Pearland City Council Public Hearing August 31, 2020
6:30 p.m. Meeting of City Council - Agenda
I had a citizen bring something to my attention and I said I would get clarification on this item. It is in regards to the Solid Waste Fund. According to Book 1 of the budget, page 86 of the 221 page PDF, the contract for solid waste allows for service rates to adjust annually to the reported Consumer Price Index for the Houston MSA. According to the CPI for the Houston area, the change for all urban consumers, all items have gone down 0.2% from the previous year. The proposed budget says that Waste Management has asked for a 3% increase effective October 2020. Is the City intending to allow the increase, because the budget appears to indicate so? A 3% increase is not supported by the Consumer Price Index data for Houston and I respectfully request that they not be allowed to increase their rates. If the contract points to a different index, please indicate what index that is, and perhaps in the future the URL for the index can be provided in the budget documents.
I know I have spoken out against the 2% COLA multiple times and many citizens including myself still believe this $1.4 million should be removed from the budget at this time. If a yearly 2% COLA has been customary then these employees have already received previous increases last year with no performance rating system in place. I suggest focusing on incorporating a goal based rating system for this coming year and then apply a bonus to those individuals who met their goals. This across the board increase needs to terminated.
Finally, in last week's meeting we heard from the Utility Billing Manager, Nancy Massey who seemed very knowledgeable and very willing to fix the water billing issues. Then tonight you discussed hiring 3 more people to the Utility billing team.
I'm sure the people that have heard me speak before they know I am all about saving money and making sure we get the best value for the tax payer's money. I also know citizens waited for a long time for a fix to occur with billing but I wonder if we are throwing too many solutions to a problem too quickly without verifying the results.
Last week there was an agenda item to hire consultants to review the Utility Billing systems and processes for $98,000. I think it might be better to monitor the changes to the billing system since the change to the 32/30 plan and allow Nancy and her team to gauge these changes and verify the results and maybe the issues have been corrected. But if there are still issue and tweaks needed, then we can entertain getting outside consultants to help with that process. Also, by that time Nancy and her team will have better data to give to the consultants to help with the review. Hopefully, the billing problem is fixed and the additional staff can catch future issues and we can save $98,000. Just a suggestion.
Thank you and have a good night.
1. Public Hearing on Proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget - Agenda Packet
Luke Orlando: Already submitted questions to staff
Tony Carbone: Nothing further
David Little: Nothing at this time
Adrian Hernandez: Hopefully we'll get answers to Mr. Hunkele's Points; nothing further
Gary Moore: Nothing at this time
Trent Perez: Follow up with questions from Mr. Hunkele's; nothing futher
Woody Owens: When Emergency Service District ESD starting this year, where is that located. Included in the General Fund budget. Revenue goes to general fund
1. Staff presentation for input and discussion Hurricane Laura Initial Recap
Unified Command System
Single set of objectives
Adaptable and scalable as necessary