April 20, 2009



The purpose of the executive session will be for discussion and consultation for legal advice with the Town Attorney pursuant to A.R.S. section 38-431.03(A)(3) relating to the potential sale of the Rancho Vistoso Municipal Operations Center site

Paul Loomis, Mayor
K. C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Paula Abbott, Council Member
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Member

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Kunisch and seconded by Vice Mayor Carter go into Executive Session at 5:32 p.m. MOTION carried 6 - 0.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Kunisch and seconded by Vice Mayor Carter to go out of Executive Session at 5:55 p.m.  MOTION carried 7 - 0.


MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Latas and seconded by Council Member Kunisch Adjourn Special Session at 6:00 p.m.  MOTION carried 7 - 0.


Paul Loomis, Mayor
K. C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Paula Abbott, Council Member
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Member

* Review Budget Issues Memo from 4/13/09 Budget Review Sessions

Mayor Loomis pointed out that in order to help the Council reach a unanimous consensus, Wednesday’s budget study session would be a budget "special" session allowing Council to vote on budget issues, providing Council direction to staff.  He asked that future budget study sessions be posted as "special" sessions so that Council may take action and also that any requests for consensus during tonight’s meeting be deferred to Wednesday so that action on these items may be taken during that meeting.

Finance Director Stacey Lemos presented responses to questions raised at the April 13, 2009 budget study session.

1)  Permits have been reduced to 75 as requested.  Additionally, revenue for residential permits and construction sales tax has been reduced by $187,598 in the General Fund and by $65,249 in the Highway Fund. 

2) Table representing what the employee currently pays per month for health benefits and the new rates to be paid if a change in Town contribution amounts is made was reviewed.  The Town pays 100% for employee-only premiums and 75% of dependent coverage. The table representing the current amounts paid by the Town, and scenarios reflecting the savings realized if the percentage portion was changed dated April 13, 2009, was reviewed and will be redistributed to Council. 
3)  The impact to user fees for Summer Programs in the Parks & Recreation Department if cost recoveries were increased.

4) Rates charged by the City of Tucson, Town of Sahuarita, Town of Marana, Pima County, Town of Gilbert, City of Sierra Vista, City of Flagstaff and Oro Valley for summer camp programs were reviewed. Tucson was the only jurisdiction which identifies different fees for residents and non-residents.

5) Information requested on the revenue and operating costs associated with the operation of other pools in the greater Tucson area will be presented at a future budget study session.

6)  The recommended budget already reflected a budget decrease of over $300,000 compared to the current year.  Any further cuts to the Parks & Recreation budget would involve the elimination of positions in other divisions, impact direct services to the public, and/or hinder the Department’s ability to maintain the parks and facilities.  Therefore, no further cuts to the department’s budget were recommended.

In response to the Town Manager’s direction, all programs were evaluated and prioritized. Every service provided by the department fulfills an important community service.  The elimination of the Multimodal Planner will have effects on service levels.  Therefore, it is requested, should the opportunity arise, that Town Council give thoughtful consideration to the restoration of ths position thorugh the use of a new funding source, cost reductions in other areas of the budget, or other monies as available

7) Additional information provided on the alternative budget savings proposal for the Police Department including the amounts for the FY 2008/09 Budget and 08/09 Year-End Projections. 

8)  The $3 million for the Economic Stimulus funding will be removed from the Highway Fund and moved to a separate fund.  The Town Engineer has called Pima Association of Governments (PAG) to verify that staff time cannot be funded with the stimulus money because it would supplant existing funds for payroll.

9)  The Town Engineer has reviewed the budgets in his department to look for areas of possible savings.  $480,00 has already been cut from the operations and maintenance and capital line items, and $312,000 from personnel.  Reducing the bottom line even further will impact services to a negative degree.  The budget being recommended is reasonable based on long-term sustainability.

10)  In 2006, the fares for Coyote Run were doubled.  Currently, Coyote Run’s 11.4% fare box recovery exceeds that of the national average for like services.  Sun Van and Handi-Car’s fare box recovery rates are 4% and 2% respectively.  Should Council wish to consider a fare increase, service zone changes, or service hour adjustments, a public process and hearing will need to occur to satisfy Federal Transit Administration requirements.

11)  Presently, Coyote Run has implemented the following service constraints to comply with the hiring freeze:
- No same or next day service will be available.
- All reservations MUST be made 48 hours in advance, no exceptions.
- The call is a request for a trip, not a guaranteed reservation.
- Trip availability will be determined by 3:00 p.m. the day prior.
- Trip may be cancelled due to driver unavailability.
- Trips will be limited to 60 passengers per day.
- Reservations/dispatch will be open until 3:00 p.m.
- Beginning April 20, 2009, Coyote Run will have a part-time dispatcher  and three part-time driver positions vacant.  The part-time dispatcher position has been recommended as a possible elimination to assist with the current budget.  Coyote Run feels this position could be eliminated and have little impact on service.  However, as drivers are directly related to service delivery, the continuation of the hiring freeze for Coyote Run drivers will continue to deteriorate the service levels.  The next step in service constraints would be as follows:
- Reduce service hours to 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays.  All passengers needing to get to work would be unable to utilize Coyote Run.
- Limit vehicle deployment to 4 vehicles in maximum service.  This would allow for 3 full-time and 2 part-time drivers.
- Begin informing Oro Valley residents that are ADA certified and live south of Tangerine Road that they are no longer eligible for Coyote Run.
- Reduce service area to zones A - B
Changing Coyote Run service parameters permanently will require the Town to go through a public outreach process and public hearing.

12) The chart representing Coyote Run types and purpose of trips taken in FY 2007/08 were shown. 

13) While the concept of implementing a special fare to take riders to public transit stops provides passengers access to the circulator or other regional transit services, once the passenger has boarded the connective service, the passenger may not be able to get to their final destination. When they disembark this may be burdensome to seniors and makes Coyote Run’s demand response service preferable.

14) The breakdown of FY 2008/09 Library personnel compared to FY 2009/10 Library personnel by program area was reviewed.

15) The library will eliminate $10,000 from the collection development budget. It will now be the lowest that it has been in the past 3 years.  We will have fewer new items to circulate and delay replacement of the classics that are part of every library’s collection and are used extensively for school work.  The Library will continue to use funds raised by the Friends of the Library to supplement the collection budget.  The Library is still recommending the reduction of one part-time Customer Service Representative and two part-time Pages.  This is in an effort to make the Library operate lean without sacrificing its ability to operate fully.  Human Resources is currently working to get the title changes for the Library aligned with those in Pima County.

16)  The table illustrating the specific grants and other revenue sources tied to the Police Contingency/Reserve amounts was reviewed.  After further discussions with the Police Chief regarding the statutory requirements for tracking the expenditure of Impound Fee revenue, these funds will be removed from the General Fund budget and placed into a separate Impound Fee Fund to facilitate more accurate accounting for these funds. 

17) Council direction is requested regarding the Police Department’s alternate budget savings proposal totaling $479,809.  Should this savings proposal be implemented in full regardless of whether the Town receives federal COPS grant funding, or only if the Town does not receive the COPS grant funding?  Council direction is requested by staff.

Mayor Loomis asked the Town Attorney and Chief of Police to prepare a motion for Council consideration Wednesday evening with the following wording "Budget savings would be identified and six positions would be identified"

18)  Council direction is requested to begin preparation of the Tentative Budget which is recommended for adoption prior to the end of the fiscal year.  Due to the potential staff layoffs recommended in the budget, the uncertainty of whether this will happen or not is having an impact on Town staff morale and productivity.  The remaining regular Council meetings to adopt the Tentative Budget are May 20th, June 3rd and June 17th.

19)  A separate RTA fund in the FY 2009/10 will be set up to budget for the possible receipt of $600,000 in funds for bus pull-outs. 

Action Item:  Finance Director Stacey Lemos stated that RTA has allowed for reimbursement for Town staff time.  Ms. Lemos will get the cost of this from RTA.

Ms. Lemos reported on Follow-Up information from April 8th Budget Review Session:

Item 1)  Monies have been budgeted for construction management in the Capital section of the Water Utility’s budget for FY 2009/10.  These costs can be reallocated to Personnel in order to save the 2.5 full-time employee’s recommended for elimination for a total of $130,423.

Council Member Latas requested a copy of what was submitted to apply for the COPS Grant.


Reorganization of Development Services

Item 1


Planning & Zoning

Item 1a


Building Safety

Item 1b

Assistant Town Manager Jerene Watson explained that in response to Council interest in possible cost savings due to the slow down in development services, staff has proposed a reorganization chart and a realignment of some of the positions by functional areas.

Building Safety Department:
Building Safety Director Suzanne Smith reviewed the budget for Building Safety and explained that departments within the Development Services area are experiencing the effects of the downturn in the economy which is affecting the Town’s pace of development and budget.  While revenues generated from building permits are anticipated to be down from the current 2009 department budget for residential building permits, the positive news is that the Commercial building permits are expected to be up 39%.  Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. and several commercial developments are continuing to develop.  VMSI is anticipated to bring in over $400,000 in building permit fees during the 2010 budget year and to continue at that pace over the next 5 years.

Discussion followed regarding the overall reduction of 22% comprised of the potential elimination of 4 full time positions, reductions in operations and maintenance, administrative personnel costs, reassignment of the Building Safety Director to Development Services Director, reassignments in the Inspection area, cross-training of plans examiners and intake and permitting changes.

Planning and Zoning Department:
Planning and Zoning Director Sarah More reviewed the Planning & Zoning recommended budget reflecting an overall reduction of 9.9% and included the potential reduction of three full time positions.  Personnel cuts are 19.6% overall, 26% out of existing programs.  She explained that there are no new general plan amendments and an estimate of 5 new rezoning cases for next year.  Planning & Zoning is still seeing commercial development, signage and architectural reviews, but plats and development submittals have gone down by 25%.  The Planning & Zoning workplan has shifted Planning personnel into more advanced planning work, which means plan updates, zoning code amendments and special projects. 

Further discussion followed regarding the workload, quality of service, operations and maintenance, administration, planning and zoning divisions and the establishment of the Office of Conservation and Sustainability.

Assistant Planning & Zoning Director Paul Popelka reviewed the impacts of the proposed "scrubbing" of the budget and reorganization:
- Supporting Boards and Commissions
- Zoning enforcement and public information response times
- Assistant Director taking on more administrative duties.
- Historic preservation work will be taken on by a less experienced staff member.
- Arroyo Grande project may be accomplished by a consultant, as Planning staff may not have the appropriate level of expertise or time for project oversight.  This project is on hold with the State at ths time.
- Decreased current planning activity.  Work Plan progress is variable and may be delayed, depending on amount of planning staff time available for the work.
- Citizens Planning Institute, Neighborhood Clean Up, and Household Hazardous Materials programs will continue at the current level.

Discussion followed regarding the Department of Energy Grant Federal Appropriation Contingency funds; zoning enforcement; zoning fines; maintaining the neighborhood clean-up program; proposed personnel reductions; retaining the senior office specialist position shared by the divisions; travel & training; hiring a consultant to conduct an energy audit; City of Tucson’s Zoning Code has been decriminalized which provides for civil enforcement vs. Oro Valley’s Zoning Code having criminal code enforcement; consider rewriting the enforcement provision of the Town’s Zoning Code in the future; concern with assigning long term projects without adequate personnel resources.

Council Member Abbott requested that staff show the original organizational chart and show which positions would be reclassified.

Mayor Loomis recessed the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Public Works Development Review Division Manager Paul Keesler reviewed the Development Review Division recommended budget and explained that the Division reviews all public and private development projects within the Town for community fit, code compliance and safety related engineering issues.  This division currently issues grading, right-of-way and floodplain use permits for all of the approved projects as well as supporting all permits issued by Building Safety.  He explained the budget reflects an overall reduction of 25.3% and includes the reduction of two full time positions, reducing review staff by 40% and includes a reorganization transfer of the remaining staff out of the Public Works Department to an Engineering Division within the proposed Development Services Department.  Mr. Keesler reviewed the following impacts with the proposed staff reduction:
- Project Review Turnaround Time.
- Number of reviews per plan submittal.
- Decreased field presence for construction observation and inspection.
- Increased workload on Public Works Storm Water staff.

Discussion followed concerning the impacts, review process, how the engineering division interrelates with the planners and town engineer; the town engineers and public works responsibilities vs. development review responsibilities; the proposed reorganization and reduction in personnel.


Development Review (Public Works)

Item 1c


Municipal Operations Center

Item 2

Finance Director Stacey Lemos and Building Safety Director Suzanne Smith reviewed the background of the Municipal Operations (MOC) project based on the 2001 Future Space Needs Report.  She stated that the report included recommendations that the Town acquire additional land to accommodate a new joint use operations and maintenance center, administrative offices, and a police training facility. She noted that the current project description was reviewed and pros and cons of the four construction options were discussed:

Option 1 - Phased Facilities at Naranja Town Site
Option 2 - Phased Facilities at current Rancho Vistoso Site
Option 3 - Build the Facilities in One Phase at current Rancho Vistoso Site.
Option 4 - Put the project on hold

Staff recommended Option 2 and asked for confirmation of that recommendation.

Discussion followed regarding that the timing is now good to build phase 1; keep the existing facility on Rancho Vistoso with just a minor expansion; concerns with using Naranja Town site because it is located next to a residential neighborhood; original goal was to get Public Works out of a residential neighborhood; need to re-evaluate facility needs; look at more revenue sources; need additional data; information provided is sufficient; may have to put project on hold; made commitment to neighbors to remove the industrial facility located next to million dollar homes on Calle Concordia; land purchase was made for all the right reasons, 33 different land options were considered.

Mayor Loomis asked that this item be brought back to the first Council meeting in May for action.

Steam Pump Ranch
Special Projects Coordinator Scott Nelson reviewed the Steam Pump Ranch budget stating that as a result of State budget cuts all heritage funds have been placed on hold.  However, Congresswoman Giffords has stated that heritage funds may come back and federal stimulus money may be received.  $283,085 is left in Pima County bond funds that can be used to stabilize the pump house.  Mr. Nelson clarified that the federal stimulus money was tied back to existing grants and that the money can only be used for stabilization purposes.


Honey Bee Village

Mr. Nelson reviewed the Honey Bee Village Budget explaining that what is recommended in the conceptual plan is the completion of interpretative trails, signage, shaded areas and seating. He stated that the projected cost was $250,000 and was slated to go on a future County Bond Election Ballot.  He noted that the date of the election was yet to be determined and therefore, this project has been placed on hold.

Mr. Nelson reported that when the Town received the tribal grant from the Tohono O’dham Nation, politics were different.  He noted since that time, they have never awarded a grant that large.  He stated that gaming dollars were drastically down, therefore the funding for this type of development was no longer available, however, smaller grants were being awarded throughout the community. 

Further discussion followed regarding displaying artifacts, permanent housing for the artifacts, and if grant funds were not received, this would be a good use for contingency funds; keep an open mind for funding options.

Action Item: 
Ask the Indian Nations for two grants in the amount of $50,000 each for initiation of the interpretative trail.

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Latas adjourn at 9:45 p.m.  carried 7 - 0.