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NOTE:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF THE ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES AND THE FLAGSTAFF CITY CHARTER THE SUMMARIZED MINUTES OF CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE NOT VERBATIM TRANSCRIPTS.  ONLY THE ACTIONS TAKEN AND DISCUSSION APPEARING WITH QUOTATION MARKS ARE VERBATIM.  AUDIO RECORDINGS OF CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE ON FILE IN THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE.

 

SUMMARIZED MINUTES

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING

 

June 17, 2008

5:00 p.m.

 

A meeting of the Flagstaff City Council was held on June 17, 2008 convening at 7:45 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 211 West Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Presler.

 

2.      ROLL CALL

 

On roll call, the following were present:

 

 

Mayor Presler

 

Vice Mayor White

Councilmember Brewster

Councilmember Evans

Councilmember Haughey

Councilmember Overton

Councilmember Swanson

 

 

Also present were:

 

 

City Manager, Kevin Burke

City Attorney, Patricia Boomsma

 

3.

Consideration of Public Hearing:  Truth in Taxation, proposed Fiscal Year 2008/2009 budget, and property tax levy.

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Open the public hearing.

Receive citizen input.

Close the public hearing.

 

Vice Mayor White moved to open the public hearing, seconded by Councilmember Overton.  The vote was unanimous in favor.

 

There being on public input, Vice Mayor White moved to close the public hearing.  The motion was seconded by Councilmember Haughey and passed on unanimous vote.

 

4.

Consideration of Approval:  Annual property tax level.

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Approve by roll-call vote the proposed change in property tax level as required through Truth in Taxation disclosure.

 

Vice Mayor White moved to approve, seconded by Councilmember Overton.  The motion passed on unanimous roll-call vote as follows:

 

 

Mayor Presler

Aye

 

Vice Mayor White

Aye

 

Councilmember Brewster

Aye

 

Councilmember Evans

Aye

 

Councilmember Haughey

Aye

 

Councilmember Overton

Aye

 

Councilmember Swanson

Aye

 

5.

Consideration of Resolution No. 2008-28:  A resolution for the adoption of the budget for Fiscal Year 2008-2009; and declaring an emergency.

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Read Resolution No. 2008-28 by title only.

Adopt Resolution No. 2008-28.

 

Vice Mayor White moved to read Resolution No. 2008-28 by title only, seconded by Councilmember Overton.

 

Barbara Goodrich, Budget Manager, reviewed the operational budget, and Steve Shafer, Sales Tax and Licensing Administrator, highlighted base and incremental revenues for fiscal year 2008/2009.  Mr. Shafer remarked that revenues are expected to grow due to new monies that will be generated by the mall expansion and auto mall in east Flagstaff.

 

During Council discussion, it was noted that:  1) the budget should be approved as presented considering the extensive amount of time and expertise that has gone into it; 2) compromises have been made by all and there will always be individual items that Councilmembers do not agree with; 3) staff followed Council’s direction and priorities in preparing the budget; 4) the budget reflects the City’s desire to promote economic stimulus by reinvesting in a slow market; and 5) revenue generation needs to be enhanced in order to meet core obligations.

 

City Manager Burke explained that the hiring of 30 new positions as outlined in the budget will be based upon other factors falling into place.  For example, many of the positions depend upon anticipated grant funding, many depend upon a contract being in place, and the library positions depend upon the approval and complimentary funding from the Coconino County Free Library District.  The budget represents the upper limit should all contingencies fall into place. 

 

Concerning the issue of approving additional personnel in the budget, Councilmembers commented that: 1) state shared revenues are unknown; 2) the entire nation is experiencing an economic downturn; 3) there are long-term financial considerations inherited with new personnel; 4) the budget should focus on the City’s core obligations as stated in the charter, particularly during tough economic times; 5) Flagstaff is not growing as fast as the rest of Arizona; and 6) it is not prudent to increase personnel, with the exception of public safety personnel, given the state of the economy and the already high cost of living in Flagstaff.

 

Other Council comments included: 1) Council may want to discuss a charter amendment to move to a November elections cycle to ensure that the Councilmembers reviewing and directing the budget are the same Councilmembers who approve the budget; and 2) more time is needed to discuss the long-term impact of adding personnel.

 

City Attorney Boomsma clarified that per State law, a super majority of six affirmative votes would be needed to adopt the budget with an emergency clause.  The budget could be adopted without the emergency clause with a simple majority vote; and then, if there is a need for a continuing resolution, that could be brought back to the Council on June 23, 2008.

 

Several Councilmembers expressed concern that if the budget is passed without the emergency clause, it would not be official by the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008.  The City has never entered the new fiscal year without an official budget, and the unintended consequences are unknown.  This action would confuse and distress City staff and citizens as well.

 

Mayor Presler moved to amend the motion to read Resolution 2008-28, to include the emergency clause, and, with the exception of police and fire personnel, institute a hiring freeze until September 1, 2008.  At that time, the freeze could be revisited and extended if necessary.  The motion was seconded by Councilmember Evans.

 

Councilmembers opposed to the proposed hiring freeze stated: 1) if State and Federal revenue shares shrink, the City may need to fill in service gaps by hiring additional personnel; 2) the action would micromanage and limit the City Manager’s ability manage effectively; 3) the notion that it is irresponsible to add personnel during an economic downturn is not correct; 4) core services must be met, which go beyond police and fire services; and 5) the City has maintained a conservative budget for many years in preparation for the kind of economic downturn now being experienced.

 

The amendment failed on majority roll-call vote as follows:

 

 

Mayor Presler

Aye

 

Vice Mayor White

Nay

 

Councilmember Brewster

Nay

 

Councilmember Evans

Aye

 

Councilmember Haughey

Nay

 

Councilmember Overton

Nay

 

Councilmember Swanson

Nay

 

Councilmember Overton moved to recess into executive session.  The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor White and passed on unanimous vote.

 

The meeting reconvened at 9:49 p.m.

 

The motion to read passed on majority roll-call vote as follows:

 

 

Mayor Presler

Nay

 

Vice Mayor White

Aye

 

Councilmember Brewster

Aye

 

Councilmember Evans

Nay

 

Councilmember Haughey

Aye

 

Councilmember Overton

Aye

 

Councilmember Swanson

Aye

 

City Attorney Boomsma conveyed that based on the above vote, the emergency clause will not be effective and recommended deleting the emergency clause from the proposed resolution.  The issue was contemplated during a lengthy discussion about the purpose and intent of an emergency clause.

 

Jim McCarthy, Flagstaff resident, asked that the Council approve the budget with the emergency clause, and with the stipulation that the employee head count not be increased for 60 days.

 

Resolution No. 2008-28 was read by title only.

 

Councilmember Haughey moved to adopt Resolution No. 2008-28, seconded by Councilmember Overton.  The motion passed  on unanimous vote as follows:

 

 

Mayor Presler

Aye

 

Vice Mayor White

Aye

 

Councilmember Brewster

Aye

 

Councilmember Evans

Aye

 

Councilmember Haughey

Aye

 

Councilmember Overton

Aye

 

Councilmember Swanson

Aye

 

6.      ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Council, the Special Meeting was adjourned at 10:27 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                                                                         

MAYOR

 

ATTEST:

 

 

                                                                           

CITY CLERK

 

 

CERTIFICATION

 

STATE OF ARIZONA,

 

Coconino County.

)

)

)

 

 

ss.

I, MARGIE BROWN, do hereby certify that I am the City Clerk of the City of Flagstaff, County of Coconino, State of Arizona, and that the above Minutes are a true and correct summary of the Special Meeting of the Council of the City of Flagstaff held on June 17, 2008.  I further certify that the Special Meeting was duly called and held and that a quorum was present.

 

DATED this 6th day of August, 2008.

 

 

 

                                                                           

CITY CLERK