View Other Items in this Archive |
View All Archives | Printable Version
Council Meeting Minutes
June 15, 2015
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called
the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m. Voting and Seating Order: Willmus,
Laliberte, Etten, McGehee, and Roe. City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and City
Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.
2. Pledge of
3. Approve Agenda
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded approval of the agenda as presented.
Laliberte, Etten, McGehee, and Roe.
4. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called
for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
Kysylyczyn, 3083 Victoria Street
spoke in response to public comments made at the June 8, 2015 City Council
meeting related to organized trash collection. Mr. Kysylyczyn addressed the
alleged misinformation provided as part of those comments; opining that it was
unfortunate for a handful to resort to misinformation or a lack of accurate
data in order to support their viewpoint. From his perspective Mr. Kysylyczyn
reviewed previously attempted legislation and subsequent adoption of the
current bipartisan legislation adopted allowing a process for local government
to pursue organized trash collection being mindful of the interests of all
further addressed information provided by a citizen showing cost comparisons
for the City of Maplewood, pointing out his understanding of the methodology of
that survey and lack of scientific administration in those results, and therefore
not accurately supporting the comparison data. Mr. Kysylyczyn also noted information
provided by the statistically accurate survey and similar responses performed
in the communities of Roseville, Shoreview and Fridley, administered by Decision
Resources, all showing that the public does not support organized trash collection
or not having a choice in selecting their trash haulers.
cautioned the City Council, when information is brought forward to them, that
they challenge those presenting the data to share all information accurately
before the City Council comes to any conclusions on an issue.
Westland, 210 County Road B-2 W
concurred with Mr. Kysylyczyn's comments and expressed his personal concern in
government interference with private property and personal rights, as he was
personally experiencing with the City's code enforcement staff. Mr. Westland
questioned when the City of Roseville had begun to send out code enforcement
staff to address issues on private property, such as in his back yard, opining
that it had almost reached a nuisance level based on his experience. If such a
course if to be followed, Mr. Westland asked that it be done fairly and
consistently, and performed citywide, not just to him personally, which he
found bothersome and invasive of his private property.
Engagement Commission Interviews
held for a vacancy on this commission with Mr. John Eichenlaub and Ms. Ebony
Communications, Reports, and Announcements
announced several upcoming events, including co-sponsorship by the Roseville
Fire Department for appointments to install car seats in vehicles; volunteer
opportunities involving natural resources and shoreline planting at Bennett
Lake/Central Park, assistance with the Run and Roll for the Roses, a Community
Playground Build at Bruce Russell Park, and helping in a variety of ways with
the upcoming Rose Parade. Mayor Roe noted additional information was available
on the City's website or by calling City Hall.
Donations and Communications
7. Approve Minutes
Approve Consent Agenda
Consider Items Removed from Consent
General Ordinances for Adoption
Consider Amending City Code, Chapter 302 Liquor Control to Allow
for Off- and On-Sale Microdistellery Sales and to Allow for Sunday Sales of
the request of Mayor Roe, City Attorney Gaughan provided a quick summary of
this revised ordinance, as first reviewed at the June 8, 2015 City Council meeting;
and based on recent changes to state law from the latest legislative session.
Mr. Gaughan noted the proposed city adoption was detailed in the Request for
Council Action (RCA) and draft ordinance included in the meeting materials, and
dated June 15, 2015. Mr. Gaughan noted that the intention was for local code
to closely mirror state statute and referencing them as applicable for future
annotation on the final version of the ordinance. As discussed at the previous
meeting, Mr. Gaughan advised that requested revisions by the City Council had
been incorporated into Sections 302.02.f and l of the draft ordinance.
McGehee had several questions of City Attorney Gaughan regarding
taprooms/growler sales, and references to 'cocktail rooms,' and Sunday sales
referred to as the 'Bloody Mary Law,' and specifics and differences of each in
accordance with this new legislation, and as previously addressed in Mr.
Gaughan's letter of June 3, 2015 to the City Council, outlining those provisions
and recommendations for revisions to local code.
Roe noted that the same entity could not have a microdistillery license and
also a taproom license, but could have a taproom license as well as an
off-sale, with City Attorney Gaughan affirming that there was no prohibition.
At the request of Mayor Roe, City Attorney Gaughan also addressed Sunday sales,
as addressed in local ordinance Section 302.09 and also allowed under State
Statute, but not required of local municipalities to specifically address
unless they chose to do so.
moved, Etten seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1478 entitled, 'An Ordinance
Amending Various Sections of Chapter 302: Liquor Control.'
McGehee spoke in support of the motion; however, she questioned why there would
be any consideration of cocktail rooms at this time since none had been
requested, and which she did not support. Councilmember McGehee expressed
concern that the more alcohol sold, the more enforcement and safety issues
Laliberte spoke in support of the motion and revised language, noting the
current excitement with this industry in surrounding communities about this
option, and allowing City of Roseville entitles this option as well. Councilmember
Laliberte opined that the closing hour provision of 1:00 a.m. already in code
served to address any concerns, and expressed her preference for City Code to
mirror State Statute as much as possible to reduce the need to revise it with
each minor change.
Roe noted additional provisions in existing ordinances prior to brewery
taprooms coming to Roseville, and address on-sale as well and requiring that
food sales were part of that for restaurants or hotels, and precluding bars
which Roseville did not have per se. By going forward with the taproom and
eliminating food requirements for that category, Mayor Roe noted the reasoning
at that time was to limit the type of spirits and range of products and
opportunities. Mayor Roe recognized potential irresponsibilities of drinkers
with beer or spirits, while noting that local and state laws governed those
situations. Mayor Roe expressed his confidence in establishments being
responsible business owners and monitoring and enforcement of public safety
authorities as well.
Willmus, Laliberte, Etten, McGehee, and Roe.
moved, McGehee seconded, enactment of Ordinance Summary No. 1478 for
publication purposes, entitled, 'An Ordinance Amending Various Sections of
Chapter 302: Liquor Control.'
Consider Changes to City Code, Chapter 314.05: 2015 Fee Schedule
to the previous action item, Finance Director Chris Miller noted this created
two new categories, requiring a change in the current 2015 fee schedule as
detailed in the RCA dated June 15, 2015. Mr. Miller advised that the suggested
fee was $750 for on-sale microdistlillery cocktail room license, consistent
with the on-sale brewery taproom fee charged to microbreweries, and $300 for
the off-sale microdistillery license consistent with other off-sale licenses in
noted by Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller confirmed that off-sale fees are limited by
State Statute, and the proposed license fee was up to the cap for that
moved, Etten seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1479 (Attachment A) entitled,
'An Ordinance Amending Chapter 314.05, Fee Schedule: Revising the 2015 Fee
requested by Councilmember Laliberte, Finance Director Miller confirmed that
there were no separate Sunday license fees established for growler sales at
this point other than covered exclusively for that purpose by existing
moved, Willmus seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1479S (Attachment B)
entitled, 'Ordinance Summary Amending Chapter 314.05, Fee Schedule: Revising
the 2015 Fee Schedule.'
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at
approximately 7:03 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 7:05 p.m.
Joint Meeting with Parks and Recreation Commission
Roe welcomed Commissioners to this quarterly meeting. Present representing the
Commission were Chair Jerry Stoner and Commissioners Jamie Becker-Finn, Lee
Diedrick, Randall Doneen, Philip Gelbach, David Holt, Luke Heikkila, Terrance
Newby, and Nancy O'Brien.
Stoner opened discussion up with introductions and welcoming the three
newly-appointed commissioners. As detailed in the RCA, Chair Stoner briefly
reviewed community outreach activities undertaken by the Commission since last
meeting with the City Council.
Newby highlighted several project activity items, noting the Commission's
ongoing comprehensive involvement in the Park & Recreation Renewal Program;
their review of fees/users of various park buildings and operations; and the
City Council-requested review of the deer population and their recommendations
to address that concern.
Doneen reviewed work plan items anticipated for the upcoming year, some of
which had been lagging behind due to other Renewal Program activities and now
needing to be addressed. Among those issues, Commissioner Doneen addressed
limited real estate and/or partnership available in SW Roseville for additional
park and green space; public safety issues at Tamarack Park needing to be
addressed; and natural resource restoration project needs and investment in
long-term management. Commissioner Doneen noted these activities would all
require significant community involvement and more input by the Commission.
Becker-Finn reviewed the status of park building operations, reporting that all
buildings were now substantially completed, with the next step to track their
operations and fine-tune fee schedules as applicable based on their use.
Holt reported on the Commission's review of Cedarholm Golf Course operations
and recommendations as detailed in Attachment A to the RCA. Commissioner Holt
noted deferred maintenance issues and the bigger picture, as well as the review
and report by the Finance Commission on this Enterprise Fund and Financial Summary
from 2010 - 014 as provided by Finance Director Chris Miller and staff.
Holt asked the City Council to consider why this continued to operate as an
Enterprise Fund given other valuable assets in Park & Recreation programming
that were not (e.g. ballfields) and how depreciation expenses affected
funding. Commissioner Holt noted the Commission's desire to explore the big
picture for this program not currently taxpayer funded. In reviewing
surrounding communities and inner-ring suburbs such as Roseville, Commissioner
Holt noted the unique and valuable asset provided by the golf course, serving
to increase the City's tax base and of importance to the community as well.
Commissioner Holt asked consideration by the City Council in the possibility of
bringing the golf course back into the Parks & Recreation fold versus as a
standalone Enterprise Fund.
Holt also thanked the City Council for increasing the frequency of these joint
meetings, and expressed hope that they were also of benefit to the City
Council. Commissioner Holt noted the Commission's appreciation of the additional
direction and focus they provided in their oversight of park and recreation
activities and events.
Roe thanked Commissioners for their update, and opened discussion to individual
Willmus thanked the Commission for the information they offered. In his
personal consideration of the position of the skating center or golf course,
Councilmember Willmus advised that he looked at them as amenities that served
the entire community, holding those services and amenities on a par with
emergency and public works services. Councilmember Willmus opined that they
all represented an important aspect for a healthy community.
Willmus noted his willingness to hold ongoing discussions about how to improve
things, but for him personally the bottom line was that he may not consider
such services as necessarily being revenue generators, but of community value.
Councilmember Willmus noted this was similar to the correlation between
recreation or open space properties adding value for contiguous adjacent
Willmus sought further consideration by the Commission on how to address park
dedication fees for redevelopment projects that may not allow for or include
his past service on the Parks & Recreation Commission, Councilmember
Willmus noted their review of fees, and asked for an update from the Commission
and fine-tune review of all fees going forward, including comparisons with
Holt advised that this had been done internally by the Commission and offered
to provide it to the City Council at the next joint meeting.
McGehee asked Commissioner Doneen regarding properties still available in SW
Doneen responded that, for various reasons, the Commission chose not to move
forward on either of the two available properties at this time.
Stoner concurred, noting that one parcel was more favorable than the other
given its size and how it was laid out based on what could be fit on either
parcel (e.g. ballfields).
McGehee clarified that, when she considered a park in her area, she was not
specifically considering its use as a ballfield, but green space to provide an
opportunity for family activities, not necessarily organized or formal activities.
Councilmember McGehee opined that there were many such amenities available in
McGehee suggested the Commission's consideration of partnering with the City of
Falcon Heights with their community park already in that area and providing
many amenities, and already used by a majority of SW Roseville residents already.
Given the recent completion and integration of the pathway, Councilmember
McGehee expressed her preference for that partnership option versus acquiring
more land; and asked that the Commission think more broadly and make links with
McGehee asked Commissioner Becker-Finn about how a determination was made for
those paying fees (e.g. civic or neighborhood groups) and private uses.
Councilmember McGehee provided a recent anecdotal example of apparent
disparities, and her understanding of the intent for building use by residents.
a newer member of the Commission, Commissioner Becker-Finn advised that she was
not on board when fees were determined.
Stoner provided the fee structure and intent for use of buildings by residents,
considering use by resident groups as a loss and theoretically compensated with
the request of Councilmember McGehee, Commissioner O'Brien clarified that the
fees depended on the function and how the event is defined - whether exclusive
to a particular association or open to the public.
Stoner noted this is the general intent, and obviously each case was given
Doneen noted that this had received considerable discussion by the Commission,
and advised that City staff attempted to question each use or event
specifically to make a judgment call as applicable. Commissioner Doneen noted
that the Commission continued to monitor fees to determine if this is the right
system and how it was working, and admitted some revisions may be required
going forward with more experience.
light of civic and community engagement, Councilmember McGehee suggested
considering specific areas, not necessarily the entire city, and those activities
that should be free if open and available for the public.
Becker-Finn noted that part of the issue may involve the information shared
when booking an event or activity and how to define where the line is,
suggesting this may need to be further clarified on the website. Commissioner
Becker-Finn asked the City Council's consideration that this is new territory,
with most of the buildings only having been available for booking since April,
and feedback will continue to inform the process and necessary revisions.
Based on the feedback she'd received to-date, Commissioner Becker-Finn stated
most were finding the City's rental fees reasonable, given their comparison
with other private facilities not offering as many amenities.
McGehee requested additional information from the Commission on the formula or
differential between resident and non-resident fees; with Commissioner
Becker-Finn responding that it varied depending on the building itself and its
capacity as well as the day of the week for the booking.
to the golf course, Councilmember McGehee expressed her frustration in
deferring maintenance (e.g. roof repairs/replacement), similar to that of fire
stations and old park buildings, and the apparent common theme across the City
to defer maintenance long enough that a new building was required.
it may not be specific only to Park & Recreation facilities, Councilmember
McGehee opined that the City had been remiss in addressing ongoing maintenance
issues, thus the implementation of the asset management software program.
Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of the golf course as a nice amenity for
the community, and her lack of support in selling the property, at least
without further study. Councilmember McGehee spoke in further support for
continuing to have the golf course operate as an Enterprise Fund, opining that
the Oval and skating center should do so as well, to provide a separate picture
of their finances, making the bookkeeping aspect cleaner. Councilmember
McGehee opined that this would be another area of interest for her in defining
the fee differential to address actual costs and provide a more sustainable
financial footing and recommendations from the Commission on how best to get
there. Councilmember McGehee opined that the twenty-year Parks &
Recreation capital improvement program (CIP) was out of line with other
departments (e.g. twenty baseball fields operating without fee and allowing
athletic organizations complete and priority use of those fields for the most
part). Councilmember McGehee expressed her wish that the Commission would look
toward making those fields available to residents for their personal use versus
their potential loss as an amenity.
Holt took issue with Councilmember McGehee's misperception about deferring
maintenance of park facilities, referencing the previous dedication of funds
for maintenance through the Parks Improvement Program (PIP). Commissioner Holt
noted previous City Councils reallocating those funds to other areas of city
operations; and therefore, the Parks & Recreation Department no longer had
funds available for necessary maintenance. Commissioner Holt clarified that it
was not the Commission's or Department's desire for new or different styled
buildings, but simply to address those deferred maintenance decisions, and grow
the program back. As mentioned in previous meetings, Commissioner Holt restated
the Commission's and his personal appreciation of this City Council once again
setting aside funding to maintain assets; and respectfully requested that those
funds remain in place to avoid future issues.
reference to previous City Council decision-making specifically related to deferred
maintenance issues, Mayor Roe suggested that there were no deferrals intended
to seek new facilities, but rather not enough information was provided for them
to make informed decisions and with their efforts to keep tax levies low. In
the last few years, Mayor Roe opined that this City Council has made a concerted
effort to keep an eye on community assets; and stated everyone at the table - the City Council and Commission - were all responsible to move those efforts forward
in a positive way. Mayor Roe stated that the goal should be to make it clear
what all was involved in order to make better decisions, including long-term
CIP listings and periodic updates, allowing current information on which
playground, equipment, or items need replacing or repairs at any given time.
McGehee expressed her hope that this would actually be accomplished, even
though she found this City Council majority continuing to dig into reserves
annually rather than fully funding the CIP. Councilmember McGehee noted that
the PIP suffered the same fate and expressed concern that this may occur with
the CIP as well. Councilmember McGehee expressed her interest in sustaining
assets and not losing any gains already made with the decision-making of future
Etten thanked the Commission for their report and the specific areas addressed,
providing a recent anecdotal experience and teaching opportunity he and his son
experienced on the boardwalk. Councilmember Etten also noted the community
service opportunities after renovations he'd participated in and the favorable
comments he'd heard about improved lighting at various facilities in addition
to accessibility and amenities in new bathroom facilities.
Etten echoed some of the comments of Councilmember Willmus regarding park
dedication fees, opining that while lot lines may not change, new density may
occur, and questioned how park dedication worked into that type of
redevelopment. Councilmember Etten suggested legal counsel may need to weigh
in about how and when those fees may kick in as Roseville continued to
the club house at Cedarholm Golf Course, Councilmember Etten agreed that the
current building was in rough shape with continued deferral of roof maintenance
on the CIP depending on the future of the facility. However, Councilmember
Etten opined it may prove another positive situation, and while the Commission
reviews its future, may also prove a positive asset as a year-round facility
for community use.
whether or not to incorporate it in the General Fund or continue operations as
a separate Enterprise Fund, Councilmember Etten recognized the cross-purposes
of staff and difficulty in sorting revenue and expenses out accordingly. Given
that consideration, Councilmember Etten opined that it made sense to make that
operation part of the broader community offerings versus a separate Enterprise
Fund, such as License Center operations with staff dedicated specifically and
only to that particular effort.
Etten clarified discussion about the two parcels in SW Roseville, noting that
one parcel was not actually for sale and the owner was not interested in
selling, and potential acquisition of the other parcel fell through when a
different offer had been received. As a former Chair of the Commission,
Councilmember Etten noted the positive advances made, particularly in the
recent completion of the path along County Road B. Councilmember Etten also
clarified that there already existed a shared agreement with the City of Falcon
Heights and that a positive collaboration was in place and continued to be part
of the process for ongoing improvement for the SW area of Roseville.
Laliberte thanked the Commission for their work to-date, recognizing it had
been a busy few years for them, requiring lots of oversight for staff and the
Commission on the various Renewal Program projects. As a recent participant of
one of the Playground Build projects, Councilmember Laliberte stated she highly
recommended it for resident involvement.
Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of those areas of focus laid out by
the Commission in their report, and encouraged them to continue their
out-of-the-box thinking for each of those work plan initiatives, and to not
limit themselves to a particular piece of land in SW Roseville but to consider
all options. Councilmember Laliberte shared the public safety concerns for
Tamarack Park, opining it needed to be addressed on a number of different
natural resource restoration, Councilmember Laliberte noted her previous
forwarding of information on Buckthorn mitigation.
Cedarholm Golf Course, Councilmember Laliberte agreed that it was a valuable
asset for the community; and expressed her interest in figuring out how to make
it work and continuing as an asset for residents and non-residents alike; and
her interest in hearing recommendations from the Commission. Pending that
additional information, Councilmember Laliberte advised that she had no initial
thoughts on the advantages or disadvantages of it remaining an Enterprise Fund,
even though she appreciated the transparency and segregation of data provided
by such a funding designation and for the guidance it provided. If the
Commission recommended moving forward with course improvements or a new
building, Councilmember Laliberte suggested looking into kick starter funding as
part of that scenario to help solve part of the funding problem.
Laliberte expressed her interest in continuing these periodic joint meetings.
Laliberte encouraged the Commission to take advantage of C-TV Channel 16 as an
additional opportunity to promote the golf course, skating center and park
buildings; and to do a better job to highlight those amenities with that media
Willmus expressed his disagreement with Commissioner Holt and Councilmember
Etten about moving the golf course from a separate Enterprise Fund to the
City's Recreation Fund. Councilmember Willmus stated that he found segregation
of an Enterprise Fund to be illuminating and providing greater detail.
Councilmember Willmus noted that the Ice Arena operated as an Enterprise Fund
until construction of the Oval.
Willmus echoed the comments of Councilmember Laliberte in improving marketing
for park and recreation activities and events through as many options as are
park dedication fees, Councilmember Willmus noted the triggers under State
Statute, and asked that the Commission be cognizant of that during their review.
Roe briefly addressed park dedication fees, and its current limited use for
sustainability for infrastructure and rehabilitation efforts in the park areas,
as well as statutory allowances for acquisition of or improvement of parks.
Mayor Roe advised that he had already broached this subject with staff, and
suggested looking at policy recommendations to address use of the current park
dedication fund and available dollars, and to determine if those funds should
be segregated for the specific purpose of acquisition and improvements, as well
as addressing new funding as it became available and how it should be
distributed. Mayor Roe advised that he had provided his personal
recommendations to Mr. Brokke. Mayor Roe further suggested that the Commission
take this opportunity to partner with the Finance commission to look at broader
financial policies to find consistency across the board and how the Parks &
Recreation Endowment Fund may be improved going forward.
Roe noted his support of partnership opportunities, especially in SW Roseville
and engagement of stakeholders. Mayor Roe suggested the Parks & Recreation
Commission consider engaging the Community Engagement Commission on those
efforts and how best to accomplish them in their focus role of community
engagement and a process to involve those stakeholders. With the SE area of
Roseville already successfully involved in such a focus, Mayor Roe suggested SW
Roseville and Tamarack would fit into such a process as well.
or not to retain the golf course as an Enterprise Fund or not, Mayor Roe stated
he had no opinion. However, if funding is broader than actual users and
subsidized by the users of the rest of the park system, Mayor Roe noted the
need to acknowledge that and determine the mechanism and allocation of those
funds, and better understand and be comfortable with that process. If the City
subsidized golf course operations, Mayor Roe opined that it made sense if tax
dollars were to go toward that facility, those funds could also be used for
other purposes as well.
the golf course as an Enterprise Fund, Chair Stoner recognized and appreciated
the bookkeeping compartmentalization available, which was initially very
helpful. However, Chair Stoner opined this fell apart when looking at revenue
and expenses on a line by line basis, when for instance, the golf course's two
FTE's worked outside the golf course and how to allocate things track their
time year-round. Chair Stoner noted this also involved equipment purchases if
a truck was used across the park system, not just exclusively by the golf
course and how to depreciate those dollars among multiple uses. Chair Stoner
opined that it got to the point where it became difficult to track and keep it
a real Enterprise Fund as originally intended, thus creating the concerns of
the Commission in continuing it as an Enterprise Fund.
Holt noted that the Commission was simply beginning to explore these issues,
and intended to perform further research and return to the City Council at the
next joint meeting to seek their direction, if the City Council ordained that
disagreement, Mayor Roe noted the City Council was charging the Commission to
proceed with their research and study on the golf course operation. Mayor Roe
stated he'd rather have a good understanding of how the operation was shared,
similar to that outlined in other departments.
Stoner confirmed direction to the Commission to look at the fee schedule across
the board for buildings, services and programs for uniformity.
Roe clarified expectations for the Commission to provide a report recommending
a specific written policy on resident versus non-resident fees and how those
fees were based from a policy standpoint; as well as how they compared to peer
communities; and whether or not continuing the golf course as an Enterprise
Fund or how to accurately track accounting procedures was preferable, and pros
and cons for each scenario.
Laliberte asked for an update on the department's participation in and
implementation of the asset management program.
& Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke responded that the program had been
implemented by the Department, with current tracking of all full-time staff,
allowing balancing of staff time and helping to identify specific goals. Mr.
Brokke advised that the equipment components was loaded and tracking was just
being initiated now, as well as that for buildings and parks, with replacement
buildings implemented first and allowing for contractor schedules to be
incorporated for maintenance and replacement items.
McGehee expressed her overarching goal for sustainability versus making money;
and her interest in a policy on subsidizing programming in addition to
Etten expressed his personal concern with the park dedication fee comments by
Mayor Roe and how to divvy funds up, noting the lack of a guaranteed and
ongoing funding stream, or varying at the least. Councilmember Etten noted the
fund had basically been at 'zero' the last ten years and was only now starting
to become more substantial, making it hard to attribute it to the CIP when
varying so greatly.
Roe clarified that his recommendation was not to budget incoming park
dedication fees annually, but to have policies in place to make decisions in a
more informed way from a stewardship viewpoint for the overall park system. If
and when funds were transferred from an acquisition, Mayor Roe noted those
funds would be in the bank and a policy in place to take advantage of them,
recognizing a nexus between increased park system users and faster and greater
wear and tear on that system.
Mayor Roe thanked Commissioners for attending, their ongoing work and comments
provided; as well as welcoming the Commission's newest members.
Mayor Roe recessed
the meeting at approximately 8:15 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 8:23
p.m. Given the time, and with no dissention from his colleagues, Mayor Roe
amended the agenda to first meet with the HRA and then move to budget
Business Items - Presentations/Discussions
Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Strategic Planning
welcomed Commissioners and thanked them for these quarterly meetings and
improved communications between the two bodies.
Maschka and Commissioners Susan Elkins and Dan Wall were present, along with Councilmember/HRA
member Jason Etten. Community Development Director and Acting HRA Executive
Director Paul Bilotta was also available as needed; and HRA Consultant Barbara
Raye was present as a precursor to upcoming HRA strategic planning efforts.
Chair Maschka briefly
reviewed accomplishments and programs of the HRA since the last joint meeting
and as detailed in the RCA dated June 15, 2015. Chair Maschka opined that
to-date, the HRA has demonstrated novel, creative ideas and working models on
which to build; and had available to it time to dig into those issues that is
not readily available to the City Council.
Maschka noted the current 'elephant in the room,' which he attributed to the
Dale Street Project, which fortunately remained successful. As part of the
HRA's upcoming discussion at the strategic planning meeting, Chair Maschka
noted the need to openly and honestly discuss what went wrong with that
process, its timeline and missing metrics in performing due diligence. Chair
Maschka noted that the way the project had been removed from the HRA's auspices
had been very disconcerting, and recognized that the City Council had come
close to a mass resignation of acting Commissioners serving on the HRA,
creating various and unfortunate communication issues and misperceptions.
As a result,
Chair Maschka questioned what the ongoing HRA role and use of their full
authority was from the perspective of the City Council, whether it should
remain fully functioning or become a non-essential entity. If the City Council
was uncomfortable with the statutory authority of the HRA and levy ability,
which seemed to be creating some tension, Chair Maschka suggested the City
Council may wish to fill that role itself rather than second-guessing the
efforts of the HRA. By its very nature, Chair Maschka noted that the HRA
filled in where the private market place didn't work.
noted another area of concern was in the role of the HRA's Executive Director
and current status as a City of Roseville employee while the HRA paid the
entire salary for the position without having any say or input in assessing or
reviewing performance. Chair Maschka clarified that the HRA had no concern
with the current Executive Director, but only in not having any input; and
suggested creation of an HRA Executive Committee to periodically meet with the
City Manager to address that role moving forward.
opined that the HRA had done and could continue to do a lot of good things;
however the last six months and holding pattern had proven frustrating to all;
and again asked the City Council's desire for the future of the HRA.
Willmus sought clarification from Chair Maschka on what he meant by the 'full
powers' of the HRA.
Chair Maschka stated this may involve bonding authority and/or using their full
levy authority to effectively pursue the best interests of the community.
However, Chair Maschka noted budget cuts by the City Council frequently
squelched those programming efforts. Also, in clear areas where the HRA may
find situations whether bonding was determined as the best option, Chair
Maschka sought whether or not the City Council was comfortable with them
personal perspective, Councilmember Willmus opined that he felt it was the
function of the elected body to take on, hold and/or own issuing of debt.
Specific to the
Dale Street Project and Greater Minnesota Housing Corporation (GMHC)
redevelopment project, Councilmember Willmus noted his personal observation at
HRA meetings, and his perception of a clear lack of firm direction from the HRA
on some of those issues. Based on contractual language, actual events, and the
GMHC's desire to continue with their proposed project, Councilmember Willmus
noted the HRA's apparent desire to walk away from the project prematurely in
his opinion. Councilmember Willmus suggested this may not have been the entire
fault of the HRA, as he didn't think they had all the information in front of
them that they needed or that was subsequently provided to the City Council.
However, if the HRA felt it had been stepped on by the City Council taking over,
Councilmember Willmus opined that was too bad; and stated his desire to not see
the project jeopardized by issues when he observed the lack of professional
leadership being provided by those under contract with the HRA. However,
Councilmember Willmus further opined that this shouldn't have occurred, and he
didn't want to see the project lost as a result of those advisors not
effectively facilitating and guiding the process and information.
Councilmember Willmus explained that this was why the HRA saw the City Council
step in at that point to straighten out versus losing this development
thanked Councilmember Willmus for his more detailed explanation.
suggested this tied into the role of the HRA and staffing its Executive
Director and whether development expertise on the HRA staff could be further
enhanced. If that was needed, Mayor Roe agreed that the HRA may need to deal
with it through Community Development Department staff on the City's side.
admitted that this was an area needing further work.
stated that he didn't have a personal problem with the HRA issuing debt, while
also understanding the mechanisms and limitations of it. Mayor Roe noted it
may need to be an area of compromise between the City Council as a whole and
noted the need for a good working relationship between the two bodies; opining
that if the City Council was opposed in general to the HRA using debt
instruments it was a different issue. However, Chair Maschka noted it was one
tool to fill in a gap if and when such a situation arose.
agreed with that role, as defined by Chair Maschka, for the HRA.
McGehee agreed with the creativity of the HRA as a group; and lauded the success
of the Dale Street Project in involving the community and done well. Whether
or not the City Council stepping in to salvage the project was premature or
not, Councilmember McGehee opined the product remained an excellent one; and
that the entire process and resulting project was to the HRA's credit, not
attributable to the City Council.
noted that the HRA was not concerned with where the credit ended up, but only
with the need for better communication with and among all parties.
McGehee agreed that the City Council taking those steps may not have been
correct, but the HRA could take credit for the process.
McGehee noted the many successes of the HRA, including the Neighborhood and
Business Enhancement Programs, Rental Registration and Inspection processes and
limited complaints heard given the number of multi-family units initially
receiving poor grades.
In terms of the
HRA's bonding authority, Councilmember McGehee stated she would not be opposed,
but would prefer good communication with the City Council to authorize such
bonding at a specific dollar amount. Councilmember McGehee opined that the HRA
had been extremely fiscally responsible to-date, and given all the budgets she
reviewed, appreciated the HRA's budget above all, and clear identification for
each program they undertook. Councilmember McGehee opined that the City
Council did not have the collective experience or time to do the projects
initiated by the HRA, and assured that the HRA served to fill that gap for the
City Council beyond simply in an advisory capacity.
familiarity with and appreciation for the way the HRA handled the Dale Street
project and community involvement, Councilmember McGehee expressed her support
of the proposed Old Highway 8 project.
noted that the HRA had identified numerous sites throughout the community, and
with little land left for development, it was the goal of the HRA to get what
the city most desired and what was most amenable to those surrounding
Laliberte agreed that the Dale Street exercise had been phenomenal, and agreed
with Councilmember Willmus in the possibility of having lost all that good work
or have it done for naught toward the end of the efforts. Councilmember
Laliberte expressed her interest in the HRA exploring consistencies with escrow
funds to ensure future efforts are sufficiently covered.
agreed, advising that this was among his top priorities for discussion by the
HRA in its strategic planning, that of escrow funds, and the need to establish
a different market for profit and not-for-profit projects, including addressing
timeline and other metrics of such a development process.
Laliberte agreed with the timeline point, noting identified milestones and
whether they were met or not was a good idea. Councilmember Laliberte
expressed her interest in hearing more from the HRA about those programs being
utilized and allotted resources; and those needing to be done differently or
those that should be sunset.
advised that was also part of discussion items for the strategic planning
discussion; noting the annual Home & Garden Fair may be one that goes away
given the considerable amount of staff time and effort expended compared to
Elkins agreed with Chair Maschka on the future of the Home & Garden Fair.
Laliberte concurred with that statement, noting programming duplication was
available from other areas of government, and wherever else those duplications
were found, the funds could be used elsewhere.
Laliberte stated her full support for the HRA and its ability to define what
was needed in their Executive Director and matching skill sets accordingly. While
not saying that doesn't already exist, Councilmember Laliberte agreed that the
HRA should be able to annually review that position to set their strategic
priorities; and supported their need to evaluate experience, licensing and
skill set as well as weighing on that staffing several times each year and have
their input factored into the review process for that staff person.
Maschka admitting his lack of knowledge on what employment agreements may be
involved, Mayor Roe encouraged Chair Maschka's consultation with City Manager
Trudgeon moving forward
recognizing there were legalities involved for employment issues, Councilmember
Laliberte opined there should be nothing to prevent the HRA from contracting
that position as well; and however they decided to proceed, offered her full
support to the HRA in those efforts.
As with the
HRA's involvement in the SE Roseville issues, for which she was grateful,
Councilmember Laliberte noted the need for the involvement of many departments
and commissions to address the many aspects involved.
concurred, noting the need to assistance from outside agencies and partners as
concurred, noting his recent observation of one such situation, where there
were no play things or vacant land available for kids to play at all; and
agreed that the ability for collaboration to resolve some of those issues was
As she had
spoken to in the past, Councilmember Laliberte noted her concerns that the
current Zoning Code provided many HDR zoned areas that seemed to serve as a
catch all, while those may be more appropriate for MDR or other type of
development, such as Owasso Terrace, Owasso Heights, and Owasso Point.
Councilmember Laliberte suggested some of those past developers who created
those areas with strong associations may not be aware that they'd be more than
welcome to pursue similar projects in Roseville, and suggested the HRA and
staff sort those areas out and let developers know.
While the City
of Roseville remained vibrant and strong from corner to corner, Councilmember
Laliberte opined there may be some areas of vacancies (e.g. former ICO corner
or the 'soon-to-be-opening' Burger King site) that may require HRA input and
advise about how to pressure that redevelopment or seek answers accordingly on
the best future use of those vacant areas. While recognizing that the City may
not own property, Councilmember Laliberte suggested it may be able to push
owners in a certain direction.
Specific to the
hotel study pending presentation at tomorrow night's HRA meeting, Chair Maschka
advised that in his preliminary discussions with Roseville Visitor's
Association Julie Wearn, there were unique things happening to address problem
properties, whether through direct City purchase or not, as well as other
solutions to consider.
Laliberte noted that the Living Smarter Home & Garden Fair was also on her
list as needing evaluation and thanked Chair Maschka for considering its
future. Councilmember Laliberte questioned the considerable staff hours for
something that should by now be boiler plate. If the big draw is for
presentations and workshops, Councilmember Laliberte noted the HRA was already
doing more of that in other areas, and suggested evaluation of those compared
to this one-time event, as well as evaluating whose time and the value of that
staff time being devoted to those efforts compared to using it in other areas.
In the HRA's
redevelopment efforts, Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of the HRA
working with developers to re-envision current warehouse uses to other
responded that a lot of work toward that effort had already been done, but it
should prove an easy fix to coordinate those efforts further.
As a member of
the HRA and City Council, Councilmember Etten opined it was really important
for the HRA and City Council to work together. Councilmember Etten opined that
otherwise the functionality and service to residents was destroyed; and suggested
stepping back from the perception of having gloves on in the ring.
clarified that he had not intended his concerns to come across that way.
To restate his
position and concerns, Councilmember Etten opined that the only way to proceed
was to have the City Council and HRA work together. Councilmember Etten
recognized that the HRA had separate funds targeted at areas beyond those of
the City Council, and agreed with Councilmember McGehee that the HRA was doing
super-important work, with more needing to be done based on their unique
Etten opined that, before using the HRA's bonding authority, more legal
information was needed; and he expressed his agreement with Councilmember Etten
that any such bond issues would come to the City Council for approval similar
to that of the HRA levy. Councilmember Etten opined that this provided a
reasonable movement between the work of the HRA and reception by the City
noted bonding authority would be intended to address blighted properties and
for economic development opportunities as per his understanding from the HRA's
legal counsel. Chair Maschka clarified that it was not intended for any tricky
deals, but simply as another tool to provide a solution for a number of
outstanding problems in the community.
Etten agreed with the need to address the HRA's role in who was serving as its
Executive Director; and to better define the lines for hiring and the review
process, admitting that the current arrangement was an odd set up, which all
apparently agreed with. Since the role of the HRA has evolved, Councilmember
Etten suggested it was now time to make sure the Executive Director role was
clearly defined and that relationship remained strong.
comments about HDR renovation, Councilmember Etten noted that the HRA's 2015
budget may be sufficient to reallocate some of those dollars on new initiatives
for the HRA. Councilmember Etten noted that the HRA already had a preliminary
discussion on that issue nine months ago, and continued to flesh it out given
the need to bank funds for specific purposes. Councilmember Etten noted the
need for the 2016 budget to repurpose funds or cut the levy depending on the
decisions made by the full HRA body.
Etten agreed with the comments made by Councilmember Laliberte as to efforts by
the HRA on SE Roseville issues, and thanked her for recognizing those efforts.
role of and expectations for the HRA, Mayor Roe opined it didn't make sense to
have the City Council serve in that role, as clearly recognized with the time
constraints already in play with tonight's agenda items and lack of sufficient
time for in-depth consideration. Mayor Roe opined that having separate boards
beyond the City Council is of value to the community. Mayor Roe threw back a
challenge to the HRA to engage more in the process and perhaps increase the
frequency of their meetings if that was the answer, or whatever was needed.
Mayor Roe stated that he had high expectations of the HRA, noting the
excellence of those serving on the HRA and their areas of expertise and skill
set brought to those efforts. Mayor Roe noted the rental registration process
and subsequent program, as facilitated by Ms. Barbara Raye, as a civilian on
the committee, and the fantastic results that came from that HRA effort. Mayor
Roe noted the HRA had a history of taking on serious and complex problems and
issues, and resolving them. Mayor Roe noted most of the work of the HRA as a
group required in-depth work, and suggested part of the Authority's future
decision-making needed to be consideration of how they're interacting with
programs and processes, and taking ownership of them and allowing sufficient
time, energy and effort to be or remain fully engaged.
noted the need to address those issues as part of their strategic planning.
Using the City
of Brooklyn Center and their purchase of a hotel for redevelopment as regional
headquarters for the FBI was a good example of positive problem solving, with
the HRA's ability to serve as a standalone group but tied to the City's overall
economic development plan.
agreed, noting the Roseville Visitors Association also had that ability to tie
in as well.
Elkins expressed her excitement with the upcoming HRA strategic planning, and
her hopes to further expand on ideas, particularly with mixed housing and
affordable senior housing options as applicable.
Wall gave credit to Chair Maschka for not mincing words in addressing
misperceptions about relationship issues between the City Council and HRA.
Commissioner Wall expressed his disappointment that the HRA had not been able
to hold their strategic planning before this joint meeting, opining that he
thought the HRA may end up looking significantly different than it currently
is. Commissioner Wall stated his anticipation that the HRA would come out as
stronger, more cohesive and do a better job understanding its statutory powers
to achieve end results. While it may prove challenging, Commissioner Wall
agreed with Mayor Roe about the need to consider meeting frequency or format
and vary schedules as projects come up. Commissioner Wall expressed hope that
the upcoming strategic planning session would result in the HRA coming out with
a sense of the challenges before it but not backing down from them; and as
stated by Councilmember Laliberte letting developers know that Roseville is
open for business and redefining the City's past bad reputation in working with
developers. While recognizing that development involves some risk,
Commissioner Wall opined that the key was to know how to allocate that risk,
including that of the HRA. However, if sufficient risk/benefit analyses were
done, Commissioner Wall opined that good decisions would result more often than
Wall expressed interest in learning what other HRA's are doing in the state and
in other states, county HRA's, and improvements that area possible based on
their experience within stator frameworks. Commissioner Wall opined that the
HRA was a good and dedicated group of individuals.
suggested reviewing Economic Development Authorities as well given their
behalf of the City Council, Mayor Roe invited the HRA to come back before them
to report on their strategic planning session even before the next quarterly
meeting if they chose to do so.
Wall recognized the benefit of having a Councilmember serving on the HRA to provide
that perspective as well.
Barbara Raye introduced herself and explained her presence tonight as under
contract with the HRA to facilitate their upcoming strategic planning session.
Ms. Raye recognized specific initiatives from the City Council's strategic
planning session and how they may fit with the HRA's role within that plan, and
as a stakeholder group. Ms. Raye sought any additional input toward that purpose.
McGehee suggested considering any future housing development be required to
provide at least 20% affordable housing; and not segregated by building, but
included in each and every building.
Mayor Roe noted
his uncertainty with the 20% figure, opining that other numbers may make more
sense as demonstrated historically and as Chair Maschka noted based on
McGhee expressed her personal support of the HRA, opining that they had
functioned very well, and had no criticisms of the body.
clarified that criticism was not the intention of this discussion, but recognition
by all parties that as some issues came up, there had been an obvious break
down in communications.
McGehee offered her continued support, opining that it was her understanding
that the communication breakdown had occurred only with the HRA itself; and
expressed her confidence in the continued cohesive nature of the HRA and work
with Community Development Director Bilotta and City Manager Trudgeon to
resolve any employee issues there may be without any further perceived
separation between the HRA and City Council.
If the HRA
decided it needed more development expertise, Mayor Roe encouraged the HRA to
include those funds for a specialist in economic development or other such
expertise as indicated. Mayor Roe offered to consider whether the HRA funded
such a position in its entirety or shared those costs with the City Council for
future reference as it considered upcoming opportunities. As long as the HRA's
already fairly substantial levy was leveraged for the overall benefit of the
community, Mayor Roe offered his ongoing support of their efforts.
tenure both on the HRA and subsequently on the City Council, Councilmember
Willmus opined that it had always seemed like two separate bodies, with the
HRA's role in redevelopment not fully realized and focus more toward
residential and housing issues. Councilmember Willmus opined that there was an
HRA role on the commercial side was well that had not yet been fully explored
by the HRA, including opportunities within Twin Lakes and SE Roseville. Councilmember
Willmus asked that the HRA keep that side of the slate open as well.
Wall expressed his interest in looking carefully at the HRA's budget
allocation, noting the small part the current budget had for commercial and/or
industrial redevelopment. Commissioner Wall expressed his goal to utilize more
of those dollars to foster head of household jobs and bringing the City's tax
base into balance to take some of the burden off residential taxpayers, while
providing benefit to businesses and maintaining a good place in which to do business.
Mayor Roe noted
the key purpose in redevelopment was to increase the overall value of the
community's residential and commercial properties, allowing the ability to pay
for desired amenities and spreading that burden.
Laliberte asked the HRA to look at available funds and how to reallocate them
(e.g. commercial versus housing) and expressed her openness to hearing the
willingness of the HRA to consider doing things differently. Councilmember
Laliberte expressed appreciation for this meeting; and from her observations in
watching HRA meetings, recognized their frustration, rightly so, in the lack of
clarity in where the HRA wanted to go and where the City Council wanted the HRA
to go. Councilmember Laliberte also encouraged the HRA to return after their
strategic planning session to report their results to the City Council.
Laliberte also appreciated Commissioner Wall's observations about the bad
reputation of developers with the City of Roseville based on their past
experience. However, Councilmember Laliberte also noted potential misperceptions
of housing developers who may consider the City as fully developed and having
moved on, and the possibility that they may have also had a negative experience.
Councilmember Laliberte asked the HRA to address those issues and clear up
Ms. Raye noted
her review of the City Council's past meeting as they continued to flesh out
their strategic planning document; noting it would prove helpful to the HRA.
Mayor Roe noted
it remained a work-in-progress, especially those strategic initiatives.
expressed his appreciation for comments about the HRA meeting more often; and
his interest in the strategic planning process with Ms. Raye and within regular
HRA meetings, to define a process when more information was needed or the
process would require additional time to flesh out, as it related to the HRA's priority
sheet. From his personal perspective, Councilmember Etten expressed his
highest priorities were SE Roseville and redevelopment; and offered his support
in working with the HRA and City Council in achieving addressing and
potentially resolving these important issues.
experience as a Chairperson and a process that worked well for him, Mayor Roe
encouraged the HRA Chair to have frequent interaction with the Executive
Director on a regular and more informal basis outside the meeting format, providing
important dialogue both ways.
thanked Chair Maschka and Commissioners, anticipating their return.
advised that she had taken copious notes of tonight's discussion, and looked
forward to more detail moving forward.
Willmus thanked Chair Maschka for his candid approach to tonight's discussion.
City Council Budget Goal & Priorities
Director Chris Miller briefly summarized tonight's request and supporting
documentation as detailed in the RCA dated June 15, 2015; as the next step in
the budget process following individual department summaries. Mr. Miller asked
for general direction from individual Councilmembers and the City Council as a
hole, defining their budget goals and priorities to inform the creation of the
City Manager recommended budget.
Manager Trudgeon noted further refinement throughout the process following the
initial budget presentation in July and subsequent discussions and more defined
assumptions as the year progressed.
the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miller advised that he found nothing
substantive from the recent legislative session that would significantly change
funding for municipalities.
Roe addressed the most recent Ramsey County Assessor's report (RCA, page 2)
expected the City's overall tax base to grow at approximately 1.4%, and
projected zero percent change for most single-family residential properties
within the median; with some potential shift toward the commercial side.
of Cash Reserves
Roe asked for individual Councilmember input regarding use of reserves for CIP
and/or operational needs.
Etten stated he felt reserves should not be used for ongoing costs, but only
for specific, one time issues. Councilmember Etten opined that using reserves
for new staff positions proved problematic long-term. Councilmember Etten
further opined that the status of reserve targets was fine now, but if their
use continued annually, it would put the City in a hard position to work out
McGehee agreed with Councilmember Etten, opining that she had never been a
proponent of using reserves, since the City Council had a history of not paying
them back. Councilmember McGehee further opined that she did not support using
reserves for operational costs; and expressed her comfort level with the cash
reserve level for 2015, but did not want to dip much below the 40% target, with
35% the absolute bottom she would consider, based on the recommendations of the
general, Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of using reserves as had been
done in recent years, since they were taxpayer monies collected for specific
purpose, and she could see no reason to hoard those funds. However, as stated
by Councilmember Etten, Councilmember Laliberte agreed that she was not a fan
of using them to fund something beyond a one-time expense or single year purposes.
Since new positions were ongoing expenses, Councilmember Laliberte stated her
lack of support in using reserves for that purpose. As far as repaying
reserves, Councilmember Laliberte stated she did not necessarily feel the need
to do so, since they were there to be used.
Willmus agreed with the comments of Councilmember Laliberte, opining that he
found the City's reserve funds to be healthy and well within their target
range. Regarding State Auditor guidelines, Councilmember Willmus noted their
recommendation was to retain 5-6 months operating reserves in the General Fund,
and noted that many communities fund everything through their General Fund,
while the City has 25 plus funds. When looking at it under those circumstances
and in totality, Councilmember Willmus opined that the City's reserves were
the disclaimer of Finance Director Miller (RCA, page 4), that as the budget
increases the reserve target numbers will trend down, Councilmember Willmus
opined that while this was the case between 2013 and 2014, it was difficult for
the City Council to make an informed decision at this point in the process
(e.g. COLA, reserves, and new positions) when the full picture had yet to be determined.
Of greater importance to him, Councilmember Willmus sought more information on
the carry forward from last year, and how to plug that into the upcoming budget
and how that necessary information entered into the conversation going forward.
in general, Mayor Roe stated his preference to use reserves if needed, while
also looking to other funding sourcesfirst including property taxes and fees before
using reserves. Moving to the end of the process and increasing discomfort
with projected levy increases or fee increases, Mayor Roe noted the movement
toward using reserves for one-time expenses to address particular issues and
with the understanding that they won't be repaid. Mayor Roe advised that he
didn't anticipate use of reserves as part of the City Manager's recommended
budget at the beginning of the process, while it may come up later.
the intent was not to pay back reserves, Councilmember McGehee asked that the
City Council make themselves clear; and since a giant piece of the picture was
the CIP that had a huge levy impact based on the commitment made, she considered
it to be an important part of the discussion process at the front end versus later
in the process.
Roe agreed that made sense; and as the process was standardized, staff would
address that from their perspective, and address unknown staff needs early on.
Director cautioned the City Council that the Finance Commission was still
reviewing the CIP, at the City Council's directive; and while having preliminary
data, it was still in process and he was unsure if ramping up that timetable
would allow sufficient time for them to complete their work. Mr. Miller noted
that there were still large components to work through, and if the City Council
wanted that complete review, it probably and realistically would not be
available before August.
Roe recognized that timetable, and suggested the work could begin earlier in
the process for subsequent budgets.
Director Miller noted part of the issue was the timetable or staff to provide
information to the Finance Commission as the year progressed. While the
20-year CIP was adopted through 2034, Mr. Miller noted the handicap of not
knowing the 2016 CIP, including the addition of park & recreation needs and
facilities that needed to be part of the recommendations, with a projected
increase to the levy for just those purposes of $210,000.
Tax Levy Amount: Decrease, No Change, or Increase
Laliberte expressed her personal preference for no levy increase, which had
been her consistent theme. While recognizing the need to get the CIP funding
adequately on track, Councilmember Laliberte opined it would be her preference
to factor that in early enough to accommodate that dollar amount versus adding
it on to the end numbers.
Etten expressed his interest in shooting for near inflation, with the exception
of the capital pieces needed for investment to make up for past deferrals.
Councilmember Etten expressed his preference for ongoing budgets to be held at
a reasonable level long-term and tackling challenges in an honest, straightforward
way. With the park and recreation request for several years being $160,000
annually, whether directed entirely to CIP or not, Councilmember Etten noted
the importance for him in putting any new levy dollars toward that.
toward 2016, and with the $3.5 million wish list submitted by departments,
Councilmember McGehee recognized that it was a large number, with a variety of
funding options available. Councilmember McGehee stated that, at this point,
she had no specific levy amount; but continued to feel strongly about some
things and large things that could affect the budget rather than simply
muddling along at the status quo for another year.
the request of Councilmember Willmus, Finance Director Miller clarified that
the CPI trending at 1% was measured for a one year period from April through
Roe concurred with Councilmember Etten on the tax levy generally based on
inflation excluding CIP funded items. In addition to considering it by the CIP
only as Councilmember Willmus referenced, Mayor Roe noted that potential for a
1.4% growth with no impact to the City's median homeowner as previously discussed.
If the levy grew by that amount, Mayor Roe noted it would have little if any
impact to residential taxpayers; and could at least serve as a starting point,
again excluding CIP funding.
(COLA and Healthcare Contribution (as part of and a significant cost in
providing government services)
she'd asked previously, Councilmember Laliberte noted her request for alternatives
to funding single coverage at 100%. Based on her experience working in the
healthcare industry, Councilmember Laliberte noted that she had participated
with an independent study group gathering information from public and private
entities related to healthcare and other benefits and employee packages.
Having just received that initial information, which Councilmember Laliberte
offered to share, provided segmented data from other public entities, including
cities and counties; and provided through wellness and benefit surveys from
human resource groups.
Manager Trudgeon advised that a better sense would be available over the next
few months as it was determined how the entire financial package was structured.
While he anticipated some impact, Mr. Trudgeon also noted it would affect other
things that may be on the wish list.
Laliberte noted her need for additional information in the original rationale
for funding 100% of single coverage.
Laliberte noted that the Public Works and Finance Departments had provided
other options for entry level positions; and asked that other departments
perform similar analyses and reconfigure how more entry level positions could
be made available to allow managers more flexibility in addressing their work
Manager Trudgeon responded that this was typically addressed by interns; and in
the Public Works Department had resulted from hiring a front desk position at a
lower grade than in the past. Mr. Trudgeon noted that consideration also was
needed to recognize that total costs also involved benefits, not just wages.
Manager Trudgeon advised that, while some areas may not be as apparent, he and
management staff would look into other areas as well.
his limited examples, Councilmember Etten opined that maintaining 100% of
single coverage was a pretty common practice; and when desiring to hire quality
staff, it was still less expensive to offer single coverage versus family
coverage; and expressed his concern in dropping that as an option. While
hoping the projected employee healthcare increase of 10% could be successfully
negotiated lower than that, Councilmember Etten offered his support of a COLA
increase for employees.
McGehee agreed with Councilmember Etten, opining it was important to offer that
single benefit at the entry level. Councilmember McGehee stated her preference
for maintaining healthcare benefits as currently done unless overwhelming
evidence was provided that the system was way out of sync. Councilmember
McGehee offered her support of an employee COL in line with that negotiated by
unions on a consistent basis.
the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon advised that all bargaining
unit contracts, with the exception of the firefighter contract (which does not
yet exist), were up in 2016; with several bargaining units settled at 2%. Mr.
Trudgeon advised that he anticipated addressing this issue at a Closed Session
on July 6, 2015 for City Council review and direction.
on his observations and considering peer cities, CPI and other factors, Mayor
Roe noted he was not seeing 3.5% Cola; and based on his experience in the
private sector, and his participation in single coverage, he was not aware that
they paid 100%. Mayor Roe opined that this indicated that there must be other
models out there, and his preference to review those models to make sure the current
City of Roseville benefit structure still made sense.
concurrence of his colleagues, Councilmember Etten clarified that single
coverage was not free, since those employees also had to pay deductibles,
the whole process, Mayor Roe expressed confidence in the City's Employee
Benefit Committee and their past work and ability to get buy-in from staff on
changes coming forward, an important and well-appreciated part of the process
and signifying the value of the City's employees.
that the City spent considerable time last year in developing the COLA formula,
Councilmember Laliberte asked that it not be reinvented annually.
Willmus noted that there was a significant difference in the timeframe for
those calculations, which could vary from one quarter to another.
Roe noted final calculations would be based on a twelve-month cycle.
a broad and general viewpoint, Councilmember Willmus advised that one factor in
his consideration of any new position, not only for the 2016 budget, would be
long-term impacts. Councilmember Willmus noted the expansion of FTE's over the
last five years, and 10 year FTE history as provided by Finance Director Miller
in his financial report; and asked that this be a cognizant part of future
either the levy supported or non-levy supported positions, Councilmember Etten
stated he would look to reduce the number of proposed FTE's. Councilmember
Etten agreed with Councilmember Willmus, that it has to be paid for long-term
and therefore would look to limit those new positions.
McGehee stated she would be less concerned with those new positions not on the
tax supported side; as long as funding was available going forward.
Councilmember McGehee noted staff's rationale in requesting each position; and
therefore, was inclined to go along with their suggestion. However,
Councilmember McGehee stated she was not as inclined to approve additional
positions that would increase property taxes.
Roe agreed that where positions were paid by fees or other revenue (e.g. IT and
License Center), he could support them, even though he would like to have a
better understanding through more background information beyond theory for
license center revenues. Recognizing that most IT positions would be funded
through JPA's, Mayor Roe asked for a more clear understanding of city responsibilities
to make sure of the entire source of funding or additional property tax dollars
required. Mayor Roe advised that he was not opposed to using tax levy dollars
for important and necessary positions, and if needed to perform the job adequately.
However, Mayor Roe noted the need to make the case for any changes in FTE to
those paying those salaries.
on what she had heard during Department Head presentations, and her understanding
of the requests, Councilmember McGehee stated she would be unwilling to support
creating any of the new tax supported positions, barring receipt of further
Roe noted his understanding of Councilmember McGehee's initial comments
specific to this discussion.
a historical perspective, and recognizing that good presentations were usually
made and rationale supporting new positions and their need, Councilmember
Laliberte asked whether there could be any review at the City Council level
about positions automatically filled when vacant to ensure Department Heads and
Administration were continually assessing structures and teams.
Manager Trudgeon responded that whenever a position became vacant, the
structure and position were always part of the review process. As noted by the
recent restructuring in the Public Works Department, Mr. Trudgeon noted that
may not always create a dollar change, but a different structure depending on
the particular positions itself and needs of the department. At the request of
Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Trudgeon confirmed that before asking for any new
position, staff automatically reviewed offsets to take advantage of strategic
opportunities going forward and as available through attrition and other means
not always predictable.
Laliberte spoke in support of continual contingency and succession planning.
unable to predict future openings, Councilmember Willmus opined it would be
beneficial to see 2015 budgeted position dollars that came open or positions
that remained unfilled, and any dollar amounts that could be plugged into the
Roe noted that those would be part of the carry forward provided by staff.
McGehee opined staff had been prudent in filing or not filling positions as
Roe noted it was different for smaller versus larger departments.
Levels / Bid Ideas from Individual Councilmembers
the leaf pick-up program as an example, Councilmember Willmus expressed his
interest in hearing during Department Head presentations any areas where a
change of service level of dropping a program may be indicated, or similar situations
for annual review. Councilmember Willmus suggested a more open discussion by
Department Heads with Councilmembers on those items. Councilmember Willmus
referenced the most recent community survey question about current service
levels, and responses not supporting increases, which was a change from past
surveys, requiring more detailed review.
McGehee recognized that was a change; however, suggested drilling down further
in subsequent surveys to determine what was behind that response.
Councilmember McGehee noted the need for more specificity. In terms of
services, Councilmember McGehee noted the request had also been for increased
pathways and increased pathway and street repairs; and suggested the need to
get to the core of that requested increase in service. Councilmember McGehee
suggested there may be ways to address that through making better use of
contractors on a short-term basis rather than tying up City staff or requiring
them to wear so many hats.
Laliberte agreed with Councilmember Willmus in her desire to hear from
Department Heads about underutilized programs or big expenses requiring re-evaluation
or reassessment whether critical or not. Councilmember Laliberte opined that
any input the City Council could receive similar to that most recently received
from the Public Works Department would be greatly appreciated. As far as
drilling down further on survey questions, Councilmember Laliberte opined that,
in some cases, those residents having lived in Roseville for a long time may
not be willing to pay more for services, or not be able to do so.
the context over the last few years, Mayor Roe opined it would be interesting
to see if that answer changes in the 2016 community survey.
to Extend Meeting Curfew
10:00 p.m., Willmus moved, Etten seconded, extending the meeting curfew for an
additional ten minutes.
Ayes: Willmus, Laliberte,
Etten, McGehee, and Roe.
a potential wish list consideration, Councilmember McGehee noted that some
communities where taxes continued to increase stripping the resource of some residents,
those cities had initiated their own reverse mortgage process for those wishing
to stay in their homes at a fixed, low rate.
Etten agreed with Councilmember Laliberte in looking to Department Heads,
beyond line by line issues since there was so much beyond the context of the
City Council to be considered, but for them to come forward with ideas to
restructure and keep budgets status quo. Councilmember Etten noted what a
difference that made; and thus the need for hiring Department Heads. As
expressed tonight, Councilmember Etten noted there was no appetite for a huge
the Department Heads consider that, Mayor Roe suggested they provide feedback
to the City Council on plusses and minuses that created for their specific
areas of operation as they had documented last year.
Etten concurred that was a fair request.
McGehee suggested another consideration be the elimination of the local SWAT
Team, with those monies available to use elsewhere, and services available from
Ramsey County. Councilmember McGehee suggested Department Heads bring their
ideas forward to provide evidence of their review of services and their
conclusions based on their viewpoint.
touched on by Mayor Roe earlier tonight, Councilmember Willmus requested a
periodic review of JPA rates for IT and other services; and a review of whether
dollars allocated are being formulated accurately and in the manner understood
by the City Council during their budget process.
Business Items (Action Items)
City Manager Future Agenda Review
Trudgeon briefly summarized upcoming meeting agendas.
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
noted his e-mail provided to Councilmembers last week requesting consideration
for reviewing current high density residential-zoned (HDR) properties along Old
Highway 8 and potential changes to Zoning Code and/or amendment to the
Comprehensive Plan moving toward medium density residential (MDR).
Etten moved, Laliberte
seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:08 p.m.