TAMPA CITY COUNCIL
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
5:01 p.m. Budget
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14 17:06:26 [Sounding gavel]
15 17:06:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Tampa City Council will now come to
16 17:06:47 order.
17 17:06:48 We will stand for a moment of silence, and then
18 17:06:51 followed by the pledge of allegiance.
19 17:06:56 (Moment of silence)
20 17:07:00 >> Amen.
21 17:07:09 (Pledge of Allegiance)
22 17:07:24 >>GWEN MILLER: Roll call.
17:07:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.
17:07:30 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Here.
17:07:31 >>GWEN MILLER: Here.
17:07:32 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.
17:07:34 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Here.
17:07:35 >>MARY MULHERN: Here.
17:07:36 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.
17:07:38 The instructor for the night, the process for the
17:07:41 night, first of all we'll have the committee chair
17:07:45 Councilwoman Mary Mulhern read into the record I think
17:07:48 the recommended millage rate.
17:07:49 After that, then we will have the administration
17:07:52 Bonnie Wise to come and make a ten-minute
17:07:55 And then I will turn it back then to the finance chair
17:07:58 Ms. Mulhern.
17:08:01 >>MARTIN SHELBY: If you could have ooh motion to open
17:08:02 the public hearing, please.
17:08:03 >> So moved.
17:08:05 >> Second.
17:08:05 (Motion carried).
17:08:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
17:08:08 >>MARY MULHERN: This is the first public hearing of
17:08:11 the City of Tampa public here 2009 budget.
17:08:17 This is the first public hearing for the City of
17:08:20 I already said that.
17:08:21 The 2009 budget.
17:08:22 Proposed millage rate is 5.7326 mills, which is 6.41%
17:08:30 less than the rollback millage rate of 6.1254 mills.
17:08:36 Property tax funds are used to support the general
17:08:38 fund operating budget of the city.
17:08:41 This fund includes such departments as fire rescue and
17:08:44 police, human resources, parks and recreation, and
17:08:47 public works.
17:08:50 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
17:08:55 Ms. Wise?
17:08:55 >>BONNIE WISE: Director of revenue and finance.
17:09:03 Good evening, council members.
17:09:04 This is our first public hearing for this fiscal year
17:09:08 09 budget.
17:09:09 I had presented the budget to you in August -- on
17:09:11 August 7th.
17:09:12 I am going to give you a brief PowerPoint
17:09:15 It is not of course the full presentation that I gave
17:09:18 to you at that time.
17:09:19 This is really going to be a much abridged version but
17:09:22 certainly I can answer any questions that you might
17:09:25 We of course had budget workshops as well during this
17:09:28 process in June.
17:09:29 And we will have our second public hearing in two
17:09:31 weeks from tonight on September 24th.
17:09:33 I want to thank you all for your input throughout this
17:09:36 process, throughout the year.
17:09:38 We did have some amendment changes, amendment 1 that
17:09:42 passed in January of 2008.
17:09:44 I want to thank all the department heads who met with
17:09:48 us throughout the entire process.
17:09:50 Thank you thank you of course to my budget staff Jim
17:09:53 Stefan, the entire budget staff who worked so
17:09:55 diligently during this process.
17:09:57 Theme of this year's budget is commitment to progress.
17:10:00 It does reflect a commitment to our city moving
17:10:05 We have an emphasis of course on public safety, and
17:10:08 significant infrastructure improvements throughout our
17:10:11 city that you will see throughout the budget.
17:10:14 The budget is $836 million.
17:10:18 The tax operating part of that is 423 million.
17:10:21 I am going to go into this in a little more detail.
17:10:24 Biggest change that we see this year is really in our
17:10:26 bond fund and it goes back to that whole commitment to
17:10:31 Really infrastructure improvements, water, wastewater.
17:10:35 It seems a lot below the ground is just so needed in
17:10:38 our city.
17:10:40 Millage rate 5.7326 as you heard.
17:10:43 And tonight you will have the first reading of the
17:10:46 budget ordinance.
17:10:48 We will also address the CIP budget.
17:10:51 It totals 169.2 million of which the 103.7 million is
17:10:56 in bond funds, major projects, everything from
17:10:59 40th street to stormwater projects, really all
17:11:01 areas of our city being touched by this.
17:11:05 If I could, just take a minute, I talked to you all
17:11:08 about this.
17:11:08 There's been much discussion about reserves and fund
17:11:12 I really just want to kind of hit it head on if I
17:11:16 When I first came here five and a half years ago, the
17:11:19 mayor and I had met with our external auditors.
17:11:21 They had shared with us their concerns on the levels
17:11:24 of our fund balances and our reserves, and at that
17:11:27 time we made a commitment to improve the financial
17:11:30 stability of our city.
17:11:31 And we had taken steps each year in order to do that.
17:11:36 We have instituted our emergency fund.
17:11:39 We have taken steps, specifically even in this fiscal
17:11:43 year when we had to make some cuts, to make
17:11:45 improvements to our fund balances.
17:11:48 And I have been here before you.
17:11:49 I talked that I was an investment banker before I
17:11:54 joined the city.
17:11:55 I had worked on billions of dollars of bond issues.
17:11:58 And why our bond ratings are so important to the
17:12:01 financial health of our city.
17:12:02 I have come before you with significant refunding that
17:12:06 would he have been able to do during the time that I
17:12:08 have been here that has allowed to us get lower
17:12:11 borrowing costs.
17:12:12 And the rating agencies have sited our reserves as one
17:12:17 of the reasons they have given us a higher bond
17:12:20 We have had as you know in our city an inability to
17:12:23 really purchase adequate property insurance so that is
17:12:27 something that really bothers me on a daily basis, I
17:12:30 have to say, every time we hear of a storm coming our
17:12:33 way, it really does concern me.
17:12:35 We talked about Charlie, Francis and Jean in 2004, $12
17:12:41 million of expenses that we had, much of which was
17:12:43 reimbursed, 11 million of it, took two years to get
17:12:46 We had interest lost.
17:12:49 And we needed to have those moneys in order to make
17:12:51 those upfront payments.
17:12:53 We are the 506th largest city in the country.
17:12:56 We have the responsibility to our citizens of
17:12:59 financial stewardship.
17:13:01 And so as we talk about reserves, I do get very
17:13:08 passionate about it because I know how important it
17:13:10 is, and so I just want you to know as your finance
17:13:14 director, I am always going to make the recommendation
17:13:16 to you that I feel is in the best interest of the city
17:13:19 and its residents.
17:13:21 I wanted to talk a little bit about property taxes.
17:13:24 Property taxes in the State of Florida, I would agree
17:13:28 with many, that we have an unfair structure.
17:13:31 Unfortunately, the burden has been put on second home
17:13:36 buyers, small businesses, renters.
17:13:39 We have it throughout our state.
17:13:41 It is really an unfair system.
17:13:43 It is something that hopefully the state can resolve.
17:13:49 Amendment 1 gave some extra homestead exemption but it
17:13:52 didn't give it everywhere.
17:13:53 It didn't give it in the schools.
17:13:54 And so if you look at your trim bill, you will see
17:13:57 that your city taxes actually have gone down, if you
17:14:00 are homesteaded property, but your school taxes did
17:14:03 And that's because you didn't get the homestead
17:14:05 exemption on the other area while your assessed value
17:14:09 might have changed.
17:14:10 So it's very complicated now, your trim notice, and if
17:14:13 anyone wants to go over it, I'll be happy to go over
17:14:16 But it something that I think people are very
17:14:18 disappointed that their taxes didn't drop like a rock,
17:14:21 but, you know, it unfortunately is our system that we
17:14:24 are having to work with.
17:14:25 So with that, I will go through a quick PowerPoint.
17:14:30 The budget $836 million, you can see there once again
17:14:34 the biggest change is in the area of those bonds that
17:14:38 are available, including C.I.T., utility tax, water,
17:14:44 tax, wastewater, really big changes in the area.
17:14:47 The smallest -- very small increase in the tax
17:14:51 operating of 2%.
17:14:54 We talked about this before the amendment 1 passage.
17:14:57 It does provide the extra homestead exemption.
17:15:00 It provided the affordability.
17:15:01 The affordability D has not had a big impact on
17:15:05 Hillsborough County yet so we'll see what happens with
17:15:07 Once again only part of the homestead exemption
17:15:09 transfers to each line item of your taxes.
17:15:13 This year because of amendment 1, we have an 8.5
17:15:17 million loss in property taxes, had it not occurred,
17:15:21 and over the last two years combined within the 10.5%
17:15:24 millage reduction that we are required to take last
17:15:26 year, plus the changes from amendment 1, had that not
17:15:31 occurred we would be $28 million more in property
17:15:35 How did we go through this budget?
17:15:38 Thoughtfully, methodically, worked with you, worked
17:15:40 with our citizens, worked with the departments, really
17:15:43 protecting the key service the public depends on, and
17:15:47 we are going to plan to move forward.
17:15:49 We are going to strategically -- the government while
17:15:54 maintaining our reserves.
17:15:56 You have seen this chart before.
17:15:57 We had about a $22 million gap that we needed to fund
17:16:01 this year as all of our revenues, not just property
17:16:04 taxes but all of our revenues were considered, and
17:16:06 this is basically how he would did it.
17:16:08 And we had some debt service savings.
17:16:09 And a lot of these line items add to our fund balance.
17:16:14 Conscious decision that is he would made in fiscal
17:16:16 year 08 to increase our balances, because we knew as
17:16:19 we formulated the 09 budget we were going to need
17:16:22 those moneys.
17:16:23 Something like leaving positions vacant, longer,
17:16:28 deleting certain positions, not purchasing vehicles,
17:16:32 and making those types of decisions.
17:16:36 Go through our major revenue sources.
17:16:38 $423 million in tax operating fund.
17:16:41 You can see there are property taxes being the largest
17:16:43 portion of 37%.
17:16:48 This is how our value in the City of Tampa has changed.
17:16:52 You can see there for the first time since 1993, which
17:16:57 I have the information going back further, since 1993,
17:17:00 that's a value decline and that was the result of
17:17:03 amendment 1 and the extra homestead exemption.
17:17:08 However, we still had growth in our city, and new
17:17:12 construction, really a record amount, over a billion
17:17:15 dollars in new construction, so that really helped our
17:17:17 values in its entirety.
17:17:21 What's happening with property taxes?
17:17:24 It has declined to 159.2 million.
17:17:30 One mill generates approximately $27.7 million.
17:17:35 And this is the chart that you have seen before as
17:17:38 Historically, we have had increases in property tax
17:17:42 It has been a revenue that the city has relied heavily
17:17:45 It is one that has been increased over time.
17:17:49 It's one that we used when we need moneys for new
17:17:54 contracts, when we open a new fire station, and we
17:17:58 have a new firefighter, when we open a new rec center,
17:18:04 and we have new staff, that's what we have relied on
17:18:06 in the past.
17:18:07 And the numbers aren't important as now in the last
17:18:09 two years we had a reduction in growth.
17:18:10 So I just kind of wanted to you see that on a
17:18:13 long-term basis.
17:18:15 This is the millage rate.
17:18:16 As I mentioned, in fiscal year 08 we dropped it 10.5%.
17:18:25 We are proposing to keep it at the same millage rate
17:18:28 and not up to the full rollback rate.
17:18:31 This is a home in the City of Tampa, fiscal year 08
17:18:35 and 09.
17:18:36 And the difference, they are a homesteaded property.
17:18:40 You can see there, this is strictly the city tax side
17:18:43 of it.
17:18:43 But you can see that even though their assessed value
17:18:47 has increased because the property appraiser was
17:18:49 required in that particular case to bring it up that
17:18:52 whole 3%, that happened.
17:18:53 And then that homeowner had the extra homestead
17:18:57 exemption, and they did have some savings, and this
17:18:59 would be reflected on the city -- on the trim notice.
17:19:04 What's happened with sales tax?
17:19:05 You have heard me a few times now talk about sales
17:19:09 This last column since I presented this budget in
17:19:13 It's really up and down over the past several years,
17:19:17 and just a few weeks ago, did receive some revised
17:19:21 estimates from the state on sales tax.
17:19:23 So the number that we have in the budget -- and we are
17:19:25 not going to change it for right now -- but the number
17:19:27 that we have in the budget is 28.5 million.
17:19:30 However, we just a few weeks ago got a revised
17:19:33 estimate from the state and they are expecting us to
17:19:35 only receive 27.1.
17:19:39 This is some history on our communication services and
17:19:43 franchise fees.
17:19:44 And you can see that it's been relatively stable with
17:19:48 some of these actually going down.
17:19:51 How do he would spend our money?
17:19:53 In the tax operating fund, about half of it for public
17:19:57 So we really tried as we formulated our budget to
17:20:01 enhance public safety, protect public safety, we have
17:20:04 certain other requirements.
17:20:06 We of course have our debts that we have to pay.
17:20:09 We have our CRA contribution that we must pay.
17:20:18 So you can see that there's very little room to work
17:20:20 with when we have a $22 million reduction as we had.
17:20:23 This is how our property taxes compared to the budgets
17:20:26 of the police and fire department.
17:20:27 So you can see there all the property taxes in the ciy
17:20:28 would not cover the budgets of the two departments.
17:20:35 Personnel has decreased over time.
17:20:38 As you can see, we have reduced to 4,660 positions in
17:20:45 this 09 budget.
17:20:46 We have significant operating expense increases just
17:20:49 like everybody at home has had.
17:20:51 Fuel costs.
17:20:52 Electric cost.
17:20:52 Chemical costs.
17:20:53 Insurance costs.
17:20:54 So that is where we are having to put a lot of our
17:20:57 extra money into these particular areas that he would
17:21:00 don't have much discretion over.
17:21:03 I talked a lot about contingencies and reserve so I
17:21:07 won't go into it much more.
17:21:09 We just like to follow the GFOA guidelines and really
17:21:12 be prudent stewards of the citizens' dollars.
17:21:17 I will talk very briefly about our enterprise funds.
17:21:20 $276 million.
17:21:22 And we had significant capital projects that are
17:21:25 intended for these particular areas.
17:21:33 We'll talk about the capital projects a little bit.
17:21:33 You can see there that we have a really very large
17:21:35 increase in 09 and you can see that it's really
17:21:37 predominantly from that bond area.
17:21:39 So 103 million from bonds and 65 million from ongoing
17:21:44 operating capital projects.
17:21:46 He would continue with our investing in neighborhoods
17:21:50 And this year it's increasing about 16%, and very
17:21:54 proud of the improvements that we are making
17:21:56 throughout all neighborhoods in the City of Tampa.
17:22:00 And this is how our investing in neighborhoods program
17:22:02 has increased since 2003 when it was only at
17:22:06 $2.6 million.
17:22:09 And with that, I will turn it over to you once again.
17:22:12 Our next budget hearing on September 24th at 5:00.
17:22:17 And that is also a Wednesday.
17:22:20 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay, thank you very much.
17:22:24 Our finance chairman, Ms. Mulhern.
17:22:27 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Chairman Scott.
17:22:29 Thank you, Bonnie.
17:22:30 And we are all, I'm sure, and I myself, everybody
17:22:34 really appreciative of all the help you have given me
17:22:38 and all of us in trying to understand the budget,
17:22:42 which is a big job.
17:22:44 And I really appreciate it.
17:22:45 And I think that you and the mayor have done an
17:22:53 amazing job of turning around the bond rating and
17:22:56 balancing the budget, and really it's amazing.
17:23:04 I think that it is difficult.
17:23:08 I mean, we have piles of books like this to go through
17:23:12 with very little time because of the way our charter
17:23:14 is set up.
17:23:14 So a few -- well, I think I started mentioning this
17:23:17 when I first started on City Council over a year ago,
17:23:21 but we needed some help looking at the budget, and we
17:23:25 discovered that there actually is a line item for
17:23:27 budget analyst, or it's written into the charter there
17:23:30 is no line item.
17:23:32 But we didn't -- weren't able to employ anyone this
17:23:36 year, so we decided -- and I talked to other
17:23:40 municipalities, so this is, I think, the first time
17:23:44 in, I don't know, maybe Mr. Miranda can tell me if you
17:23:47 had a budget advisory committee before.
17:23:55 You did?
17:23:56 Well, first time since then whenever that was.
17:23:59 So we voted to have a citizens advisory committee on
17:24:05 the budget, and we put that committee together.
17:24:10 Each person appointed one person, and they have been
17:24:13 working diligently, and they noticed to be thanked
17:24:17 for -- I can't thank them enough for going through all
17:24:21 of this, and meeting -- I think they met like four or
17:24:25 five times.
17:24:26 They had to have a meeting at 4:00 doo, because some
17:24:28 of the information they needed wasn't really available
17:24:30 until yesterday.
17:24:32 So what I would like to do is ask one of the budget
17:24:37 committee members to come and let us know what their
17:24:43 recommendations are.
17:24:51 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I need to know, though, we had one
17:24:55 speaker, two speakers, and how much time are you
17:24:58 >>MARY MULHERN: I don't know.
17:24:59 How many speakers are we having?
17:25:01 >> One and a half.
17:25:02 >>THOMAS SCOTT: One and a half.
17:25:03 >> I get seven minutes and three minutes.
17:25:05 >> I don't think we ought to set a time limit. I
17:25:08 don't think they are going to take any exorbitant
17:25:11 amount of time.
17:25:12 >> I can guarantee that.
17:25:13 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I just want to make sure we are within
17:25:15 a time frame that's not going to be afforded in our
17:25:20 >>> No, it won't be that long.
17:25:22 Thank you, Chairman Scott, council members.
17:25:23 My name is Anna Walrap, 701 South Howard Avenue,
17:25:29 Tampa, Florida, 33606, and I was chosen very proudly
17:25:33 to serve as the chairman of this committee.
17:25:36 About a month ago I got a call from Charlie Miranda's
17:25:38 office asking to serve on this committee, and though I
17:25:42 was honored to be chosen and honored to serve, I'm not
17:25:46 sure that we quite understood what you wanted us as a
17:25:50 group to accomplish.
17:25:52 And we probably met close to six or eight times so
17:25:57 So it's not been a short process.
17:25:59 And given that we have only been together as a group
17:26:02 for four weeks that is a lot of effort on our part and
17:26:04 the rest of our members.
17:26:06 So what I would like to do is to introduce our vice
17:26:10 chairman, mark Anderson is a much better qualified
17:26:17 financial person than I am to make this representation
17:26:21 to you.
17:26:22 Mark was the chief technical officer for credit
17:26:27 groups, he's an MBA in finance from the University of
17:26:32 Cincinnati, and I'm an architect, and my background is
17:26:35 totally different.
17:26:36 And I would like to have mark present our findings to
17:26:38 you doo.
17:26:41 Thank you.
17:26:41 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.
17:26:43 >>> Thanks, ladies and gentlemen of the council.
17:26:44 And I'm not sure how this technology is working here.
17:26:48 >> State your name and address for the record Jo mark
17:26:50 Anderson, 9045 Seddon Cove Way in Tampa.
17:26:57 >> Thank you.
17:26:59 >> Okay, thank you.
17:27:00 The first thing I would like to open up with is just a
17:27:03 very high level of -- level of stats that the city has
17:27:10 experienced over the last four or offensive years.
17:27:12 And I am not going to waste a lot of time here.
17:27:14 But if you look at the top line on this chart, it
17:27:17 indicates that the long-term debt of the city has
17:27:19 dough creased fairly significant amount over the last
17:27:23 four years, so long-term debt in the city is coming
17:27:25 down a bit over time.
17:27:27 The next line is actually the revenue of the city.
17:27:30 You can see that has increased from roughly 600
17:27:32 million to just around 836 million.
17:27:35 So in a period of six years that's gone up about 33%.
17:27:39 So long-term debt coming down, revenue coming up.
17:27:44 One of the line expenses, somehow invisible in this
17:27:49 chart, but if could you see that line would you see
17:27:51 the expense line has been fairly flat
17:27:54 , certainly has not connected upward to the degree the
17:27:59 revenue has so the city saved some money, if you will.
17:28:03 The black line, the fourth one down from the top is
17:28:06 the fund balance line.
17:28:07 You can see the fund balances in general have
17:28:09 increased fairly aggressively, beginning in 2005, and
17:28:14 have gone basically from just over 200 million to just
17:28:17 under 400 million at the end of the fiscal quarter of
17:28:22 And the line on the bottom is capital expenditures by
17:28:24 the city.
17:28:25 Again you can see that they remain reasonably flat up
17:28:28 until 2008 when they jumped up and in 2009 jumping up
17:28:32 quieted significantly.
17:28:33 So take away from all of this is that the city has
17:28:36 done pretty well fiscally over the last several years.
17:28:39 Long-term debt has been reduced.
17:28:42 Revenue has gone up.
17:28:43 And in terms of the aggressive capital plan to address
17:28:48 the long-term problems in the water and stormwater
17:28:52 We had three or four weeks to low at this so it's been
17:29:00 a fairly cursory look.
17:29:01 So I am going breeze through our observations and talk
17:29:04 about how we can improve this process next year.
17:29:07 So one of our observations has been in the timing of
17:29:09 the whole budget process.
17:29:12 Again we were allowed only about three or four weeks
17:29:14 to delve into the 836 million-dollar city budget which
17:29:19 allowed for limited amount of time to understand the
17:29:23 Our subject matter, access to subject matter details
17:29:26 in the city was fairly limited, and we think this
17:29:28 should be modified next year and the committee should
17:29:31 be allowed to freely interact with subject matter
17:29:34 expertise which will make it a far more accurate,
17:29:38 efficient process.
17:29:40 And I will have to get into the details we need to get
17:29:43 And that's our observations, recommendations.
17:29:52 He would make the recommendation the city make the
17:29:54 package available about June 30th, 2009 which will
17:29:58 give us six weeks to work with the city.
17:30:02 We would also like to further work with the city
17:30:07 during the year provider to the budget submissions to
17:30:09 understand the changing landscape of assumptions,
17:30:13 assumptions on sales tax revenues, for instance, just
17:30:16 on the whole threat rah of assumptions that the
17:30:19 different department heads go through in budgets
17:30:22 during the year.
17:30:22 So let's make it a continuous process to the degree we
17:30:25 can and not a discreet end of period process.
17:30:30 And I think I covered the request to actually
17:30:32 interface directly and continuously with the subject
17:30:36 matter experts.
17:30:38 The next recommendation is on efficiency.
17:30:42 Although the city is undertaking a lot of discussions
17:30:46 and a lot of discussions and a lot of planning around
17:30:48 efficiency, we as a group cannot find specific, for
17:30:53 instance, fuel consumption goals.
17:30:55 Couldn't find anybody saying we are looking for 20,
17:30:57 30, 40% fuel reduction.
17:31:00 And in Wan period of time.
17:31:03 We didn't see anything specific in evidence on
17:31:06 switching to renewable energy sources, higher
17:31:09 efficiency technologies in place.
17:31:11 We didn't see specific time delineated plans.
17:31:18 In the area of efficiency, the subject of fleet came
17:31:21 up as an area of concern.
17:31:23 And I think a good example, although it needs to be
17:31:26 looked at in a far more city-wide basis, is the fleet
17:31:31 that's assigned to the Tampa Police Department.
17:31:33 Roughly 1200 vehicles assigned to TPD, a little under
17:31:37 1300 full time equivalents in TPD.
17:31:40 So it looks like basically every employee at TPD has a
17:31:44 vehicle assigned.
17:31:45 And that's something that may be right, may be wrong,
17:31:48 just something we would like to spend more time with
17:31:50 so we can understand going forward.
17:31:52 As an example, in the efficiencies here.
17:31:59 Implement a program to set and meet aggressive fuel
17:32:02 reduction goals in both the fuel and the energy,
17:32:06 electricity areas.
17:32:09 With specifically values and time.
17:32:16 Secondly, implement a program aggressive goals for
17:32:21 implementation, renewable fuels, whatever they may be,
17:32:25 bio fuels, again something the city could and should
17:32:30 And of course coached in -- couched in all of this we
17:32:33 don't want to do that's financially unacceptable F.the
17:32:36 financials work and the service levels are not
17:32:38 affected negatively.
17:32:39 It is something we think should be keyed up in a Hoyer
17:32:42 priority area, as a higher priority project.
17:32:46 Again back to the float question.
17:32:48 We think that there should be a bogie placed on fleet
17:32:55 reduction that complements fuel reduction and
17:32:58 complements conversion to newer technology, groaner
17:33:01 technologies, et cetera.
17:33:02 So it's symbiotic with the prior two recommendations.
17:33:08 Moving on to capital expending.
17:33:10 A huge increase from 77 million to 289 million.
17:33:14 We talked about the CIP program being $169 for fiscal
17:33:18 But in addition there's a project called commercial
17:33:21 paper out there which is an incremental $120 million
17:33:24 in capital expenditures bringing the total city
17:33:27 capital in the fiscal 09 budget 29, up from 77 million
17:33:33 two years ago.
17:33:34 So that's a big number, a big increase.
17:33:36 And a lot of news going to water and stormwater, and
17:33:39 there's some contemplation for strategic improvements
17:33:42 in wastewater going forward.
17:33:44 And obviously those have been thought through
17:33:48 carefully by Steve Daignault and his team.
17:33:51 But it is nonetheless a staggering number so we have
17:33:55 some concern there.
17:33:57 The other concern relative to the increasing capital
17:34:01 expenditure, some capital expenditures generate
17:34:05 commensurate expense increases for maintenance of the
17:34:10 physical facilities or potential staff of the
17:34:13 facilities, et.
17:34:14 And we are concerned that these large capital budgets
17:34:17 could add incrementally to the overall expense burden
17:34:20 of the city.
17:34:20 And we are also cognizant of the fact that many of the
17:34:23 improvements in the infrastructure area are meant to
17:34:25 lower expense costs through dropping the costs to dig
17:34:30 up and repair broken water mains, et cetera.
17:34:32 So it's a YIN and a Yang.
17:34:38 So we need to be aware of it.
17:34:39 So the recommendation in the capital area is to
17:34:44 construct a five-you're or longer master capital plan
17:34:50 which has built into it the best estimates available
17:34:53 on all these strategic initiatives, in the
17:34:57 infrastructure area, plus back in the city.
17:34:58 So that the city, in a longer term basis, can
17:35:04 understand the capital needs, what the expense impact
17:35:07 might be and where the money might come from relative
17:35:09 to the bond market or commercial paper market or
17:35:13 traditional sources of income.
17:35:17 Moving onto observation for city finances.
17:35:23 As I mentioned, the city has lowered its long-term
17:35:26 debt roughly 150 million over the last four or
17:35:29 offensive years.
17:35:31 Kudos to the city staff for that happening.
17:35:34 Fund balances increased from roughly 224 million
17:35:38 fiscal 3 to 371 million at the end of June of this
17:35:42 So that's a 66% increase.
17:35:45 Now, that being said, a lot of the increase in fund
17:35:48 balances have earmarked uses and are not free and
17:35:53 available for anything.
17:35:55 So we worked closely but probably not closely enough
17:36:00 with the city finance team to understand that.
17:36:04 But at the end of the day, we believe that there are a
17:36:08 fair number of unencumbered excess funds in the fund
17:36:12 balance that could be used for other purposes.
17:36:16 It's built up tremendously in the last three or four
17:36:19 We would agree that three or four years ago it wasn't
17:36:22 looking that promising but today it's pretty healthy.
17:36:29 Our recommendation as a committee is to lower the
17:36:32 millage rate an additional 5% on property taxes in the
17:36:38 This will result in an $8 million revenue decrease to
17:36:43 the city.
17:36:46 And I think at this point in time, we feel that that
17:36:49 $8 million can be absorbed in the excess fund balances
17:36:53 that are unencumbered and free and enclosure, without
17:36:58 causing a major operational cuts within the city.
17:37:02 And our thinking on that has been two fold.
17:37:05 One, in looking at the overall financial changes in
17:37:08 the city, and the relative health of the city, I think
17:37:12 we are also cognizant of the fact that, you know,
17:37:16 stressed citizenry with respect to falling incomes,
17:37:21 foreclosures, just more dire situation for the
17:37:25 citizens of the City of Tampa.
17:37:28 And our committee's opinion is that this 5% millage
17:37:33 rate is appropriate for fiscal 09 given the coupling
17:37:40 of the situation that citizens find themselves in and
17:37:43 the available fund balances.
17:37:46 And I think that's something -- that's the committee's
17:37:53 And that's all I was prepared to talk about.
17:37:55 I don't think we need to go through appendices and
17:37:59 tables and a lot of information unless that's a thing
17:38:02 poem desire.
17:38:03 >>MARY MULHERN: Council may have some questions.
17:38:05 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, let me -- I don't know if he's
17:38:11 finished with his presentation and I want you to tell
17:38:13 us as the chair what are your recommendations?
17:38:15 Do you want to us take a look at this?
17:38:18 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
17:38:19 That's what I was going to do. Are you finished?
17:38:21 >>> I am.
17:38:22 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
17:38:23 Here's what I think would be appropriate, if council
17:38:27 could ask Mark as the representative of that committee
17:38:30 any questions they have, and then if the
17:38:34 administration would like to respond to that's
17:38:40 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Do you have any questions, council?
17:38:44 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Just overall, Mr. Anderson, I know
17:38:47 you went to many different subject matters.
17:38:49 Overall, what's your factual findings?
17:38:55 In other words, are we doing things right?
17:38:57 Are we doing things wrong?
17:38:58 Are we doing things that are somewhat right, somewhat
17:39:03 I can only speak to a lot of the infrastructure, why
17:39:06 it's gone up from 77 million to 200-some million.
17:39:12 We have enough water lines and sewer loins that go to
17:39:15 New York twice and come back twice.
17:39:17 The problem is would be spending less than 77 million
17:39:22 but they are not.
17:39:23 They are 80, 70 years old, and under the old way we
17:39:27 would do ten miles a year of water line.
17:39:30 And you say that's great in, five years you go 50
17:39:34 miles, you go from here to Sarasota.
17:39:36 However, that's not factual because in five years you
17:39:38 have another 12 miles that became older, and we were
17:39:42 spending more money in repairs, and I think you
17:39:45 mentioned that, sir, to fix those problems.
17:39:47 So he would went in an aggressive mode and now we do
17:39:51 40 miles a year.
17:39:52 So we are trying to get ahead of the curve.
17:39:54 It's going to take an enormous amount of time to do
17:39:57 that because the city wasn't laid out and planned out
17:40:01 and worked on.
17:40:02 The pipes are certainly problems that we had with
17:40:06 those systems.
17:40:07 The pipes are not even manufactured anymore because
17:40:10 they are not healthy.
17:40:11 So we are trying to do the best we can.
17:40:13 So in the infrastructure thing I think the city is
17:40:16 doing the right thing, by your committee and looking
17:40:22 at some of the good stuff that was said, the debt
17:40:26 structure has come down, and the revenue structure --
17:40:30 I think that's a very healthy thing for the citizens,
17:40:32 so maybe one day we don't have to fund these things
17:40:37 through bond issues, and create.
17:40:40 The other way of making money is not yowing anything.
17:40:45 Thank God I studied that when I was important and
17:40:47 broke and now I'm just poor.
17:40:49 So when I learned that, how to get ahead, fund
17:40:54 balances were at 982, now at 854.
17:40:59 I think that's a real good thing for the city to say
17:41:01 we are doing something.
17:41:02 The revenues, ratio debt to revenue decreased from 1.7
17:41:08 by the fine report that you and your members did to
17:41:11 I think that's a great and healthy thing.
17:41:14 The fund balances, I don't know how factual they are.
17:41:18 I would like to ask the city at this time if a fund
17:41:21 balances have increased 66% from '03 to '08 when you
17:41:28 stated, sir, that you had a 33% increase from '03 to
17:41:33 '08, the way I break it down it's 5.4% a year.
17:41:37 So although 33 is a large number when you look at it
17:41:40 on a yearly scale, it certainly doesn't come out --
17:41:44 comes out to 33, right at 33 but it's not an
17:41:48 exorbitant amount from one year to another year going
17:41:51 from zero to 33 so I think you all did a fantastic
17:41:55 I appreciate what you said about the vehicles, and if
17:42:00 you change to something that's not ready for the
17:42:01 change, it may cost you more money now to get the
17:42:06 results, and you are right on point when you said that
17:42:11 vehicles such as a new way of doing things, with the
17:42:15 bottled gas vehicles and hybrid vehicles, it sounds
17:42:18 great until you start doing the numbers, and the
17:42:20 numbers may not work out for you.
17:42:22 I can appreciate the candid and the response about
17:42:28 reducing foul consumption, and doing different things
17:42:30 to make the city better, not only in costs for the
17:42:35 taxpayers but in getting the healthier return in the
17:42:38 I'm really appreciative of that.
17:42:39 But if the city can answer that question for me,
17:42:41 that's the only one that I really don't understand
17:42:44 right now.
17:42:45 I didn't think the fund balances were that high.
17:42:48 I figured them to be somewhere, off the top of my
17:42:51 head, based on the total number of 800-some-odd
17:42:57 million, whatever it is, 36, and you take out the fund
17:43:00 balance or the enter provides fund that could be
17:43:03 somewhere in the 75 million range but I'm not sure.
17:43:06 That's why I want the city to answer that.
17:43:07 >>MARY MULHERN: Did you have any questions for the
17:43:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: No, I think the spokesman is here.
17:43:14 He's the one that got that degree and very
17:43:16 appreciative of him.
17:43:19 >>MARY MULHERN: The city can answer that.
17:43:21 I think we'll finish with questions. Did you have a
17:43:24 Anyone else?
17:43:25 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Miranda, the city can come and
17:43:32 address that question.
17:43:33 >>MARY MULHERN: I would just like to thank mark and
17:43:35 the rest of the committee for all the time they put
17:43:37 into this, and it seems like just a very reasoned
17:43:43 report, and I think that maybe one of the things we
17:43:47 can get is that next year maybe we can have a little
17:43:50 more time to low at the budget, and a lot more
17:43:55 >>BONNIE WISE: Thank you.
17:43:59 The committee used a June 30th number, which all
17:44:03 their other numbers were from fiscal year end, fiscal
17:44:09 year end.
17:44:09 Unfortunately we need to have a June 30th number,
17:44:12 which of course this year end is not yet available
17:44:14 because we haven't gotten there yet.
17:44:16 You have information that's in there that is
17:44:19 For example, you have debt service payments that are
17:44:21 to be made that increased the balances.
17:44:24 What's in those big numbers is information numbers for
17:44:27 capital projects.
17:44:29 So C.I.T. bonds, the number, our 2001-2006 bonds,
17:44:37 utility tax bond, TGVB, in that number, so therefore I
17:44:46 think -- Mark and I did take over two hours yesterday
17:44:49 trying to dissect what is truly available.
17:44:52 So to say that you had that increase, I think, is
17:44:54 misleading, so I don't want to you think that we got
17:44:57 from here to there.
17:44:58 The other thing, too, is you have to look at how our
17:45:01 expenditures increased during that time period.
17:45:04 What has happened to our needs in the city.
17:45:07 So you can't just look at one side of the balance and
17:45:10 see what's increased.
17:45:13 You have to do a ratio and compare that.
17:45:15 So, unfortunately, I think that you are coming to a
17:45:19 conclusion that is inaccurate.
17:45:21 The other thing I wanted to read to you, this is from
17:45:23 the national advisory council on state local
17:45:26 budgeting, long-time revenues, a policy discouraging
17:45:31 the use of long-time revenues for ongoing
17:45:34 expenditures, before you time and time again, and that
17:45:38 really concerns me that we know that we have these
17:45:40 ongoing concerns, that we are being faced with, and to
17:45:44 use our account, it's not our fund balances, it's not
17:45:47 a checking account that you can just take these moneys
17:45:49 So I just caution you to be very prudent in the
17:45:54 stewardship of those balances.
17:45:57 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Way want to know -- and I know you
17:46:00 touched on it -- do in essence have 371 -- and I am
17:46:05 not questioning the committee's report because they
17:46:07 looked tee fund balance at the time that it was not
17:46:09 the completed fund balance, so they did what they had
17:46:11 to do and looked at it at that number.
17:46:13 What in your estimate is going to be the fund balance?
17:46:16 >> I think in the end, between the general fund and
17:46:20 utility tax, we are going to have about a $70 million
17:46:23 number that will be available.
17:46:25 >> 70 million.
17:46:29 >>> 70.
17:46:31 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I have a question.
17:46:33 I know you have gone over this in the past but if you
17:46:36 wouldn't mind doing it again about how our insurance
17:46:39 was canceled after the '05 hurricane and what our
17:46:44 exposure is, and -- because I think one of the reasons
17:46:48 for the fund balance is to address that exposure.
17:46:50 >>BONNIE WISE: Right.
17:46:51 After the 2004 -- actually, after September 11, 2001,
17:46:56 the city had some difficulty getting insurance.
17:46:58 And then it improved in 2003.
17:47:04 However, after the 2004 storm season -- and I don't
17:47:06 have that fancy chart that I like to show you -- we
17:47:10 really had an inability to buy property insurance.
17:47:13 What the insurance companies started to do, it used to
17:47:15 be able we were able to be get $100 million of
17:47:18 property coverage, and they did not delineate whether
17:47:20 that was for fire -- whether that was for a named
17:47:23 After the 2004 storm season, they then delineated just
17:47:29 specifically for named storms.
17:47:31 So where are we today?
17:47:33 Which is a little better than where we were a year
17:47:36 At this time, our assets of the city are $1.9 billion.
17:47:42 The top 10 value property in the city are 1.1 billion.
17:47:49 You can see where the cap ten is a huge percentage of
17:47:53 our assets and most of those are on the water, you
17:47:55 know, downtown, on the water.
17:47:59 We have 50 million of coverage for a named storm.
17:48:04 50 million.
17:48:05 And with that, we have a deductible of $500,000
17:48:09 deductible for a named storm or 5% of the loss.
17:48:14 So it's not enough.
17:48:17 In the past it's been much more.
17:48:20 Every year, now, we are hopeful that it will be
17:48:24 We don't renew until March.
17:48:26 This is from the March figures.
17:48:27 So it's something that I have to tell you that really
17:48:30 does concern me.
17:48:31 Now, what would happen practically, would we have a
17:48:35 complete wipeout of $1.9 billion of infrastructure?
17:48:41 No, we wouldn't.
17:48:42 But if you only have 50 million, do you rebuild the
17:48:45 convention center first?
17:48:46 Do you rebuild the aquarium?
17:48:48 Do you build TPD, blue building?
17:48:52 What do you build first?
17:48:54 Wastewater plant?
17:48:55 Probably water and wastewater.
17:48:58 So it's something that really does concern me.
17:49:00 So that was also why the cities balances were
17:49:07 intentionally --
17:49:08 >> Did you say that our coverage is $50 million?
17:49:11 >> For a named storm.
17:49:13 >> Pardon?
17:49:14 >>> For a named storm.
17:49:16 Now for fire we have more coverage.
17:49:21 And we have a fire from time to time.
17:49:23 >> So if a hurricane comes through, category 4 --
17:49:27 >>GWEN MILLER: Named.
17:49:27 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yeah, with a name, right.
17:49:29 >>> As I mentioned, we had those storms, Frances,
17:49:36 Jean, whatever the other one was.
17:49:38 >> But we only have 50 million.
17:49:40 And we have 70 million in fund balance is what you are
17:49:45 >>> Right.
17:49:47 >> I just wanted to emphasize.
17:49:56 Those what I'm getting to.
17:49:57 That's the preacher side of me coming out.
17:49:59 >>> Yes, sir.
17:50:00 >> Make sure people hear what you are saying.
17:50:03 Okay, yes.
17:50:07 >>MARY MULHERN: I wanted to ask Bonnie.
17:50:09 I think that Mark did give us the expenses.
17:50:12 He did give us a comparison of the expenses.
17:50:15 So I think when you said that, I just want to say that
17:50:20 I think they took that into consideration.
17:50:24 We don't have the paper in front of us.
17:50:26 It was on PowerPoint so I can't refer to it but I know
17:50:29 that he did mention that.
17:50:30 And then my question for you -- and I just noticed it
17:50:36 yesterday leaving through this mound of paper, or
17:50:40 today, that there is a line item on the budget for
17:50:43 emergency funds.
17:50:45 Is that part of that fund balance?
17:50:47 Or is it additional?
17:50:48 >>> That's included in the numbers.
17:50:50 >> It's in that like 387.
17:50:54 >>> And I think you were here when we first started
17:50:56 the emergency reserve, started with the intent to get
17:50:59 it to 16 million in the first year.
17:51:00 I think we put in 4.
17:51:03 And the next year we added 3.6 or so to it.
17:51:06 And last year, of course, we didn't add to it and this
17:51:11 year we are not adding to it.
17:51:12 But the plan was really because we recognize that we
17:51:15 are woefully inadequately insured, that we really
17:51:21 wanted to get it to 15, and we are not there.
17:51:26 >>MARY MULHERN: Are you now saying that we need to
17:51:28 have like that 70 million in there?
17:51:33 >>> Well, I don't think we have to necessarily
17:51:34 delineate it for emergencies, because other things
17:51:37 occur throughout the year, too.
17:51:41 >>MARY MULHERN: I just wondered, you know, that needs
17:51:46 to be clear, that if your goal two years ago was 15
17:51:52 million I think you are in a pretty healthy place, now
17:51:55 that 70 million undesignated.
17:51:57 >>> The emergency reserve was 15.
17:51:59 We are only halfway there.
17:52:00 >> I would also like to point out as you pointed out
17:52:04 to us that the expenditures of the city had to make
17:52:10 during those storms a few years ago were all
17:52:13 I know it wasn't up front, but almost all reimbursed.
17:52:16 >>> Well, a million wasn't reimbursed.
17:52:19 But the part I want to say is those weren't
17:52:22 And those weren't direct hits.
17:52:23 Those were from the other side of the state, as you
17:52:26 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Right.
17:52:27 >>BONNIE WISE: We haven't had a storm.
17:52:30 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes.
17:52:32 >> We are very lucky.
17:52:37 And hopefully we won't have.
17:52:44 >> What is the percentage of a budget that is
17:52:46 recommended to have in reserve?
17:52:48 Because I really don't know.
17:52:49 >>> GFOA, the government finance officers association,
17:52:54 recommends approximately 15% but what they say really
17:52:56 is every jurisdiction has to low at its own situation,
17:52:59 because you have to low at what's happening in your
17:53:02 community around you, what's happening with your other
17:53:04 So if you are maybe in a state that has incomes tax
17:53:11 which we don't, if you have very stable revenues, we
17:53:14 are in a situation where our major revenue, property
17:53:16 taxes, is declining, we are in a state where a major
17:53:20 sales or sales tax one of our major revenues is
17:53:23 declining, or certainly, you know, going up and down
17:53:26 and declining this year, the state is facing with the
17:53:29 same thing.
17:53:30 So I think they give a guide line, you know, I like to
17:53:33 sigh about 15%. I think we are a little bit higher
17:53:35 than that.
17:53:36 However, you know, 16% is just what it is.
17:53:40 So I think you really have to look at what you see on
17:53:43 an ongoing basis.
17:53:44 So it's not an exact science.
17:53:47 It is really an art.
17:53:53 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
17:53:54 Any other questions by council?
17:53:56 I guess, too, one of my observations is, and the
17:54:00 recommendation in reduction of the millage, I think
17:54:03 you pointed out, that will be an ongoing expense.
17:54:08 The problem, too, we don't know, is it amendment 5 is
17:54:11 going to be actually back on the ballot?
17:54:14 And I think that's in the Florida Supreme Court, isn't
17:54:17 it? It's off the ballot but I think it's on appeal by
17:54:21 the Supreme Court.
17:54:23 Can you state that?
17:54:26 >>> Just to clarify for the record, the Supreme Court
17:54:30 did rule on that, and it will not be on the ballot.
17:54:33 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
17:54:34 We got that clarification.
17:54:35 The other issue, though, is we don't know what the
17:54:39 legislature is going to do in the upcoming year.
17:54:41 That's the other thing he would don't know is not
17:54:45 clear yet.
17:54:47 As to what they are going to do in terms of the
17:54:51 reduction, millage, property taxes.
17:54:53 So that becomes another huge issue for us as well.
17:54:57 And because you don't know that, if you start rolling
17:55:00 back the millage now, and they come back and cut
17:55:07 something, the issue becomes, they roll it back and
17:55:12 you already rolled it back, and you have further
17:55:16 complications and problems and issues.
17:55:21 So I just want to be mindful of that.
17:55:23 I think the committee has done a very good job.
17:55:26 I appreciate what they have done.
17:55:27 I am concerned, though, they made a number of
17:55:30 recommendations that we may not have any jurisdiction
17:55:32 And I think Mr. Fletcher may want to address that,
17:55:34 because they are asking for the budget to be presented
17:55:37 in June, and according to the charter, I think the
17:55:40 charter has a specific timing when we receive the
17:55:43 budget because they act as advisory to this board, not
17:55:45 to the administration.
17:55:46 So there are some legal ramifications that are beyond
17:55:50 our purview.
17:55:52 Mr. Fletcher, you may want top address that issue.
17:55:56 >>BONNIE WISE: A millage reduction would impact our
17:55:58 contribution to the CRAs.
17:56:00 So our contribution to the CRAs is about $16
17:56:03 And so a 5% millage reduction would have our
17:56:06 contribution be $800,000 less to the CRAs.
17:56:09 So the CRAs not only would the city be impacted, the
17:56:13 cities would be impacted.
17:56:15 I just want to make sure you have the full picture.
17:56:17 >> Let me hear from Mr. Fletcher.
17:56:23 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: City attorney.
17:56:24 The charter requires that it be provided 45 days prior
17:56:29 to adoption.
17:56:30 So that is the legal requirement.
17:56:34 We want to discuss having it done earlier.
17:56:37 I think legally that would be within the framework.
17:56:46 I think question is what point is it good information?
17:56:49 And that would be something the financial director
17:56:51 would need to address.
17:56:52 I will say since he asked the question about the
17:56:55 appropriateness of some of the recommendations within
17:56:57 the purview of the council, that area that was labeled
17:57:01 as efficiencies, generally speaking of areas that are
17:57:06 within the administration's activities, and I do know
17:57:09 from various meetings, some of the things including
17:57:11 the right-sizing of the float generally are things
17:57:14 that are being examined.
17:57:17 And regardless of the merits of the particular
17:57:19 recommendations, I would suggest that those items are
17:57:23 things that are more appropriate within the
17:57:26 department's purview, individual department.
17:57:30 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Those why I want to raise that,
17:57:33 because I'm very cognizant of the charter, and the
17:57:37 separation here of authority.
17:57:42 Powers of authority.
17:57:43 So I want to be sure the advisory committee understand
17:57:44 that is we are limited according to the charter in
17:57:47 what we can do, what we cannot do and that sort of
17:57:49 thing, in terms of the recommendations that are under
17:57:55 the administration purview versus our purview, so
17:57:58 those things that we have to understand and need to be
17:58:02 part of the clarification process, that we have a
17:58:06 certain parameter, that he would operate function
17:58:09 within, and also the administration does as well.
17:58:12 Councilwoman Saul-Sena.
17:58:14 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I have a brief question for Ms.
17:58:16 Wise. That is over the last fiscal year, it's thought
17:58:20 to me as if the state keeps telling us we have less
17:58:24 money from sales tax and because of the action of the
17:58:26 state legislature, we have less money from property
17:58:28 tax, in the course of '08, where did we begin in terms
17:58:33 of our expectation of revenues, and where did he would
17:58:37 end up?
17:58:37 >>> In sales tax, we were already going into the
17:58:42 I think we were thinking that we were going to be
17:58:45 about $2 million less than last year.
17:58:48 And then we learned that we were going to be another
17:58:51 1.4 million less, in municipal revenue sharing we had
17:58:56 a similar -- we went into the budget with pretty much
17:59:00 stable from last year, and then we learned a few weeks
17:59:02 ago $400,000 less.
17:59:04 So I think the bright spot this year was our new
17:59:11 That was a little bit higher than we were anticipating
17:59:13 but we still had that $22 million gap all in all that
17:59:17 we had to get to.
17:59:18 >>MARY MULHERN: Bonnie, I want to ask you, because I
17:59:24 thought that the recommended GFOA fund balance
17:59:32 percentage, 15 was like the upper limit.
17:59:35 Don't they say 5 to 15%?
17:59:38 >>> For certain circumstances.
17:59:39 I think once again you have to low at every
17:59:42 jurisdiction separately, like we talked about the
17:59:45 other die, some municipalities have an electric, you
17:59:48 know, we have water, wastewater, solid waste.
17:59:52 You know, and those that have electric, those turn
17:59:56 money back into the city.
17:59:58 So everybody is different.
18:00:00 >>MARY MULHERN: I just wanted to make that enclosure.
18:00:04 So it didn't sound like the committee was recommending
18:00:08 something that he would shouldn't even consider.
18:00:14 Any other questions?
18:00:19 >> If there are no questions --
18:00:22 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Bonnie, thank you for your hard
18:00:25 I want to running back nice all the staff who is here
18:00:27 tonight, and senior staff for all your hard work over
18:00:30 the years.
18:00:31 I see a lot of friends out there.
18:00:33 And you guys do a great job.
18:00:37 And we appreciate it.
18:00:38 And everyone though there are sometimes we might butt
18:00:42 heads and give you a hard time, we are all here for
18:00:44 the same thing which is to make this the best city it
18:00:46 can be and to work hard for all of our constituents.
18:00:50 On behalf of council I want to thank you.
18:00:53 Bonnie, I did have a question in regard to -- I was
18:00:55 looking at the millage rate over the last five years.
18:00:58 And I think as I recall I'm on page 7 of your
18:01:05 handout -- as I recall the 6.539 has been the same
18:01:08 thing for many years.
18:01:10 And then in 2007, council voluntarily reduced that
18:01:14 down to 6.408.
18:01:17 And then the last two years has been 5.73, et cetera.
18:01:26 And by my scribbling here, it appears to me if he
18:01:30 would compared 2005, 6.539, to the current right of
18:01:34 5.7326, that it looks like we have had about a 12%
18:01:39 millage reduction, approximately, 12% millage
18:01:44 reduction, over the last, you know, four years.
18:01:49 Is my math correct?
18:01:53 >>BONNIE WISE: It's about that, because in fiscal 07,
18:01:55 which if you look at the chart before that, that was
18:01:58 the year that we had very large property tax increases,
18:02:01 because the values increased about 17.9%.
18:02:06 We had a 2% reduction that year.
18:02:08 And then last year's reduction was 10.5.
18:02:12 So mathematically that's about accurate.
18:02:14 >> Okay.
18:02:14 And I wanted to stress that to whoever is listening or
18:02:21 cares, that for whatever reason, good, bad or whatever,
18:02:27 at the end of the day, the city's millage rate is now
18:02:31 12% lower than it was, approximately 12% lower, maybe
18:02:36 12.5% lower than it was four years ago.
18:02:38 And the other point I wanted to stress was -- and on
18:02:45 the one hand, I'm really proud of the work, and the
18:02:49 hard work that the committee did.
18:02:51 And he would each appointed one member to that
18:02:55 It seems like a very thoughtful and intelligent group,
18:02:58 and of course it's always a good idea to reduce the
18:03:03 As much as we possibly can.
18:03:06 My concern is, this budget process -- and Mary held up
18:03:13 these box before, but these are the budget books.
18:03:16 They are thick and comprehensive and very complicated.
18:03:20 And people work on them in Jim Stefan's office all year
18:03:26 long to put them together.
18:03:28 You guys on the committee were at a great disadvantage
18:03:31 to only have three weeks to low at this.
18:03:34 And it's not fair by any means whatsoever.
18:03:38 And I look forward to this committee continuing on.
18:03:40 And I hope you don't dis discouraged, that over the
18:03:44 next year you will have -- you will have a better grasp
18:03:47 of the budget, and you will be able to help us even
18:03:52 But I don't -- you know, I don't think -- I mean, I
18:03:57 don't know if anybody asked Bonnie point blank if she
18:04:02 recommends a 5% reduction or would concur with your
18:04:05 I have a feeling she doesn't.
18:04:07 Go ahead.
18:04:10 >>BONNIE WISE: If I haven't made it perfectly clear,
18:04:12 let me make it perfectly clear that I am firmly
18:04:15 recommending the budget that he would presented to you
18:04:17 in August.
18:04:18 Without any changes.
18:04:20 It is based on a year's worth of work, working with
18:04:24 citizens, working with department heads, working with
18:04:27 you all.
18:04:28 And it was very thoughtfully prepared.
18:04:31 And that is the recommendation that he would make.
18:04:35 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: And thank you, Mary.
18:04:39 And I thought I heard you say it.
18:04:40 But the point is, and I really want to say this to the
18:04:43 budget committee, that I don't think I can support, you
18:04:47 know, the 5% reduction.
18:04:50 Mainly for the reasons I just stated.
18:04:52 We have been having millage reductions for the last
18:04:55 four years.
18:04:57 And this particular year, you know, we have had to
18:05:00 tighten our belts to the point, I think Bonnie
18:05:05 mentioned $22 million.
18:05:06 And if we look at another 5%, I think somebody
18:05:10 mentioned an additional 8 or $10 million.
18:05:13 And I have no idea where that would come from.
18:05:16 If you say let's just pull it out of the fund balance,
18:05:22 I do think that's a little dangerous.
18:05:26 I think if you have a family budget, you have a savings
18:05:29 account, in your household family budget.
18:05:33 And that savings account is sort of for that rainy day
18:05:37 And it's not unreasonable to have a savings account at
18:05:39 home of, you know, perhaps 10% of your annual budget.
18:05:44 That's what ours is for the city, 10 to 15%.
18:05:47 I don't think that's unreasonable.
18:05:49 And I don't think it's too high.
18:05:50 And especially in the vulnerable and precarious place
18:05:54 we live in in Florida, and especially on the coast.
18:05:57 So, anyway, just sort of end it a little bit here but I
18:06:04 just wanted to make those points.
18:06:06 That's not to say that there are no changes -- I do
18:06:09 have a exchange that I want to suggest but first I
18:06:10 would like to hear from the other members of the
18:06:12 public, and then I would like to regain the floor for a
18:06:16 second to offer two small changes to the budget.
18:06:22 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes.
18:06:24 >>MARY MULHERN: Maybe Sal could explain to us what we
18:06:27 are -- because I think we vote -- Sal was explaining
18:06:31 this to me before the meeting -- we are not voting on
18:06:33 the budget and the millage rate at the same time.
18:06:36 It's different.
18:06:36 >>SAL TERRITO: What you would be doing tonight is
18:06:39 setting the tentative millage rate.
18:06:41 You would be doing the first reading on the budget.
18:06:44 And you would also be discussing the capital
18:06:46 improvement budget tonight.
18:06:48 At the second meeting would you be setting the final
18:06:50 millage rate which would have to be at the rate you
18:06:53 tentatively set tonight, or lower, unless there's a
18:06:56 very difficult process that you have to go through to
18:06:58 make a difference.
18:06:59 Would you be doing the second reading on the budget
18:07:02 >>MARY MULHERN: So are we voting separately on the
18:07:06 budget and on the millage rate?
18:07:07 >>> Correct.
18:07:08 >> And the capital improvement?
18:07:09 >>> Correct.
18:07:10 In the capital improvement budget that you will be
18:07:12 discussing tonight, it's in the second hearing as well.
18:07:15 >> All right.
18:07:16 So I think because of the recommendations that our
18:07:22 committee made, unless -- I think that -- and as
18:07:28 everyone pointed out he would don't have any discretion
18:07:30 or authority on how things are spent.
18:07:35 And, you know, I don't see any reason why we couldn't
18:07:38 get the budget earlier next year.
18:07:42 Well, the recommendations made in here -- I misspoke --
18:07:50 as far as efficiency at this point today, we are not
18:07:53 going to be able to really do anything about that.
18:07:57 I hope the administration will take all this work and
18:08:01 voluntary to hours that these people put into this and
18:08:06 take it into consideration.
18:08:08 And I also think that if council doesn't give some
18:08:12 consideration to what our committee recommended, then
18:08:16 we may not have a committee next year.
18:08:18 So if that's what you would like to do, to continue
18:08:20 to -- just come here without the help of all these
18:08:25 people, then fine.
18:08:28 I want to point out something, because everyone is
18:08:30 talking about how, you know, of course our expenses are
18:08:34 going up, and of course we live here and have the
18:08:38 threat of hurricane.
18:08:39 And John, when you talk about your savings account, the
18:08:41 way I look at it is, that savings account is coming
18:08:44 like from your kids' piggy bank money.
18:08:48 Those are property taxes that people are paying.
18:08:50 And the difference this year -- and I think this is the
18:08:53 difference a couple of years ago when you voted to
18:08:55 lower the millage, is we have been in this bubble where
18:08:58 people's property taxes went up like 30, 40%.
18:09:02 So, yeah, it dropped since, you know, whatever.
18:09:06 But it hasn't gone anywhere near that -- I redid this
18:09:10 chart because it was one that made it look like we went
18:09:13 into negative here.
18:09:14 We actually are asking for this.
18:09:18 The millage rate to go down, just like it went up, it
18:09:22 would go down.
18:09:23 It wouldn't go under the line.
18:09:24 So I think if you look at this, you also should
18:09:27 consider -- and this year is not even like two years
18:09:32 There are people who are losing their homes.
18:09:34 People are paying twice as much for gas.
18:09:37 Yes, our expenses are going up.
18:09:38 But I think -- and, yes, it's fiscally responsible to
18:09:42 have money in reserve.
18:09:44 But I also think that we can make decisions about how
18:09:47 much we need to have in there.
18:09:49 And I think it would be better if we could keep more
18:09:52 money in that reserve.
18:09:54 But I also feel that, you know, as Mr. Miranda said,
18:10:01 pay as you go, you know.
18:10:03 We are going into more debt.
18:10:05 We are spending more money.
18:10:07 Maybe he would shouldn't be, you know, doing that.
18:10:10 I'm not really suggesting that.
18:10:11 I think we need all these capital improvements.
18:10:16 But I think just to say, you know, because this has
18:10:18 been recommended -- and the reason that I wanted this
18:10:21 budget committee was because there's No way for to us
18:10:24 look at all of this.
18:10:25 It's impossible.
18:10:26 And they did that for us.
18:10:28 In three weeks.
18:10:28 And they didn't have enough time.
18:10:30 But they did it anyway.
18:10:32 So -- and these are, you know, people who probably have
18:10:37 a lot more expertise on this than a lot of us do.
18:10:41 So I think that they deserve -- their recommendations
18:10:47 deserve serious consideration and not just, okay,
18:10:50 well -- I mean, I just didn't run for office to be a
18:10:53 rubber stamp.
18:10:54 And I feel like I noticed to represent my constituents.
18:10:57 And I'm going to have to support what they recommended
18:10:59 as far as reducing the millage, because I think they
18:11:03 know better than -- than I do.
18:11:06 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Go ahead.
18:11:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have never been a rubber stamp.
18:11:11 I don't even -- I dressed in black for a long time and
18:11:14 I was right then and I'm right today, even though I
18:11:17 lost the war and the battle.
18:11:19 I don't know how many others here would have done that.
18:11:22 I believe public money should be for public improvement
18:11:25 of streets, water, sewer, things that you noticed to
18:11:28 have a vibrant society, to make this city or any other
18:11:31 city a place where you want to live, raise your
18:11:34 children, and continue going forward in life.
18:11:37 Let me also say that I wish I could spend and give and
18:11:42 pay a million dollars a year taxes to Uncle Sam.
18:11:47 I wish I could.
18:11:50 But I'm not in that category.
18:11:52 But I wish I was.
18:11:53 I would give it with pleasure.
18:11:54 I wish I could pay $100,000 on ad valorem tax on my
18:11:59 That means I have one fantastic house.
18:12:04 And ad valorem taxes you should know approximately what
18:12:07 your taxes are going to be.
18:12:08 Let me also say that none of us here are immune to
18:12:12 Just because you are elected, that doesn't mean you
18:12:14 don't pay taxes.
18:12:15 That doesn't mean you don't pay taxes if you have
18:12:18 rental property.
18:12:19 Which I do have rental property.
18:12:21 That doesn't mean that if I have property in Pasco
18:12:24 County and Putnam county that I'm immune from taxes.
18:12:27 I don't have anything to do with Putnam county or Pasco
18:12:30 County, and I pay my taxes willingly, and graciously.
18:12:35 The property has gone up in value, even in today's
18:12:38 If I was to cash out, I have a lot of money.
18:12:41 I wouldn't have a place to live though.
18:12:45 So what I'm saying is, where does Florida rank in the
18:12:48 method of taxation with the 50 other states?
18:12:51 Let's get to specifics P.I don't like being called a
18:12:54 rubber stamp.
18:12:55 I don't take that offense.
18:12:56 I take it for where it comes from.
18:12:59 Let me also say that it is incumbent upon every
18:13:04 property owner.
18:13:05 Problem with today's society is that they are over the
18:13:08 The problem is that when you have a credit card, and
18:13:11 you owe more on the credit card than you have in the
18:13:13 bank, you have got a problem.
18:13:15 I didn't create that problem.
18:13:18 I'm not here to squander taxpayers money.
18:13:21 I'm not here to say that I'm going to charge you for
18:13:24 something you are not going to get. Whatever tax money
18:13:27 this city takes in, it's for improvement of the city,
18:13:32 and any cooperation that's year after year after year,
18:13:37 losses its customer base or doesn't have any more
18:13:41 customers coming in, it's a corporation that's dying.
18:13:45 Those basic math.
18:13:46 Any city that doesn't have improvement is a city that's
18:13:50 It takes $15 million more a year to run this city
18:13:55 without any increases in the electricity, in fuel, and
18:14:01 other values that we need to do, and chemicals, and
18:14:04 things of that nature.
18:14:06 I have worked now with three different administrations,
18:14:10 as another council member has, also, maybe two council
18:14:13 members have, also.
18:14:14 I can tell you that not once, in all my years of
18:14:17 service, along with -- maybe have a different view --
18:14:22 can ever think of a time in those administrations,
18:14:25 including this one, where we had purposely squandered
18:14:30 money on something that was not in the benefit of our
18:14:34 It is true that it's very difficult to low at things.
18:14:37 You go out and you hear, what are you building?
18:14:40 That riverwalk.
18:14:43 He would don't need that.
18:14:44 Maybe we don't need a foyer station either.
18:14:46 Maybe we don't need policemen either.
18:14:48 Maybe he would don't need street repairs either.
18:14:50 You know what?
18:14:51 It takes a composite of things, not only to raise a
18:14:55 child, but to have a livable city.
18:14:59 It takes a riverwalk for those like myself and others
18:15:03 here that want to go out, doesn't cost you a dime to do
18:15:07 that, go out there and walk on it and look around, look
18:15:10 at the Marriott, look at the fresh air.
18:15:14 People like I said move to Florida for two reasons,
18:15:17 summer and Christmas, because that's all we have.
18:15:20 We look at Florida, and we look at this area here, and
18:15:23 you can see the vibrancy.
18:15:25 Well, cities are going down in many states, no batter
18:15:30 how bad the economy is, people are still moving here.
18:15:33 Like nine a day.
18:15:35 So what I'm saying is that these things are necessary
18:15:39 for us to keep up with our demand that is we have as a
18:15:43 Government is a business.
18:15:45 And, you know, I value the committee.
18:15:51 I really do.
18:15:52 That doesn't mean that I am going to vote with them all
18:15:54 the time.
18:15:59 I may vote for them today and may vote for them again
18:16:02 next year.
18:16:03 But I look at things on a broad scope, not on one
18:16:05 report, not on an administration report or on anyone
18:16:10 else's report.
18:16:10 I value my judgment.
18:16:12 And if you don't value your own judgment you shouldn't
18:16:15 be sitting on this side of the dias.
18:16:19 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
18:16:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena.
18:16:25 Okay, councilman Caetano.
18:16:27 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: I think the problem started years
18:16:29 ago when our values escalated immensely, and they
18:16:38 lowered our millage rate.
18:16:39 Our millage rate stayed the same, and yet our values
18:16:43 went up, and every penny that came in got spent.
18:16:46 I know there's a lot of work out there.
18:16:48 I had Mr. Daignault out to part of my district, and he
18:16:53 would got a lot of roadwork.
18:16:54 I was at a homeowners meeting last night.
18:16:57 When are we going to get our roads paved, because the
18:17:00 roads are falling apart.
18:17:02 And I realize we have a lot of things.
18:17:04 We have the other funds where our sewer and water,
18:17:10 Bonnie mentioned, the money that nodes to be spent on
18:17:14 That money doesn't come from the general fund.
18:17:16 It comes from the separate fund for each individual
18:17:22 Am I correct?
18:17:25 Is that right?
18:17:26 The enter provides funds, excuse me.
18:17:28 But I know it's tough to make cuts.
18:17:30 I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
18:17:32 I'm going to wait to hear from the general public.
18:17:37 I know Mr. Dingfelder has a couple of things.
18:17:39 I'm anxious to hear what he has to say.
18:17:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT: All right.
18:17:45 Mr. Smith.
18:17:47 >>> Darrell Smith, chief of staff.
18:17:51 I would like the opportunity for the administration to
18:17:53 provide more comments on the citizens advisory
18:17:55 committee report, in particular the comments regarding
18:17:58 efficiency and the capital program comments.
18:18:01 I would like to ask Steve Daignault to provide council
18:18:03 some feedback on that from the administration's
18:18:06 perspective, and before I turn -- if that's okay.
18:18:10 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, what I would like to do is I
18:18:11 would like to make a comment, then I would like to hear
18:18:14 from the public, and then we can come back to that, at
18:18:19 that particular time.
18:18:20 Personally, I think what should happen, number one, I
18:18:23 think the committee deserves a lot of credit for what
18:18:25 they have done.
18:18:25 I think we all recognize that.
18:18:27 Secondly, the chairman of that committee spoke.
18:18:30 I listened very intently.
18:18:34 We really didn't have enough time and we had some
18:18:36 concerns and issues.
18:18:37 She said that.
18:18:38 And didn't feel comfortable.
18:18:44 Those what she said.
18:18:45 The on the thing is that perhaps if I was Finance
18:18:49 Committee and chair I probably would take the
18:18:52 recommendation, bring it back for a workshop, take a
18:18:54 low at it and also get with the city attorney and see
18:18:56 what you can do and what you can't do because you have
18:18:58 to operate within the parameter of the charter.
18:19:00 There are some things you can do and some things you
18:19:03 cannot do.
18:19:03 The last thing I will say, and I need to be very
18:19:06 enclosure on this, with all due respect to Ms. Wise,
18:19:10 the mayor and all, you have done an outstanding job.
18:19:14 At then of the Dave we operate by the charter and the
18:19:16 charter says the mayor presents a budget to this
18:19:19 Once the mayor presents a budget to this council, it's
18:19:22 our pleasure -- now you can change the budget, but it's
18:19:25 going don't mean the mayor has to spend it.
18:19:28 Is that right, Mr. Fletcher?
18:19:30 That's a fact.
18:19:35 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Yes, Mr. Chairman, you're correct.
18:19:37 >> I just want to be clear.
18:19:39 I heard what Ms. Wise said.
18:19:41 I heard what Mr. Smith said.
18:19:43 I understand the job.
18:19:44 But at the end of the day he would operate under the
18:19:46 charter, and this is our budget.
18:19:49 You can move it around.
18:19:49 You can change things.
18:19:51 And you can say, okay, go over here.
18:19:53 But the mayor does not have to spend that money even
18:19:55 though you moved it.
18:19:58 >>MARY MULHERN: Wait, can I respond to that?
18:20:00 >> Well, let him finish.
18:20:02 >>> One clarification.
18:20:04 Ms. Wise emphasized that the specific reserve
18:20:07 requirement is really unique to the location and
18:20:12 municipality that you are doling with here.
18:20:16 We certainly have significant liability from storms.
18:20:20 We have a liability from the property insurance as he
18:20:22 would discussed.
18:20:24 And it is the a managers' very strong recommendation
18:20:28 that a minimum of 15% reserves and a desire of 20%
18:20:33 reserves is the best recommendation that we can make.
18:20:35 Thank you.
18:20:35 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
18:20:37 And I am not advocating, let me be enclosure, I am not
18:20:40 advocating that we reduce the millage.
18:20:42 It's not my position.
18:20:43 I'm just saying, so you understand your authority under
18:20:47 the charter.
18:20:47 >>MARY MULHERN: I understand that.
18:20:49 I'm talking about tonight.
18:20:50 And I think that tonight, what before us to decide is
18:20:58 to -- I mean, yeah, we can have a workshop.
18:21:04 It won't help us vote on anything tonight.
18:21:06 So I was just stressing that I think the big question
18:21:09 before us is the millage question.
18:21:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I was thinking about as you low toward
18:21:14 the future.
18:21:15 That's what I was thinking about.
18:21:16 You take this information, you want to look to the
18:21:19 future as you work on the budget.
18:21:20 You can do that.
18:21:21 >>MARY MULHERN: The other thing I want to point out is
18:21:25 that the committee and I only got the information he
18:21:32 would were trying to get about this fund balance, which
18:21:34 is what recommendation is based on.
18:21:37 It's not based on making any cuts.
18:21:40 It's based on reducing the amount that's in the
18:21:43 unreserved fund balance.
18:21:45 And as far as we knew from all the document we got
18:21:50 until yesterday, and from their meeting, and requests
18:21:53 from staff, they didn't know what else was in that fund
18:22:00 But Bonnie Wise told us that tonight.
18:22:02 And she told me and the committee that yesterday.
18:22:04 So as far as they knew, the fund balance was 387
18:22:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Right.
18:22:12 And --
18:22:13 >>MARY MULHERN: We need the information earlier.
18:22:15 It's not just the committee needs more time.
18:22:17 We need more time.
18:22:17 >>THOMAS SCOTT: And I hear what you're saying.
18:22:20 Here again, Ms. Wise, I have a lot of confidence.
18:22:24 I think you work hard.
18:22:25 The staff works hard.
18:22:26 I think this mayor works hard.
18:22:27 And I appreciate that.
18:22:28 And I think the advisory works hard.
18:22:33 But I think as the chairman of the -- the committee
18:22:36 recommend a 5% reduction with only about 7 million in
18:22:40 I don't think you would recommend that to this board
18:22:43 not knowing that.
18:22:44 That would provide an un healthy situation.
18:22:48 Okay, let's hear from the public.
18:22:51 >> They did know that as of yesterday, just to
18:22:54 enclosure that up.
18:22:56 >>> Terry kneel, 4703 east overhills drive in Tampa.
18:23:00 I appreciate it.
18:23:01 I have another meeting to go to.
18:23:06 When the tough gets going -- or going gets tough the
18:23:10 tough get going.
18:23:11 You know, I'm president of my civic association but
18:23:13 nobody came to talk to me.
18:23:15 Nobody came to my neighborhood and talked to our
18:23:18 So I don't know who the administration is talking to,
18:23:22 but the committee didn't come and talk to us either.
18:23:24 And he would passed a comprehensive plan, just
18:23:27 recently, since the DCA, and than DCA plan says we are
18:23:32 supposed to be working with the neighborhoods, and the
18:23:34 people, and nobody is talking to us.
18:23:36 And quite frankly, I think the committee is wonderful.
18:23:40 But I don't think three weeks is long enough to make
18:23:42 any recommendations about anything.
18:23:43 And I totally agree with you that you need the
18:23:45 information earlier.
18:23:48 And I would love to sit on that committee because I
18:23:50 think I can contribute some things, and I think it
18:23:52 should be an open process, and an application process.
18:23:55 But I would love to so a 5% millage reduction, but I
18:23:59 think we have to do the due diligence first before we
18:24:02 ever do that.
18:24:03 Now let me say something first of all.
18:24:05 When it comes to neighborhoods -- because I don't have
18:24:07 much time -- when we look at the capital improvement
18:24:10 projects, and I do appreciate this administration what
18:24:12 they have done for capital improvement projects, and
18:24:15 they have increased in numbers, and building 40th
18:24:18 Street, and you guys have supported that, and I am so
18:24:22 But when you look at it, and you think 5% millage
18:24:26 reduction, and then you see the signage has been
18:24:28 reduced 26% and we are only spending $675,000 on
18:24:33 signage, we just built the new Sylvia Rodriguez
18:24:38 Kimball, I think that's correct, elementary school at
18:24:41 46th, and when can't get a four-way stop at that
18:24:44 intersection for those children who are walking to
18:24:47 He would can't get signs there.
18:24:49 We need new signs on all of our streets, and we are
18:24:54 reducing it by 26%.
18:24:55 We are only spending $847,000 on traffic calming, and
18:24:59 yet that's a 3% increase.
18:25:01 I guess my point is, I would suggest maybe a
18:25:06 transportation CRA, temporary two-year thing that goes
18:25:10 around on each neighborhood, invest that per capita,
18:25:15 neighborhood resident, into that neighborhood, you
18:25:18 traffic calming signage and move it around to a
18:25:21 different part of the city.
18:25:22 Just a suggestion.
18:25:23 We have to do something.
18:25:23 A comprehensive plan with a concept.
18:25:26 We have to get some plans into motion now to make it
18:25:30 So thank you very much.
18:25:31 My time is up.
18:25:32 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
18:25:37 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Where do you want that four-way
18:25:39 >>> Right at 46th.
18:25:41 The principal one.
18:25:43 >>> Spencer Kass, the president of Virginia park.
18:25:47 I did serve on the committee.
18:25:48 I want to thank everyone who served on that committee.
18:25:50 They really did a tremendous amount of work.
18:25:52 I want to thank City Council for creating the
18:25:54 I do want to thank the staff, the staff who did attend
18:25:58 the meetings.
18:25:58 They went out of their way to try to continue, those
18:26:01 people who did attend the meetings and help out.
18:26:05 And I want to thank them.
18:26:06 I come to this from a different point of view.
18:26:09 You have seen this before.
18:26:10 You can put it up on the Elmo, I would appreciate it.
18:26:12 What you are seeing is the foreclosure map.
18:26:16 I brought it down here before.
18:26:17 What you see is, people are suffering.
18:26:19 And Mr. Miranda is completely right.
18:26:21 Some of this might be these people's own future.
18:26:24 They overextended themselves, they did the wrong
18:26:27 But you know what?
18:26:28 They are where they are and they are our friends and
18:26:30 neighbors and sons and daughters.
18:26:32 And the question becomes, do we help them now or do we
18:26:35 wash our hands of them of? We can say, oh, you did the
18:26:38 wrong thing, you didn't invest wisely, you went in at
18:26:40 the top of the market.
18:26:41 And that sucks for you.
18:26:43 And, you know, that's one approach we can take.
18:26:46 The other approach -- and I'll be honest with you,
18:26:48 instead of a 5% reduction I want add larger millage
18:26:52 I started at 15.
18:26:53 I went down to 10.
18:26:54 By the time I was done I was down to 5.
18:26:56 The reason I went through all of that is because I see
18:26:58 the suffering on a day-to-day basis of my friends and
18:27:01 neighbors and the small businesses that are shutting
18:27:03 down and trying to make ends meet and the increases in
18:27:06 the TECO bills, and it concerns me greatly.
18:27:08 Now, we do have the capital improvement money to spend,
18:27:11 and the question is, how do we spend that money?
18:27:14 Are we spending it wisely to bring down operating costs
18:27:17 on a day-to-day basis? Let me put up something in this
18:27:24 What they make is replacement light bulbs.
18:27:27 And they are replacing light bulbs.
18:27:34 They are environmentally friendly.
18:27:35 What you see at the bottom is a five year savings on an
18:27:38 investment, $427,000.
18:27:40 It's a pretty good rate of return.
18:27:42 A three-you're payback.
18:27:46 And the question is, you're right, should we spend the
18:27:48 money on drawing up plans for the riverwalk?
18:27:50 Should we spend it on this?
18:27:52 Perhaps this brings down -- lowers our cost of
18:27:54 operations, makes it easier on the citizens, can bring
18:27:57 the millage rate down.
18:27:58 As for the millage rates cuts we have had, the
18:28:01 important thing to understand is the largest of those
18:28:03 two millage rates, the 10%, came from a state mandate.
18:28:07 You were mandated by the state.
18:28:09 Nude choice.
18:28:10 Council size, oh, we have a lot of money coming this
18:28:12 year, we are going to cut our millage rate.
18:28:14 They told you, you are going to cut your millage rate
18:28:16 and that's that and you didn't have a choice to do it
18:28:19 or you were going to face the consequences.
18:28:21 So it isn't something council said, oh, we have a lot
18:28:23 of money, we are going to voluntarily do it.
18:28:26 I am asking this year you volunteer to help out these
18:28:28 people who are suffering.
18:28:29 Thank you.
18:28:30 And I apologize.
18:28:30 I have to run to the city mayor's meeting.
18:28:34 >> Can I ask you a question?
18:28:35 How much of those fluorescent bulbs?
18:28:38 Do you know what they cost?
18:28:39 >>> Yeah.
18:28:40 They are $57 per bulb which are expensive, but with the
18:28:47 savings you have in electricity and the savings you
18:28:50 have in replacement time it still works out to a two
18:28:53 and a half year payback.
18:28:54 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilman Miranda.
18:28:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me first of all -- thank you.
18:29:00 I'm saving about 35 to 40% of my electric bill and I
18:29:04 have got to do something next year because it's going
18:29:06 up by 31% so I hear.
18:29:08 So let me answer the question on financing.
18:29:11 And I'm not a guru in finance.
18:29:12 I did run an operation for James talcot from New York,
18:29:19 a big company, and handled the mobile home.
18:29:22 When Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is responsible for
18:29:26 about 50% of all loans, and we have got to take them
18:29:31 over, we got a problem.
18:29:34 And the problem is not in this room.
18:29:38 Problem is all those individuals that made these loans
18:29:40 without justification, without a certain amount
18:29:42 reserve -- in other words, meaning that if you didn't
18:29:45 have a 25 or 30% for your buying of property, maybe you
18:29:52 should have never bought the property.
18:29:53 But we lived in a voluminous world where everything ran
18:29:58 good until something hit the fan.
18:29:59 You know what that was.
18:30:01 So what I am saying is this.
18:30:03 The way we are taking over Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac,
18:30:08 and this is just an opinion of one, is not the right
18:30:10 way of doing this.
18:30:11 A lot of poem made a lot of money in flipping.
18:30:14 You buy a house for 100, 150, you hold it for six
18:30:17 months, you sell it for two or 250.
18:30:20 And that went on for about six, seven, eight years.
18:30:22 The problem is, when they bought it for 400, thinking
18:30:26 they can get 500 in six months, now the house is worth
18:30:31 So now they are losing 100,000 and they are walking
18:30:36 If those people really wanted to stay in, and the
18:30:38 government had any sense at all, they would too that
18:30:42 same individual, leave that individual in the house,
18:30:46 set aside that 100 that you or 150,000 that the house
18:30:50 is devalued, put them in another mortgage rate, leave
18:30:53 them in the home, and at the end of that contract, for
18:30:57 20 or 30 years, then add back that 100,000 and start
18:31:01 the interest at that time.
18:31:03 We are playing with the public's money, taking
18:31:05 advantage with the public's money.
18:31:07 The public is losing their money for something that
18:31:10 some corporations did, and that's wrong.
18:31:13 But if they do it this way, they won't lose any money.
18:31:18 In the long-term.
18:31:19 They'll get their interest rate on a big portion of it
18:31:23 what it should have been in the beginning, not inflated
18:31:25 every six month, not changing.
18:31:28 They got a lot of young people saying oh, they are
18:31:31 going to get this 500 that you house with 10% down and
18:31:34 payments of 100 a month for the first five years.
18:31:38 After that, TIF payment went to $3,000 a month.
18:31:41 Now they couldn't make it.
18:31:42 That's what happened in the mortgage industry to some
18:31:45 So what I'm saying is we could solve this problem in
18:31:48 housing and do it a little differently.
18:31:51 I'm not opposed to helping Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
18:31:55 I'm opposed to doing it the way they are doing it.
18:31:57 And 40% of all the revenues that we pay in ad valorem
18:32:01 taxes, I don't have any kids in school.
18:32:03 But I would rather build schools with teachers than
18:32:08 build a jail.
18:32:09 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
18:32:10 >>MARY MULHERN: I just wanted to hear from the public.
18:32:14 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes, okay.
18:32:17 >>> Thank you.
18:32:20 Council and fellow citizens.
18:32:22 My name is Carl Kroy, retired lieutenant commander in
18:32:28 the United States Navy.
18:32:30 I currently teach for these last eight years at
18:32:35 international university.
18:32:36 I teach business management, have a masters of science
18:32:40 in management.
18:32:46 I purchased a home in Tampa on Davis Island.
18:32:51 I bought this home in a semi blighted area in the hopes
18:32:55 that I could help bring that area back, and I see a
18:33:01 great and bright future for it, or I did.
18:33:04 I do not -- I keep -- my bank is there.
18:33:10 Are you flipping homes?
18:33:17 no, I'm stupid.
18:33:17 I bought my home in Palmetto Beach as an investment
18:33:23 I put $30,000 which I did myself mostly.
18:33:28 And my question is that I just received my tax notice,
18:33:37 and my taxes were up 500%.
18:33:44 I have the figures here.
18:33:47 Just in city taxes, which follows the same thing,
18:33:51 municipal taxes, last year's tax was $139.40.
18:33:57 I'm scheduled to pay 1,159.73.
18:34:06 For this year.
18:34:08 My entire tax bill last year was total tax 769.50.
18:34:17 My tax projected is 4,401.
18:34:23 Now I understand.
18:34:25 Some of it.
18:34:28 I am not homesteading it.
18:34:30 And it's a rental property.
18:34:32 But I keep it up.
18:34:33 I have added to the environment.
18:34:36 You can look at the house.
18:34:38 It is 100% better.
18:34:40 However, what we're seeing here is a microcosm of
18:34:46 what's happening here
18:34:53 I teach a management program.
18:34:55 Entrepreneurs, you are killing us.
18:34:58 You think we have a lot of foreclosures now?
18:35:04 When poem get their tax bills, 500% increase.
18:35:08 You are going to so poem walking -- not walking,
18:35:11 running out.
18:35:13 You are going to see beautiful homes with grass growing
18:35:17 up the sides.
18:35:24 This beautiful home under construction, not a worker in
18:35:29 there for at lowest seven months and grass everywhere.
18:35:33 It's an eyesore.
18:35:34 You are going to see a lot.
18:35:38 And I have no political aspirations.
18:35:41 I'm not a political advocate.
18:35:45 I was a member of the Orange County Republican
18:35:47 Executive Committee for five years.
18:35:49 My wife was a legislative aide for two legislators.
18:35:53 And I was a contract for the Republican party of
18:36:01 I know what a grass roots campaign is.
18:36:05 >>THOMAS SCOTT: You need to wrap it up.
18:36:06 >>> All right.
18:36:07 I would like to see questions about why I'm paying 500%
18:36:12 of last year's --
18:36:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, sir, I think one of the things
18:36:22 that you probably understand, that this board does
18:36:24 not -- is not the property appraiser.
18:36:27 Your property is appraised by the property appraiser.
18:36:29 >>> I have been there.
18:36:30 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes, okay.
18:36:32 So that's more than likely what happened because you
18:36:34 made the improvement, he valued your property --
18:36:40 >>> The value of the property went down.
18:36:44 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Check your trim notice.
18:36:49 >>MARY MULHERN: I understand what you are saying
18:36:50 because it people like this gentleman who own property
18:36:53 that's not homesteaded who have small businesses, and
18:36:55 my question for you is, have you had to raise the rent
18:36:59 for all the tenants you have?
18:37:02 >>> I can't -- I can't raise the rent.
18:37:04 >>THOMAS SCOTT: You need to come to the mike.
18:37:06 >>> Oh, I'm sorry.
18:37:08 No, ma'am.
18:37:09 I am losing roughly $500 a month on the tenants that I
18:37:14 They are good tenants.
18:37:15 And they can't afford another dime.
18:37:17 And I'm not going to throw them out on the street.
18:37:19 I can afford it more than they.
18:37:21 So that's happening everywhere.
18:37:24 I have four rental properties, and the same thing is
18:37:28 People can't afford the rents.
18:37:32 >>MARY MULHERN: Yeah, but the --
18:37:34 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Your trim notice, do you have a
18:37:37 copy of your trim notice?
18:37:39 >>> Yes, sir.
18:37:41 >>MARTIN SHELBY: If you hand to the me I'll make a copy
18:37:42 of it for council.
18:37:45 You don't mind doing that?
18:37:46 >>> I don't mind at all.
18:37:47 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Thank you.
18:37:48 >>MARY MULHERN: I would also like to say that I live in
18:37:53 a very stable neighborhood, and we have one house, and
18:37:55 it's homesteaded, and our property tax went up, even
18:37:58 with the millage reduction, because of those inflated
18:38:03 We are still dealing with it.
18:38:04 This year is hopefully the last year that people's
18:38:08 property is going to be appraised at that inflated
18:38:12 That was part of that bubble.
18:38:13 So that's why I think this year is a little different.
18:38:16 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Fletcher.
18:38:19 Okay, Mr. Fletcher.
18:38:20 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
18:38:22 Chip Fletcher, city attorney.
18:38:23 I just would want to offer the gentleman, if we could
18:38:28 talk with him, go over the trim notice.
18:38:30 I have a hard time understanding how that would happen
18:38:33 without an error occurring.
18:38:36 We are thinking through the different ways that the
18:38:38 property taxes could change between the provider owner
18:38:40 and this owner.
18:38:40 I don't think that's something we can resolve here doo,
18:38:44 but I would offer to work with him and Mr. Stefan to
18:38:47 figure out what is going on with that particular bill.
18:38:51 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
18:38:52 Anyone else from the public?
18:38:53 Anyone else from the public?
18:38:55 >>> Thank you all very much.
18:38:56 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Anyone else from the public?
18:39:04 I told Mr. Smith there would be an opportunity by the
18:39:09 public and then Mr. Dingfelder.
18:39:10 Mr. Smith?
18:39:11 >>STEVE DAIGNAULT: Public works and utility services,
18:39:17 council and chairman.
18:39:18 Thank you for this opportunity.
18:39:19 I just want ton address a couple of items from the
18:39:22 board, and just for you and for the public so that they
18:39:26 get the rest of the picture or some picture.
18:39:29 First let me say that I did meet with this committee,
18:39:31 and I know that they are trying to do as good a job as
18:39:34 they could possibly do in three weeks was certainly not
18:39:36 enough time for them, but again I knew they were trying
18:39:40 to do a job for you.
18:39:43 Just a couple of things.
18:39:46 On the capital side -- and you all heard me talk to you
18:39:49 before about these things.
18:39:51 Most of this stuff is in the enterprise area.
18:39:54 You are aware that we had the MFL projects that we had
18:40:00 to fund that's a result of regulatory conditions.
18:40:02 We have reclaimed existing and new.
18:40:06 We have water pipe repairs just from the existing pipes
18:40:09 that we have.
18:40:10 We also have the CEAC project which is to bring new
18:40:14 paper into the areas because of growth.
18:40:15 And now that that's being paid for by development as it
18:40:19 occurs, and so it does show in the budget, but it's not
18:40:24 tax dollars that's doing that.
18:40:26 Then we have the wastewater project, the 12th Street
18:40:29 force main and that's $20 million just for that project
18:40:35 We have completed a number of projects, energy
18:40:40 efficiency projects on city buildings, and in fact we
18:40:43 have seen in many cases that the -- that the usage of
18:40:48 electricity has gone down even though our costs
18:40:50 continue to go up.
18:40:51 There's two parts to the electric bill, usage number,
18:40:56 and then you have a foul charge, and as fuel charges
18:40:59 have gone up, costs have gone up so, has your foul
18:41:01 charge and so has our fuel charge.
18:41:04 You also know that as we move forward, all new
18:41:07 construction for city facilities will be LEED
18:41:11 certified, lead silver certified, which includes energy
18:41:14 as well as environment leadership.
18:41:18 We have this year established a goal of having vehicles
18:41:22 that he would boy for the city.
18:41:26 Again ifs a goal.
18:41:27 We have reduced the number of vehicles we are buying
18:41:30 for 08 from 180 down to 34.
18:41:37 We are buying E-10 ethanol, that's the type of fuel
18:41:41 that we are buying.
18:41:42 We are also pursuing bio diesel.
18:41:46 We do have a five-you're plan for all of our
18:41:50 infrastructure, utilities, wastewater, water.
18:41:56 We update you on a regular base us but do represent the
18:41:59 five-year plan in the budget, in the five-year
18:42:01 expenditures, anticipated for each that are represented
18:42:07 in the capital improvement plan.
18:42:08 And again just want you to know that we are looking out
18:42:11 into the future.
18:42:12 I mean, we are constantly looking at what our needs are
18:42:15 going to be.
18:42:17 And that is part of the reason why we have gotten this
18:42:23 contract put together.
18:42:26 It's kind of like I said the perfect storm.
18:42:28 We knew we had to do the MFLs.
18:42:33 We knew we had to replace the stormwater project --
18:42:36 excuse me, the wastewater project.
18:42:38 So, again, this is the, we think, the best way that we
18:42:41 can deal with this multiple number of utility projects
18:42:44 going on.
18:42:46 So thank you.
18:42:48 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
18:42:50 Thank you again.
18:42:51 Thank you again Ms. Wise.
18:42:53 Really, now, I just can't say enough how -- I went
18:43:03 through the budget book and looked at even the
18:43:06 I was very pleased to see what was there, and also the
18:43:09 2 million for the Tampa Theatre, you know, those items.
18:43:13 And let them know that you all really work hard, and we
18:43:16 have a balanced budget, and again I just want to
18:43:20 commend you.
18:43:22 I'm sorry, councilman Dingfelder.
18:43:24 I promised him.
18:43:25 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: A couple of things.
18:43:29 Thanks for sharing your trim notice.
18:43:32 The bottom line on his trim notice that is taxable
18:43:37 value has increased from 49,000 with the homestead
18:43:42 exemption last year for the provider person to 200,000
18:43:46 without it, which is, you know, I'm not going to pick
18:43:49 on the property appraiser because he's operating under
18:43:51 state law, but the bottom line is that's what that's
18:43:55 Let's get back to our issues.
18:43:59 Rubber stamp.
18:44:00 I couldn't let that one pass by.
18:44:03 I'd like to take -- I would like to take a vote of all
18:44:08 the staff members here including Daignault, Paul,
18:44:12 Walter, Miller, PRADO, Mr. Smith, of course, and see if
18:44:17 anybody thinks this council member is a rubber stamp.
18:44:19 Apparently not.
18:44:24 I wanted to mention Mr. Caetano, you mention board of
18:44:26 director repaving roads.
18:44:28 When I first came on council I got the same calls, he
18:44:30 would all get the same calls, when are you going to
18:44:32 repave our road?
18:44:33 Apparently, the statistic I was given a few years ago
18:44:37 is we pave our roads at the rate of 2% a year.
18:44:40 So you take all the mileage around the city.
18:44:44 We get a 2% a year, which equates to the fact that once
18:44:48 every 50 years, we come back to the same piece of road.
18:44:53 It's a sad fact.
18:44:54 And I don't know if we haven't been able to focus on
18:45:03 Mary, I think the committee came up with some other
18:45:06 good recommendations association groan stuff and some
18:45:09 other things.
18:45:10 At some point, maybe now or maybe next meeting, or
18:45:13 there's no urgency, but I think we can put a resolution
18:45:16 together that urges the administration to discuss the
18:45:25 You not overstepping our bounds in the charter by just
18:45:27 urging the administration, as Mr. Daignault just
18:45:30 indicated we are doing a lot of these.
18:45:33 We can always do better.
18:45:34 I think that's one way to skin the cat.
18:45:39 Another issue that seems to crop up year after year,
18:45:42 there's never enough time.
18:45:44 And I think we could address that.
18:45:47 I don't know if it's too late.
18:45:49 And I wish I had thought about it three months ago.
18:45:53 But I'd like to suggest that he would talk about
18:46:01 possible additional charter amendment that would back
18:46:03 up that date an additional 30 days.
18:46:07 Jim and Bonnie are going to moan and groan and
18:46:10 everything else, but really shift everything back 30
18:46:14 days, and just their process got shifted back or maybe
18:46:20 their summers wouldn't be so miserable, and that sort
18:46:22 of thing.
18:46:23 But I think that that was not only council but the
18:46:27 community and the committee and anybody else who is
18:46:29 looking at these issues could have additional time.
18:46:33 So at some point in time, probably at the end of the
18:46:36 meeting tonight, I'll make that motion to see if we can
18:46:39 get our legal counsel to explore the possibility of
18:46:44 perhaps putting that on the November ballot to back up
18:46:48 that date 30 days.
18:46:49 I don't know what the date is now.
18:46:51 >>MARY MULHERN: I think it's too late.
18:46:52 You can't get anything on the ballot this year.
18:46:54 It has to be two yourself.
18:46:56 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Well, part of the deadline related
18:46:59 to sending things up to Washington, D.C., but this is
18:47:01 not, you know, this couldn't possibly be an issue that
18:47:04 you they would care about.
18:47:08 >>> I would be happy to look into it for you but my
18:47:11 understanding is we barely made the deadline with the
18:47:13 other charter changes, and that the supervisor of
18:47:16 elections office is still far into the process of
18:47:18 developing a ballot, and I'm fairly confident that we
18:47:23 passed that date for this election cycle.
18:47:27 >>MARY MULHERN: We could do it for 2010.
18:47:29 >>> It would be appropriate for 2010.
18:47:31 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: All right.
18:47:32 And then getting down to the two issues that I wanted
18:47:34 to address -- and this goes back a few months.
18:47:40 First thing is, in our green ordinance, which we
18:47:43 adopted several months ago, we sort of left a blank.
18:47:47 And I'll read it to you to remind you.
18:47:49 It says, as of October 1st, 2008, a process will be
18:47:52 instituted by the city for providing a grant which will
18:47:55 provide a partial rebate of permit fees, if funds
18:47:59 remain available through the budget process on a yearly
18:48:02 And as you mitt recall, what we did was we said that,
18:48:06 you know, if -- we were trying to create an incentive
18:48:09 program for groan building.
18:48:11 And we had a little bit of discussion, a little bit of
18:48:14 debate with the administration about rebates to
18:48:19 commercial and residential developers who build green.
18:48:23 So we got the ordinance in place, but we haven't funded
18:48:27 And so what I would suggest is that he would start off
18:48:29 very modestly, and he would create a fund of $50,000
18:48:35 for fiscal year -- this coming fiscal year 08-09 to
18:48:41 fund the -- and to really create a meaningful incentive
18:48:45 for the groan program.
18:48:46 Otherwise, we created a green ordinance.
18:48:50 But we have no incentive.
18:48:51 Therefore it's rather an empty ordinance.
18:48:53 So that is going to be one suggestion I'll make.
18:48:56 And then the other suggestion -- and Mary, this really
18:49:01 goes to a lot of what you have been stressing as budget
18:49:05 chair -- is that if we are going to be serious about
18:49:08 the budget analyst, then we need to fund that in this
18:49:11 budget tonight.
18:49:17 It is in there?
18:49:19 >> It's always been there.
18:49:20 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: No, it's in the charter.
18:49:23 Well, how much?
18:49:28 >>BONNIE WISE: We did add a position in the City
18:49:30 Council budget for a budget analyst, one or two.
18:49:34 We put it in pursuant to your previous --
18:49:37 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Okay, good.
18:49:38 Then I only have that one motion.
18:49:40 And I appreciate that.
18:49:41 I didn't pick up on that.
18:49:42 So, anyway, I would like to make a motion, I think it's
18:49:45 a very modest motion, but it's in support of the groan
18:49:48 ordinance that we all passed, I believe unanimously,
18:49:51 several months back, that when fund it to the tune of
18:49:55 And I believe we can pick that up out of
18:49:59 nondepartmental reserves, which is -- it's already a $2
18:50:04 million fund and all we have to do is reduce it by
18:50:07 $50,000 to the year.
18:50:09 >>MARY MULHERN: How does that work in the ordinance?
18:50:11 >>> What ordinance?
18:50:13 >>MARY MULHERN: How do you award that in the ordinance?
18:50:18 >>> Oh, I can just pass it down.
18:50:21 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena, Councilwoman
18:50:27 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I want to begin by thanking the
18:50:29 budget committee, and apologizing to them that we as
18:50:33 council didn't get around to recognizing and forming
18:50:38 the committee until after we had been briefed by staff,
18:50:42 worked with staff on the budget.
18:50:43 And I think they have done an amazing amount of work in
18:50:45 a short time.
18:50:46 But what he would should do, I think, is first of all
18:50:50 do what Mr. Neal suggested and advertise.
18:50:51 He would just picked people who we all respect.
18:50:54 But it might be helpful for people he would don't know
18:50:57 who have a lot of great credentials to be able to
18:51:00 president their names out there and for us to give them
18:51:02 plenty of lead time so they are able to ooh tend these
18:51:04 meetings with us as council as we ask questions, as the
18:51:07 budget is put together.
18:51:09 Really, it's more like in the spring when we are
18:51:11 getting a sense of woo the revenues are going to be and
18:51:13 what the challenges are going to be, because the more
18:51:16 information and the more lead time they have, the more
18:51:19 valuable their input would be.
18:51:21 I chair the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee and
18:51:24 I am keenly aware of how the budget shortfall for this
18:51:27 last year has impacted parks, recreation, culture.
18:51:32 We have less money, more maintenance responsibilities,
18:51:38 higher costs for personal foul and all the machines we
18:51:43 need to do to T job, and it is a real challenge.
18:51:47 We wisely, I think, invested in additional park
18:51:50 facilities which is great.
18:51:51 I think Mr. Miranda said it's better to go to
18:51:54 facilities that kids use for schools but certainly
18:51:57 recreational facilities than jails.
18:51:59 I think that is exactly the right way to spend money.
18:52:01 But then you have to staff them.
18:52:03 We want to keep them open.
18:52:04 We want to copy them open as long as possible to help
18:52:07 the parents who are trying to work two or three jobs to
18:52:10 be able to pay their mortgages.
18:52:11 I men, it's all interconnected and it's all downstream,
18:52:15 and I think we are being responsible as a city by
18:52:18 trying to provide as many positive opportunities for
18:52:21 our citizens as possible.
18:52:23 And the reason that I personally won't be able to
18:52:25 support the proposed rollback is that I believe that
18:52:28 the money is better spent providing the services we can
18:52:34 like recreational services, so that the parents can
18:52:38 afford the additional job and pay their mortgage.
18:52:42 These are tough times.
18:52:43 These are tough choices.
18:52:44 And I very much respect and appreciate the work of the
18:52:47 But I just feel like our staff has worked so hard to
18:52:51 keep up the quality of services that we have with
18:52:54 reduced resources, and to cut it by any more is to
18:52:59 painful to contemplate.
18:53:00 >>MARY MULHERN: I just want to point out that the
18:53:03 committee didn't recommend cutting anything.
18:53:05 They recommended funding this through the reserve.
18:53:10 >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Chairman?
18:53:14 I too would like to thank the committee.
18:53:16 I know they gave of their time, hard work, and, you
18:53:19 know, everybody don't give of their time to work on a
18:53:22 budget, that's because they are appointed and I really
18:53:25 appreciate them doing that.
18:53:26 They had some good recommendations but, now, at this
18:53:29 time, I think we could go along with the recommendation
18:53:32 of the administration.
18:53:34 We can't put our citizens into a debt process.
18:53:38 We are trying to help make this a better town for the
18:53:42 When you say rubber stamp, does that mean that you use
18:53:45 your own judgment, you use common sense, or what you do
18:53:48 what's right for the people?
18:53:50 If that's what it is, then that's why I'm up here to
18:53:52 make the right decision for the community and to use my
18:53:56 common judgment and my common sense to make things
18:53:58 right for the citizens.
18:54:00 And I know that we need the budget committee.
18:54:06 I know they want to work again.
18:54:07 But Mrs. Saul-Sena made a suggestion that we go out,
18:54:11 get applications, and they'll have more time then to
18:54:13 work on the budget and work with the administration.
18:54:15 But this time they didn't work with the administration.
18:54:17 They sat there and came up with their recommendation.
18:54:20 Then they presented to the administration.
18:54:22 And they need to get a good understanding from what the
18:54:27 budget analysis, whatever, who Bonnie Wise is, and let
18:54:33 her explain to them what it is they need to know more
18:54:35 about what the budget is about, because they had such a
18:54:38 short time they didn't get that opportunity.
18:54:40 But I still would like to thank them for putting in
18:54:42 that time and working hard with their committee.
18:54:46 So at this time I cannot go with the recommendation,
18:54:48 but I really appreciate them having them, and I know
18:54:51 next time we will be able to accept whatever comes from
18:54:54 that committee.
18:54:57 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilman Miranda.
18:54:59 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
18:55:01 I, like the two previous speakers, Ms. Saul-Sena and
18:55:05 Ms. Miller, feel that what happened in the City of
18:55:10 Tampa was the town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
18:55:15 How much reserve would you have today?
18:55:17 And that's inland.
18:55:18 That's not on the water.
18:55:19 I'll tell you how much you would have.
18:55:20 You would have none.
18:55:21 Because there's people out there that won't have
18:55:24 electricity for the next week or ten days.
18:55:26 There's buildings that need repair, city service that
18:55:30 is need to be redone and refigured, and there's a lost
18:55:36 work that happens when you have a catastrophe.
18:55:39 And this is what that reserve is for.
18:55:41 When you look at the sales tax reduction, not only from
18:55:43 the city, but for the State of Florida, is 1.5 billion
18:55:49 dollars that this government, the state, is going to
18:55:50 have to dip into the rain I day fund and take $760
18:55:57 million or something to that amount to meet half of
18:56:00 that responsibility.
18:56:00 We do not have any other taxes other than the ones that
18:56:06 were spoken about here today.
18:56:07 This state has been privileged not to have any income
18:56:12 That's good.
18:56:13 And that's bad.
18:56:15 Because there's also no growth, it's also stagnant
18:56:19 based only on the revenues that are there, to put a
18:56:24 And if you create an additional sales tax, it just
18:56:27 disseminates and falls on the shoulder of those who
18:56:29 can't pay any more tax.
18:56:33 People that work with three, four, five hundred dollars
18:56:37 a week and have kids and tray to raise a family and you
18:56:40 are going to tax them a penny or two more in sales tax,
18:56:43 that's a regressive taxation because those people pay
18:56:46 more than a lot of us do, and that's wrong.
18:56:48 It makes it a harder burden on them.
18:56:51 So what I'm saying is that this is not perfect.
18:56:54 I want to compliment the committee.
18:56:57 I don't know most of the members.
18:56:58 Some of them I do.
18:56:59 Some I don't.
18:57:00 But I'll tell you this.
18:57:01 I think they did an outstanding job in three weeks to
18:57:04 get the way the government functions to put a report as
18:57:07 detailed as this, to work diligently, seven, eight,
18:57:11 nine times they met and create this.
18:57:14 However, I feel that if the person that I asked to
18:57:18 serve in this committee is willing to serve next year,
18:57:20 that person has got my support today.
18:57:23 And I'm sure some council members feel the same way.
18:57:26 I'm an individual that when I appoint somebody to a
18:57:29 committee, I have never talked to that person other
18:57:32 than today about this program and this presentation
18:57:37 that was made.
18:57:38 That's the way I deal.
18:57:39 I put individuals there that I believe that have more
18:57:43 knowledge than a lot of -- a lot of us and that are
18:57:46 willing to give their time for their city, for their
18:57:48 community, to have the better place, not only for them,
18:57:51 for their families, but for the neighbors and for their
18:57:53 own neighborhoods in the city in total.
18:57:57 So I'm very pleased.
18:58:00 I add mayor the knowledge that Mr. Anderson has in
18:58:03 making this presentation.
18:58:04 I can tell by the words that he uses that he's a true
18:58:08 financial expert, and he knows financing.
18:58:10 And I think that if he's on the committee next year, he
18:58:13 will be a much more valuable toll because he can see
18:58:16 the process come around for months, and hopefully, that
18:58:21 we can change to put it on the ballot for 2010.
18:58:24 That would be enough said I think for all of us to do.
18:58:27 Mr. Chairman, thank you.
18:58:28 I will not be supporting that statement if it comes
18:58:31 I will be supporting the statements of my three other
18:58:34 colleagues, I think, that have spoken.
18:58:37 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
18:58:39 One last thing, Mr. Smith.
18:58:41 Mr. Darrell Smith.
18:58:47 I don't have last year's numbers, but in terms of the
18:58:50 WMBE, made it known that I was going to look at this
18:58:54 very strongly during our budget process, and I guess
18:58:57 for the record, and I don't have the numbers from last
18:59:00 year, looking at this year, are these numbers
18:59:05 reflective of the discussion that we had about
18:59:07 improving that office to accomplish the goals that we
18:59:16 >> Yes, sir.
18:59:17 Darrell Smith, Chief of staff.
18:59:19 Last year's numbers within the office were nine
18:59:24 employees, two of those positions were eliminated.
18:59:27 We currently have seven.
18:59:29 As you know, we are in the process of transforming our
18:59:34 office from where we were before, with the strict WMBE,
18:59:38 to the small business enterprise.
18:59:40 And we need to continue to monitor that program and
18:59:46 determine what the true manpower needs are, and I
18:59:49 assure you we will do that.
18:59:51 We realize your commitment to the program and council's
18:59:54 commitment to the program, and we will monitor that
18:59:58 closely, and wherever we can we are going to be using
19:00:03 technology, and other opportunities in order to add
19:00:06 additional manpower.
19:00:09 We feel we are in good shape.
19:00:10 >> Work power.
19:00:13 Gender neutral.
19:00:14 >>> Yes, ma'am.
19:00:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
19:00:20 Thank you for that commitment.
19:00:21 And I am going to look at last year's numbers and look
19:00:26 at what you have this year.
19:00:28 I think we had a limited discussion about making sure
19:00:31 we had the staff in place as well as the software
19:00:38 because that was the issue, too, so they can be able to
19:00:40 give us the information that he would need, and reach
19:00:42 our goals.
19:00:43 So I hear you saying you are making a commitment.
19:00:46 Make sure that happens.
19:00:47 And continue monitoring that.
19:00:48 But also want to further look at these numbers from
19:00:51 last year, which I just got.
19:00:52 So I will take the time to review those.
19:00:56 Thank you.
19:00:59 So we need to close the public hearing at this point?
19:01:10 He would need to close the public hearing.
19:01:12 Or we leave it open till next meeting?
19:01:15 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I think what you have taint is the
19:01:17 first reading of the ordinance.
19:01:18 >> We have a motion on the floor, though, right now.
19:01:20 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: The motion on the floor.
19:01:26 My motion is not related to millage rate, clearly.
19:01:30 It's just a tiny, tiny little tweak in the budget for
19:01:35 >>MARY MULHERN: I'll second that.
19:01:36 >>THOMAS SCOTT: It's already been seconded by
19:01:39 councilman Miranda.
19:01:40 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I believe the direction would to be
19:01:42 ask the administration to do the amendment in the
19:01:44 resolution that would reflect that and bring it back by
19:01:48 the second public hearing.
19:01:54 >>GWEN MILLER: Bonnie, now where it's coming from?
19:01:59 >> It's page 60 on the budget supplement.
19:02:03 It's called contingency reserve.
19:02:05 Right now it's $2,155,614, and I would suggest a
19:02:10 reduction of 50,000 which would take it down to
19:02:17 >>BONNIE WISE: And I just recommend that you say that
19:02:19 you want to add this $50,000, and when I bring it back
19:02:23 to you in two weeks, I say where it is, teen from, and
19:02:26 it could be from there.
19:02:27 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: As long as council is good with
19:02:30 that, I'm good with that.
19:02:31 >>THOMAS SCOTT: The motion on the floor made by
19:02:33 councilman Dingfelder and seconded by councilman
19:02:35 Miranda that we take $50,000, and Ms. Wise will come
19:02:39 back with a recommendation where those funds are coming
19:02:41 out of, the September 24th public hearing.
19:02:44 Yes, sir.
19:02:52 >>> I'm going to loaf it up to Mrs.Wise and her wise
19:02:59 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Second and motion.
19:03:02 All in favor.
19:03:04 Now we need to set the motion.
19:03:08 Ms. Mulhern, do you have the millage, an ordinance?
19:03:11 Pardon me?
19:03:12 >>GWEN MILLER: We need to read the ordinance.
19:03:17 >> Second.
19:03:18 (Motion carried).
19:03:20 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Now, do we need to just have the
19:03:23 ordinance read or do we need to set the millage?
19:03:26 I know we need the ordinance but the millage?
19:03:32 >> what you are doing is which tentative millage rate
19:03:34 you want to set even if you are doing that by motion.
19:03:37 You have to announce what the millage rate is going to
19:03:41 It's just an announcement.
19:03:44 >> Finance chair.
19:03:47 >>MARY MULHERN: I don't have the --
19:03:52 >>GWEN MILLER: Read it.
19:03:54 >>MARY MULHERN: I am not going to read it.
19:03:56 Someone else has to recommend it because I am going to
19:03:58 recommend a 5% decrease.
19:04:11 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Somebody who is sharper than you
19:04:25 Do I read all this?
19:04:26 All the numbers here?
19:04:27 We'll be here two weeks.
19:04:31 >>MARY MULHERN: Just the front page.
19:04:33 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Honorable men's of City Council, all
19:04:36 of you in the public.
19:04:38 I understand, and I'm sure council members understand
19:04:41 the difficulties that we are everything in today's
19:04:46 However, things are not changing, and they are getting
19:04:49 a little bit tighter.
19:04:53 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Are you on script?
19:04:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: No.
19:04:55 I was talking to you, sir.
19:04:57 This is the first public hearing for the City of Tampa
19:05:01 year 2009 budget.
19:05:02 The proposed millage rate is 5.7326 mills which is 6.1%
19:05:08 less than the rollback millage rate of 61254 mills.
19:05:15 Property tax funds are used to support the general
19:05:18 funds, operating budget of the city.
19:05:21 This fund includes such departments fire, rescue,
19:05:24 police, human resources, parks, recreation, and public
19:05:31 >>MARY MULHERN: You are supposed to recommend the
19:05:37 tentative rate.
19:05:38 I'm sorry.
19:05:41 >>GWEN MILLER: The motion that --
19:05:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Yes, I am going to say that at the
19:05:45 >>GWEN MILLER: He's going to say it.
19:05:47 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Essentially we just need that
19:05:51 millage rate in the form of a motion.
19:05:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Well, they asked me to read this
19:05:55 I read the thing so I have a motion on the floor.
19:05:57 I don't know what else.
19:05:58 I can speak a couple other languages but no one would
19:06:01 So if you want me to do it in the other languages, I
19:06:04 can do that, too.
19:06:04 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I'll second his motion that 5.7326
19:06:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Moved and seconded.
19:06:12 Councilwoman Mulhern.
19:06:14 >>MARY MULHERN: I just want to sigh first of all that
19:06:17 when I talk about -- I don't mean to be casting
19:06:23 aspersions on anyone else and I'm sorry I stuck my foot
19:06:26 in my mouth again because I didn't mean to offend
19:06:29 anyone or suggest anything negative about anyone.
19:06:32 And if I were to do that, you would know it, because I
19:06:37 would just say it.
19:06:41 So I'm apologizing for that.
19:06:43 But I do want to sigh that I hope that the committee
19:06:49 doesn't foal disinclined to volunteer their time again.
19:06:56 Hopefully by next year, we'll have a budget adviser so
19:07:00 we'll have someone to help them through this process.
19:07:02 I am not going to support the proposed millage, because
19:07:07 I would like to take the advice of the committee, and
19:07:12 because I believe that we have not -- this is the last
19:07:17 time we'll have a chance.
19:07:19 Property values are probably going to either stay flat
19:07:21 or go down.
19:07:22 And this year is a really bad year in so many ways for
19:07:26 people, and not just their homes being foreclosed, but
19:07:29 the cost of food, the cost of gas, the fact that, you
19:07:35 know, everyone is at the mercy of the value of their
19:07:39 homes, and that went up -- you can't point a finger at
19:07:43 why our housing and property values went up, but they
19:07:47 did go up, in an unreasonable amount, and I wanted to
19:07:51 be able to get people a little bit of relief.
19:07:53 So just wanted to say that.
19:07:55 And thank the committee so much for helping us.
19:07:59 >> There's a motion on the floor.
19:08:01 Motion made by councilman Miranda, seconded by
19:08:04 councilman Dingfelder.
19:08:05 All in favor signify by saying Aye.
19:08:07 >>THE CLERK: Mulhern voting no.
19:08:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Do you want to read the ordinance?
19:08:13 >> Budget?
19:08:20 >> This is on the budget.
19:08:21 >>MARY MULHERN: I'll read that.
19:08:27 I read this ordinance making note of the motion made by
19:08:30 councilman Dingfelder to add $50,000 to the budget for
19:08:36 groan buildings it I move an ordinance being presented
19:08:41 for first reading consideration, an ordinance adopting
19:08:44 the budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1,
19:08:47 2008, and ending September 30, 2009, as presented by
19:08:51 the mayor, providing for the levy as provided by law of
19:08:55 a tax on all taxable property in the City of Tampa and
19:08:58 fixing the millage within said city, making
19:09:01 appropriations in accordance with the provisions of
19:09:03 said budget, authorizing and directing the mayor and
19:09:05 city clerk, as the proper authorities of the City of
19:09:08 Tampa, to certify to the property appraiser of
19:09:11 Hillsborough County, Florida, the millage to be levied
19:09:13 for all purposes for the fiscal year 2009, in the City
19:09:16 of Tampa, providing an effective date.
19:09:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: It's been moved and seconded.
19:09:21 All in favor signify by saying Aye.
19:09:27 Anything else need to come before council?
19:09:29 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Receive and foil?
19:09:34 >>SAL TERRITO: Public hearing.
19:09:39 Need to open for the CIP.
19:09:41 >> So moved.
19:09:42 >> Second.
19:09:42 (Motion carried).
19:09:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Anyone who wishes to address council on
19:09:47 Anyone here wishing to address council on VIP CIP?
19:09:51 Motion to close?
19:09:52 >> So moved.
19:09:52 >> Second.
19:09:52 (Motion carried).
19:09:53 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Do we need to read an ordinance or
19:09:55 anything on that?
19:09:57 >>MARTIN SHELBY: The second public hearing.
19:09:59 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Fletcher, did you want a motion
19:10:04 on the issue of the 30 days, rolling that back 30 days
19:10:11 with the charter amendment?
19:10:12 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Well, what I would suggest is that
19:10:18 we take a low at the timing and what date you all
19:10:20 actually want to pick.
19:10:21 There's a lot of interactions here that we probably
19:10:24 need to look at.
19:10:25 One is when we get the estimate from the property
19:10:28 appraisers of what the value is going to be from the
19:10:33 My understanding that's right around July 1.
19:10:35 I don't know if we can get that information from the
19:10:38 property appraiser any earlier.
19:10:40 We could try to do that.
19:10:42 My concern, and Ms. Wise may be able to address this,
19:10:47 I'm not sure until they get that number that they are
19:10:49 going to be able to give you a valuable budget.
19:10:52 So in terms of a charter change, you may want to low at
19:10:55 what exactly you want to set up in terms of from that
19:10:58 date forward, how long you want to give them to do the
19:11:01 budget, to get you all the budget, and going forward.
19:11:06 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: And all that complexity in the fact
19:11:08 we are getting pretty close to November we can probably
19:11:11 put this off until 2010.
19:11:14 >>> Yes.
19:11:15 I believe as I indicated earlier we could not get that
19:11:18 charter change on the ballot through this election.
19:11:22 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Did you suggest coming back in 90
19:11:26 days with your full review of this after consulting
19:11:28 with staff?
19:11:29 >>> That would be fine.
19:11:30 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: So moved.
19:11:31 >> Second.
19:11:32 (Motion carried).
19:11:34 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena?
19:11:35 Motion to receive and foil?
19:11:37 >> So moved.
19:11:38 >> Second.
19:11:38 (Motion carried).
19:11:39 >>THOMAS SCOTT: All right.
19:11:41 >>MARTIN SHELBY: The second public hearing on the
19:11:43 budget will be --
19:11:44 September 24.
19:11:46 >>CLERK: September 24, 2008, 5:01 p.m. which is a
19:11:49 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
19:11:50 Again on a Wednesday, September 24th at 5:01 p.m.
19:11:53 All right.
19:11:54 We are adjourned.
19:11:55 Thank you.
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