Pearland City Council Meeting for August 8, 2020
8:30 a.m. Special Meeting of City Council - Agenda
All of the FY21 Budget Materials can be found here
Good Morning everyone,
I have reviewed a lot of the budget and I think more needs to be cut during these uncertain times. I know there were already items taken out but even more needs to be done. It's very telling at the beginning of the Proposed budget when the revenue is $89.9 million yet our expenditures are $89.5 million. That means the city plans to use all but $350,000 which would put the city far under the Policy Minimum of 16.6%. The only reason the city will be over is due to a beginning balance of $19 million. We can't continue to spend money like the city has in the past.
I would also like to talk about the 2% COLA across the board. I know every employee believes they all deserve a raise but I hope all employees go through annual reviews and some score higher than others. I would suggest a rating system if one isn't currently in place of 1-5 based upon how they meet their annual goals. Then if a blanket percentage is given, employees get 100% of that percentage if they met all of their goals and ranked as a 1. If they scored a 2 they get 80% of the 2%, a 3 gets 60% and so on. When giving a raise across the board, you are rewarding the poor performers and the high performers have no incentive since they get the same as the rest.
Another area is healthcare. Many companies I've worked for pay for the benefits of their employees but NOT such a high percentage of their dependents. Especially when some of these taxpayers are struggling to pay for their own health benefits, but are paying for others.
I do wish the budget line items would be in Excel which would make it much easier for me to get summarized totals for common items. Due to the economy my company halted all conferences and seminars since they didn't show a high ROI and it was 1 areas that was easily cut. I summed these amounts and you are budgeting $733,706 on Conferences and Seminars and then another $107,404 on Memberships and Dues. That is $841,110 for just 2 items in the budget. I have another suggestion. If conferences are so valuable and you believe there is a great ROI on them, I suggest sending 1 employee and that employee has to come back and give a presentation and educate the others.
At a former company employees stopped going because they didn't want to actually pay attention and take notes. These conferences are usually mini vacations for employees. Eliminating those 2 items for 1 year just saved almost a million dollars.
I have previously spoken on other ways to trim this budget and I can't stress enough how we need to start putting items off because I think this Covid is going to affect our city financially harder than we think. If we slow the spending now we can position ourselves better for the future
Thank you for your time and attention
Felicia Harris Hoss:
Wants clarification on the relationship between Keep Pearland Beautiful, Stella Roberts Recycling Center and the city of Pearland. The recycling center received $279,000 from the City of Pearland. There is a sitting council member who should recuse them self from voting on a budget because they are involved in Keep Pearland Beautiful
1. Fiscal Year 2021 Budget and Multi-Year Financial Plan Budget Workshop #1 – Overview, Highlights, General Fund, Debt Service and Property Tax.
2. Council Input and Discussion: Information requests for Budget Discussion #1
3. Council Input and Discussion: Policy direction on preparing subsequent Maximum Property Tax Rate publication for formal vote.
4. Presentation: Water/Sewer Fund, Internal Service Funds, Special Revenue Funds, and Multi-Year Forecast.
5. Council Input and Discussion: Regarding proposed Budget including information requests for session #2.
6. Staff Follow up and Next Steps
Summarized Council Comments - regarding Overview, Highlights, General Fund, Debt Service and Property Tax:
Luke Orlando: Use the .72 rate, IT Inventory 400K - 612K didn't spend the 400 so why increasing, last 3 years telephone line item requirements on why the increase, public works missed materials, budget should be in Excel to better understand, PCI calc what is the total replacement cost & buildings, Homestead example 9 got a different answer-should show the work, strategic priorities workshop to work on these
Tony Carbone: Prefers a max tax rate .72 cents as presented, 2% COLA address citizen comment, professional develop where's its heading defend it, KPB public comment staff needs to address, Conferences clarifications, parks increase budget but rec center is closed and parks taped up how can you defend this without them being open
David Little: absent
Gary Moore: increase Miscellaneous Services for Municipal Court, KPB clarify budget items, .72 cent max tax rate, Profession Dev - further breakdown, provide funding to get a gray key to unlock a phone what is the cost and maybe information to back up the ROI
Adrian Hernandez: .72 tax rate, Safe Community - 2 additional police assigning specific police, sustainable infrastructure admin assistant - what is the need, enterprise fund - admin - feed and drink budget with fewer people, water and sewer construction apparel increase, city council - memberships and dues are these automatic? More project based items, parks and recs for furniture what is this for, HR & Planning finding out why conferences and training broken out in 2 items and HR has higher conference budget, HR employee recognition, High Misc item broken out, HR double legal expenses, Finance - furniture, IT apparel doubled, parks and rec - books and periodicals, why increase athletic supplies, Above PCI - impact on life and further detail of metrics, more detailed up minutes, voting records to make it easier for people to interact with it, animal shelter - more follow up on the steps to get to a No Kill status, proactive database - up to date HOA, sports association, pastor contacts for communication
Trent Perez: Max tax rate of 0.73764, state rep no new tax rate was lower, wants a 4% salary increase across the board, staff should speak with department heads and not council members, Other category need further details for more transparency or move it to Misc, street and sidewalks are underfunded should double this than put more into reserve - roadways are going to start failing $3-4 million to take out of reserve to fund this, funding sidewalk replacements through developers, guidance and schedule for implementing a cap on debt per tax rate 63% cap at 50% - in 5-10 years or maybe after TIRZ retires, believes the transparency is there in Keep Pearland Beautiful and no conflict of interest
Woody Owens: 4.5 million over policy on streets, can this be reduced, General Fund $430 million in debt paid off by 2040, Enterprise paid off by 2050 $484 million in debt, need to address the debt, property taxes wants .72, last year, 2% COLA - longevity increase is this a 1 time payment, 0% increase in health benefits and 62% of dependents isn't done in private sector, insurance went up 5.6%, can we balance police starting pay, CIP - set a priority on project so many projects going on at one time, can make some cuts that Adrian went over, continued water issues and what is council going to do about it 3.5" meters are they calculating rate properly this needs to be fixed
Summarized Council Comments - regarding Water/Sewer Fund, Internal Service Funds, Special Revenue Funds, and Multi-Year Forecast
Luke Orlando: Already gave his input ahead of this section, health coverage average 82% and 71% for dependent so the city is similar to others
Tony Carbone: Support Perez's sidewalk, storm water utility fee failed before don't think votes changed, utility fees got to get it right before we attach fees wait 60-90 of errors before we start charging fees, broken lock fee - people break the lock they are charged $50 or if they get staff to come out for $75. Doesn't make sense. % revenue increase needed of 17.3% for Enterprise Fund forecast - that is difficult to handle, EDC missing - board of chain of command, salary adjustment what is this for? placement for the 2% COLA, vehicle replacement program
David Little: absent
Gary Moore: Late fees Oct 1 and assess that - need to table adding fees, Winter Qtr average to a diff billing program what are other cities using and the results, 1.15 million from the TIRZ is this a 1 time payment? Yes 1 time, PEDC budget is there money from the bond projects say for the police training center
Adrian Hernandez: Glad to update winter Qtr average easy change, Supports Perez's developer contributions for sidewalk funding, question for staff in favor of storm warning fee and what impact in budget
Trent Perez: Enter Fund - what is the impact on budget if they lower rates 1.70/customer on the 32/30 plan before they adopt a rate, CCTV expansion
Woody Owens: PEDC with sales tax 25% dollars to go for infrastructure projects can these be used on streets and sidewalks