FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
FEBRUARY 2, 2016
Committee Chair Mr. Evers opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Evers, Mr. Hoefle and Mr. Zuren. Present from Council were Mr. Meyers, Mr. Kasunick, Mr. Spotton and Council President Ms DePledge.
In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Finance Director Slocum, Law Director Klammer, CBO Menn, Service Director Rubertino, Police Chief Reik and Fire Chief Whittington. Ms. Schindel is also in attendance.
Also in attendance were members of the public.
2016 Budget Review
Reviewing the General Expenditures Budget
Mr. Evers: Last week we reviewed the revenue side of the budget and before we get started on this evenings meeting are there any questions about the revenue side of the budget? Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I did email Mr. Slocum and asked him if there were any other revenue’s that any other cities were receiving. He did reply that it was investment property.
Mr. Slocum: It was rental properties…investment properties. In general we haven’t discussed this with the new Council Members and when I received the questions as I did this time I try to reply to everybody. So that everybody understands it and hopefully that is okay and if not just let me know individually. I should probably say let Ms. Schindel know.
Mr. Zuren: I just wanted everyone to know that there was one revenue stream that you may want to consider and I am not sure what that all in details. I just wanted to mention it.
Mr. Evers: That would involve going into an Ordinance Committee. My suggestion is that you sit down with Mr. Hoefle.
Chief Reik has now joined the meeting.
Mr. Evers: The only other question that came up amongst the group is how much carry over did we have from 2015 to 2016? How soon is it going to be used up?
Mr. Slocum: We carried over $220,000.00 after encumbrances. That is our buffer and how soon we use it up is based on expenditures and that could be half a month and I could be gone. Traditionally I have never looked at it that way. It is a yearly thing and that number could go negative in a given month or so. This budget is…we have tried to build it with the idea that we will end the year with a positive balance. As long as our revenue streams actually meet projection and the thing that we can control with the expense side I think that management has done an excellent job here in the last couple of years.
Mr. Evers: I concur that they have. Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: If you go to page one it will show on the Unencumbered Fund Balance for 12-31-15 the General Funds are $220,337.31 and that is the number that I am reporting in my Gazette Article for March. If you look at the Expected Fund Balance 12-31-16 if this budget is passed we are looking at $284,193.20. For those who have been around know that those numbers can go up and they can go down it just depends on what happens. All of our Chief’s and Directors do a great job in staying within their budget and they are actually looking for ways to cut the budget.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: I just say that Mr. Zuren brought up a question about the fuel. How do we determine what we budget and what I have done over the years is what do I think is a realistic chance of actually occurring. Now when you are dealing with something like fuel it depends on where that oil market is. I could be grossly over…if at the end of the year we are paying $3.00 a gallon then we will probably meet the budget or be a little bit short. It is the best guess and that goes for any type of commodities that we are buying like natural gas. If we have a real light winter like we have pretty well have had here we are going to hopefully come in a little bit under there and the same thing with electricity. In this case the budget is $20,000.00 increase but I do think that there is a good chance of it being much lower than what it is. It may be the same as last year which means that we are over $20,000.00. I feel comfortable that if we are going to manage the City and keep it within $284,000.00 and keep that number positive than I need that amount budgeted. If I didn’t budget there than the money is freed up to spend some place else. At the end of the year when you have already spent the money then we really have issues. That is my thought process that goes into it and I am welcome to discuss any part of it.
Mr. Evers: What I would like to do for this meeting is to talk to the Directors and that way at our final meeting we will not have to have them here. Mr. Menn we will start with you on your budget for the year.
CBO Menn: It is okay with me.
Mr. Evers: It’s okay.
CBO Menn: Yes.
Mr. Evers: There are no cuts and no additions?
CBO Menn: Not right now….
Law Director Klammer has joined the meeting at this time.
CBO Menn: Last year we…a little more off of what we were slated for. As for all of the Directors we work as hard as we do not go over the budget and come under the budget. We will continue.
Mr. Evers: How do you feel as far as the new schools going in when are they supposed to start? As far as permits and stuff like that?
CBO Menn: The Mayor along with myself and a couple of the other Directors will be meeting with the schools in the near future here. I am guessing that they probably won’t break ground until next year. Some of you may have read an article in the paper that they are in the process of getting things together and everything so I don’t think that they will break ground until next year or later on this year.
Mr. Evers: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: We have a meeting scheduled on the 18th with Chief Whittington, CBO Menn and Mr. Gwydir to go over the where the schools are going to be at and to get some sort of projections.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: You asked CBO Menn if he would want any additions and I will tell you that if any one of the Directors had a chance to put more staff or restore some of the spending cuts…you know that is going to be there. They haven’t been given that opportunity in this budget to develop. We are budget so that we can keep the City in a positive cash position. There is room and every one of them in mind deserves more funding but we do not have it.
Mr. Evers: Chief Whittington?
Chief Whittington: With what Mr. Slocum has said and because we have new Council members is that everybody needs to know that none of the Directors meet with their staff and develop a budget to bring to Mr. Slocum and Mayor Morley to defend. We are at a point and we have been for the past seven years and that is that Mr. Slocum has to take pretty much what he has and then he meets with us. So when you see these budgets from the departments they don’t represent what I believe that the Fire Department should be doing what so ever. Not even close. The one thing that you will not have is the Directors coming in here and complaining about it. We do realize where we are at financially and again this has been around for a long time and it hasn’t gone away. My credit goes to Mr. Slocum because he takes that pot of money and develops what he can with the best that he can do. When we sit down we have the ability to adjust. I think that in fairness for everybody especially the new Council members this doesn’t reflect…and again I am not going to speak for the other Directors but I think that they probably feel the same way that I do. The Fire Department budget does not represent what I believe should be happening in the Fire Department. It is not even close and I just want to make sure that everybody knows that and that it is on record. I do appreciate what Mr. Slocum does and this is not a reflection of what Mr. Slocum or the Mayor. This is the state of the City and this is where we have been and it is a touch place to be. A lot of my colleges get to sit down and they look at the year coming up and if they need to get a fire truck or if they need to do this or that they can put it together and present it to the Administration. We don’t get to do that kind of stuff and it is pretty much a bare bones type of thing. Again I just want to make sure that everybody knows that as we go forward.
CBO Menn: When I said that we are comfortable with the budget I mean that this is what is given to us. As Chief Whittington has said we would like more too but we will do our best to work with what we have.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: Every Director gets the entire budget report every month and they see the spending that occurs. To everyone’s…positive I have never really been in the middle of any real in fighting that the Fire Department is spending for this and the Police are spending for that. I don’t think that anybody is seeing any real wasteful spending in any department. If somebody figures out a way that we could do something a little bit cheaper I think that everybody is encouraged to do that. Yeah they have their own budgets but they are also seeing everybody else’s and we are not having the infighting in this environment that could truly happen. I just wanted….
Mr. Evers: Are there any questions for CBO Menn? We will now go to our Service Director Mr. Rubertino.
Mr. Rubertino: I am good and I accept what the budget is. If there is something that I see is outstanding that I could do something with I would love to do it. Like Chief Whittington said we are working with what we have to work with. Do we need more absolutely we do but for the two years that I have been in this position I have been pretty good at keep it below where we have projected it. I continue to do that and it is a tough road sometimes and we have equipment issues that are substantial. They are way beyond any type of repair and these are machines that we absolutely need but in the same respect we get and we know where we are at and what we have. We do the best to work within the budget that we have. Mr. Slocum does do a great job at going over it and keeping it down and he gives me a goal as to where I can set it at and be realistic and keep it within the budget. Hopefully it will last that way but things happen and whether or not we can ride the tide out until the situation…I am not sure. At this point today I can work with what I have and yes I would love more.
Mr. Evers: Every Department and every Director does their utmost best with what they are allowed to have. Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: There is one point that I want to make sure that is understood by Council and that is we put this in operating the last couple of years. We haven’t had a major catastrophe in this City and if we do this budget will go negative. There is just no other way around it. If we have a tornado go through here or a fire the overtime and that…you will have spending there that is not envisioned in this budget. It is the minimum that you have to provide as a City. Please be aware that we are sitting here at the end of the year with our figures crossed that we don’t have any of these catastrophic events. If we do the budget will take the hit and we will look negative. In my mind negative on anybody in this room….it is what it is.
Mr. Evers: It is what it is. Are there any questions for Mr. Rubertino? Any there any questions from the new members of Council? Chief Reik could you touch on yours and I know that there are issues there that we are still working on.
Chief Reik: Mr. Slocum has put together a fund for vehicles which I am confident it will buy two vehicles. We haven’t decided if we are going to get two vehicles and outfit them because the equipment costs between $6,000.00. Or if we get another Dodge a lot of the stuff can just switch over and get rid of the Dodge by selling it. We had some seizure money since I have been Chief that we have accumulated in the last five years that has carried over. For those of you that don’t know the seizure money comes in and it carries over from year to year. It can only be used for Police training and equipment. We pretty much use the bad guy’s money against the bad guys. A lot of the pot was from that and then Mr. Slocum and I were able to reduce a couple accounts and keep some money in there to have that continuation. We are staying as proactive as we can. Back in 2006 or 2007 we had a real good seizure that pretty much redid the whole fleet. There are always possibilities like that and you never know how quickly or slowly it can go. Putting two new cars on will make a big difference and it will take the burden off of the older vehicles. We have two officers who still use the older Fords that have over 100,000 miles on them and they are being driven by one officer. They are not taken the beating like some of the other vehicles that are getting used twenty four hours. It is going to affect the cars too and probably it is much to the good or the bad and I am not a vehicle expert by any stretch. With the overtime Mr. Slocum was able to add a little bit just to provide a buffer. My first couple of years I was trying to chart and plan how the overtime is and how to manage it. It gets to the point where Chief Whittington and I have discussed that there are certain things that the Mayor supports us on along with the past Council members. We cannot walk away from a fire scene or a police scene because the whistle blows. For every pink slip where an officer does have any overtime I sign off on each and every one of them. If you guys ever want to look over them feel free but some of it might not make any sense at first. Every one of the pink slips is for a good reason such as for a vacancy that needs to be filled, or if we are going three or four guys tops on a shift, or for a contractual obligation. Every year we have come below what the City has budgeted. The unions have also been very agreeable. I have worked a lot of the day shift overtime during the weekends and instead I will take a Friday off and work Saturday or vies versa. For a Sergeant or a Lieutenant to work time and a half is a sizable chuck each day. I seem to get more stuff done on a Saturday or Sunday if they would actually….we would lose it 100 out of 100 times. A non union employee cannot work a union spot. To their benefit they don’t have a problem with that and were it benefits them to a degree is at one o’clock on a Wednesday they need to get out of there and I don’t have anything planned they can do that. It has worked out well for both of us but it definitely helped the City in the long run. If anyone ever says that Unions are killing it I would argue the opposite. I could probably go back over the course of the year but I am talking probably between twenty five to forty shifts over a year. Exponentially out you are talking about a good chuck of money. Probably a sixth or a seventh of that overtime is saved by doing that and I don’t see that changing from the guys that are in there. We have stayed within budget in all of the other things. The State has offered more free training because they are putting more of a requirement with all of the mandates that are out there. Therefore we try to take advantage of that as much as we can. For anything online it is usually the cost of the personal where the cost is more than the cost of the class. If you create a minimum situation and you do have an injury or someone out with an illness you try to balance that out as well as you can. Mr. Slocum has been good with any questions that I have had and I appreciate that. Chief Whittington is the Senior Director and he is the only one who has actually attended a budget hearing and the rest of the Directors have a budget statement. I do not know of anything different along with Mr. Rubertino CBO Menn. You get it and you work with it. For the people on the outside and with you guy’s starting if you have any questions please ask because it has to be apples to apples because that is what we are talking about. We have to look at what the City of Eastlake is providing compared to Wickliffe, Willowick, and Willoughby. Not what the Eastlake firemen and police offers make compared to this electrician or this machinist. We try to keep those things in mind. I am hoping that with the twelve hour shifts that the extra time off that the energy levels stay up for the time on. We are not a revenue producer and that is not our job but revenue is a byproduct of proactive police work. People wouldn’t stop speeding if they didn’t get a ticket and have to pay money for it. That stick is financial and we do reap some of the rewards of that and it is not always controlled by us in a number of different categories. We will continue doing what we can and I am open for any questions.
Mr. Evers: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: I just want to reiterate the overtime between both of the Chief’s and how well they manage it. The overtime isn’t there just to have overtime. The Chief’s building a new shed we want to have some overtime. Our overtime is here for accidents, or for any robberies that we may have, or for other things and that is the same thing with the Fire Department. If we have storms and all of that there is no….I am updated on the overtime all of the time. This is just the benefit for the new Council members. I need you to know that all of these guys are always mindful of the overtime. I have said this before when people say well look at the overtime. There are two ways to run things in the business world and that is in the private sector and here you either hire or take all of the legacy costs with healthcare and pensions or you work overtime. This City has chosen for the last ten or fifteen years that it is overtime instead of employees. You can’t just say hey its four o’clock we’re done I’m going home when we are in the middle of an accident investigation it doesn’t work that way and say that we will get back with you tomorrow when it is straight time. Like the Chief has said if anyone has any questions for anyone of them or me they let me know.
Mr. Evers: Chief Reik could you clarify a couple of things for the new Council members. First of all how many years have we by passed in getting new patrol cars? Second what are some of the issues that are over in the Police Department that need repaired and what is the estimated cost and how long have we been putting that off for?
Chief Reik: We have had issues with the garage and that was passed onto me from Mr. Ruth and it was probably discovered in 2009 I believe. We did have a bid and I believe that it was in 2011and I think that the bid was for $40,000.00 to $50,000.00. There is a slope in one of the garage bay doors. For anyone who has played the break the ice type of game you can imagine how it could affect the integrity of the rest of the building. Depending on how the budget goes I would plan on getting a new bid I would try to start…just like if you had a home budget that resets every year. I try to make a wish list and come September or October I look at where things are and maybe buy something that I didn’t plan on because there was some extra savings in communications or whatever. But they are all things that are needed. I told Mr. Slocum along with current the Mayor and the former Mayor if you allow me to do that I am going to spend what I need. I have heard stories and I am sure that other Director’s have that if you don’t spend $100,000.00 and you only spend $88,000.00 then you will only get $88,000.00 for the next year. This is management and human nature you are going to spend the $12,000.00 that you don’t need to spend. It has never been like that and I hope that it neverwill be. I like to save on the years that we save and buy a couple of things extra. Because with an older building there is always going to be something. The cycle of cars has been different throughout my whole career. As we reduced personal the reduction of the cars have gone with it which makes sense. I think that for now with these two new cars I think that it will help tremendously. We are working on a partnership with Willoughby and we gave them a ladder truck about six months ago and we are going to be getting a prisoner van that is a little bit older. We aren’t going to use it all of the time only when we have more than three prisoners and instead of making two trips we will only make one. Our mechanic has been over there and he is confident with the van and again it isn’t buying something brand new but it does serve a purpose. Anytime that you guys come up with something. I would rather spend the overtime on the guys who want to come in on their day off and work a drug investigation or when they are doing something proactive. I have never complained about that type of work and nor have I gotten any complaints but that is where the money is best for the whole community. To be spent by having the hard charges doing the extra work and that is where your complaints have been coming from. The guy selling marijuana next door and it is easy to see for the neighbors who live next door and who are in their house all day. It is a whole lot tougher when you are trying to set up surveillance and things like that. The partnerships with other communities I think have been the highest that they have ever been. I know that the Chief’s have talked about joining forces on everything and we are already in with SWAT, accident investigation and even some drug activity. We are going to continue to check every avenue and other cities are tightening their belts as well and it becomes more of a combined effort rather than big brother little brother thing. Again I will get a quote on the building and when I receive it I will get it over…get an updated one towards the end of summer beginning of fall. It will be something to look at because I would hate to pass that on to the next guy and eventually we are going to have that issue.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: Could everyone turn to page seven of this because I just want to cover one thing so that we have an understanding as to what the managers are doing. If you look on page seven I have a section there and it is 310 which is part of the police budget. That is done on a line item and my best guess is that at the beginning of the year is to…where we are going to spend. The fact of the matter is that the Department Manager’s manage this and they have the ability…as long as we have the overall appropriation on the big one. They will move money from one line item to another line item. We have never had an issue with that happening and it happens with the Fire Department, Police Department, Service Department, and some with the Building Department. It has worked well and when you look at something that says…and I am looking for how much…$4,000.00. At the end of the year and they are finding that we are only running at $2,500.00. I have never put any constraints on being able to move the money between the line item accounts. It’s about the only flexibility that they have and as Chief Reik has said…a lot of times when you get into budge meetings and the cities are talking I want to fit some of those excess dollars so that I can do this that or that. These guys are not doing that. I wish that I had the ability to say that I have this pot let’s see how we can divide it up so that we can expand their spending. It hasn’t been here. When you are approving a budget that is what you are really approving. It is the overall budget and with the individual line items there is still some flexibility. You get to monitor it from month to month and that is in all of the reports that we publish. There is some movement to it.
Mr. Evers: Are there any questions for Chief Reik? We will now move over to Fire Chief Whittington.
Chief Whittington: Obviously I always have something to say so I would appreciate it that I get going. This meeting will represent my eighth year as the Fire Chief. I think that this is probably more for the new Council members is that this budget is the most important thing that you guys do for this City. In my tenure I have cut over a million dollars out of my budget. There was also some stuff done before I became Chief. You are talking about some substantial cuts. I think that the way things have gone in this City and in the community is that when we started to financial problems the first thing that we did is we went after some employees along with employee benefits and contracts. We have done that and we have been very successful. I do not mean that in a positive way our employee’s are not getting raises. You are talking about almost a decade of not getting a raise and it also includes Directors. That can be quite troublesome especially when we are trying to keep employees in the City. When our neighbors are seeing changes in positive ways and we are not that can be difficult. Then as things have progressed we started looking at equipment and infastructer and that gets put on the back burner. I think that both of those things… fine and you can only do so much of that. We are getting to the point where we probably will need to look at things differently. For me the world changed two years ago and what I mean by that is the Mayor came in and took a different look and a different approach. To the Mayor’s credit he spends probably more of his time with economic development than he should. We see the benefits of it with business coming in to the community. As Council members you need to know that we are probably getting closer to a breaking point. I am not trying to be negative about it. I know that you have asked Chief Reik about some of his concerns…we have a replacement plan for the vehicles in the Fire Department. When I took over as the Chief we got a real aggressive with preventative maintance. The goal of the preventative maintance program is to extend the life of all of our vehicles. When I was part of the department and not the Chief we would replace squads every three to five years. Those are the vehicles that get beat up a lot because they are on the road about eight to ten times a day. When we went to the preventative maintance we tried to do a five to eight and as it sits now between the three squads I have a seven year old squad, a ten year old squad and an elevn year old squad. Most of the squad fleet has exceeded even the longevity that we have put forth. The newest squad that we bought has a 6.0 liter motor. As everybody knows that squad was a lemon when we bought. We have worked with the Law Director and we could not find a way to come out from underneath it. We had to regulate it as the reserve squad so that it doesn’t see much action. We have blow turbos out of it along with replacing the motor twice and it has ended up being an ineffeciant squad and that is why it is our reserve squad. It is one of the newer squads and it is seven years old and it is in that position. As far as pumps go we get twenty years out of them and I have the same pump that was bought in 1989 and we have had to refurbish it twice. We have just heard that work needs to be done to the air system and there are curosion issues in the chassey. There is also another vehicle that is in a bad situation and we have converted it into a rescue squad that had a fuel system and it has some suspention problems. I will have to put about $20,000.00 into it to get it back on the road and the vehicle is worth about $3,000.00. Finally we have the ladder that is in Willoughby and it has just failed the ladder test that was done back in October. The big problem with it at this point is if the water way leaks the seals can not be replace because they do not make them anymore. To get it to pass we would have to disassemble the entire ladder and they would have to make the seals for it and put it back together again. It is about a $129,000.00 job to get that done and the truck is worth about $36,000.00. Now I have four vehicles and the decision is whether or not we keep them in the fleet. Then what would I do about the equipment that they carry. As far staffing goes we have a phone system that was put in at around the 1980’s. We did have a lighting strike about three years ago and when they had to make repairs they had to go on ebay to find the parts. They no longer make parts for that phone system. The system is for both the Police Department and the Fire Department and they are seven digit numbers. There is $20,000.00 there.Our front pad that was put in 1958 is starting to undermine and it will cost $100,000.00 and our bay floors have big gaps and holes in them. It is a trip hazard and that will cost $100,000.00. The Fire Department generator was put in the 1980’s and that needs to be replaced and that will cost $30,000.00. The roof that is in the center of the building is leaking and we did have it repaired once before and it was not repaired correctly. The company that did the repair did not pull permits with the City and we had no way to go back on that. The place where the roof leaks is the room where all of the electronics are and that is also where the phone system is. The bay drains that were installed in 1958 are now leaking. We have some significant personel issues and we are going to loss three firemen in July of 2017 because they are here on grants. That puts us back to a minimum of five men per shift which is very unsafe to do. There is no succession plan that is going on next door which again in my organization is some what important. Now that the Fire Marshall is leaving I am going to be having a tough time being able to work with the new guy that is going to probably be his replacment. For me to not have someone to manage the office is killing me and it is a tough thing for me to do and I do not know how the Mayor does it. I am over seeing one operation and he is over seeing multiple operations. This is a negotiation year and eventually one of the unions is going to take us to the fact finding consileation. The arbitrator is going to fine us when they see that everyone else is getting a raise and we haven’t had one in at least a decade. One of these days the arbitrator is going to say that you need to give these guys a raise. That is something else for you guys to consider when you are going through things this year. I don’t think that what I presented to you is any different from what CBO Menn, Chief Reik or Mr. Rubertino has presented to you. Each of us could probably present the same thing. My goal is to show you that there are a lot of things that have been put on the back burner for many different reasons and now a lot of that is coming to light. The problem for us as a group is that all of our departments are going to come to light at the same time. We did not plan for any of this stuff and we did not plan to put the cruisers on along with having to buy a new ambulance on a regular basis. We didn’t plan to replace fire engines. When all of these things come together all at once as a big problem and instead of dealing with it as a small problem now we have a very large problem. Some of the things that I wanted to point out is what we have done and that is in 2005 we got a grant for about $130,000.00 to replace the initial SCBA’s and in 2009 we got a grant for $22,000.00 for rescue equpitment and in 2011 we got a grant for $54,000.00 for the cardiac monitors and 2015 we got a grant for $220,000.00 for the lift system and SCBA. In 2015 we got a personel grant for $640,000.00 and in 2014 we got a grant for $40,000.00 for power lift cots. Anually we get about $2,500.00 from the State for EMS and we have also been gracious in receiving grants from Wal-Mart at times. We are progressively looking for ways to help to incure some of these costs but we can’t count on them. I think that in fairness to each of you and you probably didn’t want me to point this entire thing out at one time. I think that in the future we are not going to be getting anymore money but as you can see there is a lot at steak here and it needs to be addressed. I am not sure how we are going to go about doing that. I think that when you see a carry over of $280,000.00 a lot of that money represents us returning our budgets. If we spent every dime that was given to us legally the carry over is almost nothing. The reason why we get a good carry over is because the Director’s are turning some of their budgets in. I guess for me with eight years of doing this I have done nothing but move backwards and it is quit frustrating as you could probably understand. At the end of the day the Mayor has very high expectations for me and my department and I want to meet those expectations and I don’t want to let him down. The people in this community deserve a high level of care. For me it is becoming a very troublesome thing to look at budgets and say that I don’t know how…that I have been given enough or do we have enough in these budgets to meet those goals. At the end of the day someone is going to have to decide on what are we going to do. That is where I am at with the Fire Department. When it comes to overtime the thing that I think is very interesting is that for along time I was judged in this City for overtime spending. I could have personally gone out and saved babies in burning houses but at the end of the day I was judged on overtime. That has changed a lot but I have also cut the budget by three quarters. My ovetime budget was initially cut in half then I cut it in half again. It is a lot harder for someone to look at me know and say something to me about it when I have cut it that far. In my budget the overtime represents three different distinct things and that is training my staff which is mandated by the state and federal laws that they have to have certain training done every year. It is filling shifts when there is overtime or absents do to sick time or injury and the third is when we have a significant incidents in the City. Those are the three things that generate overtime in my department. As you look at my numbers I keep very detailed records and it is because of the fact that I was being judged at one time. I have very distinct records and I can tell you who got overtime, where they were and what they did. I am willing to share all of that information and I am willing to talk to you about anything at this point. I don’t have a concern because I don’t know how much more I can cut it. We are pretty bare bone as far as the overtime goes. That is where I stand with the Fire Department and I am always open to discuss things. I want to be a part of the process to make the City better. I can only do so much. I can go out there and talk and I have always participated in Town Hall when we are trying to pass levies. The Police Chief and I were going to dinners and we have also held signs up to help people get engaged with us. I am willing to do what ever it takes for this community. Especially because of the new Council members here you have to realize that this is a critical mission. This year I have four vehicles that I have to decide if we are going to put good money after the bad money or are we going to take them out of service. If I take them out of service what do I do with them especially with the last truck and if I can’t staff if and if it can’t pass a test I don’t know what we would do with it. That is where I am at.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: I just want to point out that one of the accounting things that we did to help balance the budget over the last couple of years involves the Fire Levy Fund 410. The past the fire levy fund was used just for vehicle aquishion and what we have had to do in the past couple of years is to use it and it is still within the perameters set for the levy fund. Instead of putting it aside for heavy equipment we are using it for building repairs and things that used to be paid out of the General Fund here. With our General Fund being depleated we’ve had to look for something else so we could keep the system afloat. As the Chief has indicated that he has a lot of expenses and there are things here and I not saying that to you that this is the brightest budget that has ever been presented. The roof on this building and the roof on the Servie Garage and the Police Station are things that need to happen here. They talk about their phone system and the phone system here as well and I mean these are things that we really need to capital investments that we don’t have the money for. The City of Cleveland is talking about raising their taxes to two and a half and I think that we need to investigate that. I think that if it doesn’t happen…and I have been on record before with the previous Council that the resiprosity should be thoroughly investigated and in my mind it should be put into play. You are either going to run a city or your not. Right now we are able to keep the fisade that we are running the City but there are a lot of things underneath the surface that if it breaks the wrong way we are going to be totally broke. Everybody is going to be negative on the management here but I will tell you that the management here has keep it alive these last couple of years. Some how we need the additional funds in the City and if you guys do anything with me leaving blame it on me I don’t care.
Mr. Evers: It’s your fault.
Mr. Slocum: There is no doubt that we need to increase the revenues here.
Mr. Evers: For the benefit of the new people you have heard a lot of talk about the control of overtime. There are four people in this room and you want to talk about controlling overtime. I don’t care if I go down to the river at three o’clock in the afternoon then again at six o’clock and at eight o’clock or at midnight or at three in the morning these four people are always down there. And they are Chief Reik, Service Director Mr. Rubertino, Mayor Morley and Chief Whittington. I could go down there on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and these guys are still there that is how tight they try to control things. Does anyone have any questions for Chief Whittington?
Mr. Rubertino: I would like to thank him for pointing it all out. I think that across the board that is how all of our buildings are.
Mr. Evers: I agree.
Mr. Rubertino: It may not be quit as bad as where he is at or where the Police Department is but the Service Garage has its original roof.
Mr. Evers: We will go over the General Fund Budget at the next meeting. Mr. Klammer I would like you to speak if you would please.
Mr. Klammer: I am a lot like the Service Director but on a smaller scale. For the new people the Law Department it is just me as the Law Director and we have the City Prosecutor. For what ever it is worth when I came on twelve years ago there were four of us and it was probably more than what we needed. We have cut that back there along with cutting back on salaries. Really whenever there are cut backs it is usually a salary issue so we took the last one along with everyone else. Whatever Mr. Slocum tells me what the number is that is what it is. The things that come indirectly through my department are the complications that Mr. Slocum or what the Mayor has with the cost over at the Court House and Prosecution Cases. Some of that stuff is just the reality with the Mayor and the Chief and I were exchanging some emails about understanding the realities of court appointed Council and cases that we prosecuted. A lot of times we prosecute cases that may have a negative fine and they are entitled to a court appointed lawyer and the City has to pay for it because we do not have a contract for misdimeanors…then a court appointed council gets appointed at a reduced rate. Sometimes the City ends up getting billed in the access of the fine that they collect. The reality is that we are prosecuting crimes and just like the Chief has said that sometimes those are the expenses of prosecuting crimes with our tight budget. We see it more that a big city would. Other than that I am open for questions that anybody may have and what ever Mr. Slocum or Ms. Schindel tell me to do I will do it.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: If I could make a point two years ago when other departments made cuts in personnel both Mr. Klammer’s and the Assistant Law Director took actual pay cuts. That was there contribution and that is when I went down to thirty two hours. He is working at a reduced rate and you guys do need to know that.
Mr. Evers: Just so you guys also know is that Mr. Klammer took a pay cut for two years in a row now.
Mr. Klammer: I lost track.
Mr. Evers: He pays for his health care and he did not reduce his hours in this City.
Mr. Slocum: He pays 10% for his health care.
Mayor Morley: The last cut in pay was for health care.
Mr. Evers: He didn’t reduce his hours. So if you have a legal question involving the City you can call him. As far as the Council budget is there isn’t any real change there. In fact it has actually been reduced slightly.
Ms. DePledge: There have been some reductions because of the change in Mrs. Cendroski’s retirement and hiring a new employee at a lower rate. City Council did not take an increase this year either so our budget is a little bit less than last year but it is accurate.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: I contacted Finance Director Slocum today I was questioning if you could elaborate on that and it is on page thirteen and it also goes on to page fourteen under fund 201 in regards to the maintance on State Route 2. I was trying to get some clearification on it.
Mr. Slocum: State Route 2 is maintained by the County Engineer. They care of everything from plowing, salting, to cutting the grass in the summer, road patching and resurfacing. All we do is get a bill from them about four times a year and I look at it and pay it. We really have very little input as to that bill. We pay for it out of Fund 201 which is really coming from the gasoline tax, motor vehicle license and from the street construction and repair fund. The only reason that things can change from one year to the next is that I try and pay as much as I can out of Fund 201 towards this but there are times that you run out of cash. When the bill comes in and we are out of cash then I have too look for another fund to pay it out of and that is why we have it in both funds. It is just one of those bills that you just smile at it and pay. It is just like with the General Health District that we pay out of the General Fund and it is at about $160,000.00 this year. We get the bill and we pay it.
Mr. Evers: Mayor would you like to go over your budget at all?
Mr. Slocum: We saved a buck last year.
Mayor Morley: The only thing that I changed is with the public access channel because we weren’t doing too many things with that. I started working with North High some things and I am on their Advisory Committee. I am looking to get some of their kids over here along with some students from Lakeland to come over and look at our channel but there isn’t a lot of money that we spend there. Everything else stayed the same. For the newer member when I was elected I asked Council if you looked 1-10 5212 the insadental that is the $12,000.00 cut that I took. For the past few years they have left that in there and at the end of the year that is where we usually put it back. If you notice that last year out of the $12,000.00 there was $2,919.68 that we spent and that goes to what I have talked about for the Easter Egg Hunt and to Safety Town if we need money or any thing for the community regarding kid’s events. That is the only amount that we have taken is just for those events. At the end of the year if there is money that needs to be moved the Finance Diretor moves it. Those were the items that what my cut would be and again if that money ever needs to be moved we would move it. I think that the resident for the last couple of years have grown to like the Easter Egg Hunt and Safety Town have been giant hits. Form donations we still have another $3,500.00 left in that fund. Police Chief, dispatchers and the Victim Advocates have worked hard at Safety Town and the people have worked for free along with the kids who volunteer to do it. We already know about the Easter Egg Hunt and about Safety Town and for the evening with Santa and that is what we use the money for. We just dropped down some money in the public access channel.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: If you look on that incidental expense account for the Mayor where he spen $2,900.00 a full thousand of that he used for the RNC Seat Committee to track events here into Eastlake during the RNC. In two years he spent $4,500.00. In my mind there has been underspending in this account. There are things that he could do that he isn’t doing. I fully support him and I hope that you guys take the same position.
Mr. Evers: The Mayor has been very generous with us and he shares the cost between two other entities for the Easter Egg Hunt. He then goes and take money out of his pocket and buys special baskets for the kids. Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor just a question for you a couple of years ago we had that reverse raffle for Safety Town do you remember what we brought in from that off hand?
Mayor Morley: I think that it was $8,000.00 or $9,000.00. I do not know off the top of my head.
Mr. Rubertino: I think that it was around $7,000.00.
Mayor Morley: That may have been the Boulevard Fund Raiser.
Mr. Hoefle: I am just saying that is there a possibility if we were to have another reverse raffle because that was a hit. We had a lot of people.
Chief Reik: Unfortunatly with Safety Town all of our big expenses was in that first year in getting the shed and the fence and the asphalt redone. We did get an annumoe sum from one individual and I would help with the reverse raffle. On a smaller scale we could probably do something more of a 50/50 raffle or something that is not as…
Ms. DePledge: Labor intensive.
Chief Reik: You need a big commitment for the reverse raffle. You always have people in the door and that is always my concern.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: In 2014 we raised $16,675.00 for Safety Town and we put the funds for that into what I call the Donation Fund. Last year we raised $3,800.00 and started the year with $3,000.00 available remaining from those first two years. In the first year there was a lot of start up expenses that were invested into the equiptment and they don’t need the $16,000.00 level.
Chief Reik: Mr. Slocum what did we spend last year?
Mr. Slocum: Last for safety Town it was just under $4,000.00.
Mr. Evers: Are there any questions for the Mayor? That will take care of what we wanted to accomplish for tonight. In the next meeting we will go over the General Fund Revenue’s which we will not need the Director for and I do not want to waste their time and you guys will be excused. Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: Just like Mr. Zuren did if you have any questions please forward them on and I will get you some answers. My guess is if you have a question there is probably somebody else who has the same question and just doesn’t want to raise it. I will be more than happy to cover anything when we come to a meeting but if I get a heads up then I get a chance to take a look and say okay what is behind it.
Mr. Evers: We have nothing under Miscellaneous tonight. Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: We will send out Ms. Schindel’s email and she officially starts next Wednesday and obviously we welcome her.
Chief Reik: After this she might not.
Mayor Morley: Just so you are aware of it she will start next Wednesday. Mr. Slocum’s plans to leave aren’t until March.
Mr. Slocum: I am going to stay on however long Ms. Schindel would like me to stay.
Mr. Evers: Thank you Mr. Slocum for that.
Mr. Slocum: It is my opinion that the day the she walks in she is the Finance Director and I am the ex-Finance Director.
Mr. Evers: I would like thank all of the Department Heads for attending the meeting tonight and thank you for sharing your budgets along with your sharing thoughts with us. We have nothing under Miscellaneous and we will move on to Recognition of the Public.
Mr. Klammer had nothing to report.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mr. Slocum had nothing to report
There were no further questions or comments.
Mayor Morley had nothing to report.
There were no further questions or comments.
REGOGNITION OF PUBLIC:
There was no one else who wished to speak.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:59 p.m.