Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Special Meeting and 2011 Budget Work Session
MINUTES OF THE “SPECIAL MEETING”
November 8, 2010
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 5:43 p.m.
Mayor Pogue said this is a Special Meeting regarding an appointment to fill the position of Ward 2 Alderman, due to the resignation of Frank Schmer.
Mayor Pogue said that Alderman Frank Schmer submitted a letter of resignation to the Board of Aldermen on October 26. He said that he was saddened regarding this resignation.
Mayor Pogue said that six names were submitted for consideration and he spoke with each candidate. Several aldermen submitted recommendations, and he was contacted by e-mail on three others. Applicant Mark Harder said he has lived in Ballwin since 1993, is a subdivision trustee of Coppersmith Place and currently works with Senator Cunningham. Terry Grogan served on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Alderman Markland nominated Terry Grogan because he has the desires and wishes of Ward 2 in mind. He previously served on the Planning & Zoning Commission, and expressed interest in serving in this position and carrying it farther on hopefully at the next election. He said he also spoke with Pat McDermott. He said that Pat is a fine individual, however, he chooses Terry Grogan because he has more experience with Terry over the last year and a half. He said that Terry would make a great replacement for Frank Schmer. He has many of the same ideas that Frank had and would represent what the voters in Ward 2 would like to see in the future.
Mayor Pogue said that Frank Schmer specifically mentioned that Pat McDermott would do a great job. Alderman Markland said that he would have to vote against this.
Mayor Pogue’s recommendation was that Pat McDermott be approved by the Board to fill the aldermanic position. He said that Frank Schmer had also suggested that Pat McDermott would be a good candidate for the position. Pat has helped Ballwin on many different occasions and served as the Co-Chairman of the Ballwin Days Committee for many years.
City Attorney Jones said that per state statute, the appointment needs to be done during a special meeting, which is called for that purpose.
Alderman Fleming said that he submitted several names and spoke with the individuals. He said that Pat McDermott probably knows more city employees and more about city processes than even some of the Aldermen at this time. His dedication cannot be questioned with the number of years that he has given to Ballwin serving on the unpaid Ballwin Days Committee. He said that he believes Pat McDermott would do an incredible job. He said he supports the Mayor’s recommendation.
Alderman Finley asked Pat McDermott to address the Board regarding this potential appointment.
Pat McDermott said, “I don’t have an agenda or any specific goals other than to take an objective look at the issues at each meeting. I respect Alderman Markland’s comments. We had a great conversation on the phone. I think he brings some unique aspects to the table, as do each of you. I don’t hold it against him for not recommending me. Alderman Markland is in a tough position being the seated Alderman in the ward. I have been involved with the City for a long time. I know a lot of people with the City. We don’t always agree on things, but we can get some good dialog and that’s what it’s about. As an alderman, I don’t see my position as micro managing. I see it as evaluating and making sure that what goes on is what’s legal and correct. If you choose me, that’s great. If you don’t, I won’t have hard feelings whatsoever. I’m going to still be involved with the City. I think it’s a great city to live in, and I’ll support the City in any way I can.”
Alderman Boerner said that he has a lot of respect for Mr. McDermott. Unless there is some compelling reason why he should not serve in that capacity, we should honor what the Mayor has recommended.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the recommendation of Mayor Pogue to appoint Pat McDermott to the Ward 2 Aldermanic vacancy. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, Finley, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Mellow. Nay: Markland. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
MINUTES 2011 BUDGET WORKSHOP
The Budget Work Session for 2011 was called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Mayor Pogue in the Board room at 300 Park Drive, Donald “Red” Loehr Police & Court Center. In attendance were Aldermen Terbrock, Finley, Markland, McDermott, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner and Mellow. Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Chief of Police Schicker, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, and City Attorney Jones.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the purpose of this meeting is to give presentations of the Operating budgets of the Police Department and the Parks Department. This will conclude the four Operating overviews. This completes a budget proposal, subject to any changes, that totals $15,141,121, not including the $1 million street supplement from fund balance. If approved, it would require the application of $203,137 from the reserve fund balance to achieve a balance between projected revenues and projected expenses. If you add the million dollar supplement that was agreed conceptually by this Board from reserves to apply toward street improvements, the specific listing of which is to be determined by the Board in the future before application, you would be left, with a projected year-end 2011 unrestricted reserve fund balance of $8,788,985.
Alderman Markland said, “I would like to hear what you think we told you to do, because it seems like we throw in all sorts of words like budgets, expenditures, same level of service, capital budget, operating budget, and other stuff. We said to provide the same level of services that were in 2010. What does that mean? In one sense, when we’re saying provide the same level of services, if we put in 1,000 slabs with 350 in-house, is that what we’re talking about as the same level of service? If the Parks Department had so many days or hours of functions, that’s the same level of service. This is what I’m understanding. We said that the budget for 2011 would be the same as for 2010. Does that mean that what we expended in 2010 would be what we expend in 2011? There has been some talk about some one-time issues that won’t be in there. I read in the packet that the budget for 2010 is being beat by $384,444, but that does include a one-time mobile phone settlement of $220,000, which then would mean that we’re really beating the budget by $164,444. If we eliminate the unusual purchases which was referenced, in the amount of $120,000, you would think then that would be added to the savings for 2011. We now have a savings of $164,444 plus the $120,000, or $284,444, but it appears that 2011’s number is higher than this year’s was. Also, the projected budget expense for 2010 is $14,999,000. The 2011 budget is $14,930,000. I don’t understand why we have to supplement that when we have stated that our income has revenues of $14,937,000. It looks like we’ve got a $7,500 cushion, yet somehow we’re having to move a quarter million dollars from reserves. I don’t get it. Please explain it in simple words. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve told you whatever this year’s budget was, is what next year’s is going to look like. Not you’re talking about massaging around how you use that roughly $15,000,000. Some of these numbers don’t make sense.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “The $15,930,000 proposed for 2011 includes that supplement on the streets.” Alderman Markland said, “I just backed out $1,000,000 from the number because that’s what we were talking about as a supplement.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “The number between 2010 and 2011 is the difference between $15,141,121 and $14,999,059.” Alderman Markland said, “The number you’re using is not this year’s budget, you’ve gone higher.” City Administrator Kuntz said it is higher. Alderman Markland asked, “how does that fall into being the same as 2010? It seems like we’re ignoring that.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “The first meeting we had, we talked about budget philosophy. There was a lot of discussion about what the approach should be, based on the projected revenue situation moving forward for 2011. You specifically endorsed the proposed zero based approach. That was discussed by the Board. What I specifically heard, and I believe the Minutes support this, is the same level of programs and services as we offered to the residents, to this community, in 2010. If that’s wrong, I apologize, because you have a faulty base budget because it does not reflect a dollar for dollar. There are certain things that have been eliminated, there are certain expenses that are built in, as you pointed out, that added to the cost of doing the same service and programs. If our insurance premium went up 10%, we’re still going to provide the same insurance coverage, we’re just going to pay a higher premium to get the same coverage. Some things are the same, some less, some are more. I tried to point these things out. As you did in April, 2010, the Board approved, upon a second review, a 2% merit potential increase for eligible employees that was budgeted in 2010. Any of these things can be taken out.”
Alderman Markland asked, “Are we looking at the dollars spent in 2010 being 2011, or are we looking at it and it doesn’t mean anything so we’re going to add more to it?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “At your suggestion and the Board’s approval, we did not purchase salt. I don’t know what the weather is going to be. I put in, and it was made clear in the presentation, 2,000 tons of salt. That doesn’t mean that you will have to order it. We’ll evaluate that before we place an order in May. The Board will have to authorize us to participate in an agreement in advance, and then, based on the bids, the Board will do just as you did two weeks ago, decide whether to accept the bids or reject the bids. That will be the Board’s decision. If you say that none of this is right, go back to square one, you want a budget for 2011 that is dollar for dollar, what we expect to spend on page 2 projected for 2010. I’ll do it. Did I answer your question?” Alderman Markland said, “I don’t think so.”
Alderman Markland said, “My question is the same level of service, and then we start throwing in things of salt, not buying salt, buying salt.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We’re still going to plow streets. It’s the same level of service. It’s not the same dollar for dollar cost to do the same job. That is the most direct answer I can give you.”
Alderman McDermott asked, “Did you give the Board direction based on the budget or the projected budget? There’s two different numbers that Alderman Markland reflected on. I’m trying to get some direction on this.” City Administrator Kuntz said to the Board, “Gentlemen, you were there. Tell him what you told me I was supposed to do.” Mayor Pogue said, “The question I asked on September 13 was how does the Board want to direct staff, and specifically, I said to the same level of service. The answer was have staff give us a budget that would give us the same level of service; not give us a budget the same amount as last year. What would it cost to give the same level of service.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “That’s what I heard and that’s what we tried to do – not what it cost, but the same level of service. Give us those numbers, tell us what those numbers are going to be. That’s what we did.”
Alderman Boerner asked, “With respect to the operating budget, how many thousands of dollars of streets go into the operating budget, as far as the Public Works, as opposed to the, I’m talking about the overall budget, but as opposed to the capital budget, how much goes into the, I’m look at this from an overall standpoint. I recognize that the Police Department is in there, but I’m looking at this from the overall because that’s the question that we have from an overall perspective. How much of that went into, in terms of the operating budget vs. the capital budget? I don’t recall that number right now.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “The majority of it is in operating and considered to be maintenance – 60% - 70% of it.”
Alderman Fleming said, “From the October 25 Budget Workshop materials, Public Works operating budget overview: pavement maintenance – The goal is to allocate at least $1 million toward the street budget for 2011. The Board of Aldermen directed that this amount be supplemented by $1 million. The operating budget portion is $789,323 of the additional million.”
Alderman Fleming said that as we started the budget process, we talked about a lot of things, but didn’t give staff much direction. They were not told to add a program or cut a program. They were told to give us the same level of service that we have now for about the same amount of money and to do the best they can. It was a broad guideline and they are following what they were told to do.
Alderman Boerner said that based upon these numbers, it appears that the operating budget is going up 6.2%. Alderman Markland said that the operating fund does not include the capital fund. Alderman Boerner said that it looks like Administration has gone up 3.1%, Police is up 2.4%, but the Parks is up 9.4%. He said he will ask, during the Parks presentation, what that increase includes. He said a major part of the overall increase, which is roughly 5%, is streets, and then a good part of the other part of the increase would be the Parks. He said as long as this is from an overall perspective, he is fine with it.
Police Chief Schicker said that the Communications service contract with the City of Manchester Police Department offsets the Communications program by $143,759. This is 21% of the program’s budget. By eliminating the rank of Major, we are able to trade some of the responsibilities between two captains, and one will be named Assistant Chief of Police. There will be other responsibilities given to the Sergeants who are working in a non-direct patrol function.
Alderman Fleming asked about the future of the communications contract with the City of Manchester. Police Chief Schicker said at this time it looks very promising. The Manchester Police Chief is very satisfied with the level of service. A contract for the following year was presented and was fully accepted.
At Alderman Fleming’s request, Police Chief Schicker explained that REJIS is a regional criminal justice information storehouse and disseminator of information. It is funded partially from Department of Justice grants and user fees. It is the only source for this information. It was developed in the 1970s as a repository for law enforcement within the St. Louis region. It cross references into the court system. It is used for record checks, motor vehicle inquiries, entry of stolen items, wanted persons, missing persons, etc. It is the do-all that keeps the wheels of information going in the St. Louis region for the criminal justice system.
Ms. Bruer said the Golf Course Clubhouse budget is 20% less in 2011 than last year. This is primarily because last year the renovations were done. It is proposed that another $8,000 be spent to finish the outside of the building with landscape lighting, better signage with more light, and the replacement of the front doors. The North Pointe Aquatic Center is going into the 9th season. This budget is about 7% higher in 2011. This is because the full-time salaries have been reallocated among the programs. There are no staffing changes and the overall departmental effort is not changed. A major expense for the North Pointe is to sandblast and repaint the lazy river and the kiddy pool. These pools have been repainted several times by staff, but now there is a buildup of paint and the sandblasting is necessary. This expense is $41,000.
Ms. Bruer said that the budget for The Pointe At Ballwin Commons is $35,000 less than in the 2010 budget. Some of the full-time salaries were moved to North Pointe. The part-time salaries were decreased. The Parks & Recreation brochure, that was traditionally mailed to all residents, is now being published in the “West NewsMagazine” that is mailed only to single-family homes and not apartments or condos. It reaches more households and cost less for mailing and printing. This saves about $4,000. Another cardiac rehab machine is budgeted in the amount of $3,900. The demand for this equipment is primarily among the older residents using the facility, and the present single unit is insufficient for the demand.
Building Systems is the program that maintains all of the city buildings. One of the two furnaces needs to be replaced in the Park Maintenance building. The roof at the Parks garage needs to be replaced. It is 26 years old and it leaks, but this expense was cut from the 2011 budget and moved to the 2012 budget.
The Ballwin Days budget is substantially the same. In the past, $2,000 was budgeted for liquor liability insurance, which covers the city and the beer vendor. That expense has been eliminated because the vendor is going to be required to obtain their own liquor liability insurance and carry Ballwin as an insured. City Administrator Kuntz said that this may cause a different vendor to be used if they are not willing to provide this coverage.
Alderman Terbrock said that he has obtained more very positive information about pervious pavement.
Alderman Boerner said that in looking at the 2010 and 2011 Parks & Recreation budgets, the budget for 2011 is 9.4% higher than the projected 2010 expenditures. He asked for a summary of what makes up the 9.4% and why are we 7.4% under in 2010 projected vs. the 2010 budget. He said that the Board is being asked to approve expenditures that are 9.4% above what the actual projected are for 2010. This has not been summarized. He does not have a comparison for 2010. He said he should not have to go back and forth to make a comparison.
City Administrator Kuntz asked if the comparison should be under the expenditure summary that has a second column that says 2010 projected that shows the two years side by side. Alderman Boerner said that would be good in the summary.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m. in order to conduct the Board of Aldermen regular meeting.
Alderman Fleming asked what amount is adequate for the street tree budget. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that the amount could be doubled and probably spent. There was a $5,000 contingency budgeted in Parks last year and $5,000 is budgeted this year.
Alderman Markland asked if its possible to build up an escrow fund for tree removal. Alderman Fleming said that he would like to see another $5,000 in the tree budget for 2011.
Ms. Bruer said that the arborist helped keep the tree inventory current. City Administrator Kuntz said that the tree inventory needs to be updated at least every 5 years.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to increase the street tree maintenance by $5,000, which would be a total of $10,000 above the grant funded amount..
City Administrator Kuntz said that Parks & Recreation receipts are very dependent on weather. If it is a good season for the pool, typically the golf course side suffers. If it is a good summer for golf, typically it isn’t as beneficial at the pool. He said we try to be conservative in the revenue estimates because the weather has a big impact on the facilities.
Alderman Leahy asked about the arborist position. Ms. Bruer said that someone retired on the recreation side. Instead of rehiring the recreation person, the parks arborist was hired. City Administrator Kuntz said that this was a working arborist that coordinated the crew on tree removal, he knew how to repair tree damage, gave advice to the residents about the care of trees, and had a lot of communication with the residents in addition to his Parks Department duties.
Alderman Finley asked about the college tuition charges in the Police budget. Police Chief Schicker said the college tuition is a reimbursement program used to benefit, facilitate and professionalize the agency and to cultivate supervisors and make promotional opportunities more available. We have educational requirements for promotions. Many of the policemen that we hire are young and still haven’t finished their college degree. Many years ago, the city decided to provide this city reimbursement program to help facilitate the professionalism of the department. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is based on maintaining a certain grade average. It is a reimbursement tied to academic performance and overall expenditures are capped. This program hasn’t been increased or expanded over several years. If the individual signs up and does not take the class or make the grade requirement, it is not paid. A pre-commitment is also required annually at the time the budget is prepared.
City Administrator Kuntz said, “I really want to be responsive to the Board’s direction. I don’t want you to have any surprises. If this isn’t what you asked for, collectively, please tell us. If you want something different, we’re trying to be responsive. There are no hidden motives or agendas. I apologize for the apparent frustrations, but they are on both sides of the table, and we want the same thing. We want to get it right. Please speak up now. If you want me to bring something different back to you, if there’s something we didn’t answer, please let me know. We’re under a pretty tight legal requirement. We’ve got to present this capital plan to the Planning & Zoning Commission. We’ve never ever not adopted, in our history, a budget before the end of the current fiscal year, bringing this into January of the following fiscal year. Tell me, please, if there’s something that needs to be changed, otherwise, it’s going to be like it is. What do you want us to do?”
Mayor Pogue asked each Alderman separately if there are any changes they would like to see as follows:
Alderman Mellow: “Satisfied”.
Alderman Boerner: “I don’t think there are any recommendations for this year. No. Perhaps for next year’s process, but not this year. I agree, having looked at this and the overall, I’m satisfied for this year.”
Alderman Leahy: “I’m satisfied for this year as well. I’ll have to take more of an issue myself as far as numbers are concerned for next year.”
Alderman Fleming: “No change is requested at this time. I ask, and this is my understanding how we are going to do it, it’ll be on the agenda next time as an agenda item; any last minute budget issues that you want to bring up, and then you’ll ask for the motion to draft legislation at that time. If we have budget issues that come up next time, that will be enough time.” Mayor Pogue said, “if there are any questions that come up in the next two weeks, get a hold of City Administrator Kuntz.” Alderman Fleming said, “If it will be on the agenda for next time, if you get it to him quickly, they’ll have more time to respond and we can make an adjustment that night and make the motion to draft legislation. I don’t have any things that I’m suggesting to adjust at this point in time. The next meeting would be to draft legislation, and then presented to Planning & Zoning for their first meeting in December.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “What I’ve heard so far, I’d like to recommend first in January, the Finance & Administration Committee plus any other member from this Board, to sit in an informal work session and talk about what you want and let come up with a plan so that we are all in agreement of how you want this done for the following year. I heard that maybe some things should be done differently. If the chairman could call that meeting for early in the year, there will be no excuses so that all can be on the same page and working in the same direction.”
Alderman McDermott: “Alderman Boerner and I had a brief discussion of the comparison numbers, and my question is, will the current program allow you to give you that comparison in a format, I guess this is a Glenda question, will the current program allow us to have that comparison, here’s what we budgeted in 2010, here’s what we spent in 2010, here’s 2011, and here’s why it’s more or less. Will the current program allow you to have that detail throughout the budget rather than just on the cover page on the initial overall budget?” Finance Officer Glenda Loehr said, “No. We don’t actually have a budget program. I’m fortunate to have a talented clerk that designed this from Access. Right now we are trying to squeeze as much as we can into this one page. Unless you want to get down to little boxes of text, there isn’t time to redo the budget at this point.”
Alderman Markland: “I’m pretty much commented out for the evening.”
Alderman Finley: “My thoughts are along the same line as Alderman Boerner. Looking ahead we should begin to flesh out various issues and make various priorities and articulate things through the Finance & Administration Committee. This is the way to go. We can keep in mind what everyone is presently adding to the discussion.”
Alderman Terbrock: “Earlier in the summer, I asked Glenda to break down the cost of operating. She came back to me and I realized it was a little bit broad of a question to ask. There’s variables. I’m satisfied with this because we’re staying in the same line as what we’ve been moving in. With that said, I have to say, considering that Chesterfield has laid off a bunch of people, Ellisville is having trouble with their budget, and having nine town hall meetings to figure out their budget, for us to be sitting in the position that we are to come across with this and continue to give premium services to our residents, I’m pretty happy with this. To have enough money backed up to say let’s throw another million dollars at streets this year, I think we’re sitting in a pretty good position. I’d love to see some changes happen where we can save here and there, but for the most part, we’re in pretty good shape. Check back into the drafts and look it over so that next time, so next time something doesn’t get by you.”
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn. The motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Tim Pogue, Mayor