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09/30/2008MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL CITY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 - 7:00 P.M. COUNCIL CHAMBER, 990 PALM STREET SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA ROLL CALL: Council Members Present: Council Members Andrew Carter, Christine Mulholland, Allen Settle, Vice Mayor Paul Brown and Mayor Dave Romero City Staff Present: Ken Hampian, City Administrative Officer; Jonathan Lowell, City Attorney; Audrey Hooper, City Clerk; and Shelly Stanwyck, Assistant City Administrative Officer, were present at Roll Call. Other staff members presented reports or responded to questions as indicated in the minutes. BUSINESS ITEMS 1. SHORT -TERM ACTIONS TO REBALANCE 2008 -09 BUDGET. ' City Administrative Officer Hampian introduced this item, following which Finance and Information Technology Director Statler presented the staff report. He and CAO Hampian responded to questions. Public Comments Gary Fowler, San Luis Obispo, objected to prior actions Council has taken regarding City property in light of the current budgetary needs. He suggested that the City does not need a ladder truck and mutual aid resources should be used for other purposes. Joe Long, San Luis Obispo, expressed appreciation for the recommendation that the multi -use court project at Santa Rosa Park proceed. Brett Cross, Board of Directors of Residents for Quality Neighborhoods (RQN), discussed RQN's support of Measure Y and its priorities. He expressed concern about the recommendation to defer the position of a zoning enforcement officer and the community policing program. He said that neighborhood wellness should continue to be a top City goal. He also suggested that as Council attempts to attract work force housing to the City, there is a need to consider how to provide more on- campus housing. Tim Williams, San Luis Obispo, acknowledged the importance of public safety, but spoke ' in support of eliminating binding arbitration. City Council Meeting Page 2 Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Dave Garth, President and CEO of Chamber of Commerce, spoke in opposition to binding arbitration and explained why he believed that it is the most critical future issue the City will face. Adam Fukushima, SLO County Bicycle Coalition, referred to Measure Y priorities and expressed appreciation that staff is not proposing to eliminate improvements that encourage the increased use of bicycle transportation. Jan Howell Marx, San Luis Obispo, spoke in support of retaining Measure Y priorities, particularly related to neighborhood wellness and problems that may be associated with the presence of students in the community. She acknowledged the challenges of binding arbitration, but spoke in support of police and fire services. She expressed concern regarding the heritage tree in Mitchell Park, arid suggested that Council should defer the parking lot project there and use those funds for planning a new senior center. Kathi Main, owner of a retail business in the downtown, discussed the negative, compounded impacts that the budgets cuts resulting from binding arbitration will have on the City's image. John Ashbaugh, San Luis Obispo, suggested that it is not worthwhile to pursue a ballot measure to repeal binding arbitration, but said that the situation which resulted in it should ' not be repeated. He also suggested that an alcohol fee should be implemented and that the City should try to obtain more flexibility and look for new revenue sources. Marcia Nelson, San Luis Obispo, spoke in support of police and fire employees, but encouraged citizens to take a stand towards changing binding arbitration. Steve Barasch, SLO Property Owners Association, referenced the list of recommendations for city -wide cost reductions the Association has submitted, some of which have been included in the proposed reductions. He asked the Council to consider the Association's suggestions for long -term reductions in its budget planning. (The Association's letter is on file in the City Clerk's office.) Leslie Halls, San Luis Obispo, also referred to recommendations made by the SLO Property Owners Association. She suggested that a citizen task force should be established to examine the budget and recommend reductions, as well as to look at a structural reform of the City. ---end of public comments— Finance and Information Technology Director Statler and CAO Hampian responded to comments and questions. Council Member Settle spoke in support of the staff recommendation. 1 City Council Meeting Page 3 Tuesday, September 30, 2008 1 Vice Mayor Brown also spoke in support of the recommendation. He suggested that, although it would not result in a large savings, Council should consider, for symbolic purposes, waiving its salary increase that would otherwise become effective in January 2009. Council Member Carter concurred with Vice Mayor Brown's suggestion to waive an increase in Council's salary. He spoke in support of the staff recommendation, except that he would have preferred the graffiti coordinator position not be deferred. He expressed concern regarding the misunderstanding on the parts of speakers who faulted the City for negotiations which led to binding arbitration. He reviewed some of what was requested by the Police Officers Association that led to this situation. He explained why he thought binding arbitration needs to be reconsidered and said he supported the. proposal brought forward by John Dunn and Dodie Williams when binding arbitration was originally taken to the voters. Council Member Mulholland read, for the record, information contained in a letter to Council from former advisory body member Richard Kriet. Mr. Kriet asked that Council set a City policy that would limit public safety expenditures so as not to exceed 50% of the City's general fund over any two -year period. (Mr. Kriet's letter is on file in the City Clerk's office). Council .Member Mulholland discussed her opposition to proceeding with the Mitchell Park parking lot project. She pointed out that this project will affect few residents, ' while other cuts will be made across the board for services that will impact a large segment of the community. She concurred with Council Member Carter's comments regarding the negotiation process which led to binding arbitration. She also concurred with comments from the public who favored overturning binding arbitration. She expressed concern that programs such as street and tree maintenance, long -range planning, and green building energy implementations will decline as a result of binding arbitration. Mayor Romero expressed disappointment that the revenues generated by Measure Y funds will be impacted because of binding arbitration. He also expressed concern with the comments from the public related to the negotations with the Police Officers Association. He said that he believed the arbitrator's decision would create continued difficulities for the City and that there is a need for the public to come forward with a proposal to either overturn binding arbitration or to give the voters the final decision. He supported the staff recommendation. Following a brief discussion, Council concurred not to make modifications to staffs recommendation at this time, but to discuss individual concerns at the budget meeting for the next budget cycle. ACTION: Moved by Carter /Settle to approve the short term budget actions outlined recommended in the staff report in closing the budget gap for 2008 -09; motion carried S:O. City Council Meeting Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Page 4 ACTION: Moved by Brown /Carter to rescind the Council's prior action to increase its salary effective January 1, 2009; motion carried 5:0. There being no further business to come before the City Council, Mayor Romero adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m. Audrey Hoq4er City Clerk APPROVED BY COUNCIL: 11/18/08 1 C