APRIL 10, 2002
TO: HONORABLE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
FROM: DENNIS McLEAN, FINANCE DIRECTOR
DATE: APRIL 10, 2002
SUBJECT: PROPOSED CONTENT AND FORMAT OF MEETINGS AND STAFF SUPPORT
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:
During it’s meeting on January 31, 2002, the City Council set forth the following action:
"…various commissions and committees [of the City] be encouraged to bring issues forth that they believe should be addressed by them and then on to City Council for consideration."
To provide additional background, staff has provided the applicable excerpt of the minutes of the January 31st City Council meeting below:
Proposal to Expand Advisory Board Duties
Mayor pro tem Stern commented on his suggestion to expand the ability of the City’s commissions and committees by allowing them to propose work programs and projects to the City Council; and explained that this be done as a philosophical policy approach, not a structured procedure – citing the tremendous talent of those serving on the City’s boards. He expressed his preference that these individuals be encouraged to be as creative and proactive as they can in providing suggestions on how the City might improve its current methods of operation; and encouraged not only board members, but also staff members and residents to come forward with creative suggestions on areas that will benefit and improve the City.
Mayor McTaggart expressed his belief that board members routinely provide suggestions on various issues; noted his concern that soliciting and encouraging all members to come up with suggestions may create some budget implications that city management will have to deal with; and stressed the importance of subcommittees, which historically meet to confer on specific issues, not involve a lot of staff time. Mayor McTaggart commended Mayor pro tem Stern for bringing this issue up, but reiterated his belief that individuals freely provide suggestions which they believe can benefit the City.
Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that there are some individuals who feel inhibited in providing suggestions for City Council consideration; and that he is not looking at expending a lot of staff time, but that he is setting a tone and philosophy for bringing forth this creativity which may benefit the City.
Mayor McTaggart mentioned that at the monthly Mayor’s breakfast meeting, the chairs of various boards will be present; stated that they traditionally have not been shy about passing on plenty of information and/or suggestions; he expressed his belief that it would be beneficial for the other councilmembers to hear the input from these committees; and, that these breakfast meetings would provide an opportunity for every councilmember to hear this input a couple times a year.
Councilman Clark, echoed by Councilman Gardiner, noted his support for Mayor pro tem Stern’s suggestion, stating that it would be a tangible signal to the volunteers that City Council is interested in partnering with them and interested in establishing collaboration in this creative endeavor.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganada Drive, stated that in his experience working with a large corporation, some individuals do feel constrained in coming forward with ideas; and expressed his support that the City take advantage of the talent of staff and volunteers in this City.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, that the various commissions and committees be encouraged to bring issues forth that they believe should be addressed by them and then on to City Council for consideration. No objection was noted.
Email Received from Chair Wolowicz, April 3, 2002
Staff received an email from Chair Wolowicz on April 3, 2002 with the following outline of the PROPOSED CONTENT AND FORMAT OF MEETINGS for discussion at the next meeting of the Finance Advisory Committee (the "FAC"):
PROPOSED CONTENT AND FORMAT OF MEETINGS
PRESENTED APRIL 10, 2002
Emphasis will be on collaborative effort with participation by all members in discussions. This is combined with the intent to not add to the burden of the City staff, but to provide practical assistance.
A draft of the POTENTIAL CALENDAR AND AGENDA OF STANDARD MEETINGS 2002 – 2003 of the FAC is attached to this report. Staff and Chair Wolowicz have discussed the outline and encourage an open discussion among the FAC members and staff. Additionally, staff believes the support of financial advisors and contract professional staff will be required during the development and implementation of the pending financing plan, as well as other future projects assigned by the City Council.
Keeping with the City Council intent and direction, staff recommends that the FAC and staff prepare a list of FAC meeting discussion topics for the next twelve months, including a timeline, during its discussion of the agenda topic. Upon completion, staff will accompany the list and timeline with a staff report, including an estimate of the cost of financial advisors and contract professional staff, for presentation at a future meeting of the City Council, perhaps the Budget Workshop on April 30, 2002.