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Friday, November 12, 2010

1:00pm – 4:00pm



A special work session of the Flagstaff City Council was held on November 12, 2010, convening at 1:00 p.m., at the Flagstaff Aquaplex, 1702 N. Fourth Street, Flagstaff, Arizona.




The meeting was called to order by Mayor Presler.




The following were present:


Mayor Sara Presler

Vice Mayor Celia Barotz

Karla Brewster

Coral Evans

Al White




Senator Elect Jack Jackson Jr.

Representative Tom Chabin

Senator Albert Hale

Representative Andy Tobin


City and State Officials May Discuss Any or All of the Following Issues:





Status of State Budget, Budget Cuts, and Impacts




Status of City Budget, Budget Cuts, and Impacts




Revenue Sharing




Economic Development Tools




Arizona Water Supply Revolving Fund




Water Resource Planning




Sustainable Energy Financing District Authority




Housing Trust Fund




Support for Regional, State, and Federal Partnerships




Forest Health
















Status of State Budget, Budget Cuts, and Impacts




Status of City Budget, Budget Cuts, and Impacts



With the failure of Propositions 301 and 302, Arizona faces a $25 million deficit at the end of this fiscal year.  There is some discussion about a holding a special session because, even if the State were to lay off all employees, there would still be a deficit.  A big focus will be on healthcare and how to manage it.  If AHCCS were terminated, it would be chaotic.  The state may also be looking to add a bed tax to hospital stays to help offset the deficit,  This is something that has never before been considered and is an indication of the seriousness of the situation.


Other considerations, including those with and without traction at the state level, have included:



Targeting the state universities’ share of state-shared revenues which have never been touched before this.



A flat tax plus a limitation of two tax deductions.



Taxing transactions that haven’t previously been taxed.



Imposing a tax on Indian casinos.



Cutting the cities’ share of state-shared revenues


The clear message from the November election is that most Arizonans do not want an increase in taxes but do want to sustain First Things First and public land for preservation.  In the Legislature, both sides tried to come up with a way to address this issue and it was all cutting without looking at revenues.


The House and Senate are still going through their organization process and, once completed, it provide a better picture of what issues need to be taken to whom.  Because there is no money in the state budget, the parties have to put aside political differences and work together.  The City’s role will be to voice its concerns and opinions to the Republican representatives.


There is a Medicare crisis that has AHCCS on alert and Republicans are discussing things that they have never before considered such as bed taxes.  There are very few solutions and cuts will be deep.  Tax reform is needed to help alleviate some of the crises and putting people back to work will help.


Flagstaff’s most important issues are:




To preserve state-shared revenues which comprises 25% of the City’s general fund



To retain and enhance economic development tools



A state mechanism for the creation of sustainable energy financing district authorities.





The City has cut so much that it is now cutting public safety (10% police, 12% fire).  Up to this point, there have been a lot of one-time bandaids holding these departments together.  One fire station will be decommissioned.  Flagstaff is also open to ideas and solutions.


It may be possible to introduce a bill in the legislature that includes language lessening the minimum requirements for improvement districts in smaller cities.


The City of Flagstaff would also like to partner with its legislative delegation to be problem solvers.  Future meetings will take on the topics of redistricting and water resource planning related to the northern Arizona water settlement.




The meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.