Tampa City Council
Special Called Meeting -- Budget
Thursday, September 19, 2013
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09:34:38 >> CHAIRMAN MIRANDA: Roll call.
09:43:00 >>FRANK REDDICK: Here.
09:43:03 >>HARRY COHEN: Here.
09:43:07 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Here.
09:43:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.
09:43:10 We will have public comment.
09:43:11 I want the speakers on items on 14-22 A through G.
09:43:20 I believe one of them was pulled.
09:43:22 Yes, ma'am?
09:43:23 >>SONYA LITTLE: Good morning, Mr. Chair, council members.
09:43:31 In your request for information related to some of the
09:43:34 information presented previously in the budget,
09:43:37 I wanted to come back to you, and I will just go, if you
09:43:40 don't mind, in order of the motions.
09:43:44 Starting out with the first motion A, funding being
09:43:48 allocated to address the homeless issues in the city.
09:43:54 In the public hearing we did point out that the city doesn't
09:43:56 directly provide services for the homeless at this time.
09:43:59 However, we do support nonprofits who do provide the
09:44:04 And these nonprofits provide services to the homeless as
09:44:09 well as prevention of homelessness.
09:44:12 And on the screen we'll show you a breakdown of our funding
09:44:20 levels for 2014.
09:44:27 As you will notice, the city currently provides $265,000 for
09:44:36 CDB funding.
09:44:38 Just under 200,000 for ESG or Emergency Solutions Grants.
09:44:43 And as was mentioned in the public hearing
09:44:47 Through our general fund the homeless coalition $265,000.
09:44:54 We also had a dedicated Tampa Police Department officer who
09:45:00 serves and represents the city with our homeless, and the
09:45:04 costs associated with providing that officer is roughly
09:45:08 $150,000 for the '14 budget year.
09:45:13 Also we have HOME funding of --
09:45:18 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I just want to clarify the TPD homeless
09:45:22 representative, I don't want anybody in the public thinking
09:45:24 that officer McDonald makes $150,000 a year.
09:45:29 >> Correct.
09:45:29 Thank you for that clarification.
09:45:31 That's fully loaded including equipment, related to the
09:45:34 services that he provides as well.
09:45:36 So it's not a salary by any means.
09:45:39 Thank you for that clarification.
09:45:45 Then, finally, we also have funds budgeted $875,000 for the
09:45:54 '14 fiscal year for a total of just over $2 million.
09:45:58 Now, the majority of these items that are listed here with
09:46:01 the exception obviously of the general fund contribution was
09:46:05 presented to you previously for your approval for the '14,
09:46:11 one-year action plan, where City Council approved these
09:46:15 funding levels for each one of these line items within the
09:46:18 action plan, came before you two times. One time June
09:46:23 20th and then for final approval on July 18th.
09:46:26 And you will also see in your upcoming meeting, I believe,
09:46:32 the 26th, specific financial resolutions coming through
09:46:35 that really ratify and finalize many of these
09:46:41 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick?
09:46:42 >>FRANK REDDICK: When I look at this, how much of this $2
09:46:50 million is actually in city dollars?
09:46:53 >> Well, we consider it all to be.
09:46:56 These are federal and grant fundings.
09:46:59 The way we use sales tax, I mean, the state collects it but
09:47:05 it's all attributable to what we do here in the city.
09:47:08 But I understand what your question is.
09:47:10 Federal grants are the large majority of these.
09:47:15 >>FRANK REDDICK: That's my point.
09:47:16 So even though they have $2 million of funds going toward
09:47:26 the homeless, I think it's misleading if we don't tell the
09:47:31 public the makeup of federal and state funding that has been
09:47:36 distributed to the city's program.
09:47:37 But to say $2 million, I want to know if $2 million is
09:47:44 coming out of general revenue funds, or the federal, state
09:47:48 or some type of program.
09:47:50 Because if you look at this, if anyone is looking at this,
09:47:55 the presentation they are getting, the city is allocating $2
09:48:00 But that is not actually true because some of these are
09:48:06 federal funds, and state funds, and the city is just
09:48:12 distributing them through your program.
09:48:15 So I just don't want to be misled that these are actual
09:48:23 dollars coming from the city.
09:48:24 >> Yes, sir, I see your point.
09:48:28 However, I think I was very clear that for the homeless
09:48:31 coalition that was general fund money and also very clear in
09:48:33 identifying our representative through TPD.
09:48:42 Now, as you indicated, the rest of the line items here are
09:48:46 managed and directed by the city from grant funding
09:48:51 However, we are not required, in many of these cases, to
09:48:57 even direct this funding to matters surrounding the
09:49:04 So I understand your point, Councilman.
09:49:06 But just to be clear, you know, it's still the city's
09:49:09 funding, and the city is making an efforts to support the
09:49:12 homeless cause.
09:49:16 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Mulhern?
09:49:17 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
09:49:19 Thank you, Ms. Little, for giving us this breakdown.
09:49:24 And you answered one of my questions which was homeless
09:49:27 coalition funding from the general fund.
09:49:29 And I think we all would like to see the city do more with
09:49:34 our general fund and with our budget in general, from the
09:49:40 city revenues as opposed to just what we can get through the
09:49:45 federal government.
09:49:45 And I just want to point out that the 150,000 that we give
09:49:50 to our wonderful TPD representatives that are working with
09:49:57 the homeless is a wonderful thing.
09:49:59 However, it's really because we passed ordinances that
09:50:05 required us to do something about the fact that there are
09:50:08 homeless people on the streets, and we don't -- or homeless
09:50:13 people panhandling, and we don't want them to do that.
09:50:15 So I see that as kind of a mixed contribution to the
09:50:22 A lot of that is because we need to adapt to the laws that
09:50:28 we actually passed here about where people can be -- who
09:50:34 don't have a home to go to.
09:50:35 But thank you for the breakdown.
09:50:37 >>SONYA LITTLE: Thank you.
09:50:42 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen and Ms. Montelione.
09:50:43 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I just want to make one point for the
09:50:47 public that is watching this meeting.
09:50:51 I think it's important to point out when we are having this
09:50:53 discussion that the county is the level of government that
09:50:58 provides the vast majority of social services in this
09:51:02 community, and it is something that they address through
09:51:05 their budget.
09:51:06 I'm not trying to pass the buck, but for us to put money
09:51:12 into this is sort of a two-step process of identifying the
09:51:17 needs, but also recognizing that traditionally it's not our
09:51:22 tax dollars that are supposed to be going -- city tax
09:51:25 dollars that are supposed to be going to pay for it.
09:51:28 It's county money.
09:51:31 I think that needs to be recognized in the context of the
09:51:35 Not an excuse that we are not doing enough, but a
09:51:39 recognition that that is the way that the funds are
09:51:41 allocated in this community.
09:51:44 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.
09:51:45 Mrs. Montelione?
09:51:46 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Well, two things.
09:51:47 The short answer to your question, Mr. Reddick, is $205,000.
09:51:54 The two line items that Ms. Little was referring to.
09:51:59 Simple math, 55 and 150.
09:52:01 So other than federal -- the rest of the 2.042 million is
09:52:10 federal funds.
09:52:11 And, yes, we could direct some of those funds to other
09:52:17 efforts, but part of what we do -- and we have talked about
09:52:25 this before -- is prevent people from becoming homeless with
09:52:31 those dollars.
09:52:32 So the housing counseling that we fund through various
09:52:38 nonprofits is part of that.
09:52:41 So it's an intangible because preventing people from being
09:52:48 on the street isn't as tangible as actually funding the
09:52:53 homeless per se, but I agree, I think it should be more than
09:52:59 $205,000 out of direct funding from the city, because -- and
09:53:08 I don't want to quote exact percentages and numbers because
09:53:11 I don't have them ingrained in my memory.
09:53:16 But a large portion of the homeless in Hillsborough County
09:53:21 are within the city limits.
09:53:23 And although we have Hillsborough County as the lead
09:53:31 governmental body for social services, it is a City of Tampa
09:53:43 And just this morning, in the "Tampa Bay Times," is an
09:53:48 article that talks about Hillsborough County's homeless
09:53:54 recovery program.
09:53:58 And oftentimes we may misplace our trust in another agency
09:54:07 to help us solve problems that directly affect residents and
09:54:12 businesses located within the city.
09:54:16 Many of them in the core of downtown or Ybor City or Tampa
09:54:24 So I am not sure that it is wise for the city to continue to
09:54:30 trust Hillsborough County to administer programs that
09:54:36 directly affect our residents and the businesses who are
09:54:40 investing in our community within the city limits.
09:54:43 So, yes, it has been traditional that Hillsborough County is
09:54:48 the lead governmental body that handles programs for the
09:54:52 homeless, but if homeless recovery is an example of how they
09:54:58 conduct business, I think we are misplacing those dollars.
09:55:02 And I'm looking forward to the audit that county
09:55:06 commissioners, I believe, have called for of that department
09:55:11 of Hillsborough County that runs the services.
09:55:19 So perhaps we need, as Ms. Mulhern pointed out, we pass
09:55:24 these ordinances, and we need to take control of the
09:55:26 situation ourselves, because I'm not sure if anybody else is
09:55:31 doing as good a job as we can.
09:55:34 I have tremendous respect for the staff here at the City of
09:55:38 Tampa and the pride that they take in our city and doing a
09:55:42 good job for our city.
09:55:47 And, you know, I think we can do a better job.
09:55:59 I agree, I think we need to do more in terms of solving our
09:56:03 own problems rather than trusting someone else to do it for
09:56:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?
09:56:07 We go to item B.
09:56:09 >>SONYA LITTLE: Item B.
09:56:11 I believe it was by Councilman Reddick as it relates to
09:56:22 what, I guess, the disparate of projects being funded in the
09:56:29 downtown Channelside district.
09:56:30 And I believe Councilman Reddick, you have had some
09:56:33 discussion with some of our staff, pretty much clarify the
09:56:36 types of projects we are talking about. We believe that the
09:56:39 question came out of the district's maps that have been we
09:56:42 provided at the public hearing surrounding district 5 and
09:56:47 some of its projects, so we have actually added some
09:56:51 additional information to further clarify the types of
09:56:54 projects that you may have been referring to.
09:57:00 Whereof you will seal based on this map that a large
09:57:02 majority of these projects relate to the downtown area where
09:57:04 we are providing improvements to the city's assets.
09:57:09 In particular, we have many improvements to our bridges
09:57:14 located in the downtown area.
09:57:15 Also included on the district map is over a million dollars
09:57:20 in improvements for upgrades to our convention center, for
09:57:26 the elevators and escalator.
09:57:29 We also have the City Hall waterproofing that we have all
09:57:32 discussed in the past that's included here.
09:57:35 Improvements to our parking garages.
09:57:39 And a significant amount of improvements to our water,
09:57:42 wastewater plant.
09:57:43 So down in the bottom part, you will see a number of to
09:57:55 identify improvements to our water, wastewater facility, not
09:57:59 to mention that above the city's assets, direct assets,
09:58:02 including on this map, is the Julian B. lane park as well as
09:58:06 Perry Harvey Sr. park with Julian B. lane at a million,
09:58:12 Harvey at 1.5 million.
09:58:14 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any comments by council members?
09:58:20 Mr. Reddick?
09:58:21 >>FRANK REDDICK: Funds have been allocated for the Julian
09:58:27 B. Lane Park for what purpose?
09:58:28 >> These are all improvements to the park and completion of
09:58:33 the park.
09:58:37 Do you want the specifics on that, Councilman?
09:58:40 We can pull it and read the description for you.
09:58:43 >>FRANK REDDICK: Okay.
09:58:50 >>BOB McDONAUGH: Administrator, economic opportunity.
09:58:58 Specific to the park, the first part that is putting money
09:59:03 aside for the rebuilding renovation of the park.
09:59:06 The first part was hiring an architect with a company called
09:59:11 Civitas, and their first business is going out and having
09:59:17 community meetings to solicit input for exactly what the
09:59:20 community wants to happen in the park.
09:59:22 And the idea is, I think the overall budget for the park is
09:59:27 around $8 million, if I recall.
09:59:30 And it's money that has been set aside for the past several
09:59:33 years, and once the community agreement is reached upon the
09:59:37 development of the park, then construction will commence.
09:59:40 >>FRANK REDDICK: Is this part of the InVision plan?
09:59:44 >>BOB McDONAUGH: The park was included in the InVision
09:59:48 plan, an important part of the North Boulevard homes redoing
09:59:53 and what's going on in that neighborhood.
09:59:55 But that's one of the largest parks in the city and has not
09:59:58 had improvements done in several years.
10:00:00 And so whether that's expansion of the basketball court, or
10:00:03 the tennis courts, or one of the complaints that young
10:00:07 parents have when they bring their children in is because of
10:00:09 the undulations of the mounds, they can't keep an eye on
10:00:14 their children and concerns about safety.
10:00:16 So the plan is to have a series of community meetings, come
10:00:18 back with some ideas and drawings, vet them through the
10:00:21 community again, and then work on a final plan.
10:00:24 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you.
10:00:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any other questions by council?
10:00:28 We go to item C.
10:00:34 >>SONYA LITTLE: I ask for the presentation to be brought up
10:00:39 again, please.
10:00:41 In item C, we were asked to provide an accounting for the
10:00:48 reallocation of funds previously dedicated for the expansion
10:00:51 of the New Tampa recreation center.
10:00:54 In 2008, the ribbon cutting, June of 2008, the ribbon
10:01:00 cutting occurred for the center, the initial construction
10:01:03 costs were $5.4 million for this facility, and in 2013,
10:01:10 which is the current budget year, we had in our CI funding
10:01:17 but also provide a five year plan for the CIP.
10:01:21 From 2012 to 2016, it was included in the budget for
10:01:27 $1.571 million.
10:01:34 As you are aware each budgeting cycle, we revisit the CIP,
10:01:40 the capital improvement plan.
10:01:42 At the time that we did revisit it, as you are also aware,
10:01:46 Many improvements to our existing facilities were
10:01:51 So some of the available CIP funding was allocated towards
10:01:56 improvements to existing facilities.
10:01:58 However, I think that the misconception is that it was
10:02:02 completely wiped off the books.
10:02:05 It's not.
10:02:05 What we have right now as part of our 2012 allocation or
10:02:10 appropriation, it's $550,000 for expansion of the center,
10:02:18 and then also in the '14 budget, I believe you saw -- and I
10:02:23 did mention in the first public hearing that in 2016, an
10:02:28 additional $851,000 had been identified.
10:02:32 Now, I do understand that discussions are still going on as
10:02:35 far as the needs are concerns related to exactly what the
10:02:40 expansion will entail.
10:02:43 However, as far as I'm aware, the project expansion is not
10:02:47 off the books.
10:02:51 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Council members?
10:02:52 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you, chair.
10:02:53 I don't think I'm any clearer now than I was before about
10:02:58 the funding of the expansion and the timing of the
10:03:06 So, okay, when we build the park in 2008, five years ago, we
10:03:14 spent a considerable amount of money building it.
10:03:17 But that's not what we are talking about.
10:03:20 So the inclusion of the 5.4 million is not relevant to, I
10:03:26 think, the question.
10:03:29 But the question is, in the first presentation we had in
10:03:35 June or July, with the draft of the budget and the recap of
10:03:39 where we were, the project was prominently listed as one
10:03:46 that was going to be moving forward in 2014.
10:03:53 So when we got the final budget, that project was no longer
10:03:58 listed as one that would be completed, or even started in
10:04:06 So we have on the bottom portion of that side the estimated
10:04:14 12 to 16 estimated funds of 1.57 million.
10:04:20 But does that mean that it won't be until 2016 that we will
10:04:32 see an expansion to that center?
10:04:34 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes.
10:04:35 What it means, and I think it is clear here, you asked us to
10:04:38 give an accounting, and what we did was reiterate that in
10:04:43 2012-16, in the '13 budget, you are correct, it was 1.5
10:04:49 million reflected.
10:04:51 As we revisit the budget and the five-year plan annually, it
10:04:56 was reprogrammed to maintain what had already been actually
10:05:00 appropriated in 2012 at $550,000.
10:05:07 >>LISA MONTELIONE: But that number is not on the slide.
10:05:09 >>SONYA LITTLE: Well, it is included in the 1 .4 million.
10:05:12 I am giving you the breakdown.
10:05:14 >> So the current program funds of 1.4 million is $550,000
10:05:19 in 2014 budget.
10:05:22 >>SONYA LITTLE: That was actually done in 12.
10:05:25 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I'm sorry, okay in, '12.
10:05:29 >>SONYA LITTLE: And then in the current budget it was
10:05:32 reprogrammed for $851,000 in 2016.
10:05:36 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So 550 and 851 gives us the 1.4 million.
10:05:44 But I guess 2016 is two budget cycles away.
10:05:52 >> Right.
10:05:54 >>LISA MONTELIONE: And the programming for the expansion
10:05:56 first started showing up in 2012.
10:05:59 So it's been pushed off four years, and I guess my
10:06:10 constituents may be questioning whether in '16 it's going to
10:06:13 be pushed off another two or four years, and that center
10:06:17 right now is over capacity, and they have a waiting list of
10:06:22 not only children who reside in the New Tampa community,
10:06:27 because there's only two gymnastic centers in the city, one
10:06:31 at Wayne Papy and one at the facility in New Tampa.
10:06:37 And we can't accommodate now the children who want to
10:06:43 participate in that program, and there's a waiting list for
10:06:47 it and people scramble when it's open enrollment for that
10:06:51 Very competitive, because they are so successful.
10:06:57 And to put it off to '16, I can't imagine how long the
10:07:03 waiting list is going to be by then.
10:07:05 >>SONYA LITTLE: From that perspective, with the available
10:07:09 CIP funding that was available for parks and rec, yes.
10:07:14 Some of the moneys were used where we actually did an
10:07:17 increase, again focusing on those facilities that are in
10:07:22 need of repair and maintenance, not expansion for '14, we
10:07:28 budgeted $422,000 for improvements to the existing facility
10:07:32 at Wayne Papy.
10:07:35 We budgeted for '14, $1.4 million for improvements to the
10:07:40 existing facility at the Greco sports center.
10:07:44 So in trying to --
10:07:47 >> Well, the Greco sports center doesn't serve the residents
10:07:50 of the area.
10:07:52 >>SONYA LITTLE: I understand.
10:07:53 >> Greco sports center is a revenue generator because there
10:07:57 are tournaments held there and we are putting that money
10:08:00 into that particular center, not to serve the residents but
10:08:04 to be generate revenue through those tournaments.
10:08:08 And I have talked to the Parks Department before about, you
10:08:12 know, trying to carve out some areas of Greco that would
10:08:16 serve the community, because that immediate area doesn't
10:08:19 have any active parks programming.
10:08:24 You have to go to Copeland park or go to Forest Hills.
10:08:27 And both of those facilities, need repair and maintenance.
10:08:34 Forest Hills half the year is underwater.
10:08:37 So, you know, the recreational opportunities for people in
10:08:41 north Tampa are very limited.
10:08:44 David E. West, another park underwater most of the year.
10:08:48 So I understand that we have a lot of need.
10:08:52 I mean, we talked about a couple of centers that are
10:09:00 So I understand the need.
10:09:03 But the need to provide, you know, information to citizens
10:09:11 who are expecting a park program to be available in the
10:09:16 gymnastics program for more children, and then saying, oh,
10:09:23 no, you know, not this year, next year, not this year, the
10:09:27 year after, know it that year, but maybe two years from now,
10:09:31 we keep kicking this can down the road.
10:09:33 And I think that leads to part of the maintenance problems
10:09:37 we have, is that we are not addressing the program's needs
10:09:42 when they occur.
10:09:43 We are putting it off and putting it off and putting it off
10:09:46 until before you know it the place gets rundown because we
10:09:49 are trying to, now, puts too many people in one center that
10:09:55 can't accommodate them.
10:10:00 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?
10:10:01 Mr. Cohen?
10:10:01 >>HARRY COHEN: Councilwoman Montelione, I think that we all
10:10:06 feel your pain.
10:10:09 I applaud you for passionately advocating on behalf of the
10:10:13 people in your district.
10:10:14 I have heard the other district council members do the same
10:10:18 for theirs.
10:10:19 I will tell you there's a waiting list at the Hyde Park arts
10:10:24 Bobby is -- 40 years now it needs work and a lot of
10:10:29 There are needs in the Ballast Point park.
10:10:31 We have done a beautiful job renovating it but it's now so
10:10:35 overwhelmed with people that are using it that the parking
10:10:37 is spilling outs all over the neighborhood.
10:10:41 There's in a question that the needs are there.
10:10:43 But, at the same time, and because I have the same
10:10:48 frustration with this budget, there's a lot of things that I
10:10:50 would have liked to have seen in it that are real priorities
10:10:54 in individual neighborhoods.
10:10:55 But we do have, you know, $7.5 million estimated to come out
10:11:01 of the reserves.
10:11:02 And so the question becomes, do we want to borrow money to
10:11:07 pay for these projects?
10:11:11 You know, that is -- it's not do we want to spend money that
10:11:16 we have, it's do we want to borrow additional money?
10:11:19 And, you know, it's my hope if we see property tax revenues
10:11:24 increase this next year, which we are all projecting we
10:11:28 will, that's when there are some dollars available.
10:11:32 The first place we look to put them is right back into these
10:11:35 community centers, recreation centers and pools throughout
10:11:38 the city, because they do definitely need it.
10:11:41 And, you know, I think all of us, we see it every day, every
10:11:50 week when we are out in the community.
10:11:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any other council members?
10:11:56 Mrs. Montelione?
10:11:57 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you.
10:12:00 This was just pointed out to believe me by council to ask
10:12:03 this question, and maybe I didn't ask it directly enough.
10:12:07 But where is the 550 allocated for the budget?
10:12:15 I mean, is it a line item somewhere?
10:12:17 Is there $550,000 sitting in an account with earmarked for
10:12:24 this center?
10:12:30 Please stand by.
10:12:46 >>SONYA LITTLE: Councilman Montelione, you are looking at a
10:12:50 page from the current year budget?
10:12:53 >>LISA MONTELIONE: This is a capital improvements project,
10:12:55 2014-2018 project titled New Tampa Center Expansion.
10:13:01 >>SONYA LITTLE: From the current budget year, right?
10:13:06 >>LISA MONTELIONE: This is page 367 and 368.
10:13:13 >> What I believe you are looking at is the page from the
10:13:16 current budget, which shows 800,000 plus.
10:13:23 In 2016.
10:13:26 What is not included there is the prior year budget where
10:13:30 that amount, the 550,000 would occur.
10:13:34 >>LISA MONTELIONE: All right.
10:13:35 Tiff prior year budget book here, but I don't have the
10:13:38 capital improvements.
10:13:40 It's back in my office.
10:13:41 So if I look in that book, I'll find the $550,000.
10:13:47 But don't we have in the revenue and the accounting of
10:13:53 expenses in this book?
10:13:54 >>SONYA LITTLE: No,.
10:13:56 No in the 2012 budget book, the same sheet that you are
10:14:02 looking at right now shows the appropriation in 2012 of
10:14:08 >> Okay.
10:14:09 And that carries over to '13 and carries over to '14?
10:14:13 Then why isn't it on here?
10:14:15 >> Because it's a prior year.
10:14:17 It's an appropriation for that year.
10:14:19 So it remains on the accounting books -- we would have to
10:14:24 come back to you with a budget amendment to change it, to
10:14:28 remove it, like we come back to you to request budget moved
10:14:32 from one site to another, we would have to come back to you
10:14:36 to change it.
10:14:37 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So that money just sits there, and it's
10:14:40 been sitting there since '12.
10:14:43 >> 2012 it was budgeted.
10:14:47 >> It was allocated.
10:14:48 And the other number is the actual 16.
10:14:50 So if we have $550,000 to spend, is there not any type of
10:14:57 activity, expansion, enhancement that we can use that $500
10:15:02 that you for?
10:15:03 >>SONYA LITTLE: If our overall goal is to expand it then
10:15:08 that puts us further and further from expansion but I guess
10:15:13 that is something we can look into.
10:15:15 >> Maybe we can turn the "could" to "will" look into?
10:15:19 >> We can make that request.
10:15:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any further comments?
10:15:26 Any further comments?
10:15:27 Thank you very much.
10:15:27 On C, is -- I'm sorry.
10:15:30 Which is the item that we pulled earlier? E?
10:15:34 We go to D then.
10:15:40 >> Moving to item D on the presentation.
10:15:49 The city's contribution to the transportation project
10:15:52 pertaining to expansion segment A of Bruce B. Downs
10:15:56 Boulevard from Bearss to Palm Springs.
10:15:59 Councilwoman, you could correct me if I am wrong.
10:16:01 I believe that your answers to the following, which was also
10:16:06 about Bruce B. Downs, that was the one that was actually --
10:16:16 >>LISA MONTELIONE: E was pulled from the agenda because I
10:16:18 met with Mr. Herr and he clarified as well as the water and
10:16:25 stormwater -- I mean, water and wastewater clarified that
10:16:34 >>SONYA LITTLE: So we have the right one here that you want
10:16:38 additional information.
10:16:39 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Well, this, is this the relocation of
10:16:47 the lines?
10:16:49 So this information is actually not D, it's E?
10:16:53 Because the other segment, I mean.
10:17:06 >>BRAD BAIRD: Water department.
10:17:08 For item D, the weight water share is for -- wastewater
10:17:19 share is for two force mains into one force main to 18-inch
10:17:26 and 24-inch force main that are severely corroded and need
10:17:30 to be replaced anyway, and it was a good time to do it as
10:17:34 part of this roadway project, and they are being replaced
10:17:38 with a 30-inch force main.
10:17:42 And on the waterside, this is the defective pipeline that
10:17:49 failed over a year ago in May of 2012.
10:17:54 It is a replacement of that transmission main.
10:17:58 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So segment A is Bruce B. Downs, Bearss
10:18:02 to Palm Springs, and that's five year segment A in both
10:18:06 water and wastewater.
10:18:09 So the item E, which as Mr. HR addressed, different segment
10:18:19 from Bearss to Tampa Palms Boulevard --
10:18:22 >> Yes, Tampa Palms Boulevard and Palm Springs if I am not
10:18:25 mistaken are not that far air part.
10:18:28 >> No, they are not.
10:18:30 >>BRAD BAIRD: So I was assuming they were asking for the
10:18:32 entire project on Bruce B. Downs.
10:18:35 So that's why we summarized.
10:18:37 >>LISA MONTELIONE: And both projects are relocation and
10:18:40 upgrade of the transmission line?
10:18:45 >>BRAD BAIRD: Correct.
10:18:47 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So it's not any roadway improvement that
10:18:52 was contributing do.
10:18:54 It's not traffic lights.
10:18:55 It's not -- because generally that's what we do on Bruce B.
10:18:59 Downs is the traffic lights and signalization.
10:19:04 >>BRAD BAIRD: Corrected.
10:19:04 Those were funded by the county.
10:19:05 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So it's strictly utility lines for both
10:19:14 >>BRAD BAIRD: Yes.
10:19:15 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any other comments on that section D?
10:19:18 I believe E is taken care of.
10:19:20 Am I correct?
10:19:21 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Yes.
10:19:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: We go to F.
10:19:36 >>SONYA LITTLE: F is as it relates to the restoration of
10:19:40 the $25,000 contribution to the nonprofit, the Ybor City
10:19:46 museum society.
10:19:48 And I did ask at the last meeting that I had the opportunity
10:19:53 to go back and wanted to check the history on funding for
10:19:55 the museum.
10:19:57 And for the past including 2014, three consecutive years,
10:20:02 the funding levels have remained constant.
10:20:05 Those years include 2012, 2013, and of course the proposed
10:20:12 Additionally, the museum has applied for and is being
10:20:15 considered through the Ybor City CRA facade grant program, a
10:20:21 $50,000 grant which I understand the application has been
10:20:25 received and is going through the application or
10:20:28 underwriting process and will come back to you for approval
10:20:31 once it goes through the underwriting process.
10:20:34 So all factors being considered, we at this time have not
10:20:41 provided any additional funding for the museum in this
10:20:44 year's budget.
10:20:46 The '14 budgets.
10:20:47 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Ms. Little.
10:20:51 The CRA facade grant, those are matching grants, though,
10:20:57 So that means they have to actually come um with $50,000
10:21:02 themselves for that, which is another reason why they -- you
10:21:09 know, the reason that I had questions about this -- and
10:21:11 there were two other.
10:21:13 I know one of them was the Tampa Bay community network cable
10:21:19 station and there was one other not for profit.
10:21:22 And of all of the not for profits that were funded last
10:21:26 year, those were the only three that were moved.
10:21:29 So I guess you are saying the reasoning for the museum is
10:21:34 because they may be getting a facade grant?
10:21:38 >>SONYA LITTLE: No, that wasn't the reason.
10:21:40 They were constant over the prior years.
10:21:43 What they were referring to were cuts that occurred several
10:21:45 years ago.
10:21:48 They were not cut last year.
10:21:49 >>MARY MULHERN: Right.
10:21:52 The problem is, during the last three lean years, they
10:21:56 weren't cult.
10:21:56 But this year, when we do have a little more money, a little
10:21:59 more revenue, they were one of the not for profits that was
10:22:02 cut by 25,000.
10:22:04 >>SONYA LITTLE: Councilwoman, they were not cut.
10:22:08 13 compared to 14 is the same amount.
10:22:11 >>MARY MULHERN: The restoration from what year was it?
10:22:14 >>SONYA LITTLE: 2008, I believe she said.
10:22:16 They were not cut this year compared to last year.
10:22:19 >>MARY MULHERN: All right. Okay.
10:22:22 I see what you are saying.
10:22:23 I don't know if that was the same -- if that was fairly
10:22:28 applied to all the other not for profits or not.
10:22:31 But my impression was that they felt singled out as far
10:22:35 as --
10:22:36 >>SONYA LITTLE: I'm sorry, for three years we had the same
10:22:39 >>MARY MULHERN: All right.
10:22:42 I wish we could find that money in the budget for them
10:22:44 because I think that's very important.
10:22:46 But especially now that they are getting the new museum, the
10:22:51 new baseball museum, maybe we could find some money
10:22:55 somewhere for that.
10:22:56 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes, ma'am, I understand, knock on the
10:23:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick and Mr. Suarez.
10:23:05 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you, chair.
10:23:07 The $50,000 facade grant, that is basically different from
10:23:15 what they are requesting.
10:23:16 They are asking for operation of a funds.
10:23:21 And they are asking that be restored to an operational
10:23:27 And, you know, they came forward and requested that.
10:23:36 And I think that is something that needs to be considered.
10:23:47 And is there a problem with restoring the $25,000 for
10:23:53 operational funds?
10:23:56 >>SONYA LITTLE: That's a problem, sir, quite frankly,
10:23:58 because we have numerous nonprofits that have been cut over
10:24:01 the years for various reasons, funding availabilities and so
10:24:06 So to entertain one of the other, when we have done our best
10:24:09 to keep them at the same level for at least the last three
10:24:13 years, I think for this year would be extremely difficult to
10:24:19 justify at this point.
10:24:20 >>FRANK REDDICK: Well, let me ask you.
10:24:24 And I don't have my sheet with me that I had when we first
10:24:29 discussed this.
10:24:30 But there are four nonprofit agencies that receive expansion
10:24:39 One I believe was some type of cable, and I believe speak up
10:24:54 Tampa Bay or something like that.
10:24:57 All the sail thing?
10:24:58 And I think it was the Menéndez foundation?
10:25:04 I'm trying to remember.
10:25:07 When I had that sheet.
10:25:08 But they would be the highest percentage cuts of anybody
10:25:15 >>SONYA LITTLE: I can tell you, Councilman, that for the
10:25:20 Menéndez foundation, it wags their choice, because of our
10:25:24 reporting requirements, they opted to take a certain amount.
10:25:27 So that was not a city directive.
10:25:30 It wags by their own request.
10:25:32 >>FRANK REDDICK: Talking about the cable.
10:25:39 >>SONYA LITTLE: The other cable, when it wags reviewed for
10:25:42 the available funding for all of this, they had not
10:25:45 received, in comparison to the others, cuts in the past.
10:25:48 >>FRANK REDDICK: Why did the League of Cities receive an
10:25:59 >>SONYA LITTLE: That's their fee that is correct they
10:26:00 charge to us.
10:26:01 The majority of items that you see in nondepartmental are
10:26:05 based on the support of the access that we actually have
10:26:08 ownership in, contractual obligations, and fees that are
10:26:14 actually charged to the city.
10:26:17 >>FRANK REDDICK: Is that the same with, if I recall
10:26:20 correctly, I believe it was conference of mayors?
10:26:23 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes, sir.
10:26:24 It's a fee that's charged to the city.
10:26:26 It's not a gift, full.
10:26:28 It's a fee that's charged to the city.
10:26:30 >>FRANK REDDICK: They don't have a conference of City
10:26:39 Council people so that we can charge a fee?
10:26:42 >>SONYA LITTLE: Oh, I see.
10:26:43 I like that idea.
10:26:45 [ Laughter ]
10:26:46 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mrs. Montelione.
10:26:47 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you.
10:26:48 Can you tell me what the protocol office allocation is for?
10:26:59 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes, ma'am.
10:27:00 It is a partnership that we have with Hillsborough County
10:27:02 and others to facilitate international trade, and it was
10:27:07 approved by resolution in 2004 as a partnership.
10:27:24 With greater Tampa, Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay
10:27:26 Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hillsborough County Aviation
10:27:30 Authority, Tampa Port Authority, University of South
10:27:34 Florida, and I can provide you with a resolution if you
10:27:39 >>LISA MONTELIONE: And the $40,000 that they are allocated,
10:27:45 is that a percentage that we share with the others, so there
10:27:53 is a budget that they have, and then we divide it by
10:28:00 >>SONYA LITTLE: It dates back to 2004.
10:28:02 It is a flat $40,000 fee as agreed to.
10:28:08 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Because I'm thinking maybe, you know, a
10:28:13 2004 resolution, maybe we need to be take a look at that.
10:28:18 That item again?
10:28:19 Because we have many more people working in the area of
10:28:23 international trade today than we had in 2004.
10:28:28 So, you know, I could be wrong, and I probably will -- my
10:28:34 phone is probably ringing as we speak in my office about the
10:28:37 questions that I'm asking.
10:28:38 But perhaps the support may not be needed at the same level
10:28:47 today as it was in 2004 because we do have many more
10:28:53 individuals, groups, agencies, working on that particular
10:28:58 effort of the.
10:29:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen?
10:29:04 >>HARRY COHEN: Just by way of some information, I dealt
10:29:07 with this office before on a number of different things.
10:29:10 And it seems to me this is actually be a very good example
10:29:13 of how something ought to work, because rather than
10:29:17 everybody having their own bureaucracy dealing with this,
10:29:21 every single major entity in the city and region that deals
10:29:25 with international relations in any way is pooling together
10:29:30 money to support this effort.
10:29:34 My sense is that if we look at it -- and we certainly can
10:29:38 exam it -- but my sense we are going to find it's a good
10:29:43 investment for $40,000.
10:29:45 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I apologize to be Councilman Suarez.
10:29:47 You were next and I went to Mr. Cohen.
10:29:49 I guess financial director has privileges over public works.
10:29:55 I made a mistake and I admit to it.
10:29:57 Mr. Suarez.
10:29:58 [ Laughter ]
10:30:00 >>MIKE SUAREZ: I wanted to get back on the issue that Mr.
10:30:06 Reddick had brought up.
10:30:07 I agree with Ms. Mulhern.
10:30:09 We have got to find a way to be tray to support the Ybor
10:30:13 City museum.
10:30:14 But it is an operational issue.
10:30:16 When they have lean times on the Iorio administration, that
10:30:20 is when it started to cut.
10:30:22 We have not -- I don't think we have done anything in those
10:30:25 intervening years to increase it or decrease it.
10:30:28 The problems that they have -- and I talked to both the
10:30:32 Executive Director and our former Councilwoman Alvarez about
10:30:38 And because they are in a different area with this new
10:30:42 baseball history museum, they are trying to find ways to
10:30:46 make themselves -- I think they have made themselves very
10:30:49 efficient in terms of what they are doing, but it's very
10:30:51 hard to continue that aspect.
10:30:53 Now, I know that because of the state museum in addition,
10:30:59 there's some cost that's borne by the state.
10:31:01 And my suggestions to both their board and to their director
10:31:05 has been to meet with our parks director to find out if
10:31:08 there is something within our parks budget that can help
10:31:11 alleviate some of their issues concerning operation.
10:31:15 And primarily in terms of personnel.
10:31:18 And then also to reach out.
10:31:19 And I think we can do this ourselves as council members.
10:31:22 It's to reach outs to the legislature and the state
10:31:26 government to find out if there's any dollars we can gain to
10:31:28 help mitigate that loss of that $25,000.
10:31:33 The other aspect of this -- and I think all of us are doing
10:31:36 it right now, which is those policy decisions that we have
10:31:38 to make as council members concerning what we want to keep
10:31:42 in a budget and what we want it the to take out, and, you
10:31:45 know, where it goes, there's different policy considerations
10:31:49 that we have to think about, and political considerations.
10:31:51 So I appreciate the fact that you did find the resolution
10:31:55 for the protocol, because that was one of the questions that
10:31:58 I was going to ask, which is, I knew that the county had a
10:32:01 protocol office.
10:32:02 I knew that we had it.
10:32:03 I wasn't sure how they operated in conjunction.
10:32:05 I wasn't sure how the chamber operated in relation to that,
10:32:10 and how some of the other pieces fell into place for
10:32:14 protocol priorities.
10:32:17 So I appreciate you doing your research as you typically do
10:32:21 in bringing that answer to us.
10:32:22 So, chair, that's all I have.
10:32:24 I am not asking to ask for the floor again, I promise.
10:32:29 [ Laughter ]
10:32:30 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I am not going to forget that, sir.
10:32:32 I'm sorry.
10:32:34 You know, I haven't said anything, but this budget like any
10:32:37 other budget, like your own budget at your own house like a
10:32:41 small rubber band or large rubber band, depending on how you
10:32:44 look at it and it moves and it changes throughout the year
10:32:47 by changes that are made, as things come sometimes under
10:32:51 budget, when you do projects, sometimes over budget on
10:32:56 projects and that's how these resolutions come in on changes
10:32:59 on the line item.
10:33:01 And I understand that the plea and the plight to have all of
10:33:05 these nonprofits restored to the original cut back in 2008.
10:33:10 But when you go back to 2008, and you think you are out of
10:33:14 the woods, you are really not.
10:33:16 If you think you have a balanced budget, you have to look at
10:33:19 why you have a balanced budget.
10:33:22 You have a balanced budget because you borrowed money from
10:33:25 You borrowed $7.5 million from yourself to make it balance.
10:33:32 So you have to fudge a little bit because we have a balanced
10:33:35 budget, but you also had to borrow that money from your
10:33:39 reserves to make it balance.
10:33:41 So just think.
10:33:46 If we went strictly by the fathers that set this up, and the
10:33:50 mothers, too and say you can't bore object from that
10:33:53 reserve, you would be another $7.5 million short.
10:33:58 We haven't done that.
10:34:00 So in essence what we are doing here is a working operation
10:34:05 thing of $832.9 million, if I remember the number, to work
10:34:10 along and get what we have to get done.
10:34:13 How do you prioritize the budget?
10:34:17 It's very difficult.
10:34:19 And it didn't start yesterday.
10:34:22 The day you approved the budget, the next day out start
10:34:24 working on the following year's budget, because it's a very
10:34:29 complex and very time-consuming from a lot of people.
10:34:33 We get it during certain periods of the year, and really
10:34:39 have to approve or not approve in September.
10:34:43 What I'm saying is, am I happy?
10:34:48 Not 100%.
10:34:50 But I also understand the working of the whole city, and not
10:34:55 what I want.
10:34:56 It's what the city needs.
10:34:58 And how do you allocate those funds? And how do you do it
10:35:02 in a proper manner?
10:35:03 For instance, I am going to go back.
10:35:05 We talked a lot about recreation.
10:35:08 At one time, if we think we got problems now, you go back 15
10:35:14 We should have condemned every city recreation facility that
10:35:18 we had.
10:35:19 They were in terrible shape.
10:35:21 And the media got this in record from the -- not the prior
10:35:28 administration or one prior Greco administration.
10:35:30 They are the ones that put the CIP money to work in a lot of
10:35:35 areas to fix the recreation department that we have.
10:35:39 It was rec centers, and Drew Park, that were moved to Al
10:35:44 Lopez park, there were centers that were built in West
10:35:47 Tampa, there were areas in East Tampa, there were areas done
10:35:53 in Palmetto Beach, areas done in South Tampa, recreation was
10:35:57 in shambles.
10:35:59 And that administration put money there.
10:36:04 How do they get that money there? Somewhere along the line,
10:36:07 some other projects weren't done, because it was prioritized
10:36:11 that that was a need that had to be done.
10:36:14 What we have today is the success that we built on, and
10:36:21 these rec centers have become more than what they were
10:36:29 architecturally designed for, the public use.
10:36:32 And these a great thing.
10:36:33 But with success also comes failure.
10:36:37 Now how do we keep track and advance these items with the
10:36:41 money that we have?
10:36:44 We have a problem.
10:36:45 The problem is going to be addressed.
10:36:50 We can't do them all in one year.
10:36:53 Whatever I want to do in my household and whatever holdings
10:36:56 I have, I can't fix them all in one year.
10:36:59 It takes time to do that.
10:37:00 It's the same item that we have today.
10:37:04 Are we getting there?
10:37:05 I believe we are.
10:37:06 But it takes an effort of more than one year and more than
10:37:11 one budget.
10:37:12 And all I'm asking is let's go back.
10:37:16 And you think we have been successful at building these
10:37:20 Realize what it is.
10:37:22 Where was Tampa ten years ago?
10:37:23 Where is Tampa at today?
10:37:25 It's the working of all of us, not just as council, not just
10:37:29 this administration, but every citizen in the City of Tampa
10:37:32 that participated through hard work to make this city a
10:37:34 better place to live.
10:37:36 And if you look at the census, we are going to be the hot
10:37:40 spot in the south.
10:37:41 And we are getting there little by little.
10:37:43 And the only way we can get there is in the mannerism in
10:37:47 which we are doing it.
10:37:48 Are we perfect?
10:37:49 I don't think we are.
10:37:51 Are we getting there in the right direction?
10:37:53 I believe we are.
10:37:54 And that's all I am going to say right now.
10:37:56 So we are still on item F.
10:38:00 Have we finished with F?
10:38:02 We go to G.
10:38:09 >>SONYA LITTLE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
10:38:10 Item G.
10:38:13 The request was made to come back and give a report on the
10:38:16 recommendations of the citizens advisory committee compared
10:38:22 to last year's recommendation.
10:38:24 And I went back and I highlighted several of the key
10:38:27 components of those recommendations to provide you with an
10:38:31 update on where we are.
10:38:33 First of all, let me start by saying -- and I mentioned in
10:38:37 meetings that working, you have all appointed some very,
10:38:41 very dynamic citizens to the committee that worked very
10:38:47 hard, spent a tremendous amount of time, and have given
10:38:53 staff the opportunity to provide exactly a full rundown of
10:38:59 how we do business here, and actually engage in some very
10:39:02 productive discussion, and how moving forward we can improve
10:39:06 the way we do business.
10:39:07 So one of the things that they did point out in both fiscal
10:39:13 years was a compensation survey, recommendation that we
10:39:18 conduct a compensation survey.
10:39:20 That is certainly taken under advisement.
10:39:23 The only thing that we caution is that our world is changing
10:39:27 quickly here at the city.
10:39:30 At the risk of sounding like a broken record, ERP is coming
10:39:35 onboard, and that's no secret.
10:39:40 With ERP, we will have improved efficiencies, greater
10:39:44 transparency, and the way we do business is going to change
10:39:47 significantly for the better.
10:39:48 So as it relates to a compensation study, you know,
10:39:52 recognizing where we are going with technology, improving
10:39:55 our efficiencies, and the fact that we have had several
10:40:00 departmental reorganizations just recently that we are still
10:40:04 settling in, it might be a little bit premature at this
10:40:08 point to consider a compensation survey.
10:40:11 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen?
10:40:13 >>HARRY COHEN: Just a suggestion.
10:40:14 I think this is one of these items where it may not be
10:40:18 necessary to reinvent the wheel.
10:40:20 There are an awful lot of other agencies that have been
10:40:23 employees in very similar classifications to the City of
10:40:26 Tampa who have conducted compensation surveys in the past
10:40:31 year or 18 months.
10:40:32 And since those are all public records, I would think it
10:40:35 would be very easy for us to get our hands on them and look
10:40:38 at them, and my own familiarity with some of those studies
10:40:42 tells me that they will provide a lot of information to the
10:40:44 city that we can use in making these determinations without
10:40:50 actually having to go to the expense of commissioning our
10:40:53 own study at this time.
10:40:55 Once ERP is implemented, it might be a good I Deet to do
10:40:59 that, but this might be a good stop gap way of addressing
10:41:02 that recommendation.
10:41:02 >>SONYA LITTLE: Thank you, Councilman.
10:41:06 We have a tremendous amount of moving parts at this time.
10:41:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Mulhern?
10:41:10 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
10:41:11 With regard to the compensation studies, this whole item,
10:41:17 item G, having to do with the budget advisory committee and
10:41:20 their recommendations, I want to put it in a little
10:41:24 perspective for council that the first year that they made
10:41:30 the recommendations, I believe one of their recommendations
10:41:33 was that we go back and look at the compensation study that
10:41:39 has been done, right before it started.
10:41:45 So the city did a compensation study several years ago.
10:41:49 It was, I think, during mayor Iorio's first term.
10:41:54 So when the budget advisory committee first convened, they
10:41:59 wanted to look at that salary study.
10:42:02 Probably not going to fly now, but I just want people to
10:42:07 know that the reason they continue to ask for some of the
10:42:09 same things every year is because they didn't get much
10:42:13 So the great thing about staff and how the mayor has been
10:42:19 dealing with this committee is that you have been working
10:42:22 with them, providing them with all the information.
10:42:24 There's been a lot of back and forth.
10:42:26 The not so great thing is, I don't think we have gotten to
10:42:29 the point yet where -- and maybe you can correct me if I am
10:42:35 wrong but it doesn't seem any of these great recommendations
10:42:39 we have gotten have actually been adopted.
10:42:43 >>SONYA LITTLE: Well, if you will allow me to go through
10:42:49 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes.
10:42:50 And the other thing I was going to say, and I was going to
10:42:53 say this under the last item but I think it's probably more
10:42:56 appropriate to say it now.
10:42:57 And I don't know if this has ever been one of the
10:43:01 recommendations of the budget committee, but I think with
10:43:06 the non-departmental expenses that we were discussing, we
10:43:12 need a better process.
10:43:14 We need more trance pansy.
10:43:16 We need best practices.
10:43:17 And I have been saying this since I was on council.
10:43:21 But I guess my first question to you -- and I think you will
10:43:25 notice -- and I don't have it right in front of me -- knits
10:43:28 this book somewhere -- but what is the total amount in this
10:43:31 year's budget of nondepartmental expenses?
10:43:33 >>SONYA LITTLE: I'll get it.
10:43:39 >> Radar just gave total me.
10:43:44 20 million.
10:43:45 I just wanted to repeat that number.
10:43:50 20.3838 million.
10:43:53 So this council today seems to have come down to just asking
10:43:58 for in that funding, if we could find 25,000 for our
10:44:04 historic Ybor City museum.
10:44:05 So in that amount of money somewhere, I hope we can find it
10:44:12 and maybe do some readjustment of where some of the other
10:44:17 maybe not for profits.
10:44:19 And my point is that this year, $20 million of
10:44:24 nondepartmental money, of taxpayer money, general fund
10:44:29 money, is being distributed, without any kind of transparent
10:44:33 process to be -- I know there is a process, and I know every
10:44:37 department looks at these, and you have given us some really
10:44:40 good information today about the thought process behind it.
10:44:44 But as far as how it works for those departments -- I'm
10:44:49 sorry, those agencies that are asking for funding, and for
10:44:52 the public who is watching how we didn't and how we allocate
10:44:56 that money, I think we need to have a more transparent
10:45:00 I think we need to look at best practices.
10:45:02 I'm sure if we looked at the county, the county has a
10:45:04 process for not for profits.
10:45:07 How do we fund them?
10:45:08 Is there an application process?
10:45:10 What do those individuals have to show?
10:45:12 And I think there's a few things that are very obvious.
10:45:17 When you look at funding for not for profits, where is that
10:45:20 money going to?
10:45:21 Is it going for their mission or is it going to salaries?
10:45:24 That's a big question, and we need to look at that.
10:45:28 Secondly, are those salaries appropriate?
10:45:30 When you have public funding going to fund jobs, are we
10:45:34 paying the appropriate amount?
10:45:40 And I think the third question, which is really important,
10:45:43 is, are they maximizing their own fund-raising capabilities?
10:45:48 And the Ybor City museum is a very good example of a very
10:45:54 small organization with very little public money who has
10:45:57 been raising a lot of money on their own.
10:46:01 And I think that when we contribute to those not for
10:46:04 profits, we need to think about that.
10:46:07 So I'm asking our Finance Committee, if they didn't -- I
10:46:13 don't believe this is one of their recommendations this
10:46:15 year, but I think next year they really look at that, come
10:46:18 up with a framework for how we are allocating -- and I also
10:46:23 think a really good step that the mayor hired a grants
10:46:27 writer finally, and that should be a department, really, you
10:46:30 know, grants and not for profit funding, and are if we
10:46:37 continue to expand that -- and that's something that would
10:46:42 fit well within that department to look at how we allocate
10:46:46 our own dollars, not just the application for grant money
10:46:50 that we do, but how do we allocate it, and allocate that
10:46:59 fund, nondepartmental fund.
10:47:01 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have Mr. Reddick and Mr. Suarez.
10:47:02 >>FRANK REDDICK: Piggybacking on what Mrs. Mulhern was
10:47:10 talking about, the $25,000 that the museum is requesting,
10:47:16 let me tell you where you can get that $25,000 from.
10:47:24 We have got a million dollars from a developer with this
10:47:31 They are also getting over some $400,000 from the city.
10:47:35 Taking $25,000 out of that 400,000-some is not going to kill
10:47:41 them because they just got an extra million dollars.
10:47:43 You can start there.
10:47:45 25 not going to hurt them when will they got a million that
10:47:48 they didn't expect to get.
10:47:49 And they are sitting on a cool $1 million.
10:47:53 And they have got a whole $25,000 from the city and taking
10:47:58 25, and you can take that 25 from that, and they still have
10:48:04 plenty of month. You can start there.
10:48:05 >>SONYA LITTLE: Along those lines -- and I understand
10:48:07 exactly what you are saying -- the other nonprofits as well,
10:48:10 they may not have appeared, but we get the calls.
10:48:14 >>FRANK REDDICK: But that's their mistake because they
10:48:16 haven't appeared before council.
10:48:18 [ Laughter ]
10:48:20 >>SONYA LITTLE: And they may.
10:48:22 >>FRANK REDDICK: Not one other nonprofit has -- so it's
10:48:29 their loss.
10:48:30 But we are trying to say, we think that those $25,000 being
10:48:37 allocated to their museum, and that will start right there
10:48:43 from taking that small percentage of 25,000 from that budget
10:48:48 when they got a cool $1 million that's coming to them.
10:48:52 It is not going to hurt them.
10:48:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have got Mr. Suarez, Ms. Montelione,
10:48:59 Mr. Cohen in, that order.
10:49:01 Pardon me?
10:49:02 Mr. Suarez first.
10:49:06 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Ms. Little, I know you are going to go
10:49:17 through the rest of these recommendations also.
10:49:19 And I understand.
10:49:20 And I wish a cool million nowadays, you need a cool 10
10:49:26 million to do anything.
10:49:30 I'm sure that there may be -- and I think Mr. Cohen can
10:49:33 answer this concerning the those dollars that are being
10:49:36 given to the Straz, but as a different issue, which is we
10:49:41 own the Straz.
10:49:42 It's our property.
10:49:43 It's something that we need to take care of.
10:49:45 So as good as an organization as the Ybor museum is, it is
10:49:55 still not owned by the city and we need to make sure we
10:49:57 understand that.
10:49:58 We like to give money to different nonprofits.
10:50:00 We like to be a partner with them in any way possible.
10:50:02 But it's still things that we own primarily in that part of
10:50:05 our budget.
10:50:06 And you mentioned it before, I think I mentioned it a couple
10:50:11 weeks ago or last week when we had our budget meeting, is
10:50:14 that most of those dollars go into those assets that we own
10:50:19 and we control, primarily.
10:50:21 And, you know, the biggest chunks of those dollars go to the
10:50:26 Straz, they go to the aquarium.
10:50:29 Those are physical assets that we own.
10:50:32 So I just want to make sure that we reemphasize that,
10:50:35 because again, there may be some dollars that come out of
10:50:38 the moneys that the developer has made a commitment to the
10:50:42 Straz that we can using.
10:50:45 But it's not really necessarily a chunk coming out thereof
10:50:48 but it's a way that we move money.
10:50:51 And you are very good at that in terms whereof we need to
10:50:54 fill holes and where we need to find the dollars to make
10:50:57 this city operate.
10:50:58 So I just want to point that out.
10:51:00 I am going to let you go through the rest of the
10:51:02 recommendations because there are some on there especially
10:51:04 on the parking issue that we want to talk about.
10:51:07 And I think I will just wait until she gets to that point
10:51:10 and discuss that.
10:51:13 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have Mr. Cohen and Mrs. Montelione.
10:51:14 >>HARRY COHEN: Thank you.
10:51:18 There first of all, let me just say that I applaud the
10:51:21 effort to try to help the Ybor City museum.
10:51:23 I think it's a very worthy organization, and given the
10:51:27 baseball that they have underway I would love for us to try
10:51:32 to find $25 that you whether it be in the parks budget or
10:51:36 somewhere else in order to help them.
10:51:39 I always am concerned when we start, for lack of a better
10:51:44 word, cannibalizing one agency in order to help another.
10:51:47 And I wanted to address the issues regarding the Straz
10:51:50 Councilman Suarez points out that the city does own the
10:51:53 Straz Center.
10:51:55 With regards to the million dollars, my sense is that that
10:51:58 is a deal that is long past being under our control.
10:52:02 We dealt with will that this summer.
10:52:03 But in terms of the Straz's needs, right now, the Straz
10:52:07 center is 25 years old, and it has $10 million in capital
10:52:11 It needs new seats, recovered in the Carol Morsani theater,
10:52:20 it needs a new air conditioning system, it needs all kinds
10:52:23 of work that a 25-year-old building that has literally
10:52:29 hundreds of thousands of people in and out of it on a
10:52:32 regular basis needs.
10:52:35 The Straz Center is a tremendous economic generator for this
10:52:39 region, and one of the competitions that it's going to be
10:52:43 facing in the next couple of years is the opening of a just
10:52:48 as large performing arts center in downtown Orlando that is
10:52:51 going to compete with this for various different traveling
10:52:57 We also get very stiff competition from Ruth Eckerd hall in
10:53:02 So it's very, very important that, again because the city
10:53:08 owns it that we keep up with their needs.
10:53:10 I will tell you that from my perspective, I feel the
10:53:13 I think that they actually should be getting more support
10:53:16 from the city, not less.
10:53:18 Because if they can't continue to invest money in their
10:53:22 capital plan, and it starts to affect their ability to bring
10:53:26 in business, the economic impact downtown is going to be
10:53:30 very, very significant.
10:53:32 So, you know, again, I am always happy to talk about the
10:53:38 needs of a lot of the worthy organizations in the city.
10:53:42 But for one that the city has such a large investment in,
10:53:46 and that has such really significant long-term capital
10:53:49 needs, I don't think that that's an appropriate place to go
10:53:52 and get the money.
10:53:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Montelione?
10:53:56 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you.
10:53:59 I'll say one thing about the needs of the Straz Center, and
10:54:02 then one other comment, and then hear the rest of what you
10:54:10 have to say, Mrs. Little.
10:54:13 I'm very interested in sustainability, environmental issues,
10:54:17 and energy efficiencies, because one of the reasons that you
10:54:22 employ those kinds of strategies is to be safe money.
10:54:26 Anytime you do an energy efficiency measure, you are going
10:54:30 to save money.
10:54:31 And it has come to my attention that the Straz recently
10:54:40 purchased equipment for their air handler and chiller
10:54:46 I also had -- and this goes back the to when we first took
10:54:52 office, I had talked about the city employing a similar
10:54:57 strategy to what the county had done in building their own
10:55:02 chiller plant and having their buildings feed off of that
10:55:06 that chiller plant -- now because you work at the clerk's
10:55:10 I don't not if anybody else went on that tour.
10:55:12 It was very impressive.
10:55:16 And it was built in such a way that the company that won the
10:55:20 award to build it has a price guarantee.
10:55:24 So if the county is not saving money the company then covers
10:55:32 that expense.
10:55:33 If they do save money, they can sell the additional capacity
10:55:38 to other clients.
10:55:40 And I reached out, and I thought, well, this would be a
10:55:44 great idea, especially with be the new residences being
10:55:47 We have got the art museum.
10:55:49 We have got the Glazer Children's Museum.
10:55:52 And the Straz Center, which a couple of them we own or have
10:55:57 very large stakes in, except for the residences building.
10:56:02 What a great place to put something like that, a chiller
10:56:08 system, that would feed all of those buildings?
10:56:10 You would have energy efficiencies, you would have cost
10:56:12 savings, it would be a wonderful thing.
10:56:15 Well, when I talked to our attorney division about that,
10:56:23 they said, well, the Straz doesn't usually consult, or
10:56:29 facilities management division, with their needs for
10:56:34 And that's how I found through that conversation that they
10:56:38 had just recently purchased an air conditioning system that
10:56:44 was a lot of money, but didn't -- the chiller upgrade,
10:56:52 there's equipment on order, hasn't been installed yet but it
10:56:55 has been ordered.
10:56:56 And I thought, well, maybe there's a better interaction that
10:57:00 needs to take place between the facilities, not just the
10:57:03 Straz, but the art museum and the Glazer museum, and the
10:57:06 concentration of properties that are we have in that area,
10:57:09 or any area in the city where we have co-located facilities.
10:57:13 So I think maybe a little bit more strategic planning needs
10:57:17 to take place for the upkeep of the facilities that we own.
10:57:23 And the other thing I wanted to say was I went over the
10:57:26 committee recommendations from last year and compared them
10:57:28 to the committee recommendations for this year, and six of
10:57:32 them are carry-overs from the year before.
10:57:39 Of the ten recommendations that they made.
10:57:42 So --
10:57:45 >>SONYA LITTLE: Missing one.
10:57:48 >> The compensation study.
10:57:49 Utilize compensation survey results to evaluate employee
10:57:52 compensation, which is exactly the same.
10:57:54 I mean -- amend the city charter to be realigned with the
10:58:01 state investment policy, parking, and fleet,
10:58:06 Those are all the same as they were last year.
10:58:09 Only the dates were changed.
10:58:10 >>SONYA LITTLE: Okay.
10:58:14 I think we have the same.
10:58:15 >>HARRY COHEN: I just want to respond by saying that I know
10:58:18 that whatever expenditures the Straz Center has had in their
10:58:23 recent years has been to keep an old system running because
10:58:27 they are going to be in need of an entirely new system.
10:58:30 And just to put the criticality, you can imagine if their
10:58:39 air conditioning goes down they are out of business.
10:58:41 I mean, they are finished.
10:58:45 You really don't have any evidence at all that they are not
10:58:49 I mean, I think that you are starting to go into their
10:58:52 internal operation, and I just don't know than that's fair.
10:58:58 In any event, I know they have been working hard to keep
10:59:01 running an old system that needs to be replaced.
10:59:04 And, you know, I know that their need for a new one is going
10:59:09 to be very costly.
10:59:11 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I think what we'll do, Mr. Cohen, if it
10:59:14 goes down have a sweat night and charge $25 to get in and
10:59:17 build anything you want.
10:59:19 All right.
10:59:20 Continue with your progress on, I believe, parking was
10:59:23 brought up?
10:59:24 >>SONYA LITTLE: We can go straight to parking.
10:59:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Suarez brought that up.
10:59:28 >>SONYA LITTLE: Right.
10:59:33 Again, at the risk of beating a dead horse, changes in
10:59:39 technology are really helping us get to where we really need
10:59:43 to be as far as overall operations in our parking system.
10:59:47 You have seen evidence of some of that already.
10:59:51 We are very much aware of and track our parking division
10:59:55 does track very closely utilization of all of our parking
10:59:58 assets to the garages, all of the meters, times, rates, and
11:00:03 even compare our rates to competing parking structures and
11:00:07 lots and so forth.
11:00:08 Now that the economy is turning around and occupancy is
11:00:12 increasing in the downtown area, the Ybor and Channelside in
11:00:16 particular, we are coming to a position where we can further
11:00:22 entertain what our parking rate structure should be.
11:00:25 We are not there yet.
11:00:27 Simply because it's moving, but this is not something that
11:00:34 has not been discussed.
11:00:35 This is not something that has not been considered already.
11:00:40 But before we start doing across-the-board changes to our
11:00:45 current rate structure, some of the interim things that we
11:00:48 are doing as we monitor utilization of the system, and where
11:00:52 we really should be, is improving our marketing, for number
11:00:57 Right now for the last several months, our public relations
11:01:02 team with the parking system has been working on a
11:01:05 full-blown marketing strategy to improve usage, and look at
11:01:14 more user friendly for our customers to come in and use our
11:01:17 parking system and our meters, parking garages and meters,
11:01:23 we are creating a brand that's going to target three primary
11:01:27 different markets, event Parkers, daily Parkers and users,
11:01:33 so there is some method to the madness.
11:01:35 But before we just jump into raising rates we are looking at
11:01:39 We are not done.
11:01:40 We have been working on parking for a long time and we are
11:01:43 not done.
11:01:43 The city he's some additional considerations that we are
11:01:46 looking at.
11:01:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.
11:01:50 I usually stay quiet for a long time.
11:01:52 But, you know, we created our parking problem.
11:01:57 And I am not talking about you.
11:02:01 So the only parking garage that was making money.
11:02:06 Government gives away parking revenue for certain things,
11:02:10 sports franchise.
11:02:11 Now we have a problem.
11:02:12 Guess what.
11:02:13 Government created its own problem.
11:02:15 These all I am going to say.
11:02:16 Anything else?
11:02:17 Mr. Suarez.
11:02:18 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Thank you, chair of the one of the things
11:02:21 that was recommended by the committee, some of it was rate.
11:02:26 And obviously you made be a very good presentation that some
11:02:29 of the contractual, we have got to find marketing, even
11:02:33 those places where it's not contractual, there's a lot of
11:02:36 money that have been we provide to employees for using our
11:02:39 parking garages, too.
11:02:40 There's a lot of issues that are borne in that.
11:02:45 One of the recommendations was to expand the area in which
11:02:48 they collect for on-street parking.
11:02:51 And I know that there are certain days that they don't
11:02:54 collect or certain areas they don't collect.
11:02:56 If you have got that particular street that you can park for
11:03:02 free as opposed to one block over you can feel, well, I can
11:03:06 walk a block and that's fine and I am not getting charged.
11:03:09 Their recommendation really turned on the fact that Hixon
11:03:12 Park has become so successful that the parking availability
11:03:17 both in the POE garage and in private garages that are near
11:03:23 the park are so filled that we probably can get some
11:03:27 additional revenue from parking spacings that are along the
11:03:31 streets, and especially now since we do have the
11:03:34 technological capability of being able to go on smart mode
11:03:38 and for people to pay, I think that is a great
11:03:42 recommendation on their part.
11:03:43 Now again, I think that boundary discussion has to be done
11:03:48 by the parking department, and see what is the additional
11:03:53 amount that we are going to gain versus the number of folks
11:03:57 we may lose because of that change.
11:04:00 I don't think they'll have an answer to that, to be honest
11:04:03 with you.
11:04:04 But I do think we need to look at that portion of it.
11:04:07 The other part of it in terms of our parking rate, that's a
11:04:11 whole other kettle of fish that we are going to have to
11:04:13 really think about, because, you know, we are so bogged down
11:04:19 by contractual obligation.
11:04:21 There is almost no way for us to make money in the current
11:04:25 Maybe in a couple of years we will be able to make some
11:04:28 But right now, we are still staying afloat.
11:04:31 We are paying less money towards parking this year than we
11:04:34 have in the past.
11:04:35 But it's still money that we are putting into that fund that
11:04:37 we shouldn't have been putting into to begin with.
11:04:40 I think Mr. Chairman Miranda put it very succinctly when he
11:04:43 said it's not a problem we created ourselves individually or
11:04:49 as this council, Bub it is something we inherited and we
11:04:53 need to try to solve.
11:04:54 But that recommendation is something that I think we can
11:04:57 actually put into place and implement fairly quickly once
11:05:01 parking division finds out what that cost, that net amount
11:05:05 we will be getting out of that will be.
11:05:07 So I would suggest that we strongly suggest that we
11:05:10 definitely look at that so that we can move forward and
11:05:12 maybe get a couple extra bucks from our parking, off-street
11:05:18 Thank you.
11:05:19 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any comments from council on parking?
11:05:21 All right.
11:05:21 Anything else?
11:05:26 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I just want to agree with Mr. Suarez.
11:05:29 I know, miracles do happen.
11:05:32 But the parking rate thing, one of the things that we talked
11:05:38 about last year, and I think probably the year before that,
11:05:41 are the parking rates.
11:05:42 And much like the way we have this discussion -- and we have
11:05:48 all heard this discussion when we sit on MPO from Joe Wagner
11:05:52 as the transit authority -- is that you can adjust your rate
11:05:59 electronically since we do have electronic parking devices
11:06:02 now to match the consumer demand, so that when there's high
11:06:08 demand you can charge higher rates.
11:06:10 When there's low demand you can charge lower rates.
11:06:12 So thereby have a sliding scale of rates.
11:06:22 And the other thing for me, I want to encourage use of the
11:06:26 bike share program.
11:06:27 I want to encourage people walking, and I want to encourage
11:06:30 people using mass transit to get places.
11:06:32 And if you provide abundant free parking or nearly free
11:06:37 parking, purchase incentivizing people to drive down here,
11:06:41 not the other way around.
11:06:42 So if people can't find parking -- and I think I said this
11:06:45 last time we discussed it at the first public hearing -- you
11:06:48 know, you want to be able to raise those rates to encourage
11:06:55 people to carpool, or find another means of getting down
11:06:59 So many of our garages, we charge way too little money.
11:07:03 They are not competitive rates.
11:07:05 And having this recommendation at least two years in a row,
11:07:10 I think three years in a row, it almost seems like we ask so
11:07:15 much of the citizens advisory committee.
11:07:18 Speak spend so much time working on these recommendations,
11:07:21 and then two, three years in a row, we pretty much ignore
11:07:25 So --
11:07:27 >>SONYA LITTLE: If I can say, we don't.
11:07:29 We don't ignore.
11:07:30 >> But we haven't acted.
11:07:32 >>SONYA LITTLE: This information is being acted upon,
11:07:36 specifically parking, and the information that the citizens
11:07:39 advisory committee comes up with is based on information
11:07:42 that we share.
11:07:44 And we have been sharing the challenges that we have in
11:07:46 parking, and we share some of the information of what we are
11:07:49 trying to accomplish.
11:07:51 So it may not happen as quickly as any of us would like to
11:07:55 There's a fine line in parking.
11:07:57 And I'm no parking expert, by the way.
11:07:59 But there's a fine line in what you charge to accommodate
11:08:03 people coming here to use our parking, and them deciding to
11:08:10 not just come at all.
11:08:11 So all being considered, we have not turned a blind eye to
11:08:17 This is a work in process and it's not easy.
11:08:20 We have all said it.
11:08:21 It is not easy because of all the restrictions that we have,
11:08:24 all of the agreements that we have, and to segment pieces is
11:08:29 not for the good of the system.
11:08:31 We need to evaluate the entire system.
11:08:35 And what we are trying to do is come um with a complete and
11:08:37 comprehensive plan to be the least painful for all of our
11:08:42 citizens, all of our business owners, and the city in
11:08:48 So it's not falling on deaf ears.
11:08:50 This is something we talk about frequently.
11:08:52 This is something that we reach out to our vested partners
11:08:56 and have discussions about frequently.
11:08:58 So, no, this is not falling on deaf ears.
11:09:01 This is something we are working on.
11:09:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.
11:09:04 I really appreciate it.
11:09:05 Anything else to come?
11:09:10 >>FRANK REDDICK: My recommendation remains the same,
11:09:15 Are? Or we can charge each council member $4132.
11:09:21 To get to $25,000.
11:09:23 >> I don't have it.
11:09:28 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Neither do I but I thought I would
11:09:29 mention it in case you want to do it.
11:09:31 Anything else?
11:09:31 Before you go any further, I don't want to forget this.
11:09:36 Yolie Capin sent a memo in, and I need to receive and file,
11:09:40 says due to my husband's recent passing I will be absent
11:09:43 from today's meeting.
11:09:44 I have a motion by Mr. Reddick.
11:09:46 Seconded by Mr. Cohen.
11:09:51 All in favor of the motion?
11:09:53 The ayes have it unanimously.
11:09:54 I'm sorry.
11:09:55 Go on, ma'am.
11:09:56 >>SONYA LITTLE: Another recommendation that has not fallen
11:09:59 on deaf ears is the committee's recommendation to amend the
11:10:03 charter, the city charter related to the investment policy.
11:10:07 I think you have that one, also.
11:10:12 We have had this discussion as well.
11:10:14 Our policy obviously is not as liberal as Dade County's
11:10:18 However, we have weathered the storm.
11:10:22 Fortunately, when the market was thriving, the city
11:10:26 purchased several large investments, treasury securities, at
11:10:30 higher-than-current market rates today.
11:10:33 Fortunately, many of them have remained over on the books
11:10:39 during the course of the economic downturn for keeping us,
11:10:43 you know, better than we probably would have been if we had
11:10:46 had securities that had taken a larger hit.
11:10:49 So for the most part, though conservative, could we do
11:10:53 better? Possibly.
11:10:54 Or we could have also done worse during this economic
11:11:01 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any other comments?
11:11:02 Thank you very much.
11:11:03 Any other things to come before this special meeting?
11:11:09 We need to receive and file all the documents.
11:11:13 Motion by Mrs. Montelione, second by Mr. Cohen.
11:11:15 All in favor? Opposed?
11:11:18 Anything else?
11:11:19 We stand adjourned till 5:01. That's today. Not 5:01
11:11:24 tomorrow. Please show up at 5:01.
11:11:28 Thank you very much.
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