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Published by: williamblue on May 16, 2008
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224 S. Jefferson StreetPerry, FloridaAugust 7, 2001MEMBERS PRESENT: Shirley Scott, Bill Alexander, Richard Frith, Doug EverettCouncilmember-elect Pam FeagleSTAFF PRESENT:Bill Brynes, Barney Johnson, Wayne Putnal, Billy LaValle, George Stamos andAnnette AndersonMayor Frith called the meeting to order. Councilmember Scott led those attending the meeting in prayer. Mayor Frith led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The secretary then calledthe roll.
Councilmember Cook XCouncilmember AlexanderXCouncilmember ScottXCouncilmember EverettXMayor Frith XSUBJECT OF MEETING:CITY COUNCIL AND STAFF TO DISCUSS FISCAL YEAR 2001-02 CITY OF PERRY BUDGETISSUES.Mayor Frith opened discussion saying the City Manager had presented the City’s proposed fiscal year  budget 2001-02 to the Council along with the proposed millage rate at the July 24, 2001 regular CityCouncil meeting. Mayor Frith said the Council tentatively chose to use the same millage rate as lastfiscal year as opposed to the rollback rate. Mayor Frith said using the same millage rate, in effect,would slightly increase the amount of taxes and would generate an amount of approximately $20,000.Mayor Frith said the proposed budget is similar to last year’s budget in that it does not include any payraises and does not include any additional monies to be contributed to the local organizations that theCity has routinely contributed to each year. Mayor Frith said one organization, Main Street Perry, didnot receive any funding last year and the City does not propose to give anything this year under the proposed budget Mayor Frith said the City came out having to use some (cash) reserves to make the budget balance for the year 2001-02.Mayor Frith said two main questions for him is, “What are we going to do about employees (payraises)?” and “What to do about contributions to these organizations?” Mayor Frith commented that if the Council chooses to do something that costs money, where is the City going to get the money?Mayor Frith asked the Council their suggestion as to how they would prefer to proceed to address the budget. Councilmember Scott said, for the past two to three years, as a City Council it was decided notto raise the amount that is contributed to the organizations. Councilmember Scott said, in light of that,her feeling would be to juggle the funds of $136,000 and divvy it up to those organizations that havemade requests. Councilmember Everett asked Councilmember Scott if she had any specifics in mind.Councilmember Scott said in the past the City had contributed $25,000 to Main Street but as Main
Page 2, August 7, 2001, City Council Budget Workshop
Street did not request funding for this current year, that amount was given to the Taylor CountyDevelopment Authority (TCDA). Councilmember Scott said the Council could decide whether or notit wanted to take this amount back. Councilmember Scott said the City has not contributed to RefugeHouse and they are requesting $10,000. Councilmember Scott said she would be in favor of taking part of the $25,000 to give to the Refuge House and give Main Street the remaining amount or not giveMain Street anything and leave it to TCDA. Councilmember Everett asked if Main Street had resolvedits problems. Mayor Frith said he had attended a recent meeting and the indication was that the moneysituation was cleared up. Mayor Frith said there was good participation at the last meeting he went toand it appears Main Street is trying to get reorganized. Mayor Frith said he does not think most of theorganizations are represented this meeting, but they could be asked to come back when Council meetsagain.Councilmember Everett said where Main Street is concerned, from an economical impact, is thereanything the City has been able to recognize with its contributions to Main Street. CouncilmembeEverett asked if the furnishing of this money increased the profitability of local businesses.Councilmember Everett said he does not think it is responsible spending for the City to contributemonies if it cannot show and prove economic improvement for the community. Councilmember Everett said he personally has not seen it and asked if someone could tell him otherwise.Councilmember Everett said he thinks (Council) needs to use this basis to make decisions on. Mayor Frith commented the downtown looks better. Councilmember Everett said he does not know that theCity needs to pay another organization to do something the City can do. Councilmember Everett saidhe would rather see the Council take the $25,000 and shift it into the budget into the needy areas of employees and projects like the retention problem on Main Street. Councilmember Everett said hisfocus concerns comments regarding the police officers and firefighters (obtaining and retaining these personnel). City Manager Bill Brynes said this also includes the city’s building inspector position.Councilmember Everett said he has seen and talked to a lot of people and recognizes the specific problem with the loss of good officers going to other agencies because they cannot make ends meet.Councilmember Everett said he would like to see employees across the board get a pay raise butquestioned whether this could be done.Councilmember Alexander said his focus concerned insurance and employees. Director of FinanceBilly LaValle said the City is supplying information to a couple of insurance companies to, hopefully,get some quotes and try to improve the insurance the City has now. Councilmember Alexandecommented, “We need to take care of our own.” Councilmember Everett agreed saying it needs to bedone within the budget. Councilmember Everett spoke of eliminating wasteful and unnecessaryspending and said he intends to look at every dollar and cent and into individual department budgets tofind more money, as he thinks there is some there. Councilmember Scott said she does not know if there is enough money within the departments but knows the Council needs to look at raisingemployees salaries and possibly look at the tax base. Councilmember Scott said, in order to give theemployees the raise they deserve or that Council would like to give them, Council may have to look atthe tax base another year. Councilmember Scott asked if there was any “fat” in the budget that could
Page 3, August 7, 2001. Budget Workshop Minutes
give employees a decent raise or would Council need to look at taxes. Mr. Brynes said the Councilcould go through the budget and expenses of prior years and see how the budget is made. Mr. Brynessaid there is no contingency in any department.Councilmember Everett commented this is not the kind of policing he is talking about.Councilmember Everett said there might be some waste, duplication of efforts, etc., within the Citythat could be addressed. Councilmember Everett then referred to a recent occasion he had to witness a project where two people were working with six onlookers. Councilmember Everett then questionedthe police department’s capital outlay request of $44,000 for two vehicles. Councilmember Everettasked the age and mileage of the vehicles being proposed for replacement and asked if these vehicleswould last another year or whether it would become a burden of maintenance. Chief of Police WaynePutnal explained there could be approximately 125,000 to 150,000 miles on the engines of thevehicles, plus the wear and tear on the suspensions. Chief Putnal said he did not know if the currentvehicles could be driven another year explaining that a “swap-out” study by the Florida HighwayPatrol suggests replacement at 80,000 miles. Councilmember Everett commented the City should nottake figures from the State. Councilmember Everett questioned whether this money would be better served in the pockets of the police officers and if they would mind driving older vehicles. Chief Putnalsaid “safety-wise,” he could not say so. Mr. Brynes explained that two police vehicles currently on theroad could be taken off the road and given to police detectives (downgraded) and explained these arenon re-occurring capital outlay items brought forward from prior years. Councilmember Everett said,still, if the $44,000 is not spent, is it better used in another fashion. City Manager Bill Brynes saidCouncil could put it in re-occurring expenses as long as Council is committed to doing something inthe future to replace it.Mayor Frith suggested setting a course of discussion. Mayor Frith said Councilmember Everett hassaid he wants to set a course to keep all personnel happy but look at the police officers and firefightersand building inspector. Mayor Frith said there has been discussion of hiring individuals without anyexperience and training them as police officers and firefighters. Mayor Frith said he agrees they willhave to have that salary incentive to stay. Mayor Frith suggested looking first at cutting any “fat” outof the budget and then see where to spend monies or cut monies from the budget. Councilmember Everett said, speaking for himself, he personally intends to “do what I can to go through the budget andfind some monies.” Councilmember Everett said he is not trying to run any department head’s business, but because (we) have been elected as a City Council to use this money as effectively andefficiently as can. Councilmember Everett said his personal opinion is that fire safety and police safetyis of the utmost importance to the community and feels the City needs to be competitive.Mayor Frith suggested beginning discussion with the capital outlay items. Mr. Brynes first reviewedthe city’s total proposed operating budget. Mr. Brynes said the proposed operating budget totals$7,501,190 with personnel costs comprising about 50 percent of the budget, adding to that the cost of 

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