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Tampa City Council

Special Call meeting

Thursday, March 13, 2014

9:00 a.m. session


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10:11:09 >> Chairman Miranda: Special called meeting is called to

10:14:37 order of City Council.

10:14:38 Roll call.

10:14:38 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Here.

10:14:43 >>FRANK REDDICK: Here.

10:14:46 >>HARRY COHEN: Here.

10:14:47 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Here.

10:14:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

10:14:50 Just for the record I need to receive and file letter from

10:14:53 Mrs. Mary Mulhern, I will be unable to attend Thursday's

10:14:59 special called meeting.

10:14:59 Motion by Mrs. Montelione.

10:15:01 Second by Mr. Cohen.

10:15:02 All in favor?

10:15:03 Opposed?

10:15:03 The ayes have it unanimously.

10:15:06 Okay.

10:15:06 We go to public comments for three minutes to address items

10:15:12 on the agenda.

10:15:13 There is only one item.

10:15:14 The budget.

10:15:17 Anyone in the audience care to speak, please come forward.

10:15:19 >> Kimberly overman, chair of the citizens advisory on the

10:15:35 budget and finance City of Tampa.

10:15:39 I have self of our representatives here today.

10:15:41 And we do have some priorities that we have started working

10:15:46 on with each of you individually.

10:15:48 But as a committee as a whole, there are several areas that

10:15:53 we find you may want to consider as far as priorities in the

10:15:57 budget year.

10:16:01 Revenue sources as being one of the top priorities within

10:16:03 the city.

10:16:04 As you may know, there are several items of revenue sources

10:16:08 that are spending patterns, and that is going to be very

10:16:17 important to look into.

10:16:19 Improving our selection on vacant and foreclosed properties

10:16:24 does a lot of things.

10:16:25 One, it helps with generating revenue to the city.

10:16:28 But, two, when we have a systematic method of actually

10:16:33 collecting those revenues and/or fees -- I am know you have

10:16:36 been addressing it -- it also addresses maintaining property

10:16:40 and supports property values, which ultimately maintains

10:16:43 improvement in property taxes and helps revenues all the way

10:16:47 around.

10:16:48 That effort will be important going forward.

10:16:51 We do want to, as was mentioned in the CRA earlier, look for

10:16:56 ways to find and track federal grants as well as sponsorship

10:17:00 opportunities with private enterprise to expand those

10:17:03 opportunities to help support not only the economic

10:17:08 development within our city, but also property values within

10:17:12 our cities, especially in the business and urban corridors.

10:17:17 One of the things that we have discovered over the last

10:17:20 couple of years is that we have fabulous staff within the

10:17:25 City of Tampa, across many, many departments.

10:17:28 But we also see that we have an aging leadership, which is

10:17:33 very, very important to recognize with five year programs

10:17:39 when we have very different departments where individuals

10:17:42 have been with the city for long periods of time, when those

10:17:46 individuals retire, we lose that legacy and that experience.

10:17:51 We have recommended for the last three years a manpower

10:17:55 study to really identify not only the resources we currently

10:17:58 have, but the resources we need to develop those departments

10:18:03 and to make sure services are offered within the city from

10:18:06 the customer service perspective.

10:18:09 And the last two areas are in the area of infrastructure

10:18:14 funding.

10:18:15 Currently your departments are doing a great job of trying

10:18:18 to manage budgets on a maintenance level.

10:18:20 We have a significant infrastructure need over the last 20

10:18:26 years in developing a special taxing methods is going to

10:18:30 require change in either ordinances and/or charters.

10:18:34 We are going to strongly recommend that the City Council

10:18:38 consider looking at ways to address stormwater, solid waste,

10:18:41 and water delivery systems, because those systems are going

10:18:46 to cost us a lot more down the road.

10:18:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any comments or questions by council

10:18:54 members?

10:18:55 Mr. Reddick?

10:18:57 >>FRANK REDDICK: Mr. Grewly is no longer on this committee?

10:19:02 >> Yes, he is.

10:19:03 He was unable to come today.

10:19:05 He's here.

10:19:05 >> He's not listed as a member.

10:19:07 >> Oh.

10:19:08 I don't know where he is.

10:19:09 I don't know why he's not on there.

10:19:11 It's not my fault.

10:19:12 I didn't type it.

10:19:13 >> Okay.

10:19:14 >>FRANK REDDICK: I just wanted to make sure.

10:19:20 >> I didn't have anything to do with that.

10:19:25 No, he's still present.

10:19:27 Just not on the list.

10:19:28 Sorry.

10:19:30 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Suarez, do you want to be speak?

10:19:32 >>MIKE SUAREZ: No.

10:19:34 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

10:19:35 And I before we go any further, all of you have a

10:19:41 responsibility somewhere else, and you are giving up your

10:19:44 time to try to make this city the best place to live.

10:19:47 And we really, really appreciate it.

10:19:49 And you touched on things that all of us are aware of.

10:19:53 I particularly feel that the whole area of Hillsborough

10:19:56 County is going -- in the next 20 years or so you will have

10:20:06 400 that you people moving into this area, and we better be

10:20:09 prepared.

10:20:10 And what you touched on, on infrastructure, is the

10:20:14 priorities.

10:20:14 If you don't have infrastructure, you won't have progress.

10:20:18 And if you don't have progress, you will have higher taxes,

10:20:23 because any business, including running a city, if you don't

10:20:27 have an increase, that happens in cities across the country

10:20:38 and you have to be careful how because we don't want to fall

10:20:43 in the category of bankruptcy.

10:20:45 Not a we are near there.

10:20:46 We are not.

10:20:49 But it's those things that make this a better place to live.

10:20:53 And you touched on one item there, water.

10:20:57 The suggestion that I see on water between the surrounding

10:21:00 counties, Hillsborough County is going to have the highest

10:21:02 increase in water needs shall in the next 20 years, because

10:21:08 there's where the population is coming.

10:21:10 So I applaud you.

10:21:12 I applaud your staff.

10:21:14 I applaud the individuals working with you.

10:21:15 Because water is very important.

10:21:17 Without water, you can't have anything including food, and

10:21:21 including lifestyle and living.

10:21:25 So thank you.

10:21:25 And we better start looking at indirect water use.

10:21:29 Thank you very much for your report.

10:21:31 Anyone else?

10:21:31 >>HARRY COHEN: I am going to wait until after public

10:21:38 comment.

10:21:38 And then I am going to actually touch on a couple of the

10:21:41 items that the committee has recommended.

10:21:43 I didn't want you to take my silence as permanent.

10:21:50 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Likewise.

10:21:51 Thank you so much.

10:21:52 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I have got just on this handout that we

10:21:58 were given, there's one thing that I found curious.

10:22:05 Under improved infrastructure, the number one thing says

10:22:07 each department develop or make public an existing five year

10:22:11 project wish list.

10:22:12 Well, since we operate in a public record open government,

10:22:20 everything should be made public.

10:22:22 What I am wondering is if they are not actually putting

10:22:25 things in writing that we can request.

10:22:28 And usually as we get further along in the department, you

10:22:31 know, budgeting process, there are projects that are

10:22:36 generated.

10:22:36 I think just like way early, in doing this.

10:22:40 So as we walk through till August, September, when we

10:22:47 receive the budget, we'll have those lists.

10:22:49 I mean, I have talked to be a couple of staff members who,

10:22:53 you know, they know in their mind what it is they are going

10:22:56 to need.

10:22:58 And I'll speak to that later on.

10:23:01 The other thing I want to say is there's a budget special

10:23:05 call, and there's a citizens advisory committee that three

10:23:10 minutes, I'm not sure --

10:23:14 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I haven't kept that.

10:23:15 I gave her the old baseball sign.

10:23:17 >>LISA MONTELIONE: All right.

10:23:20 I missed that.

10:23:20 [ Laughter ]

10:23:21 >> Good morning, council.

10:23:22 My name is Willie Stokes, one of the budget advisory

10:23:30 committee members.

10:23:31 And the five year plan, when we talk about the five year

10:23:35 plan, we are doing more than just be putting this in

10:23:38 writing.

10:23:38 What we are doing is also giving instruction to the

10:23:41 community of things that are going to come.

10:23:46 So they have an appreciation for those things that are

10:23:48 coming.

10:23:49 And if we put into a three to five year plan, then the

10:23:52 community can understand when they are going to be impacted.

10:23:58 That's the other side of this.

10:23:59 We sometimes lose sight of the fact that the community wants

10:24:04 to know what's happening.

10:24:05 And not all of them are watching the TV or coming to the

10:24:09 meetings.

10:24:09 And this is a good way to get that information out.

10:24:12 It also gives you an opportunity when big budget items are

10:24:15 coming to see them in advance.

10:24:17 And we are trying to do this.

10:24:19 We are looking at this in two ways.

10:24:22 The other thing I want to say from my perspective is this is

10:24:26 a great opportunity we have being on the citizens advisory

10:24:29 committee, because we get to speak to departments and we get

10:24:34 to understand the operation of the city, the department, and

10:24:38 understand sometimes they are not taking a break, they are

10:24:44 actually doing the work.

10:24:45 And I think we have an appreciation.

10:24:46 I wish more of us could do that, and I appreciate the

10:24:49 opportunity that the council gave me to do this.

10:24:58 Thank you.

10:24:58 >> Stephen Liverpool, 101 East Kennedy Boulevard,

10:25:05 chairperson Miranda appointment to the committee.

10:25:09 I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this

10:25:11 morning and just kind of follow up on a couple points that

10:25:14 have already been made with regard to, one, generation of

10:25:19 new revenue, two, personnel in terms of the analysis.

10:25:23 Kimberly touched on the fact that we continue to go, and we

10:25:26 are just at the fire department last week and heard they

10:25:29 expect to lose pretty much 25 executives within the next two

10:25:33 to three years.

10:25:34 So that brain drain, the thing we are trying to avoid, we

10:25:38 are trying to get young people into the department and

10:25:42 trained up in the program, so that manpower study,

10:25:51 understanding that we are losing key personnel,

10:25:53 understanding what it's going to mean in terms of the cost

10:25:56 of employing either new people or bringing in talent to take

10:26:00 on this position that are going to become vacant in the next

10:26:03 two to three years, across all departments I think it's very

10:26:07 important.

10:26:08 And infrastructure is also something that we touched on in

10:26:11 be a prior meeting.

10:26:13 Mr. Miranda talked about how we are kind of stewards of all

10:26:16 these things that are going on in the city.

10:26:20 About it be water, wastewater, some of the things that will

10:26:24 allow us to expand and grow as a city.

10:26:27 And finally, I think the most important point that I see

10:26:31 coming out of this advisory committee is something that

10:26:35 Councilman Cohen touched on during our last meeting, is

10:26:39 trying to get a formal process in order that will help us

10:26:42 set our priorities in a way that we are not always putting

10:26:45 Band-Aids on issues, or in a way that we are setting

10:26:49 priorities that make sense with the budget that avoid the

10:26:52 deficit spending and that help us plan out the next 15 to be

10:26:56 20 years of what we need to do with these resources.

10:27:02 Thank you very much for allowing me to serve.

10:27:03 >>FRANK REDDICK: I don't know if anybody -- our last

10:27:11 committee meeting, did you all happen to discuss -- when we

10:27:18 first set this meeting for today, I was very excited about

10:27:21 it because I was frustrated by how things turned out the

10:27:25 last time, committee reports, I always felt that none of the

10:27:32 projects were accepted and it didn't go forward.

10:27:35 But today, I'm skeptical about having a budget priority

10:27:43 meeting coming from the council members, and understand you

10:27:49 all's recommendation for the future.

10:27:50 Because when I read an article saying the city is going to

10:27:53 be faced with an 11 to $15 million deficit in the fiscal

10:27:58 year, that tells me cuts going to be made somewhere, and

10:28:03 there's no way this city can afford to go back into the

10:28:12 reserves, reserves utilized the last fiscal year.

10:28:17 We can't keep dipping into those reserves.

10:28:20 And the problems when you look at an 11 to $15 million

10:28:25 deficit, some tough decisions are going to be made.

10:28:27 And we can sit here and have all the priorities we want for

10:28:30 the next two years, and it's not going to happen when we are

10:28:38 facing -- the city is facing this type of deficit.

10:28:41 We have to be realistic about this.

10:28:43 We might be facing layoffs.

10:28:47 There's a possibility when the mayor presents that budget we

10:28:51 might be facing layoffs.

10:28:53 And positions are not being filled because you have got to

10:29:00 make up an is 11 to $15 million deficit somewhere.

10:29:04 And you can't keep borrowing.

10:29:10 You can't keep doing that.

10:29:12 And whether we don't like it or not, we have got to face

10:29:17 reality.

10:29:18 And that's a lot of money to make up.

10:29:28 Some got a 3% raise.

10:29:33 Had to deal with the unions.

10:29:35 And now you are facing the same deficit, and, yes, I have

10:29:43 priorities that I would like to see be included in the

10:29:46 budget, but were my priorities even being taken into

10:29:51 consideration?

10:29:52 And I think based on previous budgeting, workshops and

10:29:59 budget hearings that we have had, pertaining to the mayor's

10:30:02 budget or the city's budget, I'm just cautious about us

10:30:15 moving forward with these priorities when we are reading

10:30:22 that there's an 11 to $15 million deficit that the city is

10:30:26 going to be facing.

10:30:27 And, I mean, we can do a smoke screen, we can do all the

10:30:32 huffing and puffing and all we want, but we still have to

10:30:39 take under consideration that there's got to be changes, and

10:30:45 a lot of revenue not coming in, not coming in fast enough,

10:30:49 decisions have got to be made.

10:30:51 And 11 to $15 million is a lot of money to the makeup when

10:30:57 you are talking about a government entity.

10:30:58 I just want to throw that out.

10:31:00 And that's my two cents, Mr. Chair.

10:31:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:31:03 Anyone else?

10:31:05 Ms. Capin?

10:31:06 >> To answer your concern or at least address some of the

10:31:15 concerns you brought forth, Mr. Reddick, I believe the

10:31:18 advisory board is very concerned about the budgeting and how

10:31:24 that is in place in terms of policy as well as rules.

10:31:30 Part of our recommendations on the manpower issue really

10:31:33 fall in the area of looking for efficiencies to save money,

10:31:38 not necessarily kill jobs.

10:31:41 Because as an owner of a business, one of the things I

10:31:47 discovered when the market was terrible in 2008 is I still

10:31:50 had to deliver the services I needed to deliver.

10:31:53 But I had additional regulations that had to be go into

10:31:56 place in order to do the business that I do.

10:31:59 City of Tampa can do the same thing looking at the resources

10:32:07 they have and the processes to deliver services from a

10:32:10 service in an efficient manner.

10:32:13 Your role in passing ordinances and making recommendations

10:32:17 for certain processes and how they are approved with the

10:32:20 citizenship for development within this community plays a

10:32:24 very important part in delivering efficient services that

10:32:28 ultimately impact our budget.

10:32:30 So I do agree, it is a little frustrating when you don't

10:32:34 necessarily have all the facilities for being able to make

10:32:38 everything happen that you want to happen, and having a

10:32:41 budget workshop isn't necessarily just adding other items to

10:32:44 the list of things that we want to spend.

10:32:46 It's going back to departments and say, can you do this more

10:32:50 efficiently?

10:32:51 And do you have the resources to get it done?

10:32:54 We have had a four or five year implementation project on

10:33:00 efficiently accounting for our budget that still works.

10:33:05 Takes time to put those things into place.

10:33:07 And we recognize that.

10:33:08 But spending that money, hopefully, will give us a better

10:33:12 transparency towards our numbers so when we come to you on

10:33:17 funding issues, for long-term projects that exceed our

10:33:21 capacity for an annual budget concern, it does ask for

10:33:27 either ordinance or charter changes, and that's whereby our

10:33:33 rules can offer value to you to say that it may be we need

10:33:36 to consider changes in the charter for longer term funding

10:33:39 for those projects that we can't annually maintain.

10:33:42 We all know we go out and buy an now car for a certain

10:33:46 period of time because it doesn't make sense to maintain it.

10:33:51 We are in a situation with our infrastructure that we are

10:33:54 looking at the excess costs, for buying a new car rather

10:34:03 than fix an aging infrastructure.

10:34:06 As an example, the recognize where you can play a very

10:34:10 important role and why we entertain the idea of having an

10:34:13 early workshop to hear what you find as your priorities.

10:34:16 Thank you.

10:34:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else on the advisory committee

10:34:19 that would like to speak first?

10:34:22 Yes, sir?

10:34:25 >> Pete Johnson, 510 Harrison street.

10:34:28 No, I'm not on the committee, but I read just about every

10:34:32 single thing they have published.

10:34:33 And these people need to be held at the highest level of

10:34:38 respect shall.

10:34:40 I have been told to focus more on one issue than all of the

10:34:44 issues that I focused on, and I appreciate City Council

10:34:48 listening to me after all these years.

10:34:51 And according to budget,

10:34:55 I can associate code enforcement very, very strongly to

10:34:57 that.

10:34:59 If we enforce our code violations or code regulations, we

10:35:05 are going to raise property values.

10:35:07 This has been proven.

10:35:10 And Seminole Heights, it's been proven already in VN Ybor.

10:35:17 So code enforcement is very, very important.

10:35:21 So I don't know whether to give more money to code

10:35:24 enforcement or to hold their process in question.

10:35:29 But the one thing I would love to see code enforcement do is

10:35:32 to prove compliance.

10:35:36 Only when you can prove compliance by digital photography

10:35:43 can you determine whether or not the process works or does

10:35:46 not work.

10:35:49 Without this documentation, we have no proof.

10:35:54 We have no -- we can't say the process is working.

10:35:59 And I'm all about improving the process.

10:36:03 So this is one thing that I would suggest that the

10:36:06 department does, is photograph compliance.

10:36:10 I have run over too many cases that the notes here say one

10:36:17 thing, and the notes over here say something totally

10:36:20 different.

10:36:21 For example, this property was told to remove all stoves

10:36:26 from the illegal apartments.

10:36:28 On the exact same property it says the stoves are still

10:36:32 there.

10:36:34 I mean, if you remove the 220 lines like this document says,

10:36:39 and then the 220 lines are replaced but the meters aren't

10:36:43 increased, and the stoves are back in, there's a problem

10:36:49 there.

10:36:51 This is why documentation, photographed documentation, will

10:36:59 prove that enforcement does work.

10:37:01 Thank you.

10:37:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else in the audience before we go

10:37:03 to council members?

10:37:05 Okay.

10:37:05 Council members, Mrs. Capin.

10:37:09 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

10:37:12 Number one is finding the revenue sources.

10:37:14 We spent almost a year looking at the federal program that

10:37:22 many cities and states have adopted and this City Council

10:37:25 passed a resolution on.

10:37:28 That's money coming in.

10:37:31 One.

10:37:32 The other, improved collection.

10:37:36 Vacant properties that sit long, too long, and they are

10:37:41 condemned, that process does need to be improved, because it

10:37:48 does hurt the value of the neighborhood that it's in, and

10:37:51 therefore I think it would be better to have a vacant lot

10:37:54 than a boarded-up house in a neighborhood.

10:37:57 And we have to move on that, not leaving those homes vacant.

10:38:02 Or if they are able to be rehabbed, rehab them, and that

10:38:08 income would come into the city, and people would move into

10:38:11 the neighborhood, fix up their homes.

10:38:17 And when we talk about code enforcement, we just had a

10:38:20 meeting, and we are just adding more to code enforcement.

10:38:26 And one of the things that I'm hearing from the advisory

10:38:33 committee is that our people, our staff are working very,

10:38:40 very hard.

10:38:41 But what happens is when you -- for instance, one of the

10:38:45 things that is on here is the grants, federal grants and

10:38:49 sponsorships.

10:38:50 I understand millions and millions of dollars, the state

10:38:55 loses because it did not apply for grants.

10:38:58 State, county, municipal.

10:39:01 We hired -- I do believe we have a grant department.

10:39:07 I would like to know the staff of that grants department.

10:39:11 One of the things that you look at is that maybe there could

10:39:13 be a partnership with the University of South Florida,

10:39:18 because the University of South Florida -- I have it here on

10:39:24 my notes -- has a grants review department, and that's all

10:39:34 they do, and that would be a very beneficial partnership

10:39:38 with our grants department and USF, because we can't do it

10:39:43 all.

10:39:43 In other words, we have one grant writer, two grant writers.

10:39:51 Also the department has.

10:39:52 We used to have a policy here in the city, from what I

10:39:56 understand from my legislative aide who has been here 12

10:39:59 years, that department heads came to City Council to talk

10:40:07 about their needs and their budget and why they needed the

10:40:11 money and the personnel that they have.

10:40:14 That no longer takes place.

10:40:17 That does not take place.

10:40:18 We don't hear from anyone.

10:40:23 Why it ended, I don't know.

10:40:27 To get back to the USF department, all they do is review

10:40:30 grants.

10:40:31 That's what they do.

10:40:32 And we can maybe tap into that expertise.

10:40:41 The vacant properties I am going get to.

10:40:43 And as far as looking ahead, when we are looking ahead, one

10:40:48 of the things, when you have people, and they are stretched

10:40:53 for the services, because that's where we are at now.

10:40:56 We are providing the services.

10:40:58 But that's all that they can do.

10:41:01 They can't lift their head to look to the future, and that's

10:41:05 really important.

10:41:06 It's very important.

10:41:07 So when we are looking at 11, $15 million shortfall,

10:41:13 everybody is all trembling, oh, my gosh, these people are

10:41:17 going lose jobs.

10:41:18 And if people worried about losing their jobs, the future

10:41:22 looks very grim.

10:41:27 We need to look -- it was mentioned by our chair, 20 years

10:41:32 from now, we are going to need -- he talked about water.

10:41:37 Without water, growth will come to a halt, because you

10:41:42 cannot grow without it.

10:41:48 So that is very essential that five-year plan, I think, I

10:41:53 don't think anything here is really planning as businesses

10:42:02 do when they look into the future, what are we going to

10:42:06 need?

10:42:06 How are we going to plan for this growth?

10:42:09 And we do have to pay attention to right now.

10:42:11 We have to provide those services.

10:42:13 But we also have to invest in the future, because we are

10:42:19 going to grow.

10:42:19 We are the economic engine of the west coast of Florida.

10:42:25 And to commission a new manpower study is very important,

10:42:33 because positions change.

10:42:37 And we have at least have the correct titles, so when people

10:42:41 apply for these jobs, they are applying for the right

10:42:45 position.

10:42:47 So I think it was mentioned to me that there was a study

10:42:52 seven years ago, manpower assessment study, and we don't

10:42:58 know where that's at, or we are going to find out.

10:43:01 Customer service is very important.

10:43:03 Morale is extremely important, extremely important.

10:43:07 People see this number and 11 to $15 million, and you are an

10:43:15 employee here in the city, morale can turn down very

10:43:18 quickly.

10:43:20 And if we want to grow our city, we need to have a team

10:43:27 mentality, that we are all in this together and we have a

10:43:32 plan.

10:43:33 You know, we have a five year plan for the infrastructure,

10:43:38 or -- what is it?

10:43:43 I'm sorry.

10:43:45 I'm looking at my notes down here.

10:43:54 Well, I'll use infrastructure, and that people know we are

10:43:59 planning for the future and it isn't just putting out fire,

10:44:02 even though we are.

10:44:03 We have to do both.

10:44:04 We have to do both.

10:44:05 We cannot choose one over the other.

10:44:07 We have to be able to meet the needs and services now and

10:44:13 plan for that future, or we are going to be -- we are just

10:44:17 putting Band-Aids.

10:44:19 We just keep putting Band-Aids.

10:44:21 I think your report, we and the administration need to take

10:44:28 very seriously the five year project list.

10:44:35 That's the one I was getting to for infrastructure.

10:44:38 And that's just five years.

10:44:40 I have been here four years, and people don't even know my

10:44:45 name.

10:44:46 [ Laughter ]

10:44:46 So I -- you know, five years is nothing.

10:44:58 The second assessment to the stormwater is very important.

10:45:02 With that, that's what I took from the presentation and from

10:45:08 the notes that were graciously presented to me by Mr.

10:45:17 Stokes, and much appreciated, your efforts.

10:45:21 And as the gentleman said before, we hold you in the highest

10:45:25 esteem.

10:45:26 We know that, that the work you are doing is just so

10:45:29 valuable to us, very valuable to us.

10:45:33 Thank you.

10:45:35 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:45:35 And in this order, Mrs. Montelione, Mr. Cohen, and Mr.

10:45:39 Suarez.

10:45:39 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

10:45:45 When I look back at the motion and the discussion we had at

10:45:47 the previous meeting, we had come up with a hybrid which is

10:45:56 what it was termed between the three ideas that Mr. Cohen

10:45:59 had put forth, and that was to create a document in writing

10:46:05 and a series of workshops regarding the budget.

10:46:07 So I just need some clarification on what we are trying to

10:46:15 accomplish today.

10:46:18 Is this the first in that hybrid model of having a series of

10:46:24 workshops?

10:46:24 Because technically this isn't a workshop, it's just a

10:46:27 special called meeting.

10:46:28 And I was under the impression during the discussion, we

10:46:33 talked beach of us coming up with three or four ideas, and

10:46:38 then synthesizing finding common ground between seven of us

10:46:43 of what ideas presented by each council member would be put

10:46:49 into a document and transferred to the administration on

10:46:53 what it is the council's priorities were.

10:46:56 So, you know, I had looked at this in a few different ways.

10:47:01 I went to my constituents with the survey, and although it

10:47:05 doesn't reflect the entire district because you only get the

10:47:08 survey responses from those who care to participate, but

10:47:12 they ranked the options that I had given them of several

10:47:18 categories, and the first -- the most emphasis was on

10:47:24 neighborhoods.

10:47:25 So various things regarding improvement of quality of life

10:47:28 type of issues, and strengthening neighborhoods, and it's

10:47:32 something that the mayor talked about, you know, all along

10:47:35 is strong neighborhoods.

10:47:38 And Mayor Iorio talked, about every mayor that he would saw

10:47:41 in the past 20 years talked about strong neighborhoods.

10:47:44 And then the second thing that had the most responses was

10:47:47 economic development activity.

10:47:50 And I was very surprised especially coming from my district

10:47:53 that transportation was third.

10:47:57 And then after that was the Tampa Police Department, Tampa

10:48:02 Fire Rescue.

10:48:03 Fourth was parks.

10:48:04 And then utilities operations and others so the nonsexy

10:48:09 things.

10:48:10 Nontangible things was last.

10:48:12 And again, that was just part of the district that had

10:48:17 responded to the survey.

10:48:24 Keeping that in mind, looking at the neighborhoods and the

10:48:27 economic development piece.

10:48:28 And I think the two of those tied together in a lot of ways,

10:48:32 because when you have a city that is known for the quality

10:48:34 of life, then the economic development follows because

10:48:38 companies want to rotate here, and this is a place that they

10:48:41 want to use it and that's because our quality of life and

10:48:43 the people are so happy here.

10:48:47 So to speak to what Mr. Johnson always talks about is code

10:48:52 enforcement.

10:48:53 And I think on the revenue side, we have talked about it

10:48:55 before, and it's still an ongoing discussion during our

10:48:59 council meeting as to how we can improve the collection and

10:49:04 recoup some of the money spent, because we go out and we

10:49:07 spend a lot of money on mowing, on abatement, on accumulated

10:49:16 junk on properties, and removing that.

10:49:17 But we don't get reimbursed for all of the money that we are

10:49:21 spending to take care of properties that their owners have

10:49:24 abandoned.

10:49:25 And as has been said previously by members of council today,

10:49:32 and with Mr. Johnson saying that it improves property

10:49:35 values, it does improve property values.

10:49:38 So I think that the ongoing discussion we had with our legal

10:49:42 department on how we can better collect those revenues would

10:49:46 go a long way to defraying a department's expenses, and

10:49:53 thereby maybe close some of the gaps.

10:49:55 So there are efficiencies that can be identified to close

10:50:00 that budget gap without going to the extreme as was said

10:50:06 about personnel and layoffs and things of that nature.

10:50:10 The other area that I think we could find efficiencies, I

10:50:15 talk about sustainability all the time, and also that

10:50:18 neighborhoods and economic development piece is that

10:50:22 companies want to move, people want to move to a city that

10:50:25 is being responsible, and energy management and

10:50:29 sustainability practices, and I don't think there's been a

10:50:32 very large emphasis on that sector in identifying ways that

10:50:38 we can save.

10:50:40 I spoke to the energy manager over at Hillsborough County

10:50:42 not long ago.

10:50:44 He said that he's been systematically been going building by

10:50:47 building and having them energy star certified.

10:50:50 And I think he was up to, the last time we talked, up to 24

10:50:54 or 25 buildings in Hillsborough County that are now energy

10:50:57 star certified properties.

10:50:59 So they are lowering their operating expenses.

10:51:04 And when you look to a business model, there are two places

10:51:07 that you look when you are trying to identify efficiencies,

10:51:10 and that's personnel and operating costs.

10:51:12 So I think if we look at some sustainability measures and

10:51:18 energy efficient measures, that we would also save money and

10:51:24 recoup some of the funds that are short in our budget.

10:51:31 So I think that, you know, those types of things are very

10:51:35 important.

10:51:38 The gasoline that we buy, we talk about that all the time

10:51:44 when we have budget adjustments halfway through the year.

10:51:46 We are spending so much money on gasoline.

10:51:51 In solid waste they are buying CNG trucks, and using energy

10:51:55 efficient vehicles.

10:51:57 They have gone from buying big pickup trucks to smaller

10:52:01 vehicles for people in code enforcement or solid waste, you

10:52:05 know, some of the other departments.

10:52:07 So I think that's a first step.

10:52:09 And I think the auto industry is going to help us along by

10:52:12 having more fuel efficient vehicles available to us.

10:52:15 But I think when we talked about a float study before, we

10:52:19 have done a fleet study in the past.

10:52:21 I think there is still maybe areas where we can retire some

10:52:25 of the gas guzzling vehicles that we have and replace them

10:52:31 with more energy efficient vehicles.

10:52:33 So I think that's something that, you know, all looking at

10:52:37 trying to save on those operating expenses, and cut our

10:52:42 costs in those areas without affecting the delivery of

10:52:45 services.

10:52:46 And I think that can be accomplished.

10:52:50 I think all of us, I know when we are out here about the

10:52:56 resurfacing of our roads.

10:53:00 I hear on almost a daily basis about some of the roads that

10:53:04 we have in the city that need resurfacing.

10:53:08 And, you know, being in the development area, you know the

10:53:12 standard is 20-year longevity of a road surface, and you

10:53:18 want to be on a cycle of being able to replace the surface

10:53:23 of those roads every 20 years.

10:53:27 We are more than 20 years out on our roads.

10:53:30 And I think that, you know, the savings that we realize in

10:53:34 some other areas would be well spent in putting into the

10:53:40 roads resurfacing program that we have.

10:53:44 And there's two other priorities, and that would be the New

10:53:50 Tampa recreation center that was budgeted for the expansion

10:53:54 for that program.

10:53:57 That is something that we would be very proud of with the

10:54:01 gymnastics program.

10:54:02 And it does serve a quality of life function to have

10:54:09 community centers that are things you can be proud of.

10:54:12 And it was budgeted for last year, and somehow just got

10:54:18 reallocated.

10:54:19 The fund got reallocated by the time we do the final budget.

10:54:24 And not the same situation but as far as the community

10:54:27 center, I have had many, maybe talks with our stormwater

10:54:30 department because that's one of the parks that is virtually

10:54:36 rendered unusable after a good heavy rainstorm.

10:54:41 We have got water so deep that on the basketball courts and

10:54:48 on the baseball courts, the baseball diamonds -- did I say

10:54:54 courts?

10:54:54 I was waiting.

10:54:55 I knew you were going to correct me, Mr. Baseball.

10:55:00 They are actually having to remove those features from the

10:55:02 park, because when you have wetland plants growing in the

10:55:07 outfield and water part way up the basketball hoop, then

10:55:11 it's really a shame.

10:55:14 So they are trying to return that to the natural state

10:55:18 because that's the way nature is going.

10:55:20 So those are basically my priorities.

10:55:23 We talked about historic preservation during the CRA

10:55:27 meeting.

10:55:29 Also, to economic development and quality of life.

10:55:32 We build our reputation on our history in the city.

10:55:35 So I think that we need to put some effort into restoring or

10:55:42 maintaining our historic treasures.

10:55:45 So that's it for me.

10:55:48 That was five items.

10:55:54 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Are you sure?

10:55:54 >> Yes. Two recreation centers, resurfacing roads, historic

10:55:57 preservation, sustainability, environmental, energy

10:56:00 efficiencies. That's five.

10:56:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:56:03 Mr. Cohen.

10:56:03 >>HARRY COHEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

10:56:09 Councilman Reddick was correct to begin this discussion with

10:56:13 the fact that as much as we would like to, we are definitely

10:56:17 looking at another year of austerity budgeting in the City

10:56:21 of Tampa, and what we may have envisioned at the meeting

10:56:24 where we were going to talk about what we would love to

10:56:26 spend money on May very well turn into a process where we

10:56:30 talk about things that we can save money on or funds that we

10:56:33 might be able to recoup above and beyond what we are taking

10:56:36 in now.

10:56:37 But I do think that there is something to be said for

10:56:41 talking about the long-term a little bit.

10:56:43 And what our priorities should be as the city's tax base

10:56:48 grows and as things become better.

10:56:52 Because even though we are perhaps looking at an austerity

10:56:56 year this year, I am very confident, I believe people in

10:56:58 this community are very confident that better days are ahead

10:57:01 of us and that the city is poised to come to a place whereby

10:57:04 we do have more revenue coming in, and we do have choices to

10:57:07 make.

10:57:08 I think that our budget advisory committee has done an

10:57:12 excellent job be coming to us with some recommendations of

10:57:17 things we can do.

10:57:18 And I want to give them the -- I want to honor their work by

10:57:21 actually for just a moment going through their list and

10:57:24 talking about each of the items.

10:57:27 Number one is improved collection on vacant and foreclosed

10:57:31 properties.

10:57:32 It's been alluded to by the other council members,

10:57:34 particularly Councilwoman Montelione and her last

10:57:37 statements, but on May 1st the legal department is

10:57:40 coming forward with a proposal, based on our discussions, to

10:57:46 allow the city to recover its hard costs in maintaining

10:57:52 foreclosed and vacant properties be through liens.

10:57:56 And that means that money spent mowing, tearing down

10:57:59 buildings, doing actual repairs, could be directly

10:58:02 recoverable.

10:58:03 So that is a way of bringing more money into our coffers and

10:58:12 we are looking at doing that.

10:58:14 In terms of the compensation study, one thing I would like

10:58:16 to throw out as a sort of discussion point for when such a

10:58:21 study ought to take place is that I am, in my other life,

10:58:28 work for the clerk of the circuit court, and they are

10:58:30 involved in the ERP process in the same way that the city

10:58:33 is.

10:58:34 And the courts are also implementing a maintenance system

10:58:39 that is called ERP but it's basically an enter prosecute

10:58:43 prize be wide system that brings -- enterprise wide system

10:58:49 that brings 25 years of technology into court documents and

10:58:53 court business.

10:58:54 And what we have seen over there -- and I am absolutely sure

10:58:56 we will see here -- is that when these systems are

10:58:59 implemented, it really does fundamentally change the

10:59:03 complexion of the workforce that's needed to interact with

10:59:07 those systems.

10:59:08 You may have three people doing data entry now.

10:59:11 You may need one person at a much higher level dealing with

10:59:15 the information that comes in electronically.

10:59:18 There are actually some areas where you might need more

10:59:21 personnel rather than less, because you are dealing with so

10:59:23 much more information than you used to and you are dealing

10:59:27 with information that's available to the public and might

10:59:29 need to be redacted.

10:59:30 The point that I am getting to is that I think that if we

10:59:34 are going to ask for any kind of compensation studies from

10:59:37 the city, it's very important that it be timed so that the

10:59:40 city understands what its own needs are vis-a-vis the ERP as

10:59:45 opposed to speculating about what changes may or may not be

10:59:50 in store for us once the system is fully implemented.

10:59:56 On the five year project wish list, one of the things that

11:00:00 comes up all the time with constituents is the condition of

11:00:03 the roads and the repaving schedule.

11:00:06 And the city does have a five year map that shows by color

11:00:12 what streets are actually programmed to be repaved in the

11:00:16 coming year.

11:00:16 And I have found it's a great tool to use with people,

11:00:20 because either they say, oh, boy, my three actually is on

11:00:23 there and I can see that it's programs.

11:00:25 Or they wonder why their street isn't on there and we are

11:00:29 able to go and start questioning whether or not it should

11:00:31 be.

11:00:32 So whether or not that's a template that can be used in

11:00:35 other areas, I don't know.

11:00:38 You also mentioned the second assessment for stormwater

11:00:41 dedicated specifically to capital improvement.

11:00:45 That does not necessarily mean in terms of my understanding

11:00:49 a second larger assessment for stormwater.

11:00:52 What it means is that we could use our bonding capacity with

11:00:56 the stormwater fee for things other than just maintenance.

11:01:00 Some of the work that we need to do is in the area of

11:01:02 capital improvement.

11:01:03 And right now, given the restrictive nature of how those

11:01:07 fund are available to us, we are aren't necessarily able to

11:01:12 use it for projects that might make sense to do now.

11:01:16 So I think that's an excellent suggestion.

11:01:19 Going back to the original point of this discussion, you

11:01:22 know, so many people come to me, they come to all of us, I

11:01:26 know, all the time, and they tell us what are the things

11:01:30 that they care about seeing happen in the city.

11:01:33 And I viewed this process, whether it's through a letter or

11:01:37 through a discussion or however we communicate, I viewed

11:01:41 this process really as our way of taking our constituents

11:01:45 concerns and communicating them to the administration.

11:01:51 I communicated these things privately, but it's important

11:01:54 for our constituents to know that we stand by what we said

11:01:58 publicly as well.

11:01:59 So I just want to make four very, very brief points and then

11:02:03 I will be finished.

11:02:04 The first is that we in this city have been the victims of

11:02:08 our own success in terms of our parks.

11:02:12 Ballast Point we have added water features to the park.

11:02:15 They are enormously popular but the result is that the park

11:02:18 is completely overrun with people on weekends, weekdays,

11:02:22 evenings.

11:02:23 People are parking throughout neighborhoods and the park

11:02:26 can't tab the amount of use that it's getting.

11:02:28 So I'm hoping in the coming year -- it may not be this year

11:02:31 but hopefully in the next five years -- that we add water

11:02:34 features and other amenities to parks across the city, all

11:02:38 over the city, so that we can make these facilities

11:02:41 available to as many people as want to use them

11:02:45 I want to say at the outset, everyone knows that I have been

11:02:49 a real proponent of the city taking action in terms of

11:02:53 dredging from residential canals.

11:02:57 We spent 2.8 million two years ago to dredge some of the

11:03:01 canals in the Sunset Park area.

11:03:03 I want to tell you that three of those canals are finished.

11:03:07 Within two days of the barges being out a Manatee was

11:03:11 spotted in the canal.

11:03:12 The fish are returning to the canal and the stormwater

11:03:14 runoff, we are told that there might be as much as a 20%

11:03:19 improvement in terms of the stormwater's ability to make it

11:03:22 into these waters.

11:03:23 I mention this because the county has noted, D.O.T. has

11:03:29 noted and commissioner Merman and I met last week with a

11:03:33 group of environmental entities that are now looking at

11:03:35 coming to the table and funding these types of canal

11:03:38 dredging and water improvement projects.

11:03:41 So related to what Councilman Miranda was saying, I think

11:03:45 it's very important that we continue to maintain these

11:03:48 canals that we have Dave Reynolds, to keep our waterways

11:03:51 open, and to continue to be put money into improving the

11:03:54 quality of our water.

11:03:56 This council took a very bold step a few years ago in our

11:04:00 fertilizer ordinance.

11:04:01 We did that because we wanted to keep our water clean.

11:04:04 And I want to see us continue to expend resources to

11:04:09 maintain the work that we have done and continue to improve

11:04:12 on it.

11:04:15 The issue was brought up regarding the potholes and the

11:04:18 sidewalk.

11:04:20 We didn't get anything scheduled.

11:04:21 The more that we do, the more it exposes how much there is

11:04:25 to be done.

11:04:26 The complaints that we get from citizens on a regular basis

11:04:30 about the condition of our asphalt is something we are going

11:04:37 to have to don't put resources into, and I hope that the

11:04:40 city will do that.

11:04:41 And then finally, just to piggyback on something

11:04:45 Councilwoman Montelione mentioned regarding gasoline.

11:04:47 You know, when our former director of solid waste was here,

11:04:52 we had some discussion about implementing logistic systems

11:04:56 like federal express and UPS use to direct their trucks,

11:05:01 because they have shown that they can save an awful lot of

11:05:04 money by eliminating left hand turns, by constantly

11:05:08 recalculating the routes that they take in order to hit each

11:05:14 of the targets without excessive interim driving in between.

11:05:18 And I want to encourage all of our departments that have

11:05:22 vehicles to continue to look at ways to save money that way,

11:05:25 because there's real dollars that can be run out of not just

11:05:30 gas and vehicle savings, out of those types of improvements.

11:05:33 So that's all for me, Mr. Chairman.

11:05:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

11:05:37 Mr. Suarez?

11:05:37 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Thank you, chair.

11:05:40 First of all, I would like to thank the budget advisory

11:05:44 committee.

11:05:44 They always do a great job.

11:05:46 We have a new member.

11:05:47 My appointee, which was Mr. Rick Asphar, one of the things

11:05:53 that I talked to him about, I said it is going to be like

11:05:55 drinking out of a fire hose for a little bit.

11:05:58 And the poor guy read the entire budget, and I said, boy,

11:06:02 you really -- you really are looking to try to figure out

11:06:06 things.

11:06:06 And it's the old saying about how do you eat an elephant?

11:06:10 One bite at a time.

11:06:12 For us that's exactly wash we need to do.

11:06:14 One of the most important things that we want to look at, I

11:06:17 agree with what Mrs. Montelione said in terms of what this

11:06:20 meeting was supposed to be about which is our priorities.

11:06:22 One of the problems that I have had is that many of the

11:06:25 groups that we approached have not had their budgets

11:06:29 completed.

11:06:30 They are still going through all the draft process and draft

11:06:34 stainless steel, so we didn't get a lot of the information

11:06:36 that we wanted for our own priorities.

11:06:38 But we are still waiting.

11:06:39 We'll get that from them in no time.

11:06:41 The recommendations from the advisory committee, I agree

11:06:47 completely with everything that's been said.

11:06:49 I won't belabor each one of those points.

11:06:51 One of the things -- and I think Councilman Cohen just said

11:06:55 about it our project wish list -- just as an example, we

11:06:59 went back and looked at what our wastewater, just

11:07:03 wastewater, plan is.

11:07:07 Those capital improvements thatch we want to see from our

11:07:09 current fiscal year, FY 14 all the way through fiscal year

11:07:14 18 doing the rough math that I did.

11:07:16 Now, this is just on foreseeable improvements, and that we

11:07:20 have on the books.

11:07:21 It's over $100 million.

11:07:24 Over a four and a half-year period, I guess, at this point.

11:07:28 That alone is a huge chunk of money to look at when we talk

11:07:32 about capital improvement.

11:07:34 The amenities aspect of our city are, I think, secondary in

11:07:40 terms of what we are trying to do because if we cannot do

11:07:43 simple things that the that cities are supposed to do -- and

11:07:46 I say simple in the manner of we know what it takes, which

11:07:49 is bringing good, clean water into a home, getting out bad

11:07:54 water from their homes, picking up their trash, making sure

11:07:59 that are we provide a safe environment, police protection,

11:08:02 and making sure that we respond when people need help, such

11:08:06 as our be firefighters and our EMT folks.

11:08:11 When you look at just that part of the budget it's a huge

11:08:15 chunk.

11:08:16 For us when we look at bonding, I was looking at some of our

11:08:19 debt service.

11:08:20 We are actually doing fairly well on our debt service and

11:08:25 repayment.

11:08:26 Obviously, we are going to have some bonds coming off the

11:08:31 books from our CRA areas, primarily our downtown.

11:08:34 But in addition, each one of those bonding capacities that

11:08:38 we have are all tied to revenue.

11:08:41 Nothing tied to property taxes.

11:08:42 So even the improving economy in terms of our property

11:08:47 revenue, property tax revenue coming back in, it does not

11:08:51 affect our bonding capability per se.

11:08:55 So those are things that I think about, which is how does

11:08:58 the improving economy help us on everything else?

11:09:01 We are losing money in certain areas, such as we get back a

11:09:07 tax on communications services that because when it was

11:09:12 first created was tied primarily into land lines.

11:09:17 By virtue of the number of foreclosures that we have had in

11:09:19 this city, and by virtue of the number of people who no

11:09:22 longer use land lines as a primary phone number, that is a

11:09:29 reducing number, that we do have some other things like

11:09:33 direct TV, some other parts of it, but the biggest part wags

11:09:37 always the land line portion.

11:09:40 That is shrinking

11:09:42 I will say that because of sequester last year from

11:09:46 Congress, we lost a lot of money, specifically from the

11:09:51 dollars that would come in because of conventions that were

11:09:55 directly related to department of defense type of

11:09:59 conferences that we did not hold because of sequester.

11:10:03 I don't know what the total number was but it was a

11:10:06 significant number.

11:10:07 It was supposed to be a year in which we were going to be

11:10:10 making money from our convention center.

11:10:12 In fact, it became a place where we did not make as much as

11:10:15 we wanted to.

11:10:17 And that has been a big, big problem for us.

11:10:21 My priorities in terms of from the public works which I just

11:10:25 mentioned, it's one thing that we ought to look at that we

11:10:27 have not looked at yet, and this is not the fault of anyone

11:10:30 in this administration or on council or in other local

11:10:35 governments, but we do very little in terms of developing

11:10:39 plans that deal with how we leverage our own not only

11:10:44 ownership of property, but also other projects and programs.

11:10:48 We don't do enough of it in order to improve.

11:10:51 One example.

11:10:53 We could, during the course of the next, you know, five

11:10:57 years, partner with agencies like Hart to look at

11:11:03 development projects that will create the kind of ridership

11:11:08 that's going to be necessary from Hart, transit oriented

11:11:12 development projects, and in addition will help with

11:11:15 developing a bigger tax base for the City of Tampa.

11:11:21 Because we are always looking at how we can improve our

11:11:23 economic environment, sometimes we lose sight and we get

11:11:27 into silos for those projects that would fit very well with

11:11:31 not only our vision on council, but the mayor's vision in

11:11:34 terms of improving the rest of the city.

11:11:38 And I think that now, especially now, we have a real sin

11:11:44 jury out there that we can grab onto that is going to

11:11:46 improve where we can spend some of our dollars, and actually

11:11:50 leverage it with other agencies dollars, including the

11:11:54 federal government.

11:11:55 I was just in Washington, D.C. over the past three days, and

11:11:59 I'm sorry but, you know, when we talk about potholes, they

11:12:03 are the king of potholes, especially after an extremely bad

11:12:07 winter that they had.

11:12:09 I know that driving in a cab yesterday, or shuttle yesterday

11:12:14 to the airport, I know that I was jarred by at least three

11:12:18 or four potholes, going through the Georgetown section of

11:12:23 D.C.

11:12:24 We do have to improve our paving schedule.

11:12:27 And the only way we are going to do that is to increase the

11:12:30 tax base, increase the revenue that we receive, increase the

11:12:34 economic activity that that we keep trying to bring to the

11:12:39 city.

11:12:39 We are very fortunate because the economy has helped in

11:12:42 terms of, I think, our property values are going up, which

11:12:46 means that we are going to get a better assessment from our

11:12:48 property appraiser's office, and we are going to get some

11:12:51 more dollars in.

11:12:52 But it still pales in comparison to the number of projects

11:12:55 that we want to fund, and need to fund.

11:12:57 And those are things that we really need to keep looking at.

11:13:00 We have over the course of my three years on council, I

11:13:04 think done at least two bonding changes on one of our

11:13:13 enterprise funds.

11:13:14 Another just on helping to provide for pavement for worker's

11:13:17 comp claims that were outstanding over the last 15, 20

11:13:22 years, and we bonded to help put that in into a bond.

11:13:27 So those are things that we need to look at, I think.

11:13:30 And some of my priorities as I mentioned before, those

11:13:33 things that we own when we look at nondiscretionary --

11:13:39 excuse me, nondepartmental spending at our discretion, at

11:13:42 the mayor's discretion, concerning those systems abilities,

11:13:46 such as the Straz, Tampa Theatre, the aquarium, those places

11:13:50 that we already have millions of dollars in costs.

11:13:56 We have to really make sure that we can continue to improve

11:13:58 it.

11:14:00 I was walking through -- and this is just a small side.

11:14:03 I was walking through to visit senator Nelson, in the Hart

11:14:09 Senate office building is literally falling apart.

11:14:11 It's the most modern of all the Senate office buildings but

11:14:14 you can look up at the ceiling, the skylight is leaking.

11:14:18 There is pieces of it have fallen down.

11:14:20 And we need to make sure that those types of things don't

11:14:24 happen in the facilities that we own. Anyway, thanks again

11:14:26 to our budget advisory committee.

11:14:28 I think that this has been be a very good discussion for us

11:14:31 to kind of really look at the recommendations you have, and

11:14:36 also look at our own priorities.

11:14:38 Thank you, chair.

11:14:39 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick?

11:14:42 Want the floor?

11:14:43 Thank you very much.

11:14:43 Let me just say this, and then we'll go back to council

11:14:46 members.

11:14:47 It is not all doom and gloom.

11:14:49 And I challenge the world to name me a better city of

11:14:55 350,000 people.

11:14:59 The police department and the fire department and the water

11:15:01 department, and the amenities in the recreation department,

11:15:06 and you have heard, they are all full.

11:15:08 And when you look at these things -- and I said it before.

11:15:13 This budget is no different than my budget or your budget or

11:15:16 any other council member's budget.

11:15:18 It's got a lot more to it.

11:15:21 It's the same thing if you live in a house and you have a

11:15:24 certain income, now what that income is, and you have got to

11:15:26 replace your car, where do you go?

11:15:29 And how do you do it?

11:15:31 And how do you fix your roof, and how do you paint the

11:15:33 house, and how do you bring food to the table?

11:15:36 It is the same thing be as a personal budget.

11:15:40 Much greater.

11:15:42 And the needs are much larger.

11:15:43 When you look at the city that's got 2500 miles of water

11:15:49 lines and sewer lines that are some 80 to 100 years old,

11:15:53 yes, we do have a plan.

11:15:54 Yes, we are replacing 10,000 of lines a year on water.

11:15:59 And during the good years we replace up to 50 miles a year.

11:16:03 The problem is that it's caught up, when the budget goes

11:16:08 down, some of those things have to be brought down top

11:16:11 reality so you can service the emergency ones that pop up,

11:16:14 and you have a water leak or you have a tap that's leaking

11:16:18 and you have a minor sinkhole somewhere in the streets.

11:16:21 All those things happen.

11:16:22 Just Luke they happen in your house.

11:16:24 It's just like they happen when your toilet gets stuffed up,

11:16:31 you say I don't have the money to fix this, what am I going

11:16:34 to do?

11:16:35 It's the same thing, just at a much larger scale.

11:16:37 Some people have four or five kids.

11:16:39 We have 4200 employees or plus.

11:16:42 It's the same thing.

11:16:43 Just much larger.

11:16:44 When you look at the amount of roadwork that we have done,

11:16:48 each city -- this city has a five year plan like Mr. Cohen

11:16:52 stated earlier.

11:16:53 All the districts are there, and he shows you where the

11:16:55 money should go.

11:16:56 That doesn't mean they don't pave somewhere else should it

11:17:03 arise.

11:17:03 It also means you have a plan and water, you have a plan in

11:17:06 sewer, capacity, sewer.

11:17:09 Our plan is about 30 million more than we can take a gallon.

11:17:14 We are very lucky that we didn't put all that money into

11:17:17 reclaimed years ago.

11:17:19 Other cities put it in reclaimed.

11:17:21 They have no capacity.

11:17:22 That's why we have the capacity for growth.

11:17:25 We are set for growth.

11:17:26 We have the ample supply of water for the next certain years

11:17:31 but not the next 20 years.

11:17:32 So what I am saying is we are getting ready.

11:17:35 How many of us drive a hybrid?

11:17:37 How many of us drive an electric car?

11:17:39 I'm talking about me.

11:17:41 How many of you drive it?

11:17:44 I don't see too many hands going up.

11:17:46 But yet the same question was posed of it us, why don't you

11:17:50 change all these things?

11:17:51 It's basically the same thing.

11:17:52 Because it's money.

11:17:53 If you have it to buy you are going tock do it.

11:17:58 And right now if we don't have it.

11:18:00 So we are trying to do the best, and yes, Mrs. Montelione,

11:18:05 some of these big trucks are being converted to other things

11:18:08 of gasoline and it's working out real well.

11:18:10 And thanks to her, in fact I have been looking to buy a

11:18:19 hybrid.

11:18:19 I just don't want top pay $30,000.

11:18:23 [ Laughter ]

11:18:23 So I'm just telling you the facts of life.

11:18:26 And that's a fact of life.

11:18:28 So what I hear and what I see in practicality from the same

11:18:32 people including myself, I gauge myself by what I do for the

11:18:37 city, not what the city does for me.

11:18:40 Because the citizens of this city have been wonderful.

11:18:46 When we had droughts, guess what happened.

11:18:48 The water decreased to about 55 million gallons a day from

11:18:54 80 some million.

11:18:56 They responded.

11:18:56 The citizens of this city responded.

11:18:58 That's what brings people in to live.

11:19:02 When I give a speech and I want to warm up the crowd, why do

11:19:05 they come here?

11:19:06 They come because we have two seasons.

11:19:08 Summer and Christmas.

11:19:10 And you can say that today, and you get more people here

11:19:14 because they have had a horrible winter up north.

11:19:16 And that's part of the reason that we are getting these

11:19:18 citizens.

11:19:19 So when you look at that, this administration and other

11:19:22 administrations have always done, in my opinion, mostly the

11:19:27 benefit for the public.

11:19:30 They went to 7 point something to 15 million a year in the

11:19:37 last two or three years.

11:19:38 So we have doubled that.

11:19:39 At the same time, we have had a decrease in revenue.

11:19:42 So we maintain our services as good or better than any city

11:19:47 in the country.

11:19:48 And I challenge anybody including the media to find me a

11:19:51 better city to live than Tampa.

11:19:54 You know why I say that?

11:19:58 I had explained it to the editor.

11:20:00 Those are the things you do and you know you can get away

11:20:03 with.

11:20:03 But I challenge you to do that, to find a better city to

11:20:07 live than the City of Tampa.

11:20:08 And you are going to be hard pressed to find one.

11:20:11 All that being said, I really need this committee to look

11:20:15 not only what's going on today, but think for every action

11:20:21 what reaction is coming.

11:20:22 Think what happens when the bond are paid off at the

11:20:24 convention center.

11:20:25 Think what happens when you have -- where are they going to

11:20:30 go?

11:20:31 Those are the things that are challenging to me F.we are

11:20:34 really going to have the next city of greatness, when you

11:20:40 look at the downtown area, what do you miss?

11:20:42 Not too many spots for boats to come in.

11:20:45 Not too many.

11:20:47 There's no Marina to speak of in any large capacity.

11:20:50 And we have a great waterfront that hasn't each been

11:20:53 explored.

11:20:54 You know the last time I looked years ago, there was 250

11:20:59 individuals who wanted to moor their boats or yachts in the

11:21:05 area.

11:21:06 At $7 and something a foot and we had to built it.

11:21:11 I don't believe in bow bonding.

11:21:14 But I believe in bonding if you knew yourself that revenue

11:21:17 is going to pay more and make a little.

11:21:19 And I think you can do that and building mooring spots for

11:21:24 these individuals that want that.

11:21:25 That's one challenge I would like to give you.

11:21:27 And look at the challenges that are coming to this city in

11:21:29 the future, and how we are going to address them.

11:21:32 That is the main focus

11:21:35 I believe that all of you are satisfied with the process of

11:21:40 individuals we have.

11:21:41 And yes, we are going to have change over.

11:21:43 And you know what?

11:21:44 In my my opinion change over is good.

11:21:47 Let me tell you why.

11:21:49 Because it gives those individuals than that started with

11:21:52 the city an opportunity to look forward, and if I do my job,

11:21:57 one day I may lead that department.

11:21:59 And that's what gives the motivation to Americans to go up

11:22:03 the ladder and do better not only for themselves but for the

11:22:06 city or the industry that they work in.

11:22:08 Without changeover, this whole country would be stagnated.

11:22:13 Opportunities is what drives us and that's what it's all

11:22:17 about.

11:22:17 But I want to thank you because you have done an outstanding

11:22:20 job.

11:22:20 And I yield to any other for a second round.

11:22:24 Mrs. Capin.

11:22:26 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

11:22:27 Yes.

11:22:27 I took notes, Mr. Chairman, from my campaign -- your

11:22:35 statements.

11:22:35 They are very good.

11:22:36 [ Laughter ]

11:22:37 You know, everything that was mentioned, environmental,

11:22:46 canal dredge, the stormwater draining, the clean water

11:22:51 recycling, I would put -- I better not say -- that there are

11:23:02 grants.

11:23:04 That's money that is being left on the table.

11:23:08 And we are talking about looking for funds.

11:23:13 And I think that is one of the areas that is -- that may

11:23:19 need or could use a boost.

11:23:23 And there's grants for -- I'm sure.

11:23:27 For instance, law enforcement, the fleet management, to

11:23:30 purchase new cars.

11:23:32 Smart cars now talk to you.

11:23:34 They tell you when they need an oil change and when the

11:23:37 tires need air, as opposed to stocking all kind of parts

11:23:43 because you are guessing, or you are anticipating this is

11:23:48 what goes wrong with this fleet.

11:23:49 And when we look at our pie chart with the city, the law

11:23:56 enforcement and fire is more money than we take in

11:24:05 ad valorem tax total.

11:24:08 That always stands out to me.

11:24:11 All the ad valorem tax in the city does not cover law

11:24:17 enforcement and the other.

11:24:19 So when we talk about gas -- and, yes, I did tour.

11:24:25 As a matter of fact, Mr. Marsoni' are doing very big jobs

11:24:33 there of converting commercial trucks to natural gas, or

11:24:39 both, having both, and I drove a vehicle that that is

11:24:47 natural gas, retrofitted, and wanted to see when you

11:24:51 switched from the fuel to the natural gas, if you would

11:24:54 notice a difference.

11:24:57 Absolutely you do not notice a difference.

11:24:59 And there is, from my understanding, a station going in on

11:25:04 50th.

11:25:05 So it's the future of natural gas.

11:25:10 And I bet if we had a department -- I'm not -- I needed --

11:25:17 which I am going to go into -- I think one of the things I

11:25:20 would like to move -- I would like to hear from our grants

11:25:22 department.

11:25:23 I would like to know what is on the books, what do we have,

11:25:30 what are they doing, how many staff?

11:25:32 Because what we can find is we have 100% of the effort, and

11:25:39 it's not meeting 100% of the needs.

11:25:42 There's in a doubt that the effort is there.

11:25:45 It's the need.

11:25:46 And so that is money that is being left on the table.

11:25:49 And it's a fact.

11:25:50 We can probably get the dollars.

11:25:55 That amount I can come up with shortly.

11:25:57 I don't have it with me now.

11:26:00 So that's one of the ones.

11:26:02 Because it was number one, finding new revenue sources.

11:26:05 And there's grants for everything we talked about just

11:26:10 about.

11:26:12 I would -- I'm sure.

11:26:14 So that's how I would like to conclude it, that we are

11:26:19 finding new revenue sources, no doubt.

11:26:21 This is a fabulous city.

11:26:23 It is people come here, and they are surprised at how

11:26:29 beautiful our city is.

11:26:34 Not to us.

11:26:35 We know.

11:26:35 We know how beautiful our city is, and how p well run it's

11:26:40 been for many, many years.

11:26:42 But there's always room for improvement, always places to

11:26:46 save money, always places -- and, you know, one of the

11:26:50 things, we talked about bonding.

11:26:54 Yes, the purpose of bonding is the return on your

11:26:58 investment.

11:26:59 And that's what we are looking at.

11:27:00 When we are looking at the convention center bond that will

11:27:04 be paid off in October of be '15 that's what we are looking

11:27:08 at.

11:27:09 What should we invest in?

11:27:10 What is the return on that investment?

11:27:12 And how are we going to prioritize for our downtown area?

11:27:17 Because that's where it needs to be spent.

11:27:22 Again, I go back to grants.

11:27:24 And I go back to where we are leaving money on the table.

11:27:27 And that is an area that we could be helping ourselves, our

11:27:33 citizens.

11:27:33 Thank you.

11:27:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

11:27:36 Anyone else?

11:27:37 Again we want to thank you, all of you for participating and

11:27:40 doing this.

11:27:42 And you have been outstanding individuals who serve.

11:27:45 And right now, you are serving for free.

11:27:49 I like that very much.

11:27:51 [ Laughter ]

11:27:51 But you are giving of your time and the work that you do for

11:27:55 your own family to be with us.

11:27:57 In essence you are creating a better city.

11:28:00 Yes, ma'am.

11:28:01 Closing remarks.

11:28:01 >> Kimberly overman: You know, we had a man on the moon

11:28:17 before we had suitcases with wheels that go through the

11:28:20 airport.

11:28:21 It's that simple.

11:28:21 When you look at the processes and by looking at our

11:28:24 process, we have amazing resources including the personnel

11:28:29 within this city, and they do a phenomenal job of taking

11:28:33 care of the many resources this city has.

11:28:37 But with that, we need to look at whether or not we have got

11:28:41 wheels on suitcases.

11:28:44 And I think it's one area that we can make huge differences

11:28:49 in the services to our citizens and being good stewards of

11:28:51 the money than we collect in order to deliver those

11:28:53 services.

11:28:54 Thank you for all the compliments.

11:28:56 We love doing what we do.

11:28:58 We do thank the staff, the departments are marvelous at

11:29:10 giving us access to the questions, seeing the wonderful work

11:29:13 that is done by staff and getting an opportunity ton see how

11:29:17 this city works.

11:29:17 So it's our pleasure that we should volunteer our time to do

11:29:21 this.

11:29:21 Thank you.

11:29:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

11:29:23 We really appreciate it.

11:29:24 Anyone else?

11:29:24 Okay.

11:29:26 Need a motion to receive and file the documents.

11:29:28 I have a motion by Mr -- Mrs. Montelione, second by Mr.

11:29:35 Cohen on a close vote with Mr. Reddick to receive all the

11:29:37 document.

11:29:38 All in favor are? Opposed?

11:29:41 Anyone else?

11:29:41 Anyone else in the public care to speak to us?

11:29:44 Come forward.

11:29:45 >>FRANK REDDICK: Move to adjourn.

11:29:49 >> I live at 11048 Magellan circle, Tampa.

11:30:03 I'm here to talk about the city budget.

11:30:06 I understand it's not enough money, but I think we as a

11:30:12 community, and we as the people of the City of Tampa, must

11:30:15 accept the budget because if we are all work together, be we

11:30:20 all in the community, in downtown Tampa, West Tampa, the

11:30:25 whole district, I think we can be a better city, and thank

11:30:29 you very much.

11:30:30 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anyone else?

11:30:31 Any other 498 left?

11:30:34 We stand adjourned till 6:00 p.m.

11:30:36 >> (Council meeting adjourned)



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