March 23, 2015 – Finance Committee Meeting

March 23, 2015 – Finance Committee Meeting (Part 1 of 2)

  • Comments from Finance Director (0:50)
  • Jones – Are these new forms different from the previous budget? (3:45)
    • The line items are more specific but not required to be so specific (5:08)
    • No direct correlation between 2014 and 2015 (7:38)
  • Jackson – Why does senior transportation revenue have an increase of $14,000 (8:34)
  • Lansky – “These questions have been asked before…we are wasting time!” (9:30)
    • Jackson – “If I have a question, I am going to ask it. I will not be insulted for asking questions.” (10:25)
  • Adams – Expresses appreciation and has “no questions.” (11:15)
  • Brownlee – Various Considerations and Suggestions Handout (11:40)
    • Legal Issues from the ORC (12:21)
      • Official Certificate of Estimated Resources (12:38)
        • The City must amend the Certificate prior to approving the appropriations (14:22)
      • Legal Level of Control (15:01)
        • City Council can increase its level of control over the budget (15:35)
        • Council should increase the Legal Level of Control (17:15)
      • Crowell expresses displeasure with Brownlee (17:49)
        • “Everything Brownlee said is not true.” (18:17)
        • Finance department believes Brownlee’s requests for records are unnecessary and cumbersome. (18:37)
        • The request to amend the Certificate will go down at the same time as the budget (19:48)
        • Crowell asks Council to stop the “nonsense” and “false statements” (20:00)
        • Crowell – Brownlee’s request to increase the legal level of control is absurd (20:35)
          • “I ask Mr. Brownlee to bring us a submission that shows a 15-page budget submitted to the county budget commission.” (20:40)
          • The finance director can move up to 10% of the line item without approval from the county budget commission (21:03)
        • The budget is allowed to be amended throughout the year (21:23)
        • Crowell – The suggestions Brownlee has made would put us in Fiscal Emergency (21:52)
        • “I resent this Mr. Brownlee. I am not gonna tolerate it. And I’m not gonna listen to it.” (22:25)
      • Trojanski – Does Council understand why we are here? (22:53)
        • Councilmember should email their questions.
        • Only new questions are permitted.
      • Adams – The finance director is right (23:55)
        • “Most of us know very little and we depend on the finance director.” (24:18)
        • “We don’t know what is going to be spent, where it’s going to be spent, or what were are going to need it for.” (24:41)
      • Brownlee – The finance director is incorrect and Council should check the laws themselves (25:08)
      • Brownlee – Other considerations(25:26)
        • Equipment needs (25:40)
        • What is the plan to address these capital equipment needs (26:03)
          • Crowell – no capital budget in place (26:19)
          • Crowell – looking into leasing equipment instead of repairing old equipment (26:22)
        • Crowell – Council cannot audit our work like this (27:20)
        • Brownlee – “So there is nothing in this budget to address the aging equipment?” (28:13)

 

March 23, 2015 – Finance Committee Meeting (Part 2 of 2)

  • Jackson – Questions about certain line items (0:10)
    • Use some of these funds for hiring personnel in the finance department who could collect outstanding RITA taxes (1:46)
    • Crowell – these numbers are connected to contracts (2:17)
    • Crowell – “These are not just arbitrary numbers.” (2:27)
    • Crowell – “We don’t need to discuss small numbers” (3:31)
    • Crowell – “I wish you would let me do this…to say we are going to change these numbers, I beg to differ.” (4:23)
    • Crowell – “I don’t see that I need to come here and give every little detail.”(5:17)
    • Crowell – We need money for other things than collecting RITA taxes in the finance department (5:32)
  • Lansky – Does Council not want to cut vacant property grass? (6:57)
    • Comments on grass cutting (7:35)
  • Brownlee – Why are we not appropriating $1.4 million of the available funds? (9:09)
    • Crowell – We cannot spend monies from special funds (9:44)
    • Brownlee – What about the special funds available for operating expenses? (11:18)
      • Crowell – We can amend the budget later (11:53)
    • Brownlee – these are the same responses from 2014 (12:40)
  • Brownlee – Response to the finance director’s attitude (13:05)
    • Councilmembers refuse to change the atmosphere of animosity and unaccountability (14:21)
    • “Will we find solutions to our problems as long as this atmosphere exists?” (15:05)
    • The false hope of “working together” (15:44)
    • The primary function of the City Council (16:13)
  • Jones – “Why didn’t Mr. Brownlee apply for the position of finance director?”(17:38)
  • Adams – comments about nothing left to cut (18:03)
  • Trojanski – Thanks finance director for meeting with him (22:38)
  • Trojanski – Council should trust the administration, not causing strife
    • We need to trust the administration officials (23:18)
    • Councilmembers are putting out false information (23:28)
    • We can amend the budget later (24:34)
  • Jones – Asks the chairman if more questions are needed in order to gain the support of other members of Council (25:00)
  • Jackson – I will ask my questions via email to the finance director (25:15)
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