ORO VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL
Town Council Study/Special Session
April 22, 2009
ORO VALLEY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
11000 N. LA CANADA DRIVE
|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
Economic Development Specialist Amanda Jacobs introduced Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) President Joe Snell. Mr. Snell began his PowerPoint presentation stating that TREO’s role was to create wealth for the region by targeting specific industries:
~Aerospace and Defense
~Transportation and Logistics
He noted that TREO was working to close the wage gap. He stated that since 2005, TREO has had over $1B in economic impact with 32 successful projects. He also noted that for every $1 invested in TREO, $76 was returned to the community.
He reviewed the issues of the unprecedented economic crisis:
~The region is not immune to the recession as it had been in previous recessions
~Arizona is facing one of the worst budget deficits in the United States
~Results in elimination/scale back of economic development tools
~Creates increased competition
Mr. Snell introduced the Tucson Job One program; stating that the purpose of the program was to strengthen and diversify the employment base through:
~Acceleration of Regional & National Marketing
*Increased visibility of Tucson as a business hub through new branding campaign
*Enticing California companies to the region
*Site selector outreach - finding & placing companies in the region
*Puerto Rico bioscience campaign - to lure biotech companies to the region
~Local Company Assistance
*Employer driven job training program
*Connectivity to programs and services
*Promotion of job openings
~Enhanced Tools to spur Job Creation
*Mechanisms for high wage jobs
*New company formation
~Strong & Unified Voice
*Protect/support education, infrastructure, economic development tools
~Leverage Federal Stimulus
*Align and position region for maximum benefit
*Tight regional coordination of infrastructure and energy related projects
TREO Vice President David Welsh explained that:
~Areas of Innovation Park will be listed as "shovel ready"
*Currently TREO is actively marketing the area
~TREO will continue efforts with Ventana Roche
~TREO is planning a national conference for a specific bioscience niche
Mr. Snell noted that the region was more reliant on construction than Michigan was on the auto industry. He stated that the production capacity the region once enjoyed will not return.
He noted that TREO's request for funds was reduced by 10% in order to help with the budget.
Council Member Abbott asked for TREO's support for education with the League of Cities and Towns.
Mr. Snell stated that TREO strives to attract and retain talent to create a long term competitive environment. He noted that the recession however, required short term strategies.
Council Member Latas presented the results of a survey she conducted regarding the budget. She stated that she polled 2,000 registered voters in Oro Valley via email and received 400 responses. The results were as follows:
~13.6% were in favor of raising taxes or depleting savings to preserve jobs
~42.2% favored cutting spending at any cost; to include layoffs, if necessary
~30.2% favored laying off employees whose workload had diminished, but retain police officers even if it meant raising taxes or depleting savings
~14.1% specified other ideas
She noted the margin of error was less than 5% for this poll.
It was clarified that the poll was sent to anyone that had ever emailed her, that was a registered voter, whether they supported her or not. It was noted that the median age of the polltaker was 60.
She reviewed the responses to suggestions for cost-saving or revenue generating measures that respondents found acceptable:
|OPTION ||PERCENTAGE ||NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS|
|Eliminate the Oro Valley Vista ($.1M) ||72.1% ||287|
|Eliminate funding to outside agencies ($.5M) ||64.1% ||255|
|Use bed tax revenues for other uses ($.2M-$.5M) ||59.3% ||236|
|Turn library operations over to Pima County ($.7M) ||58.3% ||232|
|Adopt 2% rental tax ($1.1M) ||47.2% ||188|
|Increase utility tax to 4% ($1.2M) ||22.6% || 90|
|Increase retail sales tax by .25% ($1.2M) ||30.4% ||121|
|Levy a primary property tax of $0.34/$100 Assessed value ($1.7M) ||20.6% || 82|
|Adopt a 1% sales tax on food (groceries) ($1.75M) || 7.3% || 29|
|Increase retail sales tax by .50% ($2.4M) ||17.6% || 70|
|Seek voter approval for 5% gas/electric franchise fee ($2.4M) ||17.3% || 69|
|Other || 46% ||183|
Mayor Loomis explained that the purpose of study sessions was to offer Council an informal forum to study issues, though formal action could not be taken.
He explained that he would like to conduct special/study sessions in order to provide staff direction. He noted that the budget was at a point where it needed to start coming into focus so that action could be taken.
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gillaspie and seconded by Vice Mayor Carter to table Item 6.
The motion was withdrawn.
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gillaspie and seconded by Council Member Abbott to move to Item 3: The Planning and Zoning Department requests feedback on Zoning Code guidance. (No vote taken)
Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Paul Popelka reviewed the Outdoor Storage Ordinance noting that it applied to Commercial, Office and Industrial uses and was updated in 2005.
He stated that businesses expressed that the Code was restrictive and had a negative impact. He noted that the Code was difficult to enforce.
Mr. Popelka reviewed slides of stores that displayed items outside of the store that created hazards as the merchandise impeded access to the store. He noted that it was an issue for enforcement and that retail businesses large and small took issue with this Code. He requested direction for enforcement of the Code. He stated that ADA access, aesthetics and the ability to accommodate businesses needed to be taken into account.
Discussion noted the following:
~The Town would lose potential sales taxes to other towns that allowed store to display items in front of the store.
~Businesses need to display the items so that they are accessible to buyers.
Council Member Latas stated that she wanted to institute an Economic Development Commission to study and handle such issues. She noted that this would be discussed at a study session scheduled for May 13, 2009.
It was requested that statistical analysis of the Town’s customer base be conducted.
Mr. Russell, Manager of Fry’s Food and Drug noted that sales have dropped by taking furniture from the outdoor patio and placing the items on top of the freezers inside.
It was noted that:
~Any liability would be shouldered by the business owner not the Town
~Prior to 2005, there were no restrictions regarding this issue
It was recommended that the code needed work and that, with an Economic Development Commission, the issue could be resolve in a way that would meet safety criteria as well as the needs of businesses.
Mayor Loomis called for a recess at 7:13 p.m. The meeting resumed at 7:18 p.m.
Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Paul Popelka introduced Planning Technician Jonathan Lew. Mr. Lew noted that the General Plan:
~Restricted signage for identification
~Provided information and direction with the least intrusive signage possible
He also noted that the Oro Valley Zoning Code Revised (OVZCR) 28.9 prohibited A-Frame Signage to reduce the amount of visible clutter.
He reviewed the issues with signage:
*Site visibility triangles
*Lack of Identification
Mr. Lew stated that enforcement encompassed:
~Posting violation notices over signs
He summarized the issue as being a matter of business needs versus intrusive signage. He stated that staff was seeking Council direction in reference to permanent signs, temporary signs and enforcement issues.
Discussion noted the following:
~Businesses inability to post signs to direct customers to their businesses was problematic.
~These issues should be addressed by the Development Review Board
~To address this issue, numerous scenarios would need to be reviewed and addressed
Mayor Loomis stated that the immediate issues involved temporary signs, A-frames
and opportunities for businesses in the current economic climate.
It was noted that:
~It may be time to review and update the Sign Code.
~It was important to learn businesses needs and have public input.
~The current code was enacted because the public wanted the least intrusive signage.
Council Member Garner introduced the item noting that the second budget proposal made by the police department was still less than 2% of the overall operating budget of the police department. He stated that he met with Oro Valley resident John Musolf who devised a new plan for recommended budget cuts:
*Fleet maintenance to Public Transit
-Budgeted amount $508,160
*Information technology to Information Technology
-Budgeted amount $251,940
*Public Relations Officer to Town Manager’s department
-Budgeted amount $80,000
*Safety & Risk Manager to Town Manager’s department
-Budgeted amount $100,000
The following line items were recommended for cuts and requested that the amounts requested be justified in detail:
~Operations and Maintenance
*Memberships and Subscriptions
*Travel and Training
*Cut custodial supplies
*Reduce by 25%
-Outside Professional services
*Business Continuity Plan - IT
*Reduce Planned Overtime by 50%
*Oro Valley Marketplace sub-station building
*Oro Valley Marketplace sub-station equipment
*Minor Assets and equipment
It was noted that the police department was the only department that had a line item for custodial supplies.
Council Member Garner stated his concern that the current budget cuts eliminated only 1.6% of expenditures when the police department’s budget accounted for 50% of Town wide expenditures. He noted that the existing proposal would result in a reduction in force in the next fiscal year. He explained that this new proposal was a 16% cut to the police department’s budget.
Chief Sharp explained that the Fleet Maintenance Technician completed many of his duties with the aid of volunteers. He noted that this position was responsible for cleaning up biohazard exposures.
Town Manager David Andrews stated that with the addition of Plan B, the police department would be cutting $700,000. He noted that the chances of receiving the COPS grant were slim. He stated that if Plan B were implemented, the application would need to be withdrawn per the stipulations of the grant.
Mr. Andrews explained that it was important to be aware that if programs were cut from any department, that positions would be cut as well. He stated that $700,000 equated to 5% and that more cuts would need to be made in order to save jobs. He noted that if a reduction in force were not implemented then Council would need to consider salary reductions, furloughs or reducing employee benefits.
It was suggested that Council Member Garner, Chief Sharp, Finance Director Stacey Lemos, a representative of the Fraternal Order of Police and Mr. Musolf meet to address questions in the proposal.
Council Member Abbott objected to taking action on any of the issues under this item.
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Kunisch and seconded by Council Member Gillaspie to maintain the current level of public service by setting the fiscal year 09/10 Police department budget as recommended by the Town Manager amended as outlined in the April 20, 2009 Memo Attachment B and direct Staff to withdraw the COPS grant.
Council Member Latas moved to amend the motion, that if the motion is approved, the COPS grant be rescinded. The motion was accepted as a friendly amendment.
Council Member Abbott stressed her concerns regarding taking action, tonight.
Mayor Loomis clarified that it was a matter of providing direction to staff.
Town Manager David Andrews noted that even with the motion, the Police department’s Operations and Maintenance budget could still be examined and revised.
Mr. Andrews clarified the requirements for the tentative and final budget:
~The tentative budget must be adopted by the third Monday in July per Arizona Revised Statutes.
~The final budget does not have any statutory requirement for adopting the final budget
~Council may amend the budget by motion at any time during the fiscal year
~The tentative budget adoption has been a public hearingin the past, though it was not a requirement
~Public hearings have been part of the process for both the tentative and final budget processes
Discussion noted that:
~Upon adoption, the tentative budget will be published in the local newspaper and available on the Town’s website for public viewing.
~Plan B froze the salary of the dispatcher and maintained the vacancy.
Vice Mayor Carter stated his opposition to the motion as it was too soon to act and there was not a clear resolution to the budget issue.
Chief Sharp stated that members of his department were seeking employment elsewhere. He clarified that if officers that the Town has invested time and training in were lost now, the loss would be significant as the next Police Academy will not be held until July 2010. It was noted that reserve officers were not interested in working full time.
Council Member Abbott made a friendly amendment to continue this item to Monday, April 27, 2009 to allow for public input. The amendment was not accepted.
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Abbott and seconded by Council Member Latas to amend the motion to continue this item to Monday, April 27, 2009 to allow for public input at a special session
MOTION carried, 4-3 with Mayor Loomis, Council Member Gillaspie, and Council Member Kunisch opposed.
MOTION carried, 6-1 with Council Member Kunisch opposed.
MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Latas to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.
MOTION carried, 6-1 with Mayor Loomis opposed.