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Tampa City Council

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5:01 p.m. Budget Hearing


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05:04:32 [Sounding gavel]

05:04:35 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: City Council is called to order.

05:04:36 Roll call.

05:04:37 >>FRANK REDDICK: Here.

05:04:46 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Here.

05:04:48 >>MARY MULHERN: Here.

05:04:49 >>HARRY COHEN: Here.

05:04:49 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Here.

05:04:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

05:04:53 Need a motion to open the public hearing for the budget.

05:04:58 >> So moved.

05:04:58 >> Second.

05:04:59 >> Motion by Mr. Cohen, seconded by Mrs. Mulhern.

05:05:03 Discussion by council members?

05:05:04 The ayes have it unanimously.

05:05:06 We will have public comments at the time, and we will have

05:05:12 time for those three minutes you have to speak on the

05:05:16 millage and on capital improvement resolution us for the

05:05:19 budget.

05:05:24 Mr. Cohen?

05:05:25 >>HARRY COHEN: This is the second public hearing for the

05:05:28 City of Tampa 2014 fiscal year 2014 budget.

05:05:30 The proposed millage rate is 5.7326 mills, which is 4.39%

05:05:35 more than the rollback millage rate of 5.4914 mills.

05:05:40 Property tax funds are used to support the general fund

05:05:42 operating budget of the city.

05:05:45 The fund includes such departments as fire rescue and

05:05:47 police, human resources, parks and recreation, and public

05:05:51 works.

05:05:51 >> Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I did not

05:06:02 mention that Mrs. Capin is not here because of the passing

05:06:05 of her husband, and we are all sorry.

05:06:10 Let's have a moment of silence, please.

05:06:14 (Moment of silence)

05:06:16 Thank you very much.

05:06:18 Okay.

05:06:24 Mrs. Little?

05:06:26 >>SONYA LITTLE: Good evening, council members.

05:06:27 It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon to work with you

05:06:31 as it relates to the second public hearing for the fiscal

05:06:34 year 2014 City of Tampa budget, and have a few slides to

05:06:42 recap on many of the items that we have spoken with you, and

05:06:45 each of our workshops, as well as our first public hearing.

05:06:57 To begin with, you will recall that we started the fiscal

05:07:01 year early in the budget process with a $19.2 million budget

05:07:06 deficit over the prior year.

05:07:08 And on July 25th, the mayor presented a proposed

05:07:13 balanced budget to City Council.

05:07:14 Again, we did have our first public hearing on September

05:07:17 9th.

05:07:18 Just to refresh your memories on how we provided solutions

05:07:23 in which we would be able to present a balanced budget, you

05:07:29 are well aware that there was an increase in property tax

05:07:32 revenues, 6.8% higher than the prior fiscal year which

05:07:37 equated to $7.3 million.

05:07:40 We also had departmental operating reductions of 2.7

05:07:44 million.

05:07:45 Also, we made an accelerated pension contribution which

05:07:49 resulted in half a million dollars in savings to our general

05:07:53 fund.

05:07:55 Based on restructuring the debt service related to our

05:07:59 parking system, increased utilization of all of our parking

05:08:04 assets, as well as improvements in operating efficiencies

05:08:09 for the parking system.

05:08:12 Our subsidy to the parking system for '14 is expected to

05:08:16 decline $1.2 million.

05:08:18 So in total, we had total reductions of 11.7 million.

05:08:22 That applies to our budget shortfall, leaving us with a

05:08:25 revised budget shortfall of $7.5 million in which we will

05:08:30 balance the budget by taking that amount from our reserves.

05:08:45 The pie chart is the city's overall budget, $830.9 million,

05:08:50 largely attributable to our general fund which makes up 43%

05:08:55 of the total city budget, which equates to $354.4 million.

05:09:01 Closely behind the general fund are our enterprises which

05:09:05 consists of water, wastewater, parking and solid waste which

05:09:09 equates to 38% of the overall budget of $314.5 million.

05:09:15 Closely behind that are other governmental expenditures

05:09:21 which primarily consist of the local option gas tax,

05:09:24 right-of-way, stormwater, and the community investment tax,

05:09:30 11% or $91.8 million.

05:09:34 If you will take a look at this pie chart and the large dark

05:09:38 blue portion, the general fund portion, we are going to take

05:09:42 that out of what you are looking at here, as far as the

05:09:43 city's overall budget and get to the heart of the matter.

05:09:50 Our general fund expenditures for '14, the overall budget is

05:09:59 $354.4 million.

05:10:05 Our expenditures for the general fund, the large blue area,

05:10:07 is for our public safety, which is 63% or $221 million of

05:10:14 the entire general fund budget.

05:10:17 Central government at 50.1 million or 14%, parks and rec at

05:10:23 12% or 43.5 and then public works at 6% or 20.9.

05:10:36 Florida statutes require that we annually adopt the city's

05:10:39 millage rate.

05:10:40 And for the seventh consecutive fiscal year we are proposing

05:10:42 that the millage rate of 5.7326 be adopted by City Council,

05:10:49 and as we continue with the public hearing, there will be

05:10:52 additional measures that you have to formally vote on, if

05:10:58 you are willing to support the proposed millage rate of

05:11:06 5.7326%.

05:11:09 So he talked about the operating side.

05:11:11 Both the city-wide and the general fund operating budget and

05:11:23 now we will focus on the five year program.

05:11:25 For the five years we have a total of 535,096,000 million.

05:11:30 The line items listed there, we discussed in great detail on

05:11:34 provider meetings but wanted to provide it again as a

05:11:39 summary.

05:11:48 With that I would be happy to entertain questions.

05:11:51 >> Any comments or questions by the council at this time for

05:11:54 Ms. Little?

05:11:56 Seeing none, I go to the public.

05:11:58 This is a public hearing.

05:12:00 We would certainly like to listen to you, what your concerns

05:12:04 are, comments are, pro or con.

05:12:06 And you can speak on your three minutes regarding the

05:12:08 operating budget.

05:12:09 You can speak on the ad valorem percentages of the millage.

05:12:13 Or you can speak on the capital improvement budget.

05:12:16 You can speak on all three of them.

05:12:18 And you are certainly entitled to come up, and we ask you to

05:12:21 come up at this time.

05:12:22 Anyone in the public care to come up and speak on these

05:12:25 items?

05:12:25 Come right up.

05:12:26 >> Connie June, 105 Adelia. Good evening.

05:12:39 There are some great things happening in the City of Tampa.

05:12:42 I read the budget and the supplement and analyzed a lot of

05:12:45 the numbers, and in my three minutes I wanted to focus on an

05:12:48 opportunity that I see, and that is specifically lowering

05:12:52 the employee health care cost without taking anything away

05:12:55 from the employees.

05:12:58 According to the budget this fiscal year, the health cost

05:13:07 experienced an 8.9% increase with a projected 8% increase

05:13:09 going into the next fiscal year.

05:13:13 I looked at 20 other Florida municipalities, and similar

05:13:17 sized employer groups who are experiencing about 3%

05:13:20 increases.

05:13:23 They also have on-site and near-site clinics to help them

05:13:27 with their strategies.

05:13:29 It appears that again looking at some of the specifics in

05:13:35 their health care plans, they are performing at 22 to 46%

05:13:40 better than Tampa, and as we hear the mayor say often, Tampa

05:13:47 can do better, so I'm a firm believer in that.

05:13:50 The difference appears to be in the engagement strategies

05:13:54 that are used, so I'm recommending that as we go into the

05:13:58 new fiscal year that consideration is given to invest in a

05:14:02 comprehensive communication strategy, so all on the plan can

05:14:07 learn how to be smart health care consumers.

05:14:10 That's a big emphasis now with other health benefit plans.

05:14:14 Secondly, provide the necessary tools so all have direct

05:14:19 access to cost and quality information, providing that

05:14:24 information to -- directly to employees is vital so they can

05:14:28 make better decisions about their health care costs and get

05:14:31 control over them.

05:14:33 Why do we need to do that?

05:14:35 Well, health care costs are not going to go down unless

05:14:38 everyone does their part.

05:14:41 Lowering health care costs is going to put more money back

05:14:44 into the employees' pockets than a 2% increase. According

05:14:49 to the calculation, if we can come close to the other

05:14:54 municipalities, it could mean a savings of about $245 per

05:14:59 employee per month.

05:15:04 Health care reform.

05:15:05 We are going to be on the hook for $660,000.

05:15:08 And all of the property insurance increases, the flood

05:15:13 insurance, all those external issues that are going to

05:15:17 impact costs, and homeowners in particular.

05:15:23 Lastly, I would like to say I am concerned about borrowing

05:15:26 from our reserve fund at the rate we have been, because what

05:15:32 happens in a hurricane?

05:15:34 How long can we pay our city employees and our other

05:15:37 operating costs if we are faced with that?

05:15:42 We need those employees during recovery.

05:15:45 Thank you.

05:15:46 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you so much.

05:15:47 It's good information, and we'll see what we can digest out

05:15:50 of it.

05:15:54 When you talk about hurricanes, I know what happened in

05:15:56 Homestead, and I know what happened in other areas.

05:15:58 I'm not an expert on it.

05:16:01 In fact, I'm not an expert in insurance at all.

05:16:03 But I understand that some of the costs were lowered.

05:16:07 I'm not as smart as you are to find out -- I didn't do the

05:16:11 20 cities.

05:16:12 And I would like for you to possibly give the office a call,

05:16:15 and I can sit down with you and see where your information

05:16:18 came from -- and I'm sure it's correct -- so that we can

05:16:21 look at it in the upcoming year.

05:16:23 And if it is, I think maybe you ought to get a little bonus.

05:16:29 [ Laughter ]

05:16:30 >> Thank you.

05:16:31 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else in the audience care to speak

05:16:33 on this item?

05:16:34 Come on up.

05:16:42 >> Mr. Chairman, and members of the City Council, I send

05:16:48 greetings to you, and best wishes.

05:16:51 I'm Al Davis, 3717 East Wilder Avenue.

05:16:56 And Mr. Chairman, you know what I am going to do?

05:17:03 I am going to exercise the kind of indication that I believe

05:17:09 that you know what you are doing.

05:17:12 I believe in kudos to Ms. Little and her financial staff

05:17:15 people.

05:17:16 They know what they are doing, too.

05:17:17 And the proposed budget, millage rate, and the tax and the

05:17:31 other part of the budget that deals with the community, I

05:17:40 see that -- that's a Freudian slip that "I see" -- I

05:17:47 understand that what you may adopt tonight, I look at

05:17:53 adopting it as a living document, because there's going to

05:17:56 be some amendment changes, and the way that we keep tabs on

05:18:01 those amendments and how it affects the overall budget is

05:18:06 too diligent by what's going on in the subsequent session of

05:18:09 the City Council.

05:18:11 So I would support the approval, including the tax rate,

05:18:20 including this amendment, and including the support for the

05:18:28 individual community.

05:18:29 And, Mr. Chairman, with that, I wish you well, and as time

05:18:37 unfolds we'll see how things go.

05:18:39 Continue to look out for the best interest, because you all

05:18:42 are taxpayers, too, aren't you?

05:18:44 You all go through the same pains that the rest of us go

05:18:47 through, don't you?

05:18:48 I'm sure.

05:18:51 As the saying goes, you feel our pain.

05:18:53 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

05:18:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Davis, let me just state that I don't

05:18:57 think any one of us six here today could have said it any

05:19:00 better than you, sir.

05:19:01 We really appreciate you coming here on a regular basis and

05:19:04 keeping us on a straight line.

05:19:06 I really appreciate it very much.

05:19:08 >> Thank you.

05:19:10 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any further comments or questions by

05:19:12 council members?

05:19:12 Need a motion to close.

05:19:16 Mrs. Montelione.

05:19:16 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I just have one.

05:19:18 Mrs. Little?

05:19:22 We received the information that you presented last week.

05:19:25 And I was wondering if there was any changes that we may

05:19:30 have not seen in the presentation that you presented from

05:19:34 the first budget, the hearing that we had two weeks ago.

05:19:39 >>SONYA LITTLE: At this time, madam, there have been no

05:19:43 additional changes.

05:19:43 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you.

05:19:46 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any further questions by council members,

05:19:48 comments at this time?

05:19:49 If there aren't any, I would like to have a motion to close

05:19:52 the public hearing.

05:19:53 I have a motion by Mr. Cohen, seconded by Mrs. Mulhern.

05:19:56 Further discussion by council members?

05:19:57 All in favor of the motion?

05:19:58 Opposed?

05:19:59 The ayes have it unanimously.

05:20:00 Mr. Cohen?

05:20:01 >>HARRY COHEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

05:20:04 I am going to read the resolution in its entirety that

05:20:07 actually levies the ad valorem rate of 5.7326 mills per

05:20:12 thousand.

05:20:13 A resolution levying an ad valorem tax at the rate of 5.7326

05:20:23 mills upon all real and personal taxable property in the

05:20:25 City of Tampa for the fiscal year 2014, authorizing the

05:20:28 mayor and city clerk to certify such millage, providing an

05:20:32 effective date.

05:20:33 Be it resolved by the City Council of the city of Tampa,

05:20:38 Florida, section 1, that an ad valorem tax rate at the rate

05:20:41 of 5.7326 mills to raise the amount of money as fixed in the

05:20:53 recommended operating and capital budget of the City of

05:20:54 Tampa for the fiscal year commencing October 1st, 2013,

05:20:59 and ending September 30th, 2014, for the general fund

05:21:03 for the maintenance and operation of the City of Tampa is

05:21:06 hereby levied as provided by law on all real and personal

05:21:10 property, taxable for that purpose in the City of Tampa.

05:21:16 Section 2, that the mayor and city clerk as the proper

05:21:19 authorities for the City of Tampa are duly authorized,

05:21:22 empowered and directed to certify to the property appraiser

05:21:25 of Hillsborough County, Florida, the millage to be levied

05:21:27 for all purposes for the fiscal year 2014 in the City of

05:21:30 Tampa, to wit: 5.7326 mills which exceeds the rollback rate

05:21:37 as defined in section 200.065 section 1 of the Florida

05:21:43 statutes by 4.39% and to request the levy of the millage as

05:21:47 set forth upon all real and personal property in the City of

05:21:50 Tampa as above set forth in accordance with the provision of

05:21:53 the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida.

05:21:55 Section 3, that other proper officers of the City of Tampa

05:22:02 are authorized to do all things necessary and proper in

05:22:04 order to carry out and make effective the terms and

05:22:07 conditions of this resolution which shall become effective,

05:22:13 immediately upon its adoption, passed and adopted by the

05:22:15 City Council of the city of Tampa, Florida on September 25,

05:22:25 2013.

05:22:26 >> I have a motion for approval by Mr. Cohen, seconded by

05:22:27 Mr. Suarez on the motion for what Mr. Cohen just read,

05:22:30 adoption of the millage rate and resolution and the vote.

05:22:35 We are having a little technical difficulties.

05:22:42 Is it fixed?

05:22:43 That one is fine. All right.

05:22:45 So I have a motion by Mr. Cohen, seconded by Mr. Suarez.

05:22:49 Do you need a roll call vote?

05:22:51 All right.

05:22:52 All in favor of the motion please signify by saying aye.

05:22:55 Opposed nay.

05:22:56 Motion passes unanimously.

05:22:58 Thank you very much.

05:22:58 >>HARRY COHEN: Mr. Chair, I make a motion to adopt the

05:23:03 millage rate, and to read the following ordinance on second

05:23:08 reading -- excuse me, we adopted the millage rate.

05:23:12 I am just going to read this ordinance on the second reading

05:23:15 to adopt the budget.

05:23:16 An ordinance adopting the budget for the fiscal year

05:23:18 beginning October 1st, 2013 and ending September 30,

05:23:22 2014, as presented by the mayor, providing for the levy as

05:23:26 provided by law of a tax on all taxable property in the City

05:23:29 of Tampa and fixing the millage within said city making

05:23:34 appropriations in accordance with the provisions of said

05:23:37 budget, authorizing and directing the mayor and the city

05:23:39 clerk as proper authorities of the City of Tampa to certify

05:23:42 to the property appraiser of Hillsborough County, Florida,

05:23:45 the millage to be levied for all purposes for the fiscal

05:23:48 year 2014 in the City of Tampa, providing an effective date.

05:23:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have a motion by Mr. Cohen.

05:23:55 I have a second by Mr. Suarez.

05:23:58 Discussion, Mr. Reddick.

05:23:59 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

05:24:03 Mrs. Little, let me ask one question for the record, please.

05:24:09 The last budget hearing we had, we had some discussion about

05:24:12 the $25,000.

05:24:14 I just need to know, did you take the discussion we had to

05:24:21 the mayor, or did you have any discussions with the mayor

05:24:26 pertaining to that request?

05:24:29 >>SONYA LITTLE: Yes, sir.

05:24:30 >> And the mayor did not approve of that request?

05:24:33 >>SONYA LITTLE: The response was that everyone has

05:24:37 indicated some concern about our current process.

05:24:42 This has been the process that's been on the books for

05:24:44 several -- many, many years.

05:24:46 So at this point, keeping everyone the best we possibly can

05:24:50 at where they were for the past couple of fiscal years was

05:24:54 the position that was being maintained and with this

05:24:59 particular request maintaining that at the same level as the

05:25:02 last three fiscal years.

05:25:03 >>FRANK REDDICK: The final question is that if the council

05:25:12 wished to request that certain consideration be given for a

05:25:18 particular item in the budget, what is the proper protocol?

05:25:23 Because it seems to me that -- what is the proper protocol?

05:25:28 >>SAL TERRITO: Legal department.

05:25:31 The way this has been done in the past generally is you have

05:25:34 gone back to the mayor after the budget has been approved,

05:25:36 make the request again, and if you come to some kind of

05:25:39 agreement the resolution will be brought forward to make a

05:25:42 budget amendment at that time.

05:25:43 That's the way it's been done in the past.

05:25:45 >>FRANK REDDICK: So after this is signed off, through this

05:25:48 process, then this council can make a request for budget

05:25:53 amendment to the mayor?

05:25:56 >>SAL TERRITO: Yes.

05:25:57 >>FRANK REDDICK: Okay.

05:26:00 And that's for any party that we might have under

05:26:03 consideration?

05:26:05 >>SAL TERRITO: Correct.

05:26:05 And if the mayor is in concurrence, then that budget

05:26:08 resolution will be brought forward and the change made.

05:26:10 If not, then that's a discussion you have to have with him.

05:26:13 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you.

05:26:15 I just want to make sure I understood the protocol, because

05:26:19 I would be inclined to make a motion for a budget amendment.

05:26:23 Thank you.

05:26:25 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Okay.

05:26:25 Any other comments by council members at this time?

05:26:28 Okay.

05:26:32 I had a motion.

05:26:32 This is going to be a voice roll call because we do have a

05:26:36 technical difficulty problem.

05:26:38 Motion made by Mr. Cohens, seconded by Mr. Suarez.

05:26:41 Any comments by council members?

05:26:42 I see none.

05:26:45 Voice roll call.

05:26:45 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Yes.

05:26:49 >>FRANK REDDICK: Yes.

05:26:51 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes.

05:26:53 >>HARRY COHEN: Yes.

05:26:55 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Yes.

05:26:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Yes.

05:26:56 >>THE CLERK: Motion carried with Capin being absent.

05:27:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

05:27:02 >>HARRY COHEN: I make a motion to adopt the capital

05:27:09 improvement budget resolution.

05:27:11 >> Motion by Mr. Cohen on item 10 to adopt the capital

05:27:13 improvement budget, seconded by Mrs. Mulhern.

05:27:15 Further discussion by council members?

05:27:19 All in favor of the motion please indicate by saying aye.

05:27:22 Opposed nay.

05:27:25 Did we catch the 9?

05:27:32 I want to make sure the record is clean.

05:27:33 Any other items to come before this council?

05:27:36 Mr. Cohen?

05:27:37 >>HARRY COHEN: I have an item of new business.

05:27:40 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Okay.

05:27:40 Before I close, Mr. Cohen.

05:27:42 >>HARRY COHEN: Thank you very much.

05:27:44 I did want to talk for just a minute about some of the

05:27:47 concerns that have been raised through the process regarding

05:27:50 council members' ability to influence the budget process and

05:27:55 influence the way decisions are being made, and also the

05:27:59 ability of council members to adequately express to the

05:28:02 mayor and to the administration what our priorities are

05:28:06 during the course of the year.

05:28:07 And I wanted to make a suggestion to everyone today that

05:28:14 January 30th, which is our first workshop scheduled for

05:28:17 2014, that we actually use that workshop, which will be

05:28:22 about three months into the fiscal year, to start talking

05:28:25 about budget priorities for next year, and specifically

05:28:29 talking about setting up a procedure by which we as a

05:28:34 council can put forward our suggestions and recommendations

05:28:37 to the mayor in a methodical way, and in a way that reflects

05:28:42 all of our wishes, and that reflects the needs of all four

05:28:46 districts and the whole City of Tampa.

05:28:48 With that in mind I wanted to make a motion that we do that

05:28:51 in our workshop session on January 30th at 9:00 a.m.

05:28:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: 9:00 a.m.

05:28:57 I have a motion by Mr. Cohen.

05:28:58 I have a second by Mrs. Montelione.

05:28:59 Further discussion by council members?

05:29:01 All in favor of the motion indicate by saying aye.

05:29:04 Opposed nay.

05:29:05 Motion passed unanimously.

05:29:06 >>FRANK REDDICK: Mr. Chair, if we are going to have this

05:29:12 workshop that you are speaking of, will we discuss protocol

05:29:23 procedures at this workshop?

05:29:26 >>HARRY COHEN: My thought was it would give us a chance

05:29:30 before the budget gets underway to establish a protocol to

05:29:34 which we could express to the mayor, formally, as a council,

05:29:38 some of our budget priorities prior to when he starts making

05:29:41 these decisions.

05:29:43 >>FRANK REDDICK: I don't have a problem.

05:29:44 I'm just trying to get clarification on this.

05:29:46 What is the difference between what we just heard from the

05:29:48 attorney, that we can also make a budget amendment request?

05:29:52 >>HARRY COHEN: I don't think anything.

05:29:53 I think it's an opportunity for us to have a longer

05:29:57 discussion in advance of next year's priority.

05:30:00 I don't think it really has anything to do with anything

05:30:02 that would come up in the middle of the year.

05:30:04 It's more about what we want to see in next year's budget

05:30:08 and what some of our district needs might be.

05:30:10 >>FRANK REDDICK: Okay.

05:30:13 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?

05:30:17 Mr. Shelby?

05:30:18 >>MARTIN SHELBY: And maybe what we can do in January, if

05:30:20 you like, is to clarify the process to elaborate on what Mr.

05:30:24 Territo said.

05:30:25 The budget that was originally presented to you by the mayor

05:30:30 is the mayor's recommended budget.

05:30:31 At the public hearing you do have the opportunity to direct

05:30:34 changes, subject to the mayor approving it or vet to go it.

05:30:38 But we can go over that process so that you can understand

05:30:40 what the implications of that would be.

05:30:43 So you would have certain options available to you,

05:30:46 depending on what the mayor's response to your

05:30:48 recommendations are.

05:30:51 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?

05:30:52 >>FRANK REDDICK: Well, I will just follow up.

05:30:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick?

05:30:57 >>FRANK REDDICK: This is the point that I want to make,

05:30:59 because when we have the advisory committee, they come here

05:31:06 and make these recommendations.

05:31:10 Then when we present that recommendation at our first public

05:31:13 hearing, I don't see where none of these recommendations

05:31:16 have been incorporated.

05:31:17 And so, you know, why put these people through all this

05:31:24 time?

05:31:25 Now, if we can't make no recommendation, we have a process

05:31:29 where we can make a recommendation, and even though the

05:31:34 mayor has the final decision on this budget, we still should

05:31:38 have a process in place where we can come to a budget

05:31:43 hearing for the first reading or the budget hearing for the

05:31:47 second reading, and we have no input, because to ask the

05:31:52 question, and what Mrs. Montelione stated, there was no

05:31:57 changes made from what we discussed from the first public

05:32:00 hearing until we had the second hearing, no changes were

05:32:04 accepted from the advisory committee, from the first public

05:32:08 hearing to the second hearing.

05:32:10 So why do people go over this?

05:32:17 Why do we put them through this and make a recommendation

05:32:20 and no one is listening to them?

05:32:23 And I brought this up last year.

05:32:25 And I know we had our first discussion.

05:32:28 Some people are sitting up here saying these things will be

05:32:32 the same recommendations, and I don't think one or two were

05:32:38 accepted.

05:32:39 Or they might be given some consideration, but didn't

05:32:44 implement any of them.

05:32:45 So we need to find a way to have a process where we can

05:32:52 submit -- where we can submit -- I would rather submit

05:32:54 something to the mayor prior to the first budget hearing and

05:32:57 be rejected, and then go back to the mayor prior to that

05:33:03 second public hearing.

05:33:04 But we don't have that latitude now.

05:33:07 And this is what concerned me.

05:33:09 And I just wanted to say it.

05:33:10 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I appreciate it.

05:33:12 I have in speaking order Mrs. Montelione and Mrs. Mulhern.

05:33:15 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

05:33:18 The citizens advisory committee suggestions weren't taken

05:33:22 the prior year either, and, you know, that was our first

05:33:26 budget that we passed, and Mrs. Mulhern can speak to years

05:33:30 before, as can chair Miranda, on whether previous citizen

05:33:36 advisory committee recommendations have been taken.

05:33:40 From my work from last year to this year, none of them were

05:33:43 taken.

05:33:44 They were all -- I think I said four of the eight or four of

05:33:47 the nine, were repetitive from the year before.

05:33:51 So they just seemed to carry over year after year after

05:33:55 year, and I agree with Mr. Reddick, we shall putting people

05:33:58 through a lot of pain and then nothing that they have

05:34:00 suggested ever gets implemented.

05:34:02 So those one thing that I absolutely agree, we need to take

05:34:07 a look at that process.

05:34:11 The other statement I want to make is, one of the things

05:34:14 that I have talked about before, and it was one thing I

05:34:18 talked about when I asked council to add the items of $1

05:34:22 million, the contracts over $1 million to our agenda instead

05:34:26 of them being under consent, was so that we can see where

05:34:29 the money was being spent, and this council can vote down an

05:34:36 agenda item when it comes to us.

05:34:40 So we are essentially, every week, passing our approvals of

05:34:50 where the money is being spent by approving each one of

05:34:54 those items every week, and there have been several that I

05:34:58 have pulled from the agenda.

05:35:00 There's been several that other members of council have

05:35:02 pulled from the consent agenda to further discuss the item.

05:35:07 And, you know, that's unfortunately the only other option

05:35:14 available.

05:35:15 Thank you, Mr. Cohen, for bringing that up.

05:35:17 I think it's a very good idea that we speak as a voice

05:35:21 together for our districts, and city-wide, as the calls that

05:35:30 we are getting from our constituents and what we are seeing

05:35:33 from the folks, when we attend civic association meetings,

05:35:38 and I know Mr. Suarez attends a lot of them, and I think

05:35:41 that he's heard from civic associations all over reflecting

05:35:45 what we have heard, what I heard in my district and what you

05:35:49 heard in your district, and what Mr. Reddick has heard in

05:35:52 his.

05:35:52 So I think that's a very good idea.

05:35:55 Thank you.

05:35:55 >>MARY MULHERN: This is my seventh budget hearing

05:36:04 experience, seventh year of doing it, and second mayor, and

05:36:11 we can talk all we want, and that doesn't make the mayor,

05:36:14 whoever that may be, listen.

05:36:16 So I'm hoping that maybe Chairman Miranda has some memories

05:36:20 of a time when council had some input on the budget.

05:36:25 But we do have the input of being able, if four of us were

05:36:29 to not pass the budget, and that's basically it.

05:36:32 I mean, we can have all the workshops and discussions and

05:36:35 pass all the motions that we want.

05:36:37 And I will support Mr. Reddick any recommendation you want

05:36:41 to make within a resolution, Mr. Territo?

05:36:47 I'll support that.

05:36:48 I think we agreed on several things at a later date.

05:36:53 But as far as, you know, us as a come up being able to

05:36:57 assess the overall budget every year, four of us have to

05:37:00 vote it down to make any difference.

05:37:02 And even that might not necessarily make any difference.

05:37:05 Then it just comes back, right?

05:37:07 >>SAL TERRITO: It would be a motion.

05:37:09 You are basically making a recommendation that the mayor

05:37:12 look at that issue and then he would have to come back and

05:37:15 give you his opinion on it.

05:37:16 >>MARY MULHERN: So I'll support that.

05:37:19 And I think the workshop is, you know, a great idea,

05:37:22 although it's a lot of work and effort if it's not going to

05:37:25 be listened to by anybody.

05:37:26 >>HARRY COHEN: I appreciate everyone's comments, and I

05:37:32 think that the reason that we ought to do this in January is

05:37:37 so that we can get ahead of the budget process rather than

05:37:42 be caught up in it on the tail end.

05:37:45 And I think to Mr. Reddick's point, it's going to be much

05:37:48 easier for to express our priorities if we do it before this

05:37:53 budget.

05:37:53 And I want to do it, too, before the budget is drafted.

05:37:56 It would like to have the answers to my questions prior to

05:38:01 the first budget hearing so that I know exactly where the

05:38:04 things that I care about stand, and I think everyone here

05:38:08 would like to see that.

05:38:10 In terms of the recommendations to the budget advisory

05:38:13 committee, the only way that we are going to be able to

05:38:15 consider those and give them the time and the energy and the

05:38:19 effort that they deserve, is to do it in January when we are

05:38:22 not under the time and when we have the opportunity to

05:38:28 really sit down and delve into these things in a little more

05:38:32 depth.

05:38:32 There's a lot of recommendations that they made that deserve

05:38:35 further discussion, and we ought to have that discussion.

05:38:37 Society between those, and between the individual priorities

05:38:41 as council members, to me, if we start talking about it in

05:38:44 January, we have a much better chance of getting a

05:38:47 definitive answer from the mayor prior to the budget being

05:38:50 presented to us regarding what our priorities are, and

05:38:55 Councilwoman's Mulhern's point, if we lay it all out, it may

05:39:00 be easier for council members to then take a stance that in

05:39:07 things that they feel strongly about.

05:39:09 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Thank you.

05:39:11 Without a doubt, when you look at the charter, we have the

05:39:14 power to do whatever we want to do concerning the budget.

05:39:17 I think the point is well taken, and the procedure is this,

05:39:20 if Mr. Reddick or anyone else on this board wants to propose

05:39:25 something to change the budget, he can do that it needs the

05:39:32 votes of at least two-thirds is my guess in case the mayor

05:39:39 vetoes it.

05:39:40 So any budget priorities should be brought up, I think,

05:39:43 prior to that.

05:39:45 My suggestion in terms of procedure -- and we can talk about

05:39:48 this in the budget workshop -- is that in each individual

05:39:54 districts, those very important projects that need to be

05:39:57 done in the budget should be brought up earlier rather than

05:40:00 later, figure out if you can get the approval of the mayor's

05:40:05 staff and what it's going to mean, because they still have

05:40:09 to fit every puzzle piece in order to make the entire

05:40:13 budget.

05:40:13 So if it comes to this late stage it's a little more

05:40:15 difficult to say let's pull one string out without

05:40:19 everything else falling apart.

05:40:20 That's part of the problem with the lateness of it.

05:40:24 I agree that the process that we should have is with our

05:40:29 citizens advisory committee, I think that they should --

05:40:32 they have done Yeoman's work over the last five years, Mrs.

05:40:38 Mulhern?

05:40:39 I think it's at least five or six years that they have been

05:40:42 doing it, that they have done a lot of work already, they

05:40:45 provided us with a lot of those recommendations.

05:40:47 I think that during the course of the year prior to the next

05:40:52 budget cycle that we should make those recommendations

05:40:54 directly to the mayor.

05:40:57 I know that one of those recommendations gone to the

05:41:04 administration already to discuss this, to trying to go

05:41:06 forward on it, and hopefully implement it, if not next year

05:41:10 during the budget cycle, during the course of the year.

05:41:12 So I think some of the recommendations can be done during

05:41:16 the course.

05:41:18 Some have to be done prior to the budget cycle, beginning.

05:41:22 And others, I think, can be done as part of a budget

05:41:25 amendment.

05:41:26 The budget amendment of course, what you need and figure out

05:41:32 what the implication is for the rest of the budget.

05:41:34 These the only two things that I think we need to consider

05:41:37 when we are looking at a budget change in any way.

05:41:40 Mrs. Montelione's comment about contractual things that we

05:41:44 deal with and resolutions.

05:41:45 I only have one problem with that, is that when you are

05:41:48 talking about the administration of the city, hold up a

05:41:53 project, because where it may fall in the budget, it should

05:41:56 have been already budgeted if it comes before us during the

05:41:59 regular session for the most part.

05:42:01 Some things are different and special and they come up

05:42:03 during the course of the year that we have to maintain and

05:42:05 do.

05:42:06 But I think that the better way of handling it, in my mind,

05:42:11 is that our process should be on a continual basis, those

05:42:15 recommendations from the advisory committee, to keep on with

05:42:19 the administration to ask them to implement it, and then if

05:42:23 for some reason they are not implemented, find out what that

05:42:26 is, have them come before us discuss it so that we can push

05:42:32 our viewpoint on the administration as to what we want.

05:42:36 We have the power to change the budget at any time during

05:42:40 the year.

05:42:42 Just need the votes and the political will to do it.

05:42:44 So as we sit here and discuss these things, I think Ms.

05:42:49 Mulhern said it pretty clearly, which is we can talk a lot

05:42:52 about it.

05:42:53 But until we get agreement from the administration it's not

05:42:56 going to really matter.

05:42:57 We have to get votes.

05:42:58 The only way we can get votes is to discuss it.

05:43:01 And I appreciate Councilman's Cohen's suggestion about the

05:43:04 workshop.

05:43:05 But I do think we need to get our ducks in a rob prior to

05:43:08 that so when we do have the workshop, we have specific

05:43:11 recommendations or specific ideas, and I think that the

05:43:14 citizens advisory committee is the blueprint to go from.

05:43:18 And over the course of the year, I know that we are going to

05:43:21 get other recommendations from people in the community,

05:43:24 people in the business community, maybe even ideas that come

05:43:29 out of our own head concerning changes along the budget.

05:43:32 And I think we ought to discuss those then.

05:43:37 Thank you, chair.

05:43:39 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?

05:43:39 Mr. Shelby.

05:43:40 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Council, and we can discuss this more

05:43:43 fully in January at the workshop.

05:43:46 Just to let you know, for clarification purposes, under the

05:43:50 charter, the mayor presents to you his recommended budget,

05:43:55 and it council is authorized to make such changes in said

05:44:00 budget as he deems necessary for the proper and economical

05:44:02 operation of the municipal government.

05:44:05 And the budget as adopted by the City Council shall be

05:44:08 presented to the mayor for approval as provided for

05:44:12 ordinances of the City Council, and then the mayor has the

05:44:14 right to veto that.

05:44:17 It says that he can disapprove the budget, or any

05:44:20 appropriation passed by the City Council in whole or by

05:44:24 section or by specific items.

05:44:27 And then what would happen is it would then come back to

05:44:30 council.

05:44:31 And then it would require council to see if they can

05:44:33 override his veto by a two-thirds vote.

05:44:38 Once the budget is passed, council, section .07 says the

05:44:42 City Council, upon the recommendation of the mayor, shall

05:44:46 have the power from time to time during the fiscal year

05:44:48 after adoption of the annual budget to make changes.

05:44:53 So the budget amendment, after the passage of the budget, is

05:45:01 upon the recommendation of the mayor.

05:45:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And those things have happened.

05:45:07 I'll give you couple examples on both sides.

05:45:11 It was either '74 or '75 there was a debate, the current

05:45:17 mayor and the firefighters.

05:45:19 I don't even think Chief Hogue was here then.

05:45:22 It went on for months.

05:45:28 The firefighters hired a gentleman by the name of McManus,

05:45:37 as I remember, and they came to council, and there were

05:45:38 presentations on both sides.

05:45:40 And I'm trying to think the results.

05:45:42 I think the results were the firefighters got their raise

05:45:44 after proving there was enough money in the budget to do

05:45:47 that.

05:45:47 That's one instance.

05:45:49 Another instance, I remember just a year or two after that,

05:45:52 we had a big operation going in East Tampa on some

05:45:59 stormwater drainage, a problem that they have had, and like

05:46:05 the whole city still continues to have, because we are in an

05:46:08 area where it rains a lot sometimes.

05:46:09 And there was some money left over.

05:46:11 And even prior -- I'm going back to Nuccio years -- there

05:46:16 was a canal that was ran through the middle of Wellswood,

05:46:20 and there were houses that were flooded.

05:46:22 And let me tell you something.

05:46:23 The ceiling in this building is about the size of the canal.

05:46:27 The width, they called it a ditch.

05:46:30 I call it a canal because you can get a speedboat if you

05:46:33 want to the go inside.

05:46:34 And the land was just washing away, the backyards of the

05:46:37 people were sinking in.

05:46:38 And I went to the mayor, and the mayor, out of the funds

05:46:43 were left over, came in under budget, completed that. So

05:46:46 things can be done.

05:46:48 You have just got to understand that we can't do them all in

05:46:52 one day and all at one time.

05:46:53 And even all that's been done.

05:46:55 Guess what.

05:46:56 They still have flooding in that area on both sides.

05:47:00 And it was done right.

05:47:01 So these things are there.

05:47:03 I know we get aggravated sometimes.

05:47:06 And I know that we get anxious, and I appreciate that.

05:47:09 And it brings the problems to light, just like the young

05:47:13 lady spoke about.

05:47:15 I am going to find out a little bit more in the coming weeks

05:47:17 when I sit down with her.

05:47:19 And these are the things that have to be brought up so that

05:47:21 we can have a better community, not just for my district.

05:47:25 Listen, I got elected in a district. You know what?

05:47:28 When I vote, I don't vote for the district.

05:47:30 I vote for everybody from New Tampa to Port Tampa, from East

05:47:36 Tampa to West Tampa.

05:47:39 All of us live in the same city.

05:47:41 So the district, it's fine, and the city-wide is fine the

05:47:47 way it's processed.

05:47:48 Your vote is not just for your district.

05:47:50 Your vote, when you vote on something, it's for the whole

05:47:54 city.

05:47:55 And that's what we have to realize, that sometimes another

05:48:00 part of the city may need something a lot more than what you

05:48:04 are asking for.

05:48:04 So then who is going to determine who is right and who is

05:48:08 wrong?

05:48:09 You know, we live in a system in the City of Tampa that I

05:48:13 believe is one of the best around.

05:48:15 Why do I say that?

05:48:17 That individual who sits in that chair is sole responsible

05:48:24 for things when they go good, he or she gets the credit, but

05:48:28 also gets, guess what, when it goes bad, they are also

05:48:33 responsible.

05:48:33 So we have a pinpoint of one individual you have to look at,

05:48:38 not five, not seven, not nine, not eleven.

05:48:42 There's 37 council members, I think, or something like that,

05:48:45 in Cleveland.

05:48:46 How can you work like that?

05:48:47 And Cleveland is not much bigger than the City of Tampa now.

05:48:50 So why do we have the best of everything?

05:48:55 And I ain't talking just about police and fire.

05:49:00 I'm talking about every one of us.

05:49:03 Every one of us that works for the city, every taxpayer that

05:49:05 lives in the city, I don't think any one of us would move

05:49:08 somewhere else, unless it was for a catastrophe or death in

05:49:12 the family that you had to go care for someone else.

05:49:15 I hear all the time better I'm moving to Portland, Oregon.

05:49:19 Well, so did the covered wagons, and they came back.

05:49:23 And what I am saying is there's not a finer city healthwise,

05:49:27 budgetwise, servicewise, than the City of Tampa.

05:49:32 If there was, I would be living there.

05:49:34 I can't find another one better than this one.

05:49:36 And that's all I'm going to say.

05:49:39 I'm not satisfied just being satisfied.

05:49:43 I'm satisfied being who I am.

05:49:48 Not being somebody else.

05:49:49 Not being named by another city, not living in areas of

05:49:56 public service, police and fire, and sometimes a little

05:50:01 abusive.

05:50:02 We don't have that.

05:50:03 And we live in a fine city and I'm proud of it.

05:50:06 And I don't mind saying that anywhere.

05:50:07 Today I was with Councilman Suarez -- not with him, we met

05:50:12 there, at a place called Drew Park Stadium Cafe.

05:50:20 This fellow came in -- and I know it doesn't have to do with

05:50:23 the budget but give met 30 seconds.

05:50:26 Don't time me, though.

05:50:27 And this lady sent me a letter to come and speak at the

05:50:31 grand opening of her little cafe.

05:50:32 And when I read the bio, I thought it was a joke until I

05:50:38 read it again.

05:50:42 And the life problems that this family has had, they still

05:50:51 had the fortitude to open a business, to do something that

05:50:56 they want to do as a family.

05:50:58 And it was a mother and the three kids.

05:51:01 And let me tell you something.

05:51:03 I have never seen happier people, the ones that own it and

05:51:07 the people that were there working for them, I have never

05:51:10 seen happier customers.

05:51:13 I was happy being there.

05:51:17 And I thought it I was in the backyard having a barbecue

05:51:21 with friends.

05:51:22 It was a feeling of being, and it's 4406 Cortez.

05:51:28 I don't remember the name but I remember the address.

05:51:30 But right across the Yankee ballpark there at Steinbrenner

05:51:36 field.

05:51:37 It's an amazing thing about the City of Tampa and how things

05:51:40 work out.

05:51:40 And I guarantee you that place is going to be a success,

05:51:43 because the energy that I saw there, I haven't seen too many

05:51:47 places.

05:51:48 But thank you all for being here.

05:51:50 And is there anything before this council?

05:51:54 >> Motion to receive and file.

05:51:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have a motion to receive and file by

05:51:57 Mrs. Montelione, seconded by Mr. Cohen.

05:52:00 All in favor of the motion please indicate by saying aye.

05:52:03 Need a motion to close the public hearing.

05:52:05 I have a motion by Mr. Suarez, seconded by Mr. Cohen.

05:52:08 Further discussion by council members?

05:52:09 All in favor of the motion please indicate by saying aye.

05:52:11 Opposed nay.

05:52:12 The ayes have it unanimously.

05:52:15 Thank you very much all of you.

05:52:16 And we are not perfect.

05:52:18 But we are trying to get there.

05:52:20 Thank you very much.

05:52:21 We stand adjourned.




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