Town Council Study Session
June 24, 2009
CALL TO ORDER - at 6:02 p.m.


Council Member Gillaspie arrived at 6:05 p.m.

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 Memmber


Discussion of Oro Valley Animal Licensing Program

Click here for Item 1

Town Manager's intern Joe Brehm presented the item. He noted the following:
~The December 10, 2008 study session determined that there was a lack of funding for an animal shelter in Oro Valley.
~The Pima County Animal Care Center (PACC) exceeded capacity by more than 250%.
~Guidance from Council was requested to determine whether staff should proceed with a feasibility study.
~The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with PACC dictated that:
  *PACC handles all animal care and control services for the Town.
    -All licensing revenue serves as payment for those services.
    -The Town is required to make up the difference when costs exceed revenues.
~Fiscal Year contributions in 2007/2008:
  *Town paid $46,500
    -$8,000 was paid from the General Fund
~PACC receives $38,500 annually from Oro Valley residents for license renewals.
  *Revenues that exceeded costs incurred by PACC were retained by PACC.

He stated factors for Council to consider:
~Town has legal ability to administer animal licenses provided that the Town’s ordinance is as, or more stringent than, the County ordinance.
~Sixty days notice is required to end the IGA.
~Licensing could occur if:
  *Contracted with Oro Valley veterinarians or
  *Added as a service offered by the Town  
   -Difficult to ascertain workload
    ~Software and license options should be explored
~Cost of marketing the new ordinance and service
~Cost of mailing applications and reminders
~Town staff needed for the additional tasks
~IGA requires that PACC house all retrieved animals
  *Received 183 calls for service 2007/2008
    -Responded to 170 of those calls
    -24 animals were collected from Oro Valley
~2003-2008 OVPD responded to an average of 78 calls for service
  *Averaged 14 retrieved animals per year. 
~2007-2008 OVPD responded to 10 lost animal calls and found 13
  *OVPD does not handle the animals, physically
    -Owner is contacted and officers wait with the animal until the owner arrives.

Staff suggested the following partnerships for consideration:
~Local kennel or non-profit for sheltering services
~Local veterinarian for medical services
~Local non-profit organization for adoption services

Mr. Brehm noted that Staff had researched the City of Sedona, Coconino County and the City of Prescott. He explalined each municipality’s approach to animal control:
~City of Sedona
  *Police officers and one animal control officer take animals to the Sedona Humane Society
  *The Humane Society managed licensing, shelter, medical and adoption services for the City.
  *All revenue is retained by the Humane Society
  *The City pays $42,000 annually for these services
~Coconino County
  *Coconino Humane Association handled the day to day needs.
  *Contract with the Second Chance Center
    -Utilized when the County facility is at capacity or for medical services
    -Payment is made on a case by case basis
~City of Prescott
  *Has an animal control department
  *Staff of five people to manage a kennel for the Yavapai County Sherriff’s department, the Prescott Valley Police Department and the Prescott Police department.
  *Annual budget of $386,000
  *City code has a provision for local veterinary offices to issue dog licenses
    -The veterinarian retains $2.00 per license and remits the balance of the license fee to the City.
  *Licenses may also be purchased at the Prescott Animal Control department

Mr. Brehm noted that as of June 1, 2009 PACC increased fees by 20%. He stated that in fiscal year 2007/2008 the Town paid $46,500 for 24 dogs and 170 calls for service. He explained that this year, for the same service, it could cost $56,000. He stated that according to the American Veterinary Association that the estimated dog population for Towns with a population of 45,000 was 11,376. He noted that based on the statistics, the Town could potentially garner $314,000 in licensing fees, if 100% compliance was achieved. He informed Council that the revenue would be needed to manage licensing, animal care and control costs. He stated that staff recommended a feasibility study to determine the details.

Discussion followed: 
~Council members expressed that they would have liked to have had a representative from Pima County to answer questions. 
~The County’s compliance rate was approximately 20%
~Currently, owners that allow their animals to run wild were fined an amount at the discretion of the Judge.
~There are no kennels within the Town limits.
~PACC has a special truck that is resistant to contaminants and is sanitized after every run for disease control.
~Concerns were raised regarding enforcement and use of police as dog catchers.
~Questions were raised regarding extra costs for additional staffing and equipment.

Mayor Loomis opened the floor for public comment.

Oro Valley resident Sharon Discorfano Webster stated that three elements that needed to be considered were operational, compliance and enforcement. She stated that all of these elements needed to be examined in a study session.

Susan Shuman stated that she was not a resident of Oro Valley. She expressed her opinion that Oro Valley was the most progressive town in Arizona. She stated that many were watching to see how Oro Valley handled this issue. She urged Council to pursue the feasibility study noting that Oro Valley could do a better job.

Council Member Latas played a KVOA news report from earlier this year. The broadcast reported that a dog, that was about to be adopted, was euthanized unnecessarily at PACC. The report noted that PACC did not have an explanation.

Council Member Latas explained that if the Town charged the same fees as PACC, the minimum revenue would be $62,888. She showed a picture of a dump truck full of euthanized animals taken to the dump. She noted that PACC euthanized a dump truck full of animals daily.


Presentation of Oro Valley Police Department Mentoring Program

Click here for Item 2

Lieutenant Kara Sickelbower presented the item. She stated that the mentoring program provided officers with career development for their first three years. She noted that mentors helped to prevent stressors and taught how to deal with the array of situations that may be encountered. She reviewed the responsibilities of a mentor:
~Role model
~Provides a risk-free environment where frustrations could be vented safely
~Gives advice
~Evaluates behavior and explains how others in the organization perceive their actions and work

She explained the benefits of mentoring:
~Improved morale
~Enhanced self-esteem
~Revitalized interest in work
~Fulfills personal and professional growth needs
~Employee retention
~Cost reduction
~Leadership development
~Provides best opportunity for the employee to be successful

Lt. Sickelbower noted that meshing generations and how they communicated had to be considered when devising this program. She stated that the department was comprised of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y.

She noted other local companies that offered mentoring programs.

She explained the benefits of reverse mentoring that can be found in multi-generational settings:
~The younger generation would teach the senior generation something new
  *For example, changes in technology.
~Most common in fields that incorporated technology into the job and where the work force spanned across four generations.

She reviewed the Oro Valley Police Department's implementation timeline:
2007 - Began research
March 2009 - Wrote procedures
April 2009 - Officers reviewed the program and provided input
May 2009 - Began implementing program

She reviewed the steps of the program:
~Effective at initial hiring
~Field training process

She explained the elements that will be used to measure the program:
~Conduct officer interviews mid-way and at the end.
~Statistical study of retention increases/decreases
~Measure immediate career goals of officers

Council Member Gillaspie recommended that the Manager’s office should consider implementing a voluntary mentoring program Town wide.

It was noted that:
~Ten mentors had been identified
~The highest drop out rate occurred during the first year as it was the most stressful period


Building Safety Management Study - Implementation Update

Click here for Item 3

Building Safety Director Suzanne Smith presented the item. She stated that the implementation plan was essentially complete. She introduced Building Inspector Tim McGuire and Plans Examiner Phil O’Connor.

Mr. McGuire addressed inspections. He stated that the number one priority for the inspection division was to accommodate the increased inspection demand in commercial development. He noted that as part of the implementation plan, five inspectors had completed training and four had attained the level of Inspector II in just over two years. 

He stated that one of the newly implemented policies required all inspections to be available in real time via web-based access. He stated that Council authorized the acquisition of wireless computers (also known as "Tough Books") for field inspections. He noted that the enhanced technology improved customer service.

Mr. O’Connor addressed changes to staffing and services. He stated that all Plans Examiners were certified for commercial, residential and small projects.

He noted the improved customer satisfaction and reduction in time and costs regarding plan reviews:
~Point of contact and multi-disciplinary team case management by Assistant Building Official
~Eliminated work silos
~Eliminated outside plan reviews

He noted the benefits as a result of the improvements:
~Quality Control
~Community needs
~Faster service

Ms. Smith reviewed the improvements in service and communication:
~Enhanced Permits Plus program
  *Web visibility - plan review status and comments
  *Case management
  *Monthly performance reports
~Workload based plan review assignments
~Created preconstruction meetings to provide process understanding and remove obstacles

She explained the improvement in response time during permitting and inter-departmental consistency:
~Concurrent departmental residential plan reviews to shorten plan review times
~Expanded use of Permits Plus to all departments
~Created Foundation Only permits
~Permit approval process revamped for Tenant Improvements so construction can begin earlier

Ms. Smith reviewed the improvements to accessing information:
~Developed information center web page
  *Code and local amendments
    -Standard operating policies and procedures
    -Top ten lists
    -Residential construction handbook
  *Checklists and forms
  *Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
  *Permit and inspection search engine

Discussion noted the following:
~Inspectors have instant access to prior inspections with the "Tough Books"
~Projects can be issued a "Stop Work" order after one warning
  *Otherwise, a fee was charged for wasting the inspector’s time
~"Tough Books" are used by the Army and the police department
  *Codes can be searched while in the field
~Inspectors have inexpensive compact printers that plug into their car to issue paperwork to customers in the field

Council recommended that metrics be created to measure customer satisfaction. It was noted that a baseline was needed to measure success and incremental change.


Future Agenda Items

Council Member Abbott requested a study session in September 2009 regarding the proposal for license fees to include representatives from Pima County Animal Care Center (PACC), Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), the police chief, and representatives from the (police) union, the Humane Society, and another no-kill shelter. She also requested that this be the only item on the agenda. The request was seconded by Council Member Kunisch.


MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Abbott to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 p.m.

MOTION carried, 7-0.