have seen health insurance increase a little over 10%, worker's comp 13%, and our general employees pension costs increasing.
Separately, I am going to discuss emergency reserves.
And I talked about -- a little about this in the previous presentation, and how we feel that it is very prudent and fiscally responsible to have sufficient reserves and fund balance in our accounts.
We especially were confronted with this as we needed to put out a lot of cash during the hurricanes last year, and not all of that money has yet to be reimbursed.
What we are doing is we have several levels of emergency reserves.
We always had -- and previously we did have as well a 2.8 million contingency account.
The things that we do know that come up throughout the year.
We have also added a second level of about a little over $3 million, because we know that some revenues do not come in as we had budgeted.
Of course we always budget 95% of property taxes, but we have other revenues that we are seeing some decline so we have that cushion as well.
And now we also have added the third level of $3 million really for a restricted fund balance for emergency purposes, because we really feel that we need to be able to clearly identify those moneys and fund balance.
And each year our plan is to try to increase these balances.
As I was discussing the item regarding reserves and fund balances with our auditors as they are doing their audit each year, they too believe that we really need to be in a position to increase these fund balances, not using a fund balance for recurring unexpected expenditures, but really putting in sufficient fund balance.
And for a city this size, we are really trying to increase those balances, and we are going to try to do this on a yearly basis.
We can't do it all this year, but we really need to have a multi-year approach to improving these fund balance situation.
I know some of you have asked me questions and asked Santiago some questions about code enforcement and the code enforcement budget.
Just really wanted to give you some history here.
You can see in fiscal year 03 the code enforcement budget was a little over 3.1 million.
For 06, it's 4.66 million.
So over a 50% increase from fiscal year 03.
There was, I think, some confusion on the fiscal year 05 budget, and that was really due to some prior carryover encumbered funds, moneys that were not spent in 04 that were spent in 05, but you can see that each year the code budget has actually gone up.
Personnel has increased about 16%.
The staff is 58.
Currently in code.
And 04 we added five new code enforcement officers. In '05, four new administrative positions.
In '05 we did transfer out an executive aide position.
In addition we have about $225,000 that's in the legal department, and the legal budget for code cases of which maybe half their time is code related, perhaps a little bit more.
So I just wanted to clear that up for you, if I could.
The next area is the enterprise funds.
We spent a lot of time these last few weeks talking about the enterprise funds.
Just want to remind you that we have had the various enterprise funds, $248 million.
That's where we have seen an increase in our budget.
Wastewater, 7.9%.
Solid waste 5.3.
Water, 16.1%.
Decrease in the parking of 28.7 decrease.
And that was predominantly due to the sale of the Davis Island parking garage.
Here we have those numbers for you to see comparing 05 to 06.
Capital improvement program is moving forward with an emphasis on doing projects, investing in our neighborhoods, about a 12.1% increase over last year.
Everything from street resurfacing, sidewalks, sign replacement, traffic calming, and we do highlight Lake Avenue because it really is a combination of all those neighborhood improvement projects.
Really an emphasis on things that our citizens notice every day.
And then we of course have our major transportation projects.
40th street an $80 million-plus project.
The I-75 bridge at West Meadows.
Manhattan Avenue.
Cross Creek.
These are some of the very high profile transportation projects in this year's budget.
And then here's an example of a project that is very important to the development of East Tampa.
It's very important to the police department.
We are using various funding sources for this particular project and design is beginning on this project with construction for the fiscal year, during calendar year 06.
And with that, just to remind you of the next public hearing two weeks from tonight.
I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
And then the department directors and the administrators are here to answer any questions even the public will -- that you and the public will have as well.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Bonnie, last week, I mentioned something that didn't appear to have much support.
But if you would talk to me -- and I know this is not strictly on the agenda right now, but I want -- I want to visit the Museum of Art for a moment.
We have committed a $20 million bond issue to that.
And we are paying interest on that.
And what I would like to know is how much in interest do we pay?
And is there some mechanism for us to protect the $20 million commitment that we made, which we all agree needs to be kept, yet not keep paying that interest until we absolutely have to.
In other words, if we don't think that a site is going to be ready to come out of the ground for another couple of years, would it not be more feasible and fiscally prudent to take the money that we are paying in interest, and use it for other things?
>>BONNIE WISE: That is something that we do need to look at.
I use this example.
I used this example at the museum board meeting when I was talking about it.
If we know for sure that we are going to need this money for the museum in a year or two, let's say, it is of course responsible to just keep the money there and use it for the museum.
If we think that we are going to need the museum for the museum in ten years, just to do two extremes, then yes, I think you have to say what should we do about the debt service that we are paying?
Should we use the money for other projects?
Should we pay off the bonds?
What should we do?
I think as we stand here right now, we don't know what that time period is, and that's why it's very difficult to make that decision at this time.
>> Are we paying the interest out of our general revenue?
>>> Yes, we are.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Okay.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mrs. Saul-Sena.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you, chairman white.
You raise that question last week and it was a very concerting question.
So I have been chatting with all five members of the committee that I don't serve on about the site.
One of them, about how quickly they are going to come to some kind of site decision with an eye toward getting this thing on the road so that we aren't -- I mean, it's painful to spend that money.
And I understand that they have been meeting every week and that they anticipate a decision on the site, which may include some kind of, you know, interim site, which, anyway, they should have a report for us by the end of November.
And what I have been urging them to do is to find something with a quick turn-around so that we won't be in this position that we're in right now, of spending money that we don't want to spend on debt service.
And I anticipate that will be coming to us by the end of November.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Dingfelder?
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Harrison, three times today you and I are on the same page.
Because as council may recall, you know, after we got the memo from Ms. Wise specifically identifying and reminding us that the city was wasting -- she didn't say wasting, I said wasting -- the city was spending about a million dollars in interest payments on the museum bond issue, I said, well, we better come back and start talking about that.
And I think the only reason it's been delayed, frankly, is because we have so much on our plate with the budget issues that I think that staff has politely asked us to defer until October --.
>>BONNIE WISE: 6th perhaps?
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: We are scheduled to have that discussion October 6th.
And I think it's a very forthright discussion that we need to have.
But you just said it a few minutes ago.
I said it previously, I know.
Regardless of whether or not we cash in those bonds, we still have a moral commitment to keep that $18 million earmarked for this project.
Okay.
And I don't think anybody on this council would stray from that moral commitment.
And whether or not it's two years from now or three years from now or five years from now or however long it takes, that moral commitment is there and it's extremely important to reassure everybody in the community, especially in the museum community, that that would be the city's intent, if in fact we opted to, you know, save that million dollars a year for the next two years or three years. Anyway, I don't know that we need to do anything on that today.
I think that it's good to air that out because it is a million dollars.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you, Mr. Dingfelder.
Ms. Wise, did that conclude your presentation?
>>> Yes, sir.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Are there any members of the public that would like to comment at this time?
Please come forward, give your name and address for the record.
>>> My name is Roy green.
My wife and I reside at 4823 river hills just two blocks in the Tampa city limit.
I enjoy swimming in the Hillsborough River with the alligators.
I'm only going to take a minute because this is a minority opinion.
I would like for one of you to answer this question at the end of my speech.
How much money in actual dollars is the city going to take in this year compared with last year?
And I just heard the figure of 11%, taxes.
So for my speech I am going to shoot from the hip and say that Tampa is receiving 15% more money this year than last year.
Thus, and thus I think the case can be made that Tampa -- the Tampa part of the mill millage, that's 24 mills, should be reduced.
The Tampa millage should be reduced from 24 mills back to 2 mills.
I know that's a minority opinion.
And Hillsborough County of course.
I hope one of you can make that motion soon.
Does anybody have those two figures for me, the two dollar amounts, last year and this year?
>>KEVIN WHITE: 24 mills to 2 mills?
>> Of enterprise money only.
Does anybody have those two figures?
>>GWEN MILLER: We don't.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: We do but it's deep in these books.
I'm sure Ms. Wise --
>>> okay, I'll be back here on the 29th.
Thank you very much.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Anyone else?
Please come forward.
>>> My name is Al Jerot.
I would like don't ask me to sing a tune.
663 Harbor Lane, Harbor Island.
I want to come make a general statement about the budget.
I want to say that I support the mayor and her budget.
I just moved to Tampa a couple years ago and I'm very excited to be here in the city.
And I'm very excited to see what she has planned for the citizens of the city, and as a taxpayer, you know, both the city and the county.
I'd rather the city have my money.
I trust the mayor much more than I trust the bullies down the street.
But I really do want to say that, you know, I can't look at each single item.
I don't have the time to look at where all the moneys are going.
But I can say that I do trust the administration and what her staff has been able to do as I watch on the TV what's going on and what you do as well.
I do trust your leadership in that.
That's the only thing a citizen can really do is take a look at the big picture and see, hey, look, this mayor is really moving the city forward, she's progressive, she's got good plans, I trust her, I guess is what I'm saying.
And I hope that you do, too, and that you fulfill what she's recommending for the city, for the parks, for our neighborhoods, for the streets.
You know, it's very difficult to say where all the money should go and what priorities priority is first or second.
Everybody thinks their neighborhood should come first.
That's a hard place to be.
That's a hard place for a leader to be.
But she addresses all those issues.
And I'm just really excited to be a citizen.
I just want to come before you instead of sending an e-mail because I want to make that personal point.
And thank you for your work.
Thank staff as well.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you for your comments, Mr. Jerot.
Hopefully in two years the county will be a more sensitive place.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: A kinder, gentler county commission.
(Laughter)
>>> Good afternoon, Madam Chairman, City Council members.
I'm first here to speak on behalf of the Lowry Park Zoo.
I don't need to educate any of you about the contribution the zoo is making to this community.
We are fast approaching this year a million attendance mark.
And we still have our free admission for schools, over 5,000 kids come free to that zoo.
We still are working very hard to continue to raise the capital.
But we desperately need your operating support.
We are asking for an additional $150,000 for Lowry Park Zoo, which the county has agreed to match by increasing their portion, also.
If you have any questions, I would be very happy to answer them.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Can you tell us what sort of things you all have planned capitalwise, expansionwise, and what this money might be used for?
>>> We have several programs.
As you see, the sky high is something new and innovative.
It is not the type of thing that is designed to compete with Busch garden.
This is a family, friendly zoo, and when you are riding on that sky ride, you look out that skyline of Tampa, and you look at the greenery of the Tampa Bay area, and it's been very, very exciting.
We have a second program that we have coming.
It's really a -- if you call an African adventure on a little train running around, feeling like you are almost in the middle of the steps of Kenya, visiting the different venues.
We continue to expand our school.
The school has had a tremendous growth rate is close to about 30% a year.
And people are benefiting from it, not only those people that can afford it, but also people we get scholarships for close to about 20% of the students who come to benefit from the school.
In the long-term, of course, the zoo has to reflect our community, and it has to reflect different dimensions, different opportunities.
Eventually with the mayor's graciously looking at it, we are the long-term also looking on the south American venue.
We have the Africa venue, we have the Australian venue.
We have the Southeast Asian venue.
And we are going to launch the next major program to look at our neighbors in the south, because a number of very rare species come from that part of the world.
And we continue to make investments in the Manatee program to expand that.
As you know, this is something that does not generate any revenue.
It's something that environmentally it's the responsible thing to do.
The thing that has always been a challenge for Lowry Park Zoo is, the first big challenge is when you become number one, you do not want to become number two next time, and you don't want us to be number two.
We will continue to push for that.
The thing that's always difficult is we do go out and raise substantial amount of money from the private sector, almost 9 to 1 ratio, better than any other zoo in the United States or anywhere in the world.
For capital projects, we can build the infrastructure, and we do some grants but most of it from private sector.
But then you have to operate that.
That's where the challenge for the zoo is.
As you know, we were forced to raise our prices a little bit this year to be able to recoup, you know, to be able to continue to provide the quality service.
But without your support, if we can get the 150 from you, even though we don't like asking you the matching thing, it bothers me, but the county is saying, look, if the city would raise it 150, we will also match it in the full amount.
So we would appreciate your full consideration for this.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Thank you, Fazile, for coming today and we want to keep Lowry Park number one.
That's our mission.
Has the state given you money this year?
I believe they gave you some funds.
>>> They gave us some funds last year, not this year.
But the federal government, we are aggressively -- senator Martinez is helping us, the federal end of it, to get some additional funding.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Okay.
And I believe that we are giving you $350,000 again this year?
>>> Yes.
We are asking you to raise that to $500,000.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: I believe Ms. Wise is jumping in here at this point.
>>BONNIE WISE: That's correct.
We are, in this budget we have proposed, actually keeping our contributions to all of our not for profits at the same level as last year.
We didn't really think that we could individually increase any one so we were able to maintain, we did add a few not for profits so for the zoo it is $350,000.
The one thing I wanted to mention as well is that part of the bond issue that you all were just previously mentioning, $10 million of those funds were for capital expenditures at the zoo.
So if you remember that large bond issue in 2001 was $54 million or so, $10 million of that was for the zoo.
So we are paying about $650,000 in debt service on that money, also.
So from my per peck respective we are contributing 350 and operating as well $350,000 in debt service.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Thank you.
Mr. Fazile, the $350,000 that the city is giving you all now, can that be matched by the county?
>>> The county is matching the 350.
But we had applied for it.
Last year they had given us half a million.
But they cut it down to $350,000 this year because they say they do not want to do the match unless it would be matched by the city.
I didn't propose this, by the way.
It's just the nature of the beast.
And I think Bonnie is absolutely right.
Without the city's vision and investment about three, four, five years ago to make that $10 million SPBG investment, you know, several of the African venue and so forth would not be there.
But we have to go out and raise close to significantly a lot more than that to match that.
So we are giving you the most efficient use of your money.
The last thing that I would like to point out is -- and I hate to really come and ask for something like this, but I truly believe that if you really look at efficient nonprofits -- and we are one of the most efficient nonprofits in the United States -- charity navigates us gives us a 5-star rating in the way we manage our overhead.
That's the best rating that you can get.
And secondly, in terms of public support, including both capital and operation, we are one of the last ones in the United States in terms of proportionate support.
And when we are not complaining, we think that there has to be a wise way with the public.
But there are some things that are very challenging.
So $150 is not really a lot of money for what the zoo brings to the city.
And by the way, the reason Lex and Craig are not here tonight is because they are in Chicago, because the conference for the first time in our history is going to be here in the City of Tampa, and we are going to be bringing close to 2,000 families next September to our conference here.
And we want to bring -- we want to show a good partnership with all the other organizations, and they have to see our best partnership.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Dingfelder?
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Looking at the capital improvement project budget, it's a total of $76 million this year.
Now granted, you know, a lot of that can't be used for the zoo because it comes from wastewater or other enterprise funds.
But even if we cut that out, it still looks like we have 20, 30, $40 million capital improvement funds.
And it seems like $150,000 for such based upon the comments and testimony and our own personal knowledge of what a good job the zoo is doing, seems like something that administration could look at over the next two weeks and find a place to do it.
And I especially like the fact that it's not just $150,000, but we always look for matching funds.
We go to the state, and we go to the feds, and, you know, we put up money, and they match it or vice versa.
So it seems like something reasonable that the administration could look at, strongly over the next two weeks and do it.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We'll take that into consideration.
Ms. Wise, I guess you heard Mr. Dingfelder's comment.
>>BONNIE WISE: I did hear them.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Is there anyone else in the public that would like to comment on the budget at this time?
If not -- I'm sorry?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Move to close the public hearing.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Sort of bobbing.
>>KEVIN WHITE: You had something?
You had already spoken.
I'm sorry, but when you came in you said you had two hats.
That was your zoo hat.
>>> Yes.
I took off my zoo hat.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Return the clock to three minutes.
>>> Nonprofit.
My name is Fazile, 4209 West Platt street, Tampa, Florida 33609.
I'm talking to you as president and founder of U.S. Africa foundation, an organization for the last several years has been doing a lot of community work.
And I have never come to the city to ask for assistance.
We have over the last three years trained over 1200 people in the City of Tampa, primarily in the area of computer literacy, financial literacy, interviewing skills, and job-seeking skills, entrepreneurially skills on how to raise money, connecting people for financial institutions.
I have submitted a request to the city for something that I am going to find a match.
I have personally put well over $100,000 of my own money last year into the foundation.
And the county has given me some -- I'm asking for the city also to consider this.
I had submitted a proposal to all the City Council members.
This is not something -- it is something that makes a difference in people's lives, because we are talking about people who do not have the skills or the wherewithal to even type or even open a computer.
In this day and age, people who do not do that cannot really be productively employed.
So we are talking about community service that will be conducted.
I have 12 or 1300 people who -- close to 300 people, and you may think that's not a very high number but some people come, and they don't come again.
It's a fight.
But it's a faith for a good cause.
And I need the city's partnership in this effort.
And I would appreciate your consideration.
It looks like it has not reached the budget office.
But I have sent something to the City Council members and I would send the proposal to discuss with them tomorrow.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you.
One question for Ms. wise before we close the public hearing.
I wanted to ask you if you had at the last meeting and our last discussion, if you can give council an update on the poet laureate position.
>>BONNIE WISE: If I could, I would like to save that for the second public hearing because we are still doing the research comparing what the process is.
>>KEVIN WHITE: That's an update.
>>KEVIN WHITE: The poet laureate stipend that we were speaking of.
Ms. Saul-Sena, did you have a question?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Yes.
The USF community foundation just referred to sounds to me similar to some sort of programs that we have funded, and I think through sometimes the CDBG in different ways, and I just wonder if we get that information to you if you would take a look at it.
>> I would be happy to.
It might be a good candidate for a CDBG process next year.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Dingfelder, then Mr. Harrison.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Procedurally it doesn't look like anybody else in the audience. Do you want to close the public hearing and then have discussion and comments from us?
Or if we have more questions to staff?
>>KEVIN WHITE: This is the time.
>> Mr. Harrison, go ahead and I'll follow you.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: And to follow up on Ms. Saul-Sena's suggestion, I do note we fund some nondepartmental expenses like sister cities and things like that, relatively small amounts, and Fazile didn't put a number out there, so that might also be a place where depending on what that is, and your comfort level of what this program really is, Bonnie, I know we all sort of generally know about it.
But probably need to go in the next couple of weeks into a little more detail and see what that is.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: A couple of things.
One, I guess just so we help the clerk out and that sort of thing, I wanted to go and formalize my comment about the zoo, and then a motion, that the motion isn't to change the budget, the motion is just to urge the administration to take a very strong look to find that $150,000 so it can turn into $300,000 for the zoo and capital funds over the next two weeks.
>>GWEN MILLER: Gave them three already.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: To match our 150 with another 150.
But anyway, that would be my motion.
Looking for a second.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Second.
>> Second.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: I want to make at little stronger because while the commitment from the county is, if we do this they will match it.
So we are leveraging an additional 150 from the county. The county meets next Thursday.
I think we need to take action and not just say look for it, because that would give the county commission an out if they are really not serious about this.
So what I would like to see is actually we add the extra 150,000 into the budget.
And I don't -- I personally think that we probably have an obligation to tell the administration where to look for it, although I'll certainly defer to Ms. Wise if the motion passes, now the budget better than do but we have some money in contingency and we have quite a bit in salary raises and things like that.
So I think there are probably some places to look.
>>BONNIE WISE: I think there are places to look. What I would really like to do, because I'm understanding that the county actually last year gave $500,000, and the county is reducing their amount by 150 in order to get us to come up an extra 150.
So it seems like the county is decreasing their amount.
There seems to be a little bit more to this story.
So I would really like the opportunity to look into that for you, if I could.
Also, let now that when the mayor came in originally years ago, the contribution to the zoo was 250, and the mayor increased it to 350.
So if I can get you some history, find out what's going on and look at these options.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: The problem explained by Mr. Harrison, though, is a problem with timing.
Because if we are going to send a message to the county that, yes, we want the zoo to get that additional money, if they are meeting next Thursday and they don't get that message from us tonight, then it drifts away.
>>> It would be good if the county can match our 650 that we are already doing.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: After we finish this year I have another point.
>>BONNIE WISE: If I could just add one other thing.
As many of you know, for the Sports Authority, for example, we have a one-third, two-thirds split with the county so any shortfalls, we put in one-third, they put in two-thirds.
It seems like with the zoo we have gotten to the point where the city is putting in a million dollars and the county is putting in something significantly less.
And I think the zoo's data will show that many -- most of the visitors to the zoo come from outside the county.
We believe it should be a great partnership.
We of course love the zoo.
The zoo is in the city.
My family has had membership there for years.
We all love the zoo.
But I think we all need to look at what's fair, and is the county contributing adequately?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: What message would we be sending to the other charities that have asked us for an increase in their allotment?
We are sending them a message if we turn around and do this.
I support the motion to have Mrs. Wise look into it and see if she can find this 150,000 but I won't be put into a position that I am going to have the county commission put us in a bind like this, because it's just not fair.
So I won't support that motion.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Is this the county's first hearing or second hearing next Thursday?
>>KEVIN WHITE: It had to be the second one because they had the first one before us procedurally.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: I won't support that motion.
I will support the motion we put on the table about Ms. Wise looking into it and see if it's feasible to come back in two weeks.
We have the second hearing.
But I won't support the other motion.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We have a motion and a second so if the maker of the motion wishes to revise the motion, or we will leave the motion as is and see how it goes.
>>ROSE FERLITA: Mr. Dingfelder, also restate it because I'm not clear.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Right now the motion is a milder motion to, as Ms. Alvarez described, to ask the administration to look into it over the next two weeks.
Mr. Harrison is suggesting a stronger motion, because of the time crunch of the county's second public hearing.
And I'm afraid we might miss a good opportunity to get their match.
You know, regardless of what their motives are and who is putting in what, it seems like the zoo ends up being the one that's suffering.
>>BONNIE WISE: I will tell you that probably every not for profit asks for more money this year than they asked for last year.
Every one.
And we were unable to satisfy those needs.
And so we did keep everybody at the same level.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Mr. White, let me make a motion.
I will withdraw my second of Mr. Dingfelder's motion.
And I would like to make a motion that we add $150,000 to the budget for the zoo, contingent upon the county matching that next week.
If they don't take that action next week, then our match, which is -- our portion which is based on leverage from the county, additional money from the county, then it goes nowhere.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: I second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second on the floor.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Wait.
I had specifically -- when each of the council members met with Bonnie and the mayor, on my list were four nonprofits that do excellent programming.
And each of those queries, Bonnie would reply, we have across the board no increase policy for nonprofits this year.
I love the zoo.
I support the zoo.
But I think that the county should put in this money regardless of whether we do because we are already putting in 650,000.
And these other nonprofits were asking for 10,000, 20,000.
Really modest amounts.
And I had to call them all back and say, I'm sorry, I tried, we have a no-increase policy this year.
So it's a very painful position which I guess is sort of telling the budget process.
But I don't think it would be fair.
>>BONNIE WISE: Put 350 into the zoo for operating plus 650 for debt service for a total of a million dollar a year.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Ms. Ferlita, then Mr. Dingfelder.
>>ROSE FERLITA: Just a question, Bonnie. The other charities and not for profit that is asked for increases -- and of course that's what the time budget time is for everybody to ask for help -- but is there anything on the table I'm not aware of that comes from county commission that says if you would do this for them, we'll do this for them as well?
Or is it just strictly for their position on the zoo?
Am I making my question clear?
>>BONNIE WISE: This is what I heard from the zoo this evening.
So I don't know about the other ones, if they had a matching type of scenario.
I think they all had new programs.
They all had very good reasons why they were asking for --.
>>ROSE FERLITA: That's not what I'm asking.
Sometimes sadly enough things become territorial between city and county.
What a surprise.
But what I'm asking is this.
I know we are in a situation here because of the crunch as Mr. Dingfelder said and everything is always at the eleventh hour, that there are sometimes difficult decisions.
I understand the challenge and the invitation that commissioner Norman has given us.
Just from the standpoint of informational, do you know, or does anyone up here know, have there been any other invitations or challenges from them with regard to some of the other not for profits?
>>> Not that I'm aware of.
>> Okay.
Well, I know that this puts us in a predicament, and certainly none of us like that.
But what Mr. Harrison is saying is the reality of it.
If we don't at least take that ball and put it back in their court, then the person that's going to lose is going to be the zoo.
And although I don't discount absolutely, let me reiterate that 20,000 times here, don't discount the benefit, the work, the things that are that other not for profits do, I think under the leadership of Lex Salisbury and his support team, they raise a ton of money from the private sector.
And I think that their requests are not unreasonable.
They are kind of caught in the middle.
And I think Mr. Harrison's motion, which I will gladly support, puts it back there, and if nothing happens then fine, we are not the one that is put up the barricades.
So it's one of those predicaments that we don't like to be put in.
And if it was one entity of this government versus another entity, one of them wins one of them loses, that's fine.
But it's a sad thing that we have been put in this predicament.
But I don't want the zoo to suffer because of it.
>> I guess from my point of view I don't understand why the county has to put up that challenge when they see we are already contributing a million dollars.
>>ROSE FERLITA: And I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I am not picking sides across the street or down the street.
All I'm saying is, it is bad, and it may be not the best policy to put another governmental entity on guard so that, okay, I'll make awe deal, I'll challenge you, you show me, show me your cards, I'll show you mine.
Don't like doing businesslike that and I'm sorry we are in that predicament.
I know when I finish, the other colleagues will say it's not fair to the rest.
You're absolutely right, it's not fair to the rest except there is the potential of getting $300 that you for the zoo versus no extra 300,000 for the zoo if we don't put that challenge back to them.
So we're caught between a rock and a hard place.
But with that explanation given, I'm still going to support this motion.
>>GWEN MILLER: A point of clarification.
Now, we are giving them 350,000.
And we are asking for 150.
So it would be 500.
So the county is going to match the 500?
>> No.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Well, let's put it this way.
First they were at 500,000.
Then they cut it down to 350 with the challenge to us to come up with the other 150 so they could come up with the same 500,000 that they had in the beginning.
So, now, where is the logic in that?
Who is losing out?
You're right.
At this time zoo.
>>KEVIN WHITE: I think their logic may have been why are we giving 500,000 for something that's in the city and the city is only doling out 350.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Because we are giving them 650 as part of the bond issue.
>>KEVIN WHITE: I understand that.
We can debate this all day.
>>BONNIE WISE: I guess my other question would be are they using countywide millage in order to use this contribution?
If so our city taxpayers are already paying that.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We are going to get Mr. Dingfelder and then carry the motion.
Mr. Dingfelder.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: I was looking and looking and I can't find that one-page list that has the whole list.
Page 80 in which book?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: This book.
While --.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Wait a minute.
On page 80, it lists all these other not for profits, including the -- and the drug program, oh, I don't know.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: What are you looking at?
>> Page 80.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Urban league.
Humane Society.
The black heritage festival.
Tampa photographic museum.
Et cetera, et cetera.
The majority of these, okay, are not in facilities -- let me put it straight up.
We own the zoo.
Okay?
We own that dirt.
We own those buildings.
And I think that makes a big, big difference.
I think that explains very clearly why we spend $650,000 in the $10 million we spent because we made big capital improvements to a zoo facility that we own.
So I think it's apples and oranges when you talk about some of these other not for profits and that sort of thing, because we don't own their facilities, everyone if they have facilities and that sort of thing.
This is a major asset of the city.
That's why I don't have a problem putting major capital funds into it.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Point well taken.
Not only that, Mr. Dingfelder, I think for the people that don't know, our Lowry Park Zoo was voted number one zoo in the country last year, not the State of Florida but the country.
We have a motion and second on the floor.
All in favor of the motion signify Aye.
Nay?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Nay.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion carries 6-1.
Mr. Harrison.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Thank you, Mr. White.
I don't know if we are done with the public hearing.
But I just want to respond to something that councilwoman Saul-Sena said.
This is our time.
This is our opportunity to go to bat for those things that we believe in on this board.
We have every bit as much right to shape this budget and to put our input into this budget as the administration does.
This is our opportunity.
And I appreciate the fact that there are all things that we care deeply about.
And we talk to the mayor.
And many things in here are the result of collaboration over a year that we have all had private communications with the mayor about.
But sometimes things do come up at the last minute.
And this is our opportunity to ask.
If we don't ask it will never happen.
And the zoo is something I feel strongly about.
There are other things in here that, Ms. Saul-Sena, you may feel strongly about or Mary or anyone. This is our opportunity beings, folks.
It won't come around till next year.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: That was great.
Okay.
Based on that, on page 80 as we are looking down a list of things, I see a listing of $150,000 for crack house demolition.
Now, last week, we looked -- a lot of vacant lots were there because there were crack house that is have been demolished and some of our historic preservation funds said those could have been rehabbed instead of demolished.
A lot of that was done several administrations ago.
So I'm thinking instead of spending $150,000 on crack house demolition we should take 100,000 of that and spend it on what I brought to Ms. Wise, which is emergency repairs for preservation projects, because it's a lot cheaper to put a $5,000 blue tarp over a building and rehab it later than for the building to suffer water damage for a year.
So I would like to ask that we take 100,000 out of the crack house demolition which I see is not constructive, and spend it on emergency preservation repairs.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second.
Question on the motion?
>>SHAWN HARRISON: I don't want to take the money from the crack house demolition if we are still using that money.
>>KEVIN WHITE: There must be a department person here.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Who is in charge of crack houses?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: That's very '90s, very passe.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We'll give those to Chief Jones. In all seriousness, who would be responsible for that issue?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I had spoken with you all previously about this because it seems to me so prudent to keep a building that has an emergency crisis, that's an historic building, to keep it standing while we get money to repair it instead of letting it fall apart and then having to rebuild almost from scratch.
Sort of penny wise.
>>JIM STEFAN: Budget officer.
I think you asked about what the crack house demolition program is.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Yes.
>>JIM STEFAN: It's houses or buildings that have gone through significant disrepair, code enforcement violations have become a loitering place for drugs, prostitution, and they are becoming a public safety hazard.
And the city goes in and tears them down.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Stefan, as I was saying a minute ago, I don't know if you heard, but if they are not in significant repair, wouldn't it be prudent to see if we can do half of those and give them to Chief Jones and his staff and see if they can be used for training purposes and do controlled burning?
>>JIM STEFAN: I think a lot of it is done like that.
It's with the public safety, and they do some of that.
And then solid waste comes and takes away debris.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: How much did we intend this past year actually on crack house demolition?
>>JIM STEFAN: I don't know.
Usually it's all spent, to my knowledge.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Now that we are getting serious about demolition by neglect so people don't let their places fall into wreck and ruin, maybe we can get some money back in liens and spend the money for productively.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: I was going to try to help Ms. Saul-Sena out.
My first was first look to contingency, second to salaries.
And that may not be the reality of where the money comes from.
But at least it is a place to start.
I do think we have an obligation to direct where it should come from.
I'm not comfortable taking from the crack house and demolition because I think that's very important.
But I am interested in supporting you if we find an alternative source.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I'm happy to phrase it in whatever way it would be easiest to be searched for.
So my motion rather would be to try to identify $100,000 for emergency historic rehab -- okay, it's for emergency situations for historic preservation and $100,000.
If we don't use it in the course of a year we don't spend it but it would mean when we get into crisis situations we have a fund to go to for the blue tarps, for the support beams, for the things to keep the structure up while we then figure out what to do.
>>ROSE FERLITA: I'm not sure what the change is on your motion, Linda.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: It was just where the money comes from.
I was going to say from crack house.
My substitute motion is that we look for $100,000 to do this, not specifically saying it has to come from crack house demolition.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Second on the substitution?
>> Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second.
Question on the motion?
>>ROSE FERLITA: I want to make a general comment.
Let's get this off the table first.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second on the substitute motion.
In favor?
Opposed?
Motion passes.
>>ROSE FERLITA: Very quickly a comment to the next public hearing and I think Mr. Harrison is correct.
This is the time. This is our challenge when we need to look at things and weigh in very heavily and very actively.
So we all have homework to do between now and the final hearing.
And I think that what we have had tonight in terms of a discussion comes home to tell us that let's look at things that we are passionate about, and maybe ask questions with answer that is we think are suitable for those questions.
Because we can all go around the table.
I hear Chairman Miller under her breath just now saying, let me see what I want $100,000.
We want 100,000 for everything we think is good.
But let's try to concentrate, colleagues, between now and then between, A, the validity of what we want, not just preferences, and then come with a question or request with a potential answer that makes this dialogue back and forth become more realistic.
We just have to keep looking at stuff and find out what we think, and be prepared to share it next time.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Dingfelder?
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: I have a few questions of staff that I scribbled down the other day.
Mr. Daignault, come on down.
The rest of you laugh.
Ha-ha.
You're next.
No, Steve, I noticed eight positions in public works.
I think it was about eight or nine positions, new positions.
Ways curious of what they are.
And I was also actually surprised that we held the line on most of the other utility departments in terms of staffing, because the city is growing, the demands are growing, services are growing, you know, et cetera, et cetera, and how is it we have been able to hold the line on staffing and water, wastewater, and what have you?
Tell me about the eight or nine positions in public works.
>>STEVE DAIGNAULT: And we have actually reduced them through various programs like optimization, et cetera.
We have been able to retrain our staffs and utilize them better.
And in the case of public works, as now we start add contract administration department during this past year, with your approval.
When we made that presentation, some of those positions that you saw in the organization chart were existing positions coming from the various departments, some of them were new, and we even said at that time that we would try to fill those positions over time, and that we would come to you during the budget process.
So this is for some of those that are in the contract administration department.
If you will notice in the budget book, because we have broken contract administration out of the public works department, they are still together on the same sheet.
So that's where those positions are from.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Good answer.
And the other thing is, and you have to trust me, Steve didn't put me up to this, but I've observed that you are running a big organization without -- I mean, you have Dolores to help you but otherwise you don't have, you know, a professional assistant, and professional to assist you.
And yet you have got these massive departments underneath you.
And I'm just wondering if that has been up for discussion, or maybe I'll ask Mr. Smith.
I probably shouldn't put you on the spot.
So I won't ask you that question.
I'll ask Darrell.
I honestly do believe, Mr. Daignault needs a professional assistant if he doesn't have one already that I don't know about.
And just to assist him, because he appears so stretched, and mark probably does, too.
But, you know, et cetera, et cetera.
But Mr. Daignault is my department.
>>> Darrell Smith, chief of Sarasota.
You took the words out of my mouth as far as mark would like to climb on that wagon, also, as far as getting some professional help.
He also has a very large organization, very complex, I did verse organization.
>>KEVIN WHITE: You meant clerical help?
(Laughter)
>>> That, too.
That need has not become apparent yet.
At my level the administrators have not discussed that with me or the mayor to my knowledge.
I would say that as part of our pay classification study, if there was a need for that kind of support, it would surface through that process.
And if it did surface through that process, would be in support of it.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: My concern with that approach is, you know, that these guys, like Steve or mark or the other super chiefs, will work until they drop dead before they are going to tell you they need another person.
Just because it's somewhat of an admission of frailty.
And so I'm not going to say we need to do it in this budget.
But I would like for us to be very sensitive of that over the next year.
Fair enough?
>>> And I'll ask the classification experts to report on that standpoint and report back to you.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Chair, a few other comments or questions.
We have had some presentations the last couple of weeks about preserving our assets in terms of the utilities.
You know, we have pipes in the ground, that have been rotting away, we have to replace them, et cetera.
I also worry about some of our other major assets.
For example, union station, and the Bayshore, the Bayshore balustrade.
The union station, for example, the budget shows no money going into union station maintenance until 08 and 09.
But I have been in there.
And I think everybody has been in there.
And, you know, the paint is peeling off the walls because of obvious moisture problems.
There's some -- I mean, how much money was invested in that when we did it?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: It was federal money and state transportation money, and it was millions.
Mr. Vaughan is in the audience and he knows the answer to that.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Well, I am just going to say that it was millions and millions of dollars was invested in doing that.
Whether or not it came from federal and state money, but we have a tremendous asset there, tremendous investment.
And one of these days it's going to be used a lot more than it is now when Central Park Village grows up around it.
So I'm just going to ask staff to take a little closer look and see if we can move up that date to making these improvements to union station, and also the same comment to the Bayshore balustrade which right now is not scheduled till 07.
I guess 07 is not too bad.
And then finally on the marina issue, you all remember the marina issue on Davis Island, right now we are slated in 08 to spend $600,000 to add those additional docks to the marina.
But when you go out to the marina, you have a big empty marina with empty docks.
And I would like for us to, you know, for the administration to go ahead and take a closer look at that and see if we can move that up to maybe 07.
I know we are not going to dot in 06 but maybe in 07.
And then finally one other pet peeve, and I'd like to see this addressed this year, which is the tree fund money.
We have had this discussion several times recently about why are we seeing the tree fund money used in the neighborhoods from whence the tree fund money came?
And instead, the only two times I've seen that tree fund money come out are on these big massive chunks of money coming out for Dale Mabry and Boy Scout Boulevard, which council has voted for, and obviously agrees with the mayor that those are valid projects.
But I think that we need to specifically identify and create projects for getting that tree fund money back into the neighborhood and planting the trees.
Now somebody had a very good point on that recently.
You said it, about the trees grow better than the money will.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Right.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: I would like to see that discussed two weeks from now.
And I don't know if I need a motion for that or not.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Yes, Mr. Shelby.
>>MARTIN SHELBY: Just from a procedural standpoint, I think it would be useful for council to have a discussion with Ms. Wise about how these are implemented.
For instance, if council does wish to make changes, or these motions that are made, what happens at the second public hearing?
Do resolutions have to be prepared in advance of that?
And do they have to be passed on the night of the second reading?
I'm just wondering if there's an intermediate step that may have to be taken between now and the second reading.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Good question.
>>ROSE FERLITA: While someone comes up to answer, I'm just wondering if that is the case, and there will be a resolution before that next time, then it is the opportunity to have a special meeting if there are certain things that we want to submit to the administration.
Sal, maybe you can answer.
>>SAL TERRITO: Legal department.
The way it's been done in the past is if the changes were to be made and agreed to by everyone, the following City Council meeting there would be a resolution making those changes at that particular time.
That way the budget gets passed on time and there's no delay in that process.
And then you have the resolutions passed at the subsequent public -- City Council meeting to address those issues.
That's the way it's been done uniformly in the past.
>> My question to follow that, say, for instance, would we have the opportunity to discuss some isolated items next week in advance of having those resolutions in place before the next -- you're saying yes?
Mr. Territo, I'm sorry, he seemed to be aggressively wanting to answer.
>>JIM STEFAN: I think it's very important that we have the dialogue before so that it's not a at the final budget hearing that things are being brought up, because that is probably a very inopportune time to start talking about how to amend the budget.
So, yes --.
>>ROSE FERLITA: So next week would be one of those times?
>>> Or call up before that.
Thank you.
>>ROSE FERLITA: Thanks, Jim.
>>KEVIN WHITE: On that note, Ms. Wise, I would like to meet with you before next council meeting to discuss that poet laureate deal.
That the way I will make a motion at the next council meeting, or we can before that prepare that resolution to go on the budget for our second public hearing.
Ms. Saul-Sena.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I have a question.
We discussed the fact that building permits are up 20%.
And I just wondered if we are hiring enough staff to keep up with the demand from all these people who are applying for the permits.
Because I have heard some frustration in the community about, you know, it taking awhile.
And I just wondered if we are able to increase the staff position so that we are able to keep up.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Ms. Cindy Miller is in the back.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: While she's coming up, I want to apologize.
Mr. Daignault was standing in front of you and I didn't mean to slight you when I mentioned Mark Huey, but you, too.
>>> Cindy Miller: I'm sorry, I was taking care of something that was going to come later in the agenda.
Would you repeat the question?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: we had a discussion that building permits were up 20%.
My question is, do you have enough staff budgeted to -- funded position to process this 20% increase in your workload effectively?
>>> Yes, we do. We have been able to hire additional staff this year, basically replacing staff that we have not had for the past couple of years.
We have been able to do that.
We are replacing people as vacancies have occurred.
And we have also been able to make some other improvements in operations so we do believe we will be able to keep up in our permitting session both commercial and residential.
>> I feel if you are generating the income through the building permits even though you are not an enterprise section to meet the public demand and keep your people from being overwhelmed that you need to have those additional positions.
>>> We do, and we have been monitoring our performance measures as to how many days and things of that nature it takes to process, and those particular numbers have gone down this year compared to last year so we are doing very well.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you.
If there are no further questions from council, our counsel and his endeavor, we will indulge him.
Is there anyone else in the public that would care to speak on the budget before we entertain a motion to close the public hearing?
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Move to close.
>> Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We have a motion and second to close the public hearing.
All in favor of closing the public hearing say Aye.
Nay?
>>SHAWN HARRISON: Just a comment after we close the hearing before we vote.
I just wanted to say, thank you to the administration for the funding for a couple of New Tampa projects, the rescue car, station 21, public safety issue.
I appreciate the mayor made a commitment last year.
She was going to include it and she did and I thank her for that. Second is our community center in New Tampa.
We are the only area of the city that does not have a recreation center at all.
And I very much appreciate that being in there.
There's a couple of things that jumped out at me in the budget here.
And really some shining examples, I think, of the efficiency.
And I'm going to take just 30 second and just tell you who they are.
The department of strategic planning added three new positions this year for $200,000 less in their budget.
Cable added one new position with 1.3 million dollars less.
Tampa Fire Rescue added 14 positions with only $1 million more.
And these are from 05-06.
And here's the shining star.
Ten new positions added to Tampa Police Department were $6 million less budged in this fiscal year than they had budgeted last fiscal year.
That is something that I think we owe a standing ovation to the Tampa Police Department for.
Good work, folks.
I think that you all are really examples of how we can run a lean, mean city.
I appreciate what you are doing.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We are going to ask our City Council chairman Gwen Miller to read the ordinances since she doesn't get to move anything.
So we give her the opportunity.
>>GWEN MILLER: An ordinance for adopting the budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2005 and ending September 30, 2006, as presented by the mayor providing for the levy as provided by law of a tax on all taxable property in the City of Tampa and fixing the millage within said city making appropriations in accordance with the provisions of said budget authorizing and directing the mayor and city clerk as the proper authorities of the City of Tampa to certify to the property appraiser for Hillsborough County Florida the millage to be levied for all purposes for the fiscal year 2006, in the City of Tampa, providing an effective date.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion passes unanimously.
I think we have some walk ons.
>>GWEN MILLER: Hold on.
We have one more thing.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Can we get a motion to open item number 2?
>> So moved.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second to open item number 2.
Number 2.
>>GWEN MILLER: The capital budget.
Who is doing that?
>>KEVIN WHITE: Are you on item number 2?
>>BONNIE WISE: It's a separate resolution for your consideration.
>>GWEN MILLER: We don't have one.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Move the resolution.
>> Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: We have a motion and second.
Is there anyone in the public who would care to speak on item number 2?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Move to close.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second to close.
(Motion carried)
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Move the resolution.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: All in favor say Aye.
Opposed, Nay?
Now we'll move onto the walk-on.
Ms. Miller.
>>> Cindy Miller, director of business and housing development.
I have distributed basically two resolutions, and I appreciate your indulgence in legislate us do this as a walk-on.
In the last couple of weeks, I think we have seen more human suffering in the three states that were affected by hurricane Katrina than we ever thought we would see in our country.
When the mayor asked us as administration and staff as to what can we do, the division of housing and community development stepped forth, and put together what we think is an excellent program.
We talk about partnerships.
This program has partnerships.
We have before you various legal documents to authorize the city to provide for at least eight displaced families an opportunity to have a place to live for up to one year while they get their lives back together.
We would be providing as the city at least eight homes, for immediately, and four upon completion of the repair and rehabilitation.
And we will also continue to search for additional locations should they become available.
As I mentioned, the agreement provides a lease for up to one year, in this case it would be free to the particular lessees, to the families, and we are able to do this through a partnership that involves the City of Tampa, the federal department of housing and urban development, the corporation to develop communities of Tampa, CDC of Tampa, and the Hillsborough County Department of Health and public services. With all these partners together we are able to provide for these families.
I would like to just -- and I'll open it up to any questions -- I would like to particularly thank Sharon west, who is the manager of the division for housing and community development, Jim Stefan and Barbara bark hurts from and Rolando Santiago from the city attorney's office.
These folks got it together.
We have so much bureaucracy as you all know, and they were able to put these packages together so these folks can be in these homes next week and be able to do it, at least for the first four families.
The other thing I want to mention as part of these partnerships we don't just have the folks going into the homes.
The homes will be furnished because of contributions made by faith based organizations it through our city and our community.
They will have job counseling, education opportunities, through the provisions of the Department of Health and social services, for the county.
And we are just happy that we are going to be able to give these folks a chance.
So I'm available for any questions you may have.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you.
I think the resolution speaks for itself.
Do we have a motion to move the resolution?
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Two resolutions?
>>> There are two.
One is the various legal documents we need to put into place.
The other is in effect I believe a budget adjustment that identifies the source of funding that we will utilize for these purposes, basically handles it.
>>KEVIN WHITE: The motion was moved, both items.
We have a motion and second.
All in favor of the motion signify by saying Aye.
Opposed, Nay.
There's one other housekeeping matter.
We need to get a motion to rescind the motion for the CIP because we cannot move that resolution until the second budget hearing.
>>SHAWN HARRISON: So moved.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion and second to rescind.
All in favor of that motion signify by saying Aye.
Opposed, Nay?
Motion passes unanimously.
Mr. Shelby?
We stand adjourned.
Motion to receive and file?
>> So moved.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: Second.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Motion to receive and receive and file and second.
(Motion carried)
We stand adjourned.
(City Council adjourned at 6:55 p.m.)