The following email was sent today to the many readers of the Pacific City Signal News blog, run by Jeanne Fancher. It may be too late to attend the finance committee meeting tonight, but it is interesting to read about the last council meeting:
Hi Pacific News Readers,
The Budget discussions will continue tonight at the Council's Finance Committee meeting, 6pm city hall council chambers.
Last night at Council, an Ordinance to raise property tax income by about $13,000 FAILED,
This changes the 2013 Budget income projection. Expenses have to be adjusted downward to match. Finance Committee is the next step.
An alternate "income" Ordinance 12-183X(8?) PASSED,
This Ordinance renews the Current levy rate, "banks" the 1% allowed
increase for future years (due to the 101%/year rule on increases), and
keeps projected 2013 property tax income from new construction.
These "changes" will be discussed tonight at the Finance Committee Meeting.
The Hearing on the Budget was continued, to be reconvened at the First "business" Meeting of the Council on December 10th
The First Reading of the Budget Ordinance was perfunctory, considering
that due to the failure of the tax ordinance, all the bottom lines for
Departments are up for change
A Second reading, and passage of
a Budget Ordinance HAS to happen before the end of the year, or the
City will have no property tax income.
Those in the Audience who came for "fireworks" were mostly disappointed at first, but if they stayed long enough, were rewarded. One public comment "for Items not on the Agenda", made by Bill
Broderson, that the Public Notices were no longer posted on the Doors of
the City Hall and that's how many people learn of city business, was
noted by the Mayor.
During the Budget Ordinance section, Former
Mayor Howard Erickson made a comment about street maintenance. He
wanted to know what was earmarked for repairs, He noted the cracks in
many streets. He said they should be fixed, so water did not get under
the pavement and cause frost heave. Mayor Sun agreed and said streets
were an important issue for him.
Dropping my "reportorial
silence", I pointed out, that with few to no bi-monthy Mayor and
Department reports, and few department "heads" to make budget
recommendations, except for Police Chief Calkins, the department
budgets could not be judged to be cost effective, nor supporting City
Policies (such as the Comprehensive plan, Parks plan, Transportation and
Capital facilities plans) because we (Council and Public) are not
getting enough information. Despite an interruption by Mayor Sun, I was
able to finish my comment
The Council Adopted Resolution
12-1216, authorizing the Mayor to execute an Inter local Agreement
between the State Courts Administrative Office and City Court for
On the Consent Agenda, 3 checks were pulled for separate consideration. Everything else was approved.
Pulled "warrants" were:
1) a check for about $280(?) to Mr. Howard Ericson, for work as the
"City building inspector", under a verbal contract with Mayor Sun. The Council asked the City Attorney several questions about the City's
legal responsibility, (the Council had no "contract" from Mayor Sun, nor
did the Council approve the "hire" of Mr Erickson, as is required by
City Municipal Code). Mr. Luce said the Council was under no obligation
to pay Mr Erickson, The Council was advised that paying Mr Erickson
could leave the City legally vulnerable because he was not a certified
inspector. (FYI: we learned after the Meeting that Sound Inspections did
re-inspect each of Mr Erickson's "sign-offs, and that Pacific's
Building Inspector is required to be "certified" by the International
During Public Comment on this Check, Mr Erickson spoke to the
"emergency" (B.I. Roger Smith out on sick leave, on-loan B.I. Kelly
Tally also took sick-leave) in building inspections, and justified his
hire as keeping the building permit money flowing---
I pointed out
that Building Inspectors are certified by an international council on
building codes, and that as Mr Erickson had no certifications, he was
not qualified to make inspections. I suggested that as Mayor Sun hired
hin without authorization, he pay Mr Erickson out of his own pocket.
This Check (approval) FAILED.
2) A check to attorney(s) for Indigent Representation (Pacific-Algona
Municipal Court) was approved, as the City is required to provide legal
representation for those who cannot afford it.
3) A check for a
Bill from the WA St Department of Retirement Services, for
"retirement" that should have been collected during the entire eligible
period of Pam Nelson's employment as Finance Director, going back to
2006, was questioned. Ms Garrison said this bill was run by the City
Attorney to see if there was any way the City was not liable. Answer:
No. Why? Answer: The City had revised the Personal Services Contract
with Ms. Nelson (Temporary Finance Director). The revision made her a
hired employee. Retirement was not deducted from her pay. Nor had the
City paid it's half share. Ms.Nelson learned it should have been
deducted, and matched, when she recently got a job with a municipality,
and she informed Retirement Services, which sent the City a bill for the
whole amount (over $20,000). Employers are require to submit both the
employee's and the employer's contribution (which the City would have
withheld). City did not, now it has to pay.
Council APPROVED the Check for payment
The City Attorney will, with Council approval, start proceedings to recoup Ms Nelson's share (half the bill).;
There was no Executive Session.
The Council Meeting was adjourned.
The above "report" is from memory. Don't trust mine.
I will be posting the videos to You Tube. I'll let you know when the first one is online----
I Hope some of you can make the Finance Committee tonight at 6PM.
It should be an informative meeting, as this will be the first
opportunity to iron out the differences between the projected expenses
and new income. Clint Steiger is the Chair. The Committee is NOT
required to take Public Comment.