Some highlights from the second budget meeting...
Each dept head was called to take the "hot seat" to answer questions led by Mooney (the Finance chair) on Revenue Summary (if applicable), Staffing, Operations, and briefly Capital Requests. Full details on revenue fees will be held at the March and April Finance Meetings. Discussions of the budget line structure were also made for better reporting along with comparisons to prior years. While Mooney led the questions, Russo and Meany occassionaly asked questions too. Coucilman who were present occasionally asked questions. Bell and Pelunis were probably there for most of it. Kraus and Richmond were also present for some of it. The Mayor sat next to the "hot seat" and was active at the meeting until called away to the Planning Commission.
Strong concerns were raised about health care costs increasing 15% per year. The three biggest dept are $3M. Something different must be done, not just bid, Russo said a mandatory wellness program where if you particpate you get lower health care contributions, if you don't you are hit with the full health care increase.
There was a lot of discussion about the recreation/community center/grantwood dept...
- Silver Sneakers is a successful revenue generator.
- Staffing reduced by 1 FT cleaning supervisor by privatizing the operation as other city buildings did.
- Unfunded Mandates - Pools had to replace drains with new drains for govt mandated safety. New ADA requirements will require a second handicapped entry at all pools, even the hot tub.
- Programs for latch key kids are on a sharp rise, 65 kids, could get 125 if they had capacity. Soccer way up, BB up, softball down, flag football down.
- Adding a budget line for software rather than lumping everything together
- Computer training credits used up in 1 yr rather than 2, staff will do training internally
- Equipment Maintenance Plans were scrapped, they are now being reactivated so vendor will provide HW & SW service
- VM Server setup will be at City Hall and Police Dept (presumably to back each other up, no discussion on config of VMs and DR setup)
- Will be upgrading software to consistent levels, eg Office 2003-2010 currently installed causing frustration and confusion (Chief Shaw example),
- Wireless Access improvements
- Will review tablet use by city hall and council
- Committee pleased that all new PC purchases go through IT dept and they will be doing a lifecycle replacement (this is a common practice in business that was just introduced to city hall)
- In a few years IT may explore VDI to reduce desktop expense (also a common business practice)
- Some added costs to new IP based phone system ranging from $250-$290K for compatibility and regional county dispatch PSAP
- Cell repeaters will be installed in Senior Center and possibly the community center
- Russo strongly objects to improving cell service at the community center, you are there to exercise, not use cell phones, called it "foolish".
- Outside fees - $100K
- 8 collective bargaining issues will need to be resolved this year (thanks to Issue 2)
- Capital projects and Bond prepayment will be covered at special finance meeting (on camera) Tue Feb 21 at 5:30.
The Finance Director mentioned this issue at the first hearing, specifically for his dept, but it is a city wide issue.
- Need a Records Retention Plan
- Deal with, eliminate old paper records
- Reduce paper volume by scanning