Longmont City Council – Regular Session – May 17, 2022
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from a video recording. Although the transcription, which was done with software, is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or [software] transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the meeting, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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Unknown Speaker 0:02
I would like to call the May 17 2020 to Longmont City Council study session to order. As a reminder, this meeting can be watched at www Longmont. colorado.gov That’s our live stream. You can also watch it on the city’s YouTube channel, www Longmont public media.org or Comcast channels eight or eight ad. Can we have a roll call please. Mayor Peck, present
Unknown Speaker 0:33
councilmember Daga fairing Here. Councilmember Martin. Here. Mayor Pro Tem Rodriguez.
Unknown Speaker 0:38
Unknown Speaker 0:40
Councilmember Yarborough Marietta quorum.
Unknown Speaker 0:42
Thank you, let’s stand for the pledge.
Unknown Speaker 0:49
pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Unknown Speaker 1:05
Before we get started, I would like to give a shout out to Becky Doyle who is our integration director and assistant city manager for Sandy cedar for the What Works cities certification, we got a silver award for that. And what works cities is what we do in assistant programs for rebates and the cares program that we have in the city for our vulnerable population. That’s hard to say congratulations, Becky. Yay. Anyone wishing to speak at public invited to be heard will need to add his or her name to the list outside this council chambers. Only those on the list will be invited to speak. Do we have any motions to direct the city manager to add agenda items for future agendas? Councillor Martin,
Unknown Speaker 2:07
you’ll say a point of clarification. There are some budget priorities that I want to be sure are discussed. And I’m not sure if now is the right time or in the discussion on the agenda. Why don’t we wait
Unknown Speaker 2:21
until we get to the budget when Jim golden comes up and then we can discuss it then.
Unknown Speaker 2:27
Okay, thank you. You’re welcome. Let’s see what else do we have here? We are now at public invited to be heard. Do we have anybody that signed up?
Unknown Speaker 2:40
We do. So I would like to call Warren Wang Wong, Warren long. Warren, please remember to state your name and address.
Unknown Speaker 2:56
Okay. Warren 119 10 ranek. Okay. So you’re going to hear this again later this evening. But I would like to emphasize and stress some of the key findings and it’s important to note from this library feasibility study coming up. First, the pile city funding isn’t getting any bigger while the library slice is getting smaller. While it seems that LeMans general fund has been increasing from 2010 to 2020. The reality is that when adjusted for inflation and population, the growth rate is only 0.2% annually. In addition, by the same metric, the number of city employees has grown by only half of 1% annually. So city spending and growth has been relatively stagnant for the past decade. Now compared to the library itself, funding and staffing has actually gone down. In that same time period, the number of employees and the per capita budget went down 2% annually. That means over the decade, the budget has declined by nearly 20%. And because the budgeting set by the city council, you have not demonstrated at that funding of the library as a priority. The library has been forced to maintain their current level service with fewer and fewer resources while the cost of the service has increased. Second, this is a highly used and valued service in our community, but we are near the bottom and falling behind compared to other surrounding libraries. We have the largest library system in the state with only one physical one physical location. Most systems in our situation would have branches by now. And despite only having one facility the library has a highest rate of visits per hour in the state. In Colorado, there are 112 library systems. Our Library’s per capita spending is at the bottom at 90th. And yet Longmont is the 13th largest city in Colorado. We also have the 16th largest library collection. But once again, if we take into the account of population, the ranking drops down to 93rd Third, llamas population is growing and assessing the needs of the library. Current Population is around 100,000 and city forecasts fulfilled at 100 30,000 Well, this current library was built around three decades ago, and asystole accommodate a population of 68,000 based on 1993 usages, meaning no internet, tech or computer factored into the planning and programming of the current building. The facilities conditions analysis found that most of the library’s current amenities are considered inadequate or poor, with no amenities identified as good and few considered inadequate. Few considered adequate future architectural and structural repairs have been identified but have not been funded. So this status quo is unsustainable. The library has been an important part of llama civic life for over 100 years. But if it has to survive into the future city council needs to provide better support for the Library. Thank you for your time.
Unknown Speaker 5:45
Thank you, Warren. Maria curette Karagiannis
Unknown Speaker 5:57
Thank you. 5373. Retreat. Circle. Fado. 503.
Unknown Speaker 6:05
How do you pronounce your last name?
Unknown Speaker 6:07
Cara Janice? Oh, okay. Yeah. And I refuse to change my name to O’Neal when I got married was, which was a stupid thing in Boston. Sorry. Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak with us. I think Warren has summed it up rather well. I feel very strongly. And I’m sure some of you do to where the tipping point. The library was built 1990 Something three decades ago when our population in this lovely city was in the 60 to 63,000. We’re at 100. And the library use is tremendous. Especially and even during COVID. So many people use the library. The library is a place of civic connection. It’s what is the best thing to me a great thing about America that we have had public libraries. Now we need police protection, we need fire protection. I know that you all have priorities that must come perhaps first. And unfortunately, the library has increased in population in service, but diminished in budget. And I think Warren and you have more facts than you need to know. And that feasibility study that proves that. Warren said were out of 112 libraries, you know where we’re low 90th, I believe a majority, I know that a library district could be controversial, for obvious reasons, nobody, or people don’t like their taxes raised. But the use of the library from the youngest among us to the oldest among us, the wealthy and the poor, the English speakers and the non English speakers, it’s the center of civic life. And it’s so well used here in Longmont. It’s a wonderful library. But again, we’re at a tipping point, the staff has been fantastic. And they’ve managed to just continue with so many services, despite the increasing population, decreasing budget, but we’re at the tipping point. And if we don’t do something now, in 1020 30 years, we’re gonna have a real problem. I think Warren mentioned were of a city of our size. Most cities have branches of some sort. There are people unlike us who don’t have cars who find it hard to get to the one central library, there’s all sorts of issues to consider. But I do think that we can agree that the library is the center of our civic life, and we’d like to work with you with the council so that we’re not, you know, fighting each other. But we’re on the same page about how to make this library continue to be great into the future for our children, our grandchildren, our grandparents for all of us. So thank you very much for a library.
Unknown Speaker 9:22
Thank you, Maria, Prudence Carter.
Unknown Speaker 9:29
I was worried because I’m always worried about my name. My name is prudence Carter. I live at 641 Kenmore court, Lamont 80501 The first thing I want to talk about is the existing management. Got it? Okay, the existing management structure in which the library sits. The concern is is that it sits with the police the fire and public safety now With that the library would have a very difficult time advocating for what they need in funding. And the community would, of course, support police fire and safety. And as a community member, I support that first before the library. And it’s difficult for the library to ask for funding. And even if the structure changes to a cultural district, where you have the museum, the Rec Center and the library, you are still competing for dollars. And as a swimmer, I can tell you, you need a new swimming pool. And this sort of 1980s model of competition for funding just doesn’t work in the 21st century. The community loves the library, the staff has stretched beyond the limits, pivoting from curbside pickup, to in person to closing of the second floor due to structural issues in an old building. And now non functioning elevators, which is also an accessibility issue for young old pounds with children. On this is an IDA violation. Let’s face it, on the library staff does not have adequate workspace, opening up the city to staff leaving for a better environment to work in. And as we know this competition, and opportunities to work in a well funded library. I’m also president of the Friends of the Longmont library, and I have been president for two years. And in that role, I have seen and heard what the library lacks lack of funding for any programs, lack of the ability to contract with performers with outdated and offensive contract language, lack of a welcoming space for creativity, performance and staff. As the feasibility studies shows, Longmont spends less per capita, and rangsa says 90 out of 120 112 libraries in funding. This is not where the community would like to be. And I rest assure, I am sure that the city council does not want us to be 90 ad 112 Thank you very much.
Unknown Speaker 12:29
Thank you, Prudence. Janet Beardsley.
Unknown Speaker 12:41
Hi, my name is Janet Beardsley and I live at 2136 long speak Avenue, in Longmont. I have concerns about library resources, and management structure. Libraries are a proven source of pride and a community and a focal point for community activity. Libraries can mean different things to different community members, but overall, citizens respect their library until funding for a library begins a downward spiral and therefore the community cannot get what it needs from a library. Facilities begin to fray resources are denied. Personnel downsized open hours cut, websites are not upgraded. Bureaucratic rulemaking delays technical upgrades, the library becomes stymied and diminished. Our Longmont library needs a dedicated growing source of funding, so it can be transformed into a 21st century library that we can all be proud of, and that will serve the needs of our growing and diverse community members. Today, as Maria said before our library is at a tipping point. Over time, city resources have declined and said city budget priorities have shifted. Let’s not allow our libraries reputation to spiral further downward because of Minish municipal budget cuts and restrictions. Let’s embrace a fresh approach that creates a new library funding model for Longmont. Let’s establish an independent funding structure for our library. Let’s tailor library service systems to meet the needs of library patrons. I want to work with the Longmont city council to find ways to expand our library. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Unknown Speaker 14:44
Thank you Janet. Julie Hauser.
Unknown Speaker 14:57
Good evening. My name is Julie Hauser. I live at 535 Pratt Street, Longmont 80501. There have been some concerns about the library district being much like a metro district the last few years and I’d like to address those tonight. library districts in Metro districts are very, very different in significant ways. A library district is a single purpose district. It is. It’s a specific purpose. government entity, a metro district is a multi purpose entity entity. There’s so there’s so different they even have completely different statutes overseeing them, title 24 for the library district and title 32 for Metro districts. In addition, a library district can only run a library system. It it is in no way a tool for developers or development. The governance of a library district district is completely different than the Metro district. It is run by a board of trustees that is appointed by the establishing entity. So for instance, if the Longmont City Council establishes a library district, that same Council who appoint is who appoints the trustees, the only focus of the trustees is lifelong learning, reading and free and equal access to information provided by libraries. The opportunity for any kind of abuse is pretty much non existent. Metro districts are elected by property owners voters and in new communities, the only property owner is the developer. So there is more than so it is more they are more prone to creating issues that benefit the Delta developer versus benefiting the overall community. Financing of the library district and Metro District Six completely different also, the only way a library district can obtain or increase is its mill levy, which is what is used to fund the library district is by a vote of all voters in its geographic area. Metro districts can extract fees rates, tolls, and charges with little accountability. It is this is not possible with the library district. Metro districts also can create debt to build an infrastructure. The developers then often pass the debt on to homeowners who have to pay back the debt, which is why some Metro districts have gotten a bad name. With library districts developers are not involved at all, and the district may never incur any debt. Often library district has existing facilities transferred to it. There is there are few facilities built. Most library districts now. Do sale leaseback agreements the library district sells an asset to another entity then leases the asset and uses the sale proceeds to finance s acquisitions and new construction going forward. Operations are paid for with existing cash flow from mill levies that are approved by the entire community. Our lawyers have created a short document laying out the difference between the library district and a metro district and we have copies here for you. Thank you for your time.
Unknown Speaker 18:11
Thank you Julie. Mark Springfield.
Unknown Speaker 18:23
Hello, Mayor and Council. My name is Mark Springfield I live at 2009 Calico court. In the interest of speed and time I’m going to read this I apologize for that. I am here to speak about the library and the fruit and its future. Many speakers have addressed the numerous shortfalls occurring under the present municipal model, just as important as consideration of future demands and possibilities. While it is vital to engage the public about your thoughts regarding unfulfilled desires. Although important. Often that type of input tends to be relatively short term and focus, more parking, expanded hours additional programs, services and outreach, even branch libraries. Those do not adequately represent the complexities that a future library will face. Things like robotic systems to store, manage and retrieve materials on site social support services, drone deliveries to reach the homebound digital privacy in a world of big data and blockchain technology. Virtual Reality revolutionising information transfer in the learning experience augmented reality apps to create virtual maps of library facilities, collection locations and similar reading options. A new larger main library that in blurt braces concepts like podcast and recording studios, game development or digital learning labs, a theatre maker space, green construction with ample natural light and space. distinct zones was Different uses reading porches and roof terraces shaded by solar panels, high tech conference rooms, driverless service vehicles, state of the art collection management possibilities are staggering. Nonetheless, some of these are already popping popping up in libraries across the world. Given the spectrum of challenges occurring, both now and in the decades to come. What is the best organizational model suited to take these on the present municipal model? We would say no, it’s clearly the district model that gives our library its best chance. Therefore, as a representative from a group of concerned citizens in favor of district libraries, we ask council to quickly move forward with a resolution to create a District Library for long long, facilitating answers to questions surrounding funding needs and the placement of Tabor required language on a future ballot. underscore the debt amongst all the challenges facing city staff. This one carries with it a sense of urgency. Passing the resolution is only the beginning. A multitude of other issues associated with district formation will require attention. We want to thank Nancy curve for a wonderful services a library director, we regret she’s moving on but wish her well. Her replacement should be forward focused as well as experienced in District management. Our group the Longmont district, test for stands ready to help. Thank you for your attention.
Unknown Speaker 21:31
Thank you Mark. Cynthia Keller.
Unknown Speaker 21:44
Hi, thank you, Cynthia Keller 840 K Street. I’m also here to talk about the library, but as the representative of the library advisory board, and as such, we have some recommendations regarding the feasibility study and its implications. First, the library advisory board supports the factual findings in the feasibility study, and believes them to be substantially correct. The present funding and operational model for the library has demonstrated that it is inadequate. The board recommends that the city change its approach to funding an operating or library and that it commits to funding the library at the preferred level of service as outlined in the feasibility study. future funding schemes must protect the library’s prioritized spending status and operational flexibility in any multi institutional organizational arrangement. The major consideration recruiting a new library director should be to find a candidate who is forward thinking and open to multiple models of library governance and who is willing to lead during a period of potential organizational change. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 22:56
Thank you, Cynthia Gordon pager?
Unknown Speaker 23:12
Council members, Gordon Piedro 20 639 Falcon, Dr. Long Mark, I want to comment on the library feasibility study. Overall, there is a lot of good information in this study. However, I’m concerned about the library district bias on pages 46 to 59. This place does not surprise me. Since I’m aware that various members of the library Advisory Board had been advocating for such a district since 2019. Please don’t take my word for that. Have the library director send you the copies of the advisory board minutes from January through May 2019. And read them. While mod does not need a library district to have a dedicated revenue source for the library. If you see a dedicated revenue stream is required to meet some building materials and programs in the library of the future. You currently have all the power needed to dedicate future sales tax revenue from the new cost code center. Or you can ask the voters for a dedicated new tax or you can dedicate current revenues to the library. You have all the power you need. You are elected council have the power you need to adequately fund the library. You are elected see the big picture and make difficult decisions about priorities for the community. I do not believe it is in the best interest of our community to have another level of government taxing the same residence. On page seven of the report this disturbing sentence. Many Colorado cities with municipal led libraries are considering opportunities to divest those libraries to in my reduce their expenditures for maintaining their current revenue. News. In my opinion, that would be a classic bait and switch, elaborate district with a property tax is the revenue source would hit the residents least able to afford more taxes the hardest? Are these the same residents who are seeking ways to have affordable housing so that they can remain in our community. Finally, I believe the risk feasibility study is not that adequate community involvement for over two years COVID-19 has disrupted our normal flow of life. The list of stakeholders on page 51 interviewed by the consultants does not indicate very many normal ordinary citizens. I hope you take time to consider this report carefully before directing staff to explore library history. Although a recent newspaper headline Red City school district to discuss library district plans, doesn’t give me much confidence it may be the decision has already been made. But I think that whatever we do to go forward, we want all of us want a first class library. You have the power to make that happen. And you have the power to have the dedicated resources to see that it does happen. You need the citizens to help you. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 26:13
Thank you, Gordon. Is there anyone else in the audience that would like to speak? Seeing none, we are going to move on to the next agenda item, which are special reports and presentations. We have a proclamation to read it is I’ll read it and then anybody who would like to come up and accept this proclamation. Please do. This is a proclamation designating the Longmont I’m sorry, this is a proclamation designating the month of May 2022. As archaeological and historic preservation month in Longmont, Colorado, whereas historic preservation is an effective tool for revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride, encouraging economic growth and maintaining community character while enhancing livability. And whereas archaeology and historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, all walks of life, and all ethnic backgrounds. And whereas it is important to celebrate the role of history and archaea, archaeology in our lives, and the contributions made by dedicated individuals and helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as people. And whereas the Historic Preservation Commission supports archaeology and historic preservation month in Longmont for May 2022. Now therefore, I Joan Peck Mayor by virtue of the authority vested in me and the City Council of the City of Longmont, do hereby proclaim May 2022 as RK archeologic, I’m sorry, our ecology and historic preservation month in Longmont and call upon the residents of our community to join their fellow citizens across the United States in recognizing and participating in this special observance. Is there anybody up here who would like to accept this? Shall we take a picture with? Oh, you’re gonna have
Unknown Speaker 28:13
a mayor and Pekka just wanted to introduce a couple of your historic preservation members. We have Chairman Stephen lane, and Commissioner Suzanne Sibley, who I’ve just met in person for the first time. But these are the folks that really do the hard work of implementing the goals of the community for historic preservation. So
Unknown Speaker 28:36
thank you for your work. This is it’s really a it is a cornerstone of our city to his to remember in preserve the history of it. So would you like to say something or
Unknown Speaker 28:52
I would just be very brief. As the chairman of the commission, I can tell you that you have a very experienced and dedicated group of commissioners, and they’re very excited about what they do. And as Longmont grows and changes, we welcome being part of that conversation so that we can remain advocates for the historic fabric that is really important to make sure that we’re all continuing to respect and be aware of so thank you for making this proclamation.
Unknown Speaker 29:23
You’re welcome. Would you like a picture with us with the acceptance? That’d be great. I know I’ll
Unknown Speaker 30:02
give you all the move in just a little bit. Lovely,
Unknown Speaker 30:07
one thanks. Well, we’ve come to the part of the agenda. You’ve all been waiting for the library feasibility study. So I’d like to invite Nancy Kerr up
Unknown Speaker 30:52
Good evening, Mayor pack and city council members. I’d like to introduce our consultant at Seeker Wood, who will take you through the library feasibility study at last. Thank you so much.
Unknown Speaker 31:06
Thank you so, so much, Nancy. And thank you, Mayor Pac and Council for the opportunity to present tonight, I’m going to go ahead and just get the presentation loaded.
Unknown Speaker 31:27
Great, thank you so much. Just quickly to introduce myself, my name is Annie Seeger, I’m a public policy and finance professional. The mission of my organization is transforming organizations and systems for the public good. And I spend a lot of my time helping cities and other local governments figure out how to deliver the services that their residents need and desire at a price that they can afford and are willing to pay. So I think that’s actually a pretty good encapsulation about what the study has been about here in Longmont. This is actually from the request for proposals for the feasibility study. It says it said in the proposal that the ultimate goal of this study is to determine the level of funding required to meet the identified needs of the community now and in the future. Obviously, there’s been a lot of other components of the study, including consideration of governance models and funding strategies for doing that, that we’ll get into as well. But I think ultimately, as we’ve worked through this study, a lot of what we learned is that this is about a community that is interested in a higher level of service for its library. The scope of work of the study was to develop a situation assessment. That’s the document that a lot of your constituents have talked about through their public comment this night tonight. That included background and context, really understanding the position that the city and the library are in, both from a policy perspective, but also the fiscal context for all communities in Colorado, there’s landscape analysis to understand, you know, the landscape that the library is operating in from a competitive perspective and also with neighbor and peer libraries, and needs assessment, which was largely built off a previous study done by Kimberly Bolin and Associates. That study did include community engagement of over 1500 residents through an online survey. So well, our my personal public engagement was just informant interviews, there has been a fairly significant outreach made, not to say that there won’t be a need to do more as the city pursues, you know, its final policy decisions, but just want to make sure that that it’s known that that community engagement was done. We also did a baseline operational assessment to really understand the library’s current operations and staffing models. And of course, to collect the data we needed to inform our financial model. The stakeholder interviews that I mentioned, I think there was like 10, or 14 or so. And then benchmarking and the benchmarking was really two things. One is to understand how one one public library falls compared to a set of libraries that could be considered peers from the standpoint of the population served and, you know, sort of revenue and other components. But also to see where Longmont Public Library falls in terms of the 113 libraries in Colorado library systems in Colorado. We also established desired level of service standards to really understand what is it that the library needs to be doing. And at this point, we’re identifying, modeling and evaluating the service costs across different governance and funding options, which we’ll talk a lot more about. Ultimately, the final report will develop recommendations, and we will, you know, have recommendations available for council. It’s not up to me as a consultant to tell the city what they should do. But this is an opportunity to provide you with options to really inform what you do from a policy perspective. Tonight, we’ll talk a little bit about the feasibility study and the situation assessment key findings. We’ll also review the level of service standards that were developed by the library staff and library board as well as a steering committee that included other members of government or staff members from the government. And we’ll look at those operating models as well as the author rating costs and funding and financing tools for fulfilling those needs. I do want to talk a little bit about the situation assessment analysis. To date. I mentioned all of the components so far, but I also wanted to at least provide some notes here on who you are benchmarked again. So the peer libraries you’ll see on the right hand and the yellow Pueblo City County Library District, Mesa County Public Library District Westminster Public Library, Boulder Public Library Loveland Public Library in Broomfield Eisenhower Public Library, that group of libraries was specifically identified as your closest peers, both in terms of the population served, and the features of their systems, you’ll see there’s a mix of library districts and municipal or city governed libraries. So we had, you know, objectivity or at least consistent analysis across both types of models. And the other thing that you’ll see is that population does straddle where Longmont set so we looked at some libraries that were both a little bit smaller than Longmont Public Library in terms of service area, and some libraries that were a little bit larger. There aren’t, you know, a ton of peers that a perfectly a close to how many your your population, there just aren’t that many cities or other library districts in Colorado that serve 100,000 people. So we did have to look to some libraries that were slightly larger and closer to 150,000 range.
Unknown Speaker 36:29
So I am going to get into the situation assessment key findings. So, you know, the first thing is that Longmont is the 13th largest city in Colorado. You know, I’m sure you know, much of these things I want to say I know some of these facts are things that you do know, I think it’s important to set the context for the public, though. And to understand, you know, anytime we look at things like benchmarking or financial analysis, we have to normalize that for the population served and other features of your specific policy context. You know, one question I get a lot is when we do benchmarking analysis is Why are you just looking at libraries in my state. And the reason for that is that there are things that govern what your library can look like in your state that are very different than other libraries, and also things that govern things like your land base, that make the way you serve your population different, you know, I would never want to compare a growth management, a community and a growth management state to a community in a non Growth Management state, because the way your communities end up looking is just so different from that. So there’s really specific reasons for for laying out kind of the geographic and service context here. But like I said, you know, you have about 100,000 people between the two counties that you follow up within bouldering. Well, there’s eight public library service providers. Those do not include state school and academic library service providers, and your Longmont residents can use their library card to patronize many of those other library systems. So both because of the Flatiron Library Consortium and the nature of how library cards are available in Colorado, your patrons can use other library systems like Boulder, high plains and a number of others. Again, you as you know, you’re a municipal library, you serve the city of Longmont as a service area. Those boundaries do not include specifically or statutorily the Longmont planning area, St. Vrain Valley planning area or the coordinated planning area. However, whenever I’m planning for municipal services, I think it’s important to consider any potential planning area in future thinking or forward looking analysis. So we have looked at that as potential areas of growth as this plan is, or as feasibility is considered. library users are also broader than Longmont residents. So a challenge in this work is that if we look at demographic analysis, we can use the city’s boundaries as a proxy, those are your constituents and your taxpayers, but the people who use your library may be much, you know, different makeup or much more diverse than that, and also a much broader group because you have people outside of Longmont that are using your library. We know for example, that many residents and nyuad use the Longmont Public Library. For the purposes of our demographic analysis, again, Longmont residents are the proxy for library users. So this just shows sort of the makeup of your population by age. So the histogram just sort of shows the groupings by age. You know, we expect full build out of the city of Longmont to be about 130,000 residents, we would never want to plan for future services for your community today. We want to plan for the community that is going to actually use those services. So it’s important to think about that 130,000 number and what growth will be achieved between now and the 10 year horizon of the plan. There’s between 10,016 1000 children using the library. For the purposes of Library Services children are defined as less than 13 years old, and teens are defined to 16 and under so the reason it’s kind of between that is it’s hard to say you know, what is that 14 year old using children services are teen services. And so it’s sort of between these numbers depending on who’s using what services, and then we expect an increasing number of older adults as the age wave hits. And that’s a national trend. as baby boomers are retiring, we expect an age wave that will increase the need for services for older adults and Longmont is not immune to that 65.6% of Walmart’s population is non Hispanic white. The most common other races and ethnicities are those that report being Hispanic and some other race alone. Hispanic are two or more races and Hispanic and white. 21% of Mormons population over the age of five speaks a language other than English at home. The majority of these people speak Spanish as their other language. 2% of one’s households are reported to be limited English speaking households with 413 households reported as speaking Spanish 126 Speaking Asian and Pacific Island languages, and 237 speaking other languages, approximately six and a half percent of Long Island’s population or about 6000 people are not US citizens. The reason we specifically looked at some of these demographic characteristics is it tells us a little bit about what services the library needs to provide in the future, or what services may be needed by residents. Of course, we get that feedback from lived the community engagement survey and from people with lived experience. But we have to recognize that even with a perfect public engagement process, you’re not going to hear from everyone and so our demographic data is kind of a backup to the public engagement data and vice versa, they’re self reinforcing.
Unknown Speaker 41:30
Some other demographic characteristics we looked at is that long one has a very highly educated population 90% of its population over 25 has a high school diploma or above 57% have one or more secondary degrees, so that would be a bachelor’s degree and Master’s or PhD. That being said, there are almost 10% of people that have less than a high school diploma, I’m sure we can all appreciate how difficult it is to be a working or living member of the community without a high school diploma or some kind of credential certainly is a limitation or a barrier for a lot of people in employment and their own civic life. The median household income in Longmont is 82,000. Just for context, that’s really far above the federal poverty level, which was 26,200 for a family of four and 2020. And then we know that 8% of population is living in poverty. Children and teens and older adults are more likely to be living in poverty, statistically. And that’s borne out in our statistical analysis in the situation assessment. So not only is that something we know, nationally, but that is true in Longmont as well. Only 93% of your households have a computer and only 87% of households have broadband internet despite Next slide. So those are the demographic characteristics. I’m going to jump next into the operational assessment. One of the things that we wanted to look at is over the last 10 years the historical trends for the library. What we saw that is between 2010 and 2020, the city of Longmont has hired an additional 176 FTE, when normalized by demand, that’s really only a compound annual growth rate of point four 9%. So well, members of the community may hear 176 FTE, what we can acknowledge is that the city staff has not grown significantly, and certainly probably all aspects of city staff are facing the same sorts of pressure in demand that the library is in meeting the demand of the population. The library specifically has faced a both a nominal and a demand adjusted decrease in staff. So in 2010, there was 38.62, FTE and 2020. There’s 36.25 FTE, that’s a percent change of negative two and 2.05%. So the library staff has both in terms of the real number of staff gone down. But also when we think about that, from a demand perspective, demand has gone up where it’s well, staffing has gone down. We didn’t want to just look at staff, I mean, staff is of course the most expensive and labor is the most expensive aspect of operating the library. But we also wanted to think about this in terms of library expenditures. To do that, we looked at the overall government wide library expenditures. So when I say government wide, not just those expenditures and like the general funds, but any funds that impact the library. And what you’ll see is that over time when normalized for inflation, library capital expenditures per capita have decreased by almost $10 per capita. So in 2010, the library spent about $45 on library services per resident. Today, it was a little less than $36 per capita per resident. The cost of delivering library services certainly has not decreased in that time. And I would say some costs have probably gone up significantly. Staffing, benefits, you know, health care has gone up considerably. But you know, the library has really done a lot more with less and I say that with you know completely object effectively, one thing that we see in a lot of public services, especially services, like library, public health is another good example is that as budgets diminished, those public services will still try to deliver the same things they’ve been delivering over time, but they’ll be doing it with fewer resources. So what that means is that, you know, that same number of people may be entering the library and going to the reference desk, but the number of FTE available to meet that need has gone down. And it’s really hard to really quantify the impact on that on residents, because it’s more like it may take longer, you may stand on line longer to access the Reference Desk, or you may choose not to have your question answered, because you went into library and there’s so many people around the Reference Desk, or maybe the book you wanted is, you know, been checked out and you’re not going to be able to get that book in a timely fashion. There’s all kinds of things that can mean it’s really hard to quantify how level of service might have gone down. As those resources have gone down, even though it feels to us like we’re providing the same services we did in 2010.
Unknown Speaker 46:06
The other thing that we looked at was the the per capita expenditures in comparison to peers. So, you know, it could be that this is pretty comparable to peers. But what we found when looking at those peers is that Longmont, Polk library is spending considerably less per capita than its peers and in 2019, these numbers are from 2019. So the last slide shows you up to 2020. The benchmarking is 2019, because the data that we use to benchmark is from the institute, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, and this is the most updated data that is available, it’s 2019. But what you’ll see is that, in comparison to peers, Longmont is also spending much less per capita than many of its peers than all of its peers. There’s a strong linear relationship between the library service area population and library expenditures. So you can see that in the trend line, that’s the linear relationship between how much we’re spending and how many people we’re serving. Longmont is below the trend line, you can see in the bottom left corner where Longmont is, it’s 90 of 112 libraries, which puts it in the bottom quartile. If LeMans public libraries were just on this trendline, if you decided as a body, hey, you know, we don’t know exactly what resources you need, but we’re just going to fund you to put you on the trendline, the library would have spent over 5.2 million in 2019. So that’s almost $2 million, more than was actually spent in 2019. You know, as part of the operational assessment, we want to put this in the context of the services that are being provided. And something I really want to just pause here and say is, it’s really easy to look at these things and treat them as evaluative, and when especially when we’re talking about performance, it feels very evaluative, but what the library is able to deliver is based on the resources available. So this analysis is saying this is what we’re able to do with the resources available, it isn’t making any comment on the efficiency with which the library works or the quality of that work. I think what you’ll find in this operational assessment is the library is able to do a lot with very limited resources. And what that tells me is that the library is operating very efficiently. But you know, this isn’t to say that the library is doing a poor job with the resources available. It’s just this is what we can buy with how many dollars are available to us. So since 2010, when normalized for inflation, per capita library expenditures have decreased by almost $10, we said that the cost of delivering these services hasn’t decreased. These were the wrong. Okay, well, the collections holdings and collection spending per capita is on the chart. And what you’ll see is that even though what we’ve spent has gone down, you know, largely the physical holdings have gone up. And on the next slide, you’ll see that circulation has in collection spending. But you’ll see that the collection is actually pretty in line. So Longmont Public Library has a 16th largest library collection among Colorado public libraries and the 12 highest circulation on the collection. And the circulation is the number we really care about. It’s really easy to think, hey, we just want to have the biggest collection. But it’s really about having a collection people want to access. Certainly there are special collections and other resources that we want available that not everyone is going to have interest in. But you know, Walmart has done a great job of having books that people actually want to access. So you have a material turnover rate of 3.71, which is 17 highest in the state. And again, this is where I’m saying the library is very efficient with the resources it does have. It’s doing a great job to deliver much higher level of service and much more services in terms of quantity than what you might expect based on the expenditures that has. That being said library collection spending is 93rd for items per capita. So again, bottom quartile for what we’re spending on it, but we have very high results with the dollars we are spending. Part of the reason that the Longmont Public Library’s collections 93rd In terms of it per capita is because the collection spending is 82 per cat at second per capita. So we’re spending not very much on collections. So collections are. So collections spending is low, the actual size of the collection is then low because of that, because we’re not, you know, buying new material on an annual basis. So, the library today is spending 4.32. So $4.32 per capita, so about a little under $500,000 a year. And again, that puts it in the bottom quartile, you can see again, on the chart, it’s in the bottom left hand corner. Lastly, we looked at facilities. The library, as you know, has one brick and mortar library facility, you are the largest library in the state with only one physical location, that library is only 51,000 square feet. And we looked at the old documentation that was sized to accommodate a population of 68,000 people. Today, you have 100,000 people. So we could make an argument that it’s, you know,
Unknown Speaker 50:57
short square footage for 32,000 of your residence, which is, you know, a third short, essentially, as of 2020, the library offers point five, three square feet per capita. And we also found that the condition of that library is largely considered inadequate or poor, I do want to say and comment that you have put some money into rehabilitation over the last year of the study. So there’s significant work that has been done. And I don’t think anyone would necessarily make the argument that that facility is always going to be inadequate. But it is worth noting that it is not an area where we’ve seen huge investment at least commensurate with the city’s population. The library capital improvements are made from the city’s capital projects fund, a large portion of those revenues right now are dedicated to pay annual debt service on sales and use tax revenue bonds. Those dollars were used, the revenue bonds were used in part to perform perform some of the maintenance on the library. But they were also used to replace two fire stations, rehabilitate the Civic Center, the Safety and Justice Center, the recreation center, the museum, and to perform maintenance on the city’s three golf courses, which, you know, are enterprise funded and enterprise operated. So lastly, for the operational assessment, we did again, look at peers. This chart, I’m not going to walk through all the data on this chart, but what this can show you is sort of how do you stack up in terms of facilities, open hours and visits compared to those peers. And again, you were the largest library on this list with only one physical location. And I just want to note there, you know, it feels like we are, of course we are, we’re right at that break point between, you know, being a library of a significant population size, where we would have additional libraries, but you’re actually much closer in population size to Boulder than you are to the other the next library on the list, which is love lend. So I think we’re actually past that sort of break point between where you might be able to adequately serve your population with one library, versus needing additional branches to serve that population. Lastly, we did look at open hours and visits in 2019. Long lot Public Library’s open about 64 hours a week I say about because you know, your library hours per week change due to things like holidays and how the hours are structured. But if you take the 30 184 hours that were open and divide that that’s what you get. Across the seven an average seven day week, excluding holidays, there has historically been a really strong correlation between library visits per open hour and per capita in the city of Longmont. So as we look at hours, if you were to add an hour, we would expect that you would have the same number of library visits that you have in those other 64 hours. So you have not reached a point of diminishing marginal returns, where adding hours is not going to increase the library visits. So what we can take away from that is that there’s likely unmet demand for library hours. And it may be that some of the unmet demand is during the hours that you already have today. But there’s oversubscription of services at that time or too many people at that time. It’s it’s hard to point to exactly is it for those same hours that you have? Or is it that people want to access the library when it’s closed? The library’s high rate of visits per open hours, pretty much more attributable to that low number of hours than to high number of visits per capita, the library’s actually only 82nd for visits per capita. So again, that points to this unmet demand for additional open hours. The takeaways here that Longmont Public Library is delivering, you know, really high quality library services and performing wells in terms of term of the quantity of services delivered and based on the resources available, but that there’s an unmet need for library services long long that the library cannot meet within the existing resources. When we normalize this for inflation and demand based on the library service population, we find that library expenditures have decreased over time and the library has still been forced to maintain that same level of service with those fewer and fewer resources. Again, when we look at peers, the library has less funding than its peers. So not only is that funding diminishing, but we’re also citing the library less per capita than pure libraries might have access to.
Unknown Speaker 55:05
So that is the situation assessment key findings. I’m going to jump next and setting standards. You know, one thing that we wanted to understand in the study is when the when residents say that they want more library services, what does that mean? Something that’s really challenging with libraries is that it isn’t like, you know, fire where you can point to the couple of things that fire services do, you know, they suppress fire, they do building plan review for fire. You know, libraries do a lot of things, and they do different things for different people. And that’s a very complex thing, because that a lot of that has to do with the users themselves, not to demographic characteristics, or types of users. And so what we needed to do is sort of understand what are the service commitments that the Longmont Public Library need to do in order to address those needs and desires in something that was actually quantifiable and could be measured. So we looked at facilities, including the amenities or specialized spaces that are needed things like makerspace, audio visual space, children or teens spaces, meeting space, computer labs, study rooms, we also looked at things like contact lesson curbside services, non traditional outlets, like book drops or homebound and delivery services, some of which the library already does, as well as open hours, we looked at library and staffing collections, including digital collections and databases. So because we’re we’re past looking at collections, just as physical books in the stacks, it’s really about all of the things that even people may access from home, technology access, and amenities. And then lastly, what is the administration or the internal services that are needed to provide all of those other things? Because it would be really easy to say, oh, yeah, you know, of course, we want to increase the spending on collections. But you have to have a commensurate increase in the staff available to select, purchase, manage, sort, and deal with those collections as well. And so the administration and internal services is the less exciting part of this, but really important in order to allow you to do the other public facing parts of this work. We did document sort of the community’s needs and desires. This data came specifically out of the public engagement done by Kimberly Bolin and Associates. So again, there was a 1500 person survey that was done. informant interviews did help sort of package this information. But I wouldn’t say that’s where we identified community needs and desires. So we heard increased hours increased access and convenience of physical material, pickup and returns improve safety and accessibility for the main library, more gathering spaces, and specifically things like Makerspace and meeting rooms, and then neighborhood branches. We also heard that desire for more enhanced specialty classes to address population needs, adult education and GED prep, bilingual and multilingual programming. You know, early learning programs are all things we heard, and then improve in updated collections and technology lending. In terms of administration, internal service services needed to support those things. We heard there’s a need for outreach and marketing of services. So people know what’s available and are able to access services through things like texts, a librarian or an updated catalog search, there’s a need for staff to have professional development provide some of these services, an increase for physical material processing capacity, and improve staff workspace and improved is Ada compatible staff doors and bathrooms. I think they’re also in the long term, if the library services grow will be a need for more space to house or to seat, additional staff. What the Library Board and the library steering committee ended up doing is establishing some level of service standards to really understand, you know, what would it mean to provide these services, I want to quickly say that when I talk about baseline, we’re not talking about, you know, baseline in terms of a no action alternative. So what we learned in the study in the situation assessment is that the no action alternative of continuing to let the resources available to the library degrade is going to reach that tipping point where the library can’t continue to provide the services that residents have expected over the last 10 years. At a certain point, those dollars are going to be so incident, you know, so much less than need, that you we won’t be able to deliver the things we we want to deliver. And so what we tried to establish is at a baseline, what do community or the does the community expect the library to deliver? Again, it’s hard to do that services are really diverse, but we did come up with a couple of metrics. One is that they’d like to see collection spending at 650 per capita, you heard me say earlier that you’re currently spending something like $4.92 per capita, this would maintain just one library outlet, and then it would maintain the same library hours
Unknown Speaker 59:41
were irrelevant. These values were determined based on benchmarking data and pure performance. So we set a baseline at 50th percentile for all Colorado libraries. The preferred is really set up at 75th percentile for all Colorado libraries. So when you look at these, this baseline is like if you were middle of the pack in terms of what Colorado libraries and that per Bert is at the 75th threshold. So not the top threshold, we weren’t, we’re not trying to, you know, be the best library in Colorado in terms of funding. Although I think we’d love to be the best library in Colorado in terms of the services provided. But, you know, you know, I think the board has tried to be reasonable about what they expect. And understanding that this has to be prioritized, among other services, that preferred is $10 per capita includes three library outlets, a central library in two branches, and then 64 hours per week at the central library and 40 hours per week at the branches. There is an expectation that these values should be indexed to population growth. So what has happened over the last 10 years does not continue, we don’t want to see funding continue to erode, we want to understand, you know, make sure that we’re providing funding that will continue to grow and support this into the future and over the 10 year horizon of the plan. So then, you know, the question is, how do you do that? You know, how do we fund this? I think I expect that if the city council, and Mayor’s office and library staff were able to do this on their own, this would already be done. I think the intent is always to provide the best public services available. So the question is really, how do you come up with a sustainable operating model to do that, and I define it as a package or a governance model, that includes consideration around how those services are delivered, and funding and financing tools to support those baseline or preferred level of service. We did for governance models, look at all potential and statutorily allowable governance models, and you’ll see that we crossed off many. So, you know, you certainly could annex to a larger library, district or system. In this case, I think the example would be High Plains or boulder does not feel like there’s strong interest in the community in annexing to a larger library. You also could become a joint library with the school district, we had a discussion with the school district. And certainly that is a consideration. It’s not something that’s happening throughout Colorado. And I would say it’s pretty unlikely. And so we did not consider that as a governance model. And then lastly, we did not look at the Regional Library authority model. Because you need, you know, two or more governmental units to be party to that agreement. We do not at this time have another governmental unit that is interested in that kind of arrangement. I do want to note here that a question that I anticipate is around what Boulder is doing, certainly there could be discussion with boulder will be heard from Boulder Public Library’s that they have been on this road for a long time. And at this time, they’re not interested in revisiting their plan to include long Public Library. So there is interest in that, you know, that is something that city council, of course, has the policy authority to have discussions about, but I do you want to say that decision is a two way street. And I don’t expect that boulder public library would be looking to do a joint project with Longmont at this time. And they were, I think it’s important I mentioned it has been evaluated in the past. So I know that that specifically the idea of Boulder, a public library in Longmont Public Library, doing work together has been looked at least two times in the past about 20 years. So that really leaves us with do things to maintain municipal library or to mean to develop a library district. So I did talk about this already. So level of service and service delivery assumptions. Again, the no actual alternative is something that we just looked at as a baseline for what how does the new funding the new incremental funding needed compare to what that baseline or preferred model is, it’s not a sustainable future operating model for the library. And then all scenarios assume the ongoing participation in flat iron libraries Consortium. So you have access to this great Library Consortium that makes delivering your services very efficient. And it’s cooperative and many other peer libraries, we did not assume that there’ll be any changes in that as part of the service delivery assumptions in the financial modelling. Both baseline and preferred level of service standards are modeled under each governance scenario. So we looked at sort of both sets of standards. What the What you’re seeing on the screen is just the assumptions that went in the model to express the level of service standards that were desired. So you’ll see that to support the baseline model, you would need about 6.75 additional FTE, there would be an additional two beyond that, if you’re a library district, of course, if you were to become a library district, there’s some you lose some economies of scale and delivering some activities, and you no longer have access to some of the things that you’re able to do through the city. I know specifically, for example, your city charter would prohibit contracting back for benefits, for example. So that’s also true with the FTE would need you know, they’d be responsible for their own sort of financial management on a whole they’d be responsible for some marketing communications on a whole they’d be their own website.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:45
So that’s why there’s two additional FPA te beyond the 6.75 for the library district model. Additional collection spending additional library outlet hours preferred is the baseline plus 14.5 F Tea beyond the 6.75. In addition, six point $6.50 per capita, additional collection spending, and again, you’d have those branches in the central library. So those are the level of service and service delivery assumptions. When we package options, the following were really the options that we considered. So we looked at the no action alternative, again, not as a model that could seriously be considered but something to compare what additional incremental funding is needed. For these other options. We looked at option, a municipal library with both a baseline level of service and preferred level of service and we looked at the library district with a baseline level of service and a preferred level of service. The methodology of the financial capacity analysis is that we develop population estimates for 10 year period, this is in line to your comprehensive plan and vision Longmont, so these numbers are directly from that plan, we estimated and projected operating costs for the baseline and preferred level of service based on the 2022 budget and using historical financial data. They also consider things like fixed fixed and variable costs. So you we didn’t assume that everything would have to go up, we looked at things that you know, your library director position, for example, might stay the same, but there might be a mixed cost in the sense that you hiring a library director for a larger system can sometimes be more expensive. We also looked at economies and diseconomies of scale and changes to shared service arrangements. So your contract with Flatirons Library Consortium is a formula based funding model with the other libraries that participate. And that formula would probably change if you increase your level of service. So we did build that into the modeling. We also index the analysis to inflation. And for those of you who care, we use CPI for Denver or Lakewood for the Metropolitan or for the inflation factor. So what we then looked at is what is the actual financial need for each of these models. And you can see two different analyses of that. The first is the total cost. So the chart is the total costs what the total cost over 10 years, and 20 $22. That’s why it looks so flat as you’re not seeing the increase in dollars needed due to the decrease in purchasing power. So the options are, that’s the total cost of the options we also looked at. And what the table will show you is what is the additional increment of resources needed to address these are those options. And that’s why you don’t see the no action alternative in the bottom chart, or table is because you don’t need additional resources to maintain that no action alternative, you need additional resources beyond the no action alternative to implement any of these level of service standards in any of the governance options. So these operating expenditures, if you were to fund any of these would make Walmart Public Library approximately 37 out of 111 in terms of per capita spending on library services. So funding and financing strategies, the city really has a couple key options for increase increasing the revenues available to the library, you can increase the share of existing general fund revenues available to the library, you can increase general fund revenues in general, which would make the library share greater or you can dedicate additional revenues to the library for the purposes of an example and to show the tax burden that we would expect for residents, we looked at what the mill rate for that would be so
Unknown Speaker 1:08:29
mill rate of point five one Mills per $1,000 of assessed value is about $12 on a $350,000 home. Those are the additional resources needed to achieve the baseline level of service. So that is not that assumes that the city would continue to provide the share of library resources that are already available through the general fund. For the preferred option, it’s about 1.59 mils, which is about $37.79 on a $350,000 home. We also looked at this for library district. So library districts are eligible to levy property taxes to fund their activities. library districts would not be entitled to the current tax dollars funding library out activities. Although I think logically your residents may expect that their city taxes would go down if the library district was fully funding its activities. So it is possible, and it’s a policy choice whether these resources would supplant what the city’s already funding, I think I would expect that residents would want to see that they’re not paying a new tax for the entire amount of funding any of these options. They would say, yes, we’ll fund that through the library district but my city taxes should go down because you no longer have the obligation of providing library services. Just for the sake of our analysis, we did look at the mill rate for the library district options so you for you would need a mill rate of 2.97 mils per $1,000 of assessed value, which is about $70.62 on a $350,000 home And for the preferred it would be four mils, which is about a little less than $100 on a $350,000. Home. library districts can also form capital facilities districts to fund capital facilities. Again, our financial analysis is limited to operations, I didn’t try to make any assumptions about what branches could look like or what your capital needs would be. But that would be an important consideration as you move forward with any of these options. I think there’s a lot of key questions for evaluating options. I’m sure the council has their own key questions to ask. So I’m not going to belabor what I think the questions that are available to you are, but certainly, I expect to answer your questions tonight. And then just so for your background, we expect that there are some significant next steps here. So we need to evaluate the results for each of these package options, establish a preferred option on the part of the library board and library staff, as well as a phasing and implementation strategy and bring that forward. I think tonight, you know that we’re not making a recommendation tonight is all I would say. But certainly, you heard from your community earlier that there is a lot of interest in the library district. To me, the study is more about the level of service of the library, I see an opportunity for the city to continue to deliver these services. But if the city chooses not to enhance that level of service, I think your community will act on a library district. So that concludes my presentation.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:29
Thank you, we’ve learned a lot. And this information is really valuable. So thank you for that looks like Councillor Martin has a question for you.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:40
Yes, thank you. First of all, general comment, which is that I am not convinced by this presentation, that we have explored the right set of vectors in terms of service levels. So it almost sounds like there are there are a bunch of assumptions that we’ll be doing the same thing, but more of it. And more square feet more books in the collection, you know, adding on some technology things, but it’s peripheral. In terms of the amount of of space that got in the presentation, I think that there are at least two major areas that should have been qualitatively explored in this. One is I don’t know what the flat Ayers Library Consortium is. And, you know, how what services does it provide? What services does it provide that overlap with services that they that the Longmont library fought, delivers on the smaller scale? And could could economies of scale be achieved by closer operational integration with the consortium and the library, however, its governance model and funding model is organized. And the other obvious one is, you know, here, we had two pieces of data, which is that I can’t remember the exact, but in the 90s percent of of residents own some device that can run an e reader. And if you include smartphones, which I got the impression that this study did not include, then it’s an even larger percentage. And so at that point, why do you assume a proportionate growth in the number of paper books in the collection? Because maybe that’s not the right place to put the operational investment? I’m not sure where that goes in terms of operational versus capital. And those are just the first two, you know, qualitative evaluation evaluations that I think are not explained or explored in this presentation. And therefore, I am not convinced that that the governance models there and the baselines are, are being explored properly. So my question is, why are we sure why are we sure that that these service levels are the way forward?
Unknown Speaker 1:14:42
Sure. My answer, of course, so I am going to come specifically to your questions to answer those. But first, I want to say my presentation is based so far on a 66 page situation assessment, as well as an initial study done by Kimberly Bowen and Associates, and a financial model. Also, the presentation itself, which felt very lengthy to me providing it is very limited in terms of the scope of the analysis we’ve done. And for that reason, there may be some of your questions that have been answered in those longer documents and will be answered in the final study, to speak specifically to the two examples you provided. The collection spending is based on all types of collections. So when we say that we would increase collection spending to $10 per capita, we’re not talking specifically physical copies of books, we’re talking books and other materials in all formats, which may actually include special collections like seed, your seed collection, your your library of things collection, it absolutely does include ebooks, audiobooks, and digital formats of those books. And in some cases, we are, there’s an expectation that that collection spending the $10, the distribution of that will change over time, certainly over the historical period, the last 10 years, the library’s spending on electronic formats has increased considerably. Well, the spending on physical items has gone down. And many, many items today are this is actually a challenge because many items today are actually being purchased in multiple formats. I think we all hope that in the future, will be able to provide many materials only in electronic formats, or in a more limited range of formats. Certainly there will always be a need for large print and other things. Some of those needs for adaptive materials can be met by E devices, like you suggested electronic devices. The other thing on the flatter is Consortium. So we did look in depth at what Flatirons consortium provides and just for councils knowledge, the Flatirons Library Consortium is like an internal service that the library is able to pay into that provides its ILS system, which is integrated library system that manages its catalog and all of the way that those collections or manage it manage. It also does all the inter local lending among libraries, and Longmont public library actually accesses those inter local library lending opportunities from other libraries a lot. So your residents benefit significantly. I do think that there are some limited opportunities to increase that partial partnership to as you said, increase the economies of scale. One thing that isn’t a no brainer to me for Flatirons Library Consortium is that some of your digital resources like research journals, and databases should be purchased by flatter and flatter Library Consortium for the benefit of all participating library systems. The challenge to that is that flatter and flatter Library Consortium is governed by all of the library directors, and not every library director feels that same way. They people do want some autonomy in what they purchase. So well, that is a really great opportunity. It’s not something that Longmont Public Library can do on its own. I also want to say I think that the economy of scale that that would deliver is fairly small in terms of the magnitude of the funding that would be saved by those two things. But I would love to hear it doesn’t have to be in this meeting. But I would love to hear what your other questions are? Because I do think we can answer many of them. And many of them have probably have been answered in the final feasibility study.
Unknown Speaker 1:18:09
I turned off my wife if you do. Alright, so I don’t think I can ask you to, you know, flop over from a quantitative analysis to a qualitative analysis. But so I guess my follow up questions are, is the full study, avail going to be available to the council to read, and what requirements analysis was performed, to to, to, to decide what qualitative aspects of library operations needed to be preserved versus needed to evolve? Because I’ve been thinking about other aspects of city operations that have the same problems in front of it. And I just don’t feel like we have enough information to exercise our power of of apportioning funding, because we don’t have enough choices. We don’t we don’t know what the choices that are before us would actually do.
Unknown Speaker 1:19:32
Sure. So I’m gonna try to unpack that in some pieces. The first is that of course, the final study will be available to council as in a draft format to review and to make sure all your questions are answered. The situation assessment is what I specifically came to present. What we heard from city staff is that there was a need for the council to have the full context of this work before we could, you know, ensure you make a decision about what path to move forward. And I think that was wise, because I’m hearing questions that I want to make sure that we’re able to answer qualitatively, some of which have been answered and analyzed. But you know, which I have not put in the presentation deck, of course. So we want to be able to answer those. Your comment about, you know, it’s hard to package, you know, what it would mean to deliver these services is a really difficult one. And the way I generally characterize this is what communities usually are doing with these feasibility studies, is they’re pursuing something more like a zero based budget for what it would mean to provide a public service that we generally fund incrementally. So your normal budget process, even though you’ve done things like priority based budgeting your normal budget process is largely an incremental exercise to increase funding year over year to meet the new needs that have been identified, but always sort of being based on an artifact of history, which is previous budgets, what we really done in this feasibility study to understand the resources needed, is a trend, a zero based budget to say, if we started from scratch, what do we need to build the library that residents have told us the community needs? The piece of that, but that I can’t answer is how we train or that is hard to answer is that it’s a qualitative exercise to translate what we’ve heard from the community as the things they need into the resources a library staff would need to deliver that. But that’s true in all budget processes, you are always subject to your library director and your library staff in saying these are the resources we need to do the work that the community is saying we do. So this actually isn’t all that different than what you’re going to hear in your incremental budget process. Other than it’s considering the full needs for the library from zero base, a base and no resources, rather than considering, you know, incrementally we need, you know, one new FTE to do this activity this year. So I think if your question is more about how did library staff come up with an ultimate staffing model that would increase FTE by these amounts, then that is something that we would really need to get into detail about, you know, this is why Nancy, or the library director and other staff think they need this specific position. But I don’t think that’s any different than in an incremental budget process where you’re asking staff, what do you need to do this work, and they come back to you with what we would need this FTE to do this and point five FTE to do this other thing. So to answer your question, no. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 1:22:25
Unknown Speaker 1:22:26
Can you turn on your mic, please?
Unknown Speaker 1:22:31
I didn’t expect so many follow ups. But what I think is, if we have not defined in a qualitative sense, what changes we’re going to do, you know, either from a zero or an incremental, I think it’s a given that it’s going to be a big increment, because we have fallen behind, and that we have not made major changes in terms of what our service delivery model is. But without without understanding the change in direction, without understanding how much is new and how much really is just incremental. We don’t have a way of of piling coins, on the different stacks. Sure. That’s all I need.
Unknown Speaker 1:23:26
For I can jump in, I think that’s part of the kind of the award that Becky got is where we’re moving in terms of what works cities and really that data analytics to do it. And I think it is, you kind of touched on this. It is the challenge within all of these these issues. Because what I took away from this was, is the library where we want it to be now it’s not where we want it to be. Do we want to be at the 50th or the 75th percentile? We need to figure that out over time. And then we need to understand what composes that, to answer your question to say, here’s where it’s going to be. I think to get it something else that you set out. It’s not inherently different than what we have in the rest of the organization. So when I look at recreation, and I looked at parks and I looked at the museum and I looked at all of these other issues, they were dealing with the same issues. And there and when we saw some of the numbers and staffing, it was simple. We moved golf here. And so it looked this way, but it really wasn’t a fundamental change in this. And it to the point on where I think it was a really good slide when you look at the growth and staffing levels and she and sorry, forget your name. And he pointed out that it was 1%. If you take that 1% growth and overall staffing levels, and you figure out two pieces to this one was an excellent and one was a public safety tax. That was the bulk of the staff that we grew In the organization, most of our additional staff members actually came in in the last budget. And it’s because historically, as an organization, we haven’t really had that capacity to do it. And to provide some context to that conversation, we had the budget reset that we had to work through that was three and a half $4 million, we put a million dollars into affordable housing, we adjusted the Health and Human Service funding allocation from two and a quarter percent, to 3%, which is roughly about 750,000. And then to the point on, on the facility component to this, we had facilities that literally were in structural, we had structural problems. So we put millions of dollars into facilities just to maintain. So those were all pools on the revenue stream. And so I think that’s what we’re trying to get to. So we can give you the big picture on these individual issues. And what I also took from this is, we got to do something, we’ve got to do something to change the trajectory, stain on status quo is not it. And we have some additional concepts, because I don’t think I heard competition for resources and all of this, I think, whether it’s a district or whether it’s in the budget, not competition is always going to inherently be there. Because we have the same issues within other aspects of our budget. And we need to take more of a holistic look at these because what we don’t want as a community is to create winners and losers. And we have to be very careful for that. And if we go what did we learn from the last bond election? is we need to be very mindful of that. Because what we saw there was different constituency groups engaged in the conversation. And so I have some thoughts on that. But I’ll let you all continue your conversation
Unknown Speaker 1:26:51
to any other councillors want to comment. Okay, we’ll go for Councillor Hidalgo. fairing first, and then Councillor waters.
Unknown Speaker 1:27:03
Okay. Thank you, Mayor. And, Harold, I’m glad to hear you say that we need to do something drastically different. You know, I think about I sit on the on the council liaison now for the library board. And I also sit on the museum advisory board as liaison. And you know, I think about what our great equalizers are and be coming in as a public school educator, our libraries, our museums, our parks, those are all those free services that really serve as the great equalizer for building equity in our communities for reaching our marginalized disadvantaged communities where they actually have a chance to access these materials. So you know, I really, I want to find ways and you know, I want to look at everything with an open mind, but I really want to explore our what our possibilities for reaching and attaining that preferred level of service, because I think, you know, we owe it to our public, you know, I’m hearing the interest. And, you know, I even saw it with our kids, when we were doing the sugar beet mill redesign. One of the, you know, a few of the projects actually incorporated, you know, oh, we want a library, we want this virtual reality. And so they were incorporating these things that they know, that they learn through our school, which is has a STEM focus, and incorporating that in what they want to see in their communities. So you know, we owe it to our to our constituents, we owe it to our public and our and our youth to really provide the services, the level of service our community needs, desires. It’s It is embarrassing to see those numbers, you know, so I do want to engage in really thoughtful conversation, and look at what we can do to to attain that, that level of service. And thank you for showing the slide of the differences, because that was one of the things that I had had wanted to see is really what would be the impact tax wise for the individual person. So I really want to look at what what are the impacts to the individual, you know, whether it be a bond through municipal or a special district, what does that look like for the average voter? And I think that also to sending that message really will help clarify things because I think, you know, with the parks and the Rec Center, the pool I know I spoke to several, you know, dark office CTOs with with parents and you know, just kind of talking and having conversations around that. They were really unsure you know, when they’re when you’re on a fixed budget, you’re unsure about what the impacts any kind of tax increase would have. So to really define those pieces is what I would really encourage us to, to explore and make public as we as we know those numbers. Thank you
Unknown Speaker 1:29:59
Councillor waters. Oh, it did.
Tim Waters 1:30:05
Oh, I turned it off. I should check what is there? Are we going to how much discussion are we going to have tonight? Is it just whatever questions we have right in this moment?
Unknown Speaker 1:30:18
I think so. It depends on the direction also that we give staff. Do we want to go on? We want to look at other options, do we?
Tim Waters 1:30:26
Yeah. So that’s so that, because it seems to me that the numbers all the numbers are interesting. And in some of them are daunting when you look at, you know, top line revenues, whatnot. But this is not I mean, this study has been underway, we heard earlier tonight, goes back to 2019. In a, you know, on a Tuesday night. In a Tuesday conversation from right over here in the room, I remember we were told that we didn’t have when Dennis study library for a long time, and we should do it and how we’ve done it with a fair amount of input from the community regardless of in spite of what I heard earlier, 1500. Folks, I don’t know what the right number is. But first phase of this had substantial public input. We’ve been thinking about this for at least three years. And without making a decision tonight, it does seem to me like we owe it to the library advisory board. We owe it to the staff. As we head into a work we’re going to hear budget presentation in a few minutes, is the first step towards building a 2023 budget. And it seems to me that we owe it to our staff to know where we stand. What do we aspire for the library. And I can’t remember, the last time I got up in the morning, and thought my aspiration is to get to the 75th percentile in anything ever. Right. And I’m guessing there’s not a member of the city staff that gets up in the morning and aspires to be 75th percentile in what you do, either as an attorney, as a manager of any part of the operation. I’m certain that we do not. If our police department and our fire department ranks 75th percentile in the state, we would be outraged. And we’d be doing something about it tonight. So it seems to me we owe it to let let this these folks know, in the community, what are our our aspirations? We have four choices, it seems to me one we’ve heard do nothing. I think that’s not an option. We’ve we’ve heard do something incremental within the current budgeting process. If we do that, with all due respect, Harold, the idea of winners and losers. We’re going to have winners and losers if we do it that way. I mean, that’s how we got here, right. Museum and the library in relationship to health, public safety and, and health and public safety and mandates from the federal government and unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments. All that adds up to where we are. And I And I’m, I’m proud of what we do with our priority based budgeting process. But I I get incremental versus zero based and you know, be interesting to see what that would look like if we took that on. The other options are to create a district or to do a go to the public with a dedicated sales tax. I mean, it’s not like an infinite set of options. So we got to be pretty clear. What do we have a taste for, or tolerance for, or courage to commit to with understanding that there is no decision and the impact on individuals is a huge part of this. We already know the cost of living is is pricing people out of town and we don’t want to do that. But I am concerned to let this languish as we head into a budgeting process. I don’t know Do you know how many special districts there are in Colorado? Anybody? I don’t know how many special library districts. It’s my impression that we have library district. municipalities across the state have moved to a library district for the very reasons that we’re having this conversation tonight is how boulder got to where they are, why Larimer County or Florida? Fort Collins and Larimer kind of got to where they are and why there are I think I think line doesn’t line Saba library district doesn’t birth it have a library district doesn’t Erie have a library district. I mean for all the reasons that we’re talking about tonight. I think in the interest of transparency and in accountability, that that we ought to be clear with our public. So not certain where you want to the mayor or where you want to go with this. I hope we do continue this discussion tonight. So nobody walks out here tonight without clarity on where we stand as a Council.
Unknown Speaker 1:34:59
She kita I mean, Castle Yarbro, would you like to comment?
Unknown Speaker 1:35:06
I’m always ready to say something. Thank you for the presentation. Man, there’s a lot. This has been going on for a while. And I do want to make sure I think we know I think 100% of us definitely know, we need to upgrade this library. Like, ASAP, right. But this library is the people’s library. And so I think it’s very important to remember the decisions that we’re making, who we’re making it for, and how we affect them. I think I mean, everything in the library district looks good. But I was, you know, I just think we, as council really need to make sure that the community understand what does that look like if we went towards move towards the library district compared to raising, you know, putting fees on them? And what would that look like, there’s a lot of change going on in the city along mind. And it’s, it will be easy for people to you know, miss something, you know, we got, we have new AMI is going in, we have, we have Costco coming in, you know, we have a lot of things going on in the city along mind, and God knows we need a better library, because we are, I mean, everything that you’ve shown, I mean, we should have, I feel a couple of libraries here, myself. So I’m definitely not opposed to library district, I want to make sure that the community that we’re serving, understands the options and the cost of those options. So that is my concern. And I just want to make sure that we have a clear understanding that with the library or district also, that we relinquish our, our power to is not about power, of course, but we want to make sure that we’re making the correct decision that the library will be able to maintain, as well. So if you know, we want the people to feel like that they own the library, when they walk in there, we want them to feel proud of the library that they’re paying for, or, you know, so I do want to make sure that our community feel prideful, of whatever decision that is made. And that’s important to me. So it’s the people’s library at the you know, that’s why we’re here is making sure that we that they are informed correctly. In. So I think that’s all I have to say. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:38:11
Thank you. Mayor Pro Tem would you like to go? Oh, okay,
Unknown Speaker 1:38:20
Mayor Pro Tem, and then I can jump in.
Unknown Speaker 1:38:25
Just in the interest of having all of our opinions heard, I will say just a couple of things. And that, you know, either way that the financials go down, whether it be keeping it within the municipality and raising dedicated sales tax as a funding mechanism, or taking it to a special Library District. Those both have, you know, their various effects on the, you know, least those of us who have the least, because even if you’re not a property owner, you’re likely renting, and that’s going to hit whoever does own that property. And they don’t tend to just eat that, you know. And so the other thing I want to talk about those, the reality of elections, we do have to be cognizant, we had a failed initiative surrounding rec center item, you know, and there was probably some messaging issues and things like that, that didn’t look quite right on that. And so we have to be very careful as far as educating the public on whatever option that we do end up choosing. So that’s one reason, you know, I would like to, you know, I’ll probably do a little bit bigger delve into the ramifications financially because, you know, a lot of also residential Metro districts do this, they put in their contract says, This is what the the middle is per, and this is what it’s gonna cost for $350,000 $350,000 homes in Longmont really don’t exist anymore, you know, and so, it’s kind of it doesn’t quite hit the same way as actually knowing, you know, maybe a range of what you know, yeah. 350,000 Maybe what your home’s worth, but what what is the folks who are paying seven $800,000 for their homes or that they’re valued at. And so these are all, like more specific financial issues that I think will help us determine how we take this to the public and take it to the voters. And that’s why, you know, I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of a cultural district, because then you can include more people who then are become more likely to pass the initiative. And so it gives you some action versus if it just fails, then you’re stuck with, I guess, having to go incremental and having to do some other things. budgetarily. And so I do want to be just cognizant of how we move forward, when we do take something to the to the people to vote on.
Unknown Speaker 1:40:46
There. So this is these are the moments that city managers relish. And that’s, I’m being facetious.
Unknown Speaker 1:40:54
Would you mind, because I think I know what you where you’re going. Would you mind if I made a comment? Because I haven’t yet. Okay. Basically, my comment is to the public. This feasibility study, thank you very much. We didn’t get this information any other way than to have a feasibility study? So I thank you. But I do think that I felt that in the presentation, it was. And this is this my message to the public watching that city council and the staff didn’t care enough about the library to fund it. And that bothered me a lot. And one of the statements on page four, page 944, at the bottom of page 44, in the feasibility study, and it continues at the top is that it says that the Library Services Fund was put into the general fund. It is my understanding. And Jim golden, you can probably clarify this, that even though that those dollars for the library were put into the general fund, were they not used to buy library books?
Unknown Speaker 1:42:02
I think we’re looking at Teresa, I think you’re talking about the library fines. And yes. It from from this report for the library is in the general fund. And so all of those those fines fees go into the general fund than the general fund portions and allocates funding to the library out of its other tax base revenue, which is both property tax and sales tax. And so I think Jim and Teresa will have to clarify this is that what’s the total funding to the library versus what are the fees that are coming in, it’s obviously more is coming in tax supported than in the fees, a little bit different than an enterprise fund, where it’s all fee and you support it in some of those cases.
Unknown Speaker 1:42:49
So the statement that I didn’t think, is is either not correct or is misleading, because it does say that that fund, the library services fund fund balance has been transferred from the Library Services Fund to the general fund, and reflected as a library division dedicated revenue there. So that’s very confusing. And it sounds a bit like we are taking from Peter to pay Paul. And it just didn’t make sense to me. Seems coming down. Okay. For detail.
Unknown Speaker 1:43:26
Mayor pick members Council, Jim golden, Chief Financial Officer, so there is an annual transfer from the library service fund to the general fund for books. So it’s still being used for library expenses. So I mean, the transfer is just about it. Where’s it accounted for?
Unknown Speaker 1:43:42
Thank you. And the and that wasn’t really explained here. It just sounded like it went into the general fund to be used wherever the general fund wants to use it. So I just really wanted to make that clarification. And to the public. I would like to explain how things come to City Council. For example, we had a week ago that the Parks and Rec board asked us to please consider in this budgeting process, a rec center and Councillor waters made a motion that we would discuss put that on a future agenda. In the whole time I’ve been on council, no one from the library and I have asked, and so has previous council members. Why aren’t you coming to us for funding? What do you need? Tell us what you need. And in my whole time except for the one time that Councillor waters asked us to fund something for the library. And we agreed to do that. But as a council if you don’t tell us what you want funding for in the budgeting process. We’re assuming you’re good that you don’t need the money. So I just wanted to make that statement because As I don’t want this feasibility study to go out and look like this council and city doesn’t care about the library. So that’s generally the way it works. So And my other question is of the people that here, how many of you are actually on the library board? To have you, so it’d be, there was? Yeah, the woman that spoke? Yeah. So it’d be interesting to Yes. Okay. So is this also the consensus of the library board to do a library district because they are our advisory board? And that that’s kind of where I haven’t gotten a good feel. Can you come up? Please Mark?
Unknown Speaker 1:45:55
Mark Springfield Longmont library advisory board. The board discussed the issue of district libraries last night. And it was the general opinion of those members that we didn’t want to recommend it at that point in time without having the benefit of hearing the discussions tonight.
Unknown Speaker 1:46:15
Okay, so the board is not recommending a library district. It’s not not
Unknown Speaker 1:46:19
recommending one either. It’s just recommending that we hear more information.
Unknown Speaker 1:46:23
Great. Thank you. That’s what I wanted to hear from the Advisory Board. Thank you for that. And we’ve had I am done.
Unknown Speaker 1:46:30
So I think you probably sit down because I’m in. One of the things that I think I’m not think I know, I’m compelled to talk to counsel about is we’ve got to be really careful in in in how we look at this and not look at it in terms of solely This is a library issue. Because as was stated, we know that the recreation Advisory Board has asked us for a new recreation center, we know that the museum Advisory Board has talked to us about additional funding to leverage private donations. And so as part of this you know, I think we have to be cognizant of the big picture. Because if we’re not careful, we can really impact some other things in ways that we’re not thinking about today. And so I put together some slides to kind of talk to you about this issue. And it really is quality of life conversation and I think something that that we have to talk about so if counsel will indulge me for a few minutes I would kind of like to work through this
Unknown Speaker 1:47:52
that’s fine with me how the rest of you feel are you willing to wait two hours
Unknown Speaker 1:47:58
Unknown Speaker 1:47:59
we’ll take a five minute break
Unknown Speaker 1:48:13
Oh, well no
Unknown Speaker 1:48:19
no. The different parts you six weeks on Oh my god. I know it.
Tim Waters 1:49:34
Specifically. Right My God. On We will resume
Unknown Speaker 1:55:34
as soon as we get counselor Hidalgo Perry. get frustrated when somebody helps.
Unknown Speaker 1:56:10
I’ll just say when you broken you ready, Mayor? Yes, we are. Thank you. So as I was saying, I think, you know, part of my job is also to, to say to you all, here’s what I think we also need to look at. And I think it is, as we were evaluating this, I kind of go back to what I said earlier in this. And we were actually just talking about it, what did I take from the study I took, we’re not funding our library where we need to be, and we need to fund it at a at a higher level. And we need to figure out what that higher level is and what it entails. At the same time, and this is, I think, a good transition into the next topic, which is the 2023 budget. These other things are coming at us full force too, as we see it. And I wanted to ensure that councils seeing a broader picture. And now what else is going to come in play. You all obviously know that you voted on the accepting the resolution for the Parks and Rec advisory board regarding the recreation center, we’ve all talked about the museum coming forward with needs. And so what we did is we really said these are really all quality of life components that we’re seeing coming at us from different areas in our org, in our community in our organization. And we saw that actually in the failed bond attempt when we looked at a rec center and swimming facility and things like that. And that’s what, frankly, as we talked about, why did that not go well, and really understanding what were all the nuances in it. What did we learn from that? And I think what we learned is what we saw was there was a lot of competition that were occurring that was occurring with different constituency groups in terms of what did they want to see? Is this jeopardizing my ability to get what I want to see and and so that’s something that has really resonated with staff as we’ve been looking forward. So what we did is we kind of said, here’s this picture of quality of life funding. And these are all things that we’ve talked about. So in the library, we’re working on the feasibility study, we know we’re not funded where we need to be, we’re starting to get a sense of needs when they finish the final study that will be more specific to really talk about what those needs are. The end of the day, what’s the dollars, recreation, we have a Parks and Recreation master plan, it’s really laid out the recreation facilities that we’ve projected in our community. We will need to age those numbers based on inflation. And what you’ll hear in the next presentation is inflation is just killing us across the board on projects. And then understanding what are the dollars there. The museum, the museum has finished the master plan. We know that they have great donors, but there also needs to be a city contribution in terms of what the future the museum is, understanding what the dollars are. So then how can we leverage private funding? I think private funding may not be something that shows itself in all of these categories. Parks is a is a is another story. So we have the parks master plan. We have been collecting funds, we know we need to build parks. Prior to this council being seated. One of the things that we saw is that we were actually building parks and we didn’t have the operational dollars necessarily to maintain the parks. And so we started keying in on if you’re going to build it, you need to make sure that you have the money to maintain it. And so that’s part of what we’re dealing with because as everyone said, there’s a lot of people coming in to a relatively limited pot of funding. And so we need to figure that out because we know the community is asking us to finish parks and then When we talked about steam and some of the other things, performing arts is something that is in the conversation and we know it’s there. Again, public private partnership and dollars. These are all different constituency groups that are really passionate about what they’re doing. So when you look at this, and I tried to boil this down into a really basic concept, and so we, we think we need to take all of these things and really establish what are the capital needs? What are the operational needs? What’s the funding needed holistically for all of these? And then what does that mean in terms of a potential revenue increase, or as you’ll see, there’s other options. Whether those options are actually feasible or not, is a different story.
Unknown Speaker 2:00:44
So when you look at the funding options, the first one, reduce funding or eliminate operations and redirect to the quality of life operations. I had to put that on there because that is a legitimate option that we can look at within the budget process. Will that impact the community? Absolutely, it’ll impact the community and there will be things we can’t do. We could create a dedicated tax for quality of life that includes all of this to the point that some of you have made to say, or how do we bring these constituency groups together. So we do our best to minimize winners and losers in this process, knowing that not everything is can happen. We can’t be all things to everyone, I think, which is the other conversation that’s coming on on the on the district, we can propose a general tax increase for quality of life, not focused on individual areas, I think what I’ve heard very clearly is I think it needs to be focused by these individual areas, it needs to be allocated in some kind of percentage component so that there’s not inherently that competition, and you can ensure revenue that’s coming in, you can always create a district concept. You know, what’s interesting about the district concept that we’ve learned today is that districts can only levy property taxes. And and that’s a key component in this because if you think about our budgets on an annual basis, a lot of the growth that occurs actually occurs in sales tax. There is one component, to be completely transparent with you all, is that there is one component in the district where they can levy sales tax, but it has to be between two different governmental entities, and they’re capped at a 1% sales tax. I say this, because when we look at some of our budgets, and if you look at some of the budget issues that we’ve had to deal with recently, if you remember, in the last budget process, we had to allocate a million dollars of ongoing revenue, because there was a potential of a ballot initiative moving forward that was going to adjust the ratios on residential and commercial taxes. And we predicted that that was going to reduce the revenue. Jim, what did we think it was going to be 2 million or over a million dollars last year, but it was over a million dollars. So we held ongoing funds so that we can manage that in this budget process. And so something unique that’s in Colorado and property taxes, that’s something that’s always in play. And and they adjust the residential ratios, and it has reduced in terms of property tax revenue that we receive. And so while we haven’t gotten into that level of detail, those are some of the things that are starting to percolate in our mind to say, if you actually did a dedicated tax, then we could look at it. Sales tax, property tax combination of sales and property tax, you don’t necessarily have those options. So that’s a question I think we’re going to ask the Council is to say, as we continue this, where do you want us to look, because that’s a lot of work. If we’re looking at all of these.
Unknown Speaker 2:04:07
When we look at quality of life funding, we also have learned from our public safety sales tax. And what we found is when you balkanize, some of these things, you have to be also really careful because of what happens during periods of economic downturns. And so if you remember in a couple of budget cycles ago, when well, it was during COVID budget cycle, we were really concerned about the public safety tax because as it could have been, it could have shrunk related to revenues. You have a very limited area in terms of where you can manage that budget. And those are real issues that we deal with on an ongoing basis. And so whatever we do, we would say it has to be for expanded level as a service or maintain services in economic downturns because if we don’t have that piece, it creates operation You know, issues because of what you can and you can’t cut. And then what we’re saying from staff is, whatever we do, I think we need to look at a 2023 vote. And the reason why kind of gets at some of the issues, we need to identify, finished the needs assessment here, pull these other studies, bring those together, identify projects and cost, identify the operational needs associated with that. So we have the ongoing operational cost. Community involvement is going to be really important in terms of here’s here’s the list, what are you what are you willing to look at, and then bring that information collectively to council because I would not be doing my job, if I didn’t tell you there were these other issues coming forward. And we have to look at this as a broader picture. So I felt that I needed to say this, and it transitions into the budget conversation that we have coming forward.
Unknown Speaker 2:06:10
So this is this is also very interesting. Let’s open up discussion on this on do we want to direct staff to follow through on the quality of life? To continue with researching that, and finding the cost benefits, etc. and weigh them against any other options? And then look, let’s bring it to the public. So does anyone want to discuss that? Counselor, Hidalgo ferry?
Unknown Speaker 2:06:48
No, I, this seems very promising. So I would like to, to delve deeper into this piece. But I would like to also, you know, have a list of various options. I mean, our goal is to really come up with you know, those innovative ways. And because what we’re doing isn’t isn’t isn’t sufficient. So, you know, I guess I would make a motion for staff to our direct staff to bring back a list, you know, a detailed list of our options that include the quality of life funding. So we can, we can where we’re, you know, kind of chime in and make our decision based on on that itemized list.
Unknown Speaker 2:07:38
Okay, it’s been Moved by Councillor Hidalgo fairing to direct staff to bring back options with an itemized list of a greenback. And that’s been seconded by Councillor Martin. Let’s open that up for discussion. Council counselor, let’s see your number seven. I’m going to go with what’s turned on your microphones get in place. I know. I was trying to get to number eight, but sevens first on the list. So I got to do counselor Martin.
Unknown Speaker 2:08:19
Thank you, Mayor Pat. I would like to point out something in and I intend to talk about it more. In the specific budget thing. I think that this is one aspect of the right approach. Because as we go to a more urban city, these quality of life features of the city are going to become more and more important for the basic livability of the city. So I think this is absolutely the right approach. There is an aspect of it that I would like to point out, which is systems thinking about how we address these things. So I see Becky, grinning back there. And it’s exactly what that big award is talking about. Because a lot of the things that we need to do for one of these, I think public safety deserves to be on that list, Harold, because public safety has come under some huge stresses. And we’re going to have to work smarter because there are a bunch of things that public safety used to do that don’t work right anymore. And we’re gonna have to take a different approach to those. So if if the very first thing I’d like to say is public safety on that list, because it’s part of the package, but we need to be looking at what things can be consolidated. You know, I’m going to be the person who says it’s a smart cities thing, and I’ll explain that later. But, you know, you can use Smart Cities for libraries you can use Smart Cities for public safety. And I’ll think of some more examples. But if we have general capability for that, we don’t need to hire as many more people, for example, in some of those people, since we’re going to be paying them a lot more, we’d better use them carefully. So what I would like is to include economies of scale and, and reuse of technology and reuse of organizational capabilities and organizational maturity. And how we achieve these things. I know that the city manager is already looking at centers of excellence and reorganization. And this is absolutely necessary to that. So it’s more than I will look at the list because the list is what it says in the motion. But I just want to get it out there that it’s more than a list. It’s an approach. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 2:11:04
Okay, Councillor waters.
Tim Waters 2:11:07
Thank you, Mayor pack. So I understand part of the motivation for for what you’re requesting, and this motion is to bring back a way to have to package the combination of needs to avoid winners and losers, right. So you could put together a proposal, whether or not we can present it to the community in a persuasive way, where it doesn’t pit libraries against museum against the performing arts against recreate errs and recreational facilities I get that’s the objective. And I think that’s a smart approach. The timing, it’s going to some folk who grit their teeth, I suppose, or grind their teeth when it’s a 2023 ballot question, but I understand you’d rather when it whenever you go, then you know, then be driven by the calendar necessarily. I do think that part of what I’ve heard, or at least in I mean, we read in what we saw from Merck Springfield earlier today, in an email, or we heard from the representative from the from the library advisory board, is governance is going to matter here. So when you bring back a list, among the things that I think we ought to be looking at, and whatever else you’ll hear, are the kinds of assurances that a library advisory board will want to hear about not getting lost in another bureaucratic, you know, institutional structure of some kind. I think the same will be true for our creators, for the museum and others. And I know there are ways to do this, whether people you know, whether it’s set going to satisfy people, but ways to continue to design governance, so that there’s a balance of representation that every every entity or every amenity has has representation at the governance level. And I think depending on we do it, we would have a chance to probably be in charge of that. In terms of who gets appointed. It could be designed in a way that everybody has a balance, you know, in terms of representation. So governance is going to be a big part of it along with costs. And beyond that, before we’re finished, maybe not just on this, but when we get well, I’ll bring it back when we get into the budget discussion just about roles and responsibilities for advisory boards. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.
Unknown Speaker 2:13:33
Thank you. Any other comments? So we do have a motion on the on the floor to from Councillor Hidalgo fairing to direct staff to bring back options with a list of what that would involve and costs associated with it. So let’s vote.
Unknown Speaker 2:14:06
So that carried unanimously, thank you, everybody. Do you have your direction then narrow what you need?
Unknown Speaker 2:14:16
Well, Jim’s starting his presentation I do. Well, Oh, wow.
Unknown Speaker 2:14:32
So we’re at the on the agenda. We are at the 2023 budget discussion.
Unknown Speaker 2:14:47
From APEC members counsel Jim golden chief financial officer. So what we want to do as we have in the past is Stop waiting with the council before we get to him Well, then the budget, let them know what we’re facing this year. And give you an opportunity to give us some direction about what you’d like to see potentially in the 23 operating budget. So when it’s good, do a brief presentation and then maybe then open up for some feedback. So oops, where am I?
Unknown Speaker 2:15:31
Where are you advance? There we go. Okay, so this is just an outline of our budget process, we’ve already begun to have staff prepare budget requests are actually due at the end of this month. And then during the next couple of months, our budget staff will be working on that data. And then we will meet with the city manager review it and meet with departments to hear their about their requests for 2023. In July, we’ll finalize our revenue projections for 2023. And then in August, we put together a proposed budget CIP to present to the Council on ninth of August 30. Then September, we’ll have staff presentations, and public hearing, and then in October Council will be able to give us direction final direction on the budget. And the ordinances to adopt that budget would be considered at that time. So just a little bit of a information on on how we ended 2021. You’ll be seeing the city’s annual comprehensive financial report next month. Glimpses some of the results for the general fund. We have a fund balance of $41.7 million, which is $10 million greater than what we ended the previous year with much that $10 million differences coming down to designated amounts of fund balance. The specific General General Fund related fund balance is $39.6 million. The differences fund balances for arts and public places and deposits that we get from developers. So those have to be included within the general fund. But we separate those because they’re not basic general fund balances. So that $39.6 million, broken down to his $5.2 million dollar Tabor reserve, and $11.35 million emergency reserve. $6.3 million is basically carried over from the 2021 budget for amounts that were budgeted, but were not totally expended, they’re encumbered are going to be continued over for the purpose that they were originally budgeted. And then we have 5.7 7 million that are assigned for specific purposes. And those amounts of large amount of that $3.7 million is oil and gas revenue. And then we have some large balances for fee waivers that are to be reimbursed that at points where businesses reached the completion of the contracts that we have with them from about $710,000. There, we have 627,000 in tree mitigation dollars, and other dollars for wildland fire, wildfire, and also 240,000 for bond farm, which is actually going to is a part of this year’s budget now. And then we had $974,000 of non spendable and restricted monies. Those are for prepaid expenses and in contracts that we have. And that leaves us with $4.68 million of unassigned which is available for the for use as as one time money in 2023 budget. That’s a pretty strong balance. Last year was about $2 million less than that. That’s so this is our starting point without considering where we’re going to be with that 2022 activity. So the sales tax revenue as well as our CBRF reimbursements from the previous year’s Coronavirus expenses. We got the reimbursements during 21 That plus the sales tax revenue exceeding budget. They provided all that most of that unassigned fund balance greater than what we’ve seen in the past mergency reserves of $11.35 million equates to an 8% emergency reserve and then a 4.13% stabilization reserve. And our goal there is anywhere from three to 8%. So we’re still trying to shoot towards another 8% stabilization reserve, but we’re in pretty good shape compared to where we’ve been in the past, or public safety fund ends the year with a total fund balance 11 point 4,000,006.8 of that is uncovered uncommitted, and they have a $1.24 million 8% Emergency reserve in that fund.
Unknown Speaker 2:20:36
And then our public Improvement Fund and the year with an uncommitted fund balance of 1.4 million. And of that amount, we do have $262,000 that we’re holding for the Callahan house for a project that’s been submitted for a grant. And if it doesn’t come through, we’re intending to use it for that purpose, but it has not yet been budgeted. So that would be considered probably in this upcoming budget. And then street fund ended the year with a total fund balance of 21 point 9,000,008.5 5 million of that is uncommitted could be used for 23 projects. Our sales and use tax revenue for 21 finished up 12.4% over the previous year. And it’s exceeded the budget projection, which ended up being a 2.65% decline from 2020. So with the conservative projections that we had for 2021 sales tax, our 22 budget for sales and use tax is actually almost a half a percent below actual 21 collections. So we can actually withstand a decline of a half a percent. But instead, what we’ve seen so far through three months of 2022 is that we are up 14.9% over the first quarter of 21. That’s that’s kind of a mixed result. Right now we’ve got some very strong use tax results in the first quarter. And as I’ve said, in the past, that’s very volatile, and can really change from month to month. But we do have 10.9% growth in sales tax in the first quarter of the year. So that’s a good place to be for sure. So looking into right now into 2020 threes budget, you know, we typically will, we’ll kind of look at a 3% growth projection, which we did as well for this, this current year last year. And then we make adjustments from there forward based on on where we’re at in about mid July. And so we do have a couple more months that we can get results for to see where we’re headed before we finalize our projections. If we were to use a 3% growth in 22, and a 3% growth in 23. On top of that, that would generate about $2.887 million of new sales and use tax for ongoing expenses. In 2023 General Fund budget. We change that for sick to 6% and 21 followed by 3% and 22. That would grow to $4.2 million for ongoing expenses in next year’s budget. For property tax, this is not a reassessment year, so the only new property tax revenue we can expect to receive in 23 will be from new construction. We don’t have any new information just yet. From the county, it’s too early to have that to know what we might be expecting to see. So not considering anything at this point in time. We do try to get something before we put together the budget in July though, so hopefully they’ll be able to give us something at that point. We did set aside $2.23 million of property tax revenue last in this year’s budget and 2022. We set aside but we actually used it for one time expenses. And so what that does give us is the ability to use that for ongoing expenses in 2023. And that was really our intention in using it for one time for 2022 is to make it available for ongoing and 2023. So and if we combine that the lowest projection of sales tax that I threw out there 3% and 22 and 23 and compliant by net with that property tax $2.2 million, we would have at least $5 million of new ongoing revenue For 2023 If it was actually 6% As for 22, and 3% for 23, on top of that, that would grow to $6.43 million.
Unknown Speaker 2:25:16
So we’re going to have a decent amount of ongoing revenue to look forward to for 23 budget. But on top of that, we do have some challenges that we’ve talked about. And we just want to list in general here, we do know that we’re, you know, seeing a lot of inflationary costs in all of different areas of our budgets, not just capital construction, but also in our operating budgets. We are expecting to see that in the requests that we are going to be getting at the end of this month. And it certainly is something that we are looking at from a paid compensation perspective. We’ve heard from our providers CML and employers counsel who give us data on on salary surveys and such. They’re putting that information together. They haven’t given us final data. But what they’re telling us that they’re hearing and seeing is that there’s about an expect well, I don’t know how Gina put it but we have not seen a situation like this in quite some time.
Unknown Speaker 2:26:28
Yeah. So Gina, who is our current benefit manager was talking to some both female mount employers counsel and then private compensation firms. And one of them who does work around the the entire United States, I think said, buckle up. We haven’t seen a year like this in compensation. Since they’ve been doing this work, and be prepared for what’s going to happen. You know, I think on the low end, in gyms probably blanching with this, I think on the low end, it’s probably going to be somewhere near four. But I not sure that that’s going to hold because right now, we’re being pressed real time on positions and where folks are. And I’ve said this before, it’s just continuing to, to evolve, folks are actively recruiting our staff when we go in, and we look at the compensation we’re behind. We’ve looked at positions, and we’ve been as far behind I mean, one 9%. And we’re having to adjust within our budgets to deal with those issues. And what’s happening is we’re competing with other governmental entities who are moving quickly. We’re competing with private entities who are moving. And, you know, I was talking to a person working on a development project. And they were talking about an engineer they were working with, and they offered someone fairly new in the profession $90,000 in the individual walked. It is right now. i It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. And since I’ve been in the profession, in been in the city man in a city manager’s office about city manager position, but in an office in 20 plus 22 years. And you know, we can see it just not being able to fill positions. And so I don’t think they were overstating that this will be something like we’ve never seen before, when we have to deal with these issues. And to go on his first bullet point, the inflationary pressures, everything’s moving on is how much the gas moves sandy or Jim, what was it the cash said. And so and we buy in bulk, but every every chemical we purchase every material we purchase, we’re seeing the same inflationary pressures that people are seeing at their home. I don’t think we have a capital project that right now that is coming in, at budget, we may have had one. And it was more technical, but all of our capital projects are coming in over and we’re having to have we’re going to we actually moved up some budget meetings to start looking at that and trying to figure out how do we manage what we were planning to do from a capital perspective based on the cost increases? It’s not unique to Longmont. It is it is something that’s coming into play just for all of our communities, and you know, as there used to be an unspoken rule and I’ve said this before, we wouldn’t poach from each other. Yeah, that’s not happening now. Everyone’s poaching from everyone to try to fill positions. But these two issues I’ve said it before, and I think I’ll say it again could drive most of our budget this year.
Unknown Speaker 2:30:07
So that 4%, that we that we’re hearing from the consulting in the, in the employment areas is is about what they’re saying that once you get to market, that’s where he could see mu movement on top of that for 23. So, we’re not talking about just necessarily a 4% increase to get to where we need to be. Because first, we got to figure out how far we are behind market today. And that’s what that salary survey data that we’re awaiting will tell us. So, it it could be four plus whatever it takes to take to get to market. And we already know, as Harold just was talking about that we have some positions that are behind market, and it’s causing us recruitment issues, as well as retention issues in some of those, we have to take care of this year, which is spending going to spend some of that money this year just to fill positions. So, you know, 4% is is a starting point for us on a compensation for 23. And we think it’s going to be higher. We also talked about whether you know, in our pay policy has been to try to pay at 102%. But we’re supposed to strive to get there, and we have not ever gotten 202, we’ve been at 101. But in this hiring market, we really believe we need to probably get ourselves to 102%. So that’s another 1% there as well. So what it would cost us in the general fund right now, to just increase the budget for 23. To that 5% 4% from the growth for next year plus a 1% to one or two. And not just to get anyone to market if we’re behind market is that plus that the cost for all of the increases in temporary wages that we made a month or two ago that we also need to build into next year’s budget as well. All of that’s going to be close to $3 million in the general fund of ongoing costs. So when I tell you I have, you know $5 million, possibly of ongoing dollars of new ongoing dollars for 23. At least 3 million of that is probably going to be eaten up by these compensation costs. On the on the upside I’m not, I think we’re in a pretty strong position on some of the benefits situations where we’re capped on our health insurance to no more than a 5% increase in we think our history currently might keep us below that. And we’ll find out about that. And in the coming months as well. And I think for for other areas, we are pretty strong balances in some of our insurance funds. So I don’t think we’re going to have to raise contributions in most of those levels. And I’m certainly hoping that we don’t have to do that in our pension plans as well. Because those those results will just be looking at how we did in our returns through the end of 2021, which was great. So so those are all factors that we’re going to be wrestling with in the next 60 days to try to put together a balanced budget and then get that prepared and August. But with that, I we do want to give Council an opportunity to let us know what they would like us to try to also put into that budget. And I do want to point out, I think while I said that there are fun balances in the public improvement fund in the street fun, did hear Harold saying that most of those projects are being pushed against their budgets. So we’ll probably have to make sure those budgets are are being met for the projects that are already in play before we can begin to take those fund balances and use them for new projects. So
Unknown Speaker 2:34:25
one thing I wanted to add is, you know, what, if the focus on compensation, you know, some of you all have talked to me about this, the bulk of what we spend is actually on salary. And it’s individuals who are servicing our community and the people that make up our organization are the most important part of our organization. And so for us to do what we do, we need to have, you know, the right people in, in play and so I think that’s why we’re really focusing on this. Not I think I know that’s why we’re focusing on it.
Unknown Speaker 2:35:00
The only thing I will add is you will talk about what you would like to see. I’ve had one council member send me a list, I think because you are talking about what you want to see, I think it’s important for us to get clarity in terms of as a body, what would you like us to see to have that policy directions?
Unknown Speaker 2:35:22
So it’s opened up for discussion on prior prioritizing priority issues. Councillor Hidalgo ferry?
Unknown Speaker 2:35:36
Thank you, Mayor. So I have a question. So when we’re looking at compensation, who does this include? Like, as far as which departments which levels? Everybody? So all across the board from the part time to
Unknown Speaker 2:35:52
where we’ve adjusted part time, alright, yeah,
Unknown Speaker 2:35:53
yeah, the temp, my man. But you all your full time employees.
Unknown Speaker 2:35:59
That’s correct. But the numbers that I would given you about the 3 million was just for general fund. So I’m only doing that because I’m estimating how much we have available. That’s where we have the biggest problem about matching revenues with expenses. The enterprise funds are better suited to be able to meet whatever the compensation increases are. But General Fund is typically where we’re probably not able to meet all our expenses that that are challenging us.
Unknown Speaker 2:36:30
Okay. Okay. I did. Maybe I moved it and turn it on again.
Unknown Speaker 2:36:45
Okay, great. Thank you. And then, so No, that makes me happy. You know, I had conversations with you. I’m, I mean, you know, being a member of the negotiations team for our school district, you know, we look at, where what you budget is where your priorities are. And so to hear our city focus so much on the people, because we can have these great programs, we can have the great services, if we don’t have the people to support that we we cannot have that quality in there, that makes us a unique and special city. The other thing I wanted to ask about, so the 11 point 3 million in emergency reserves, is there. Is there a is that a different from like capital reserves, or is there a separate? I know, I’ve heard capital reserves. And is that so this this amount is what we have put away for all all reserves?
Unknown Speaker 2:37:43
That That amount is the general funds. Okay, sir. For emergencies. So, first 8%? Well, we have the table reserve, which is $5.2 million, which pretty much can’t be used unless you pay it back within the end of the year, which is practically impossible. So we don’t ever touch it, then we have an 8% emergency reserve on top of that, which is there in the event of an emergency that would require it. Although I will say that, as long as I’ve been here two or three years, I guess there’s we’ve never used that reserve. Okay, so then on top of that, the stability stabilization reserve is something that we thought would be able to take us through what we kind of like we went through with COVID, where we needed to, we weren’t sure we’re going to have the revenues coming in to be able to provide services. And then we could rely on that type of reserve in a situation like that for to be able to continue services, at least for some period of time. And so that’s why we’re trying to build that up to 8%. So that’s 4% Currently,
Unknown Speaker 2:38:57
okay, so yeah, I was just wondering if what, what we have here, so it sounds like there’s other pockets of money where we can it on a rainy day,
Unknown Speaker 2:39:05
every operating fund, every major operating fund in the city has its own reserve. Okay, so that’s the general funds reserve. Got it. I mentioned the public safety fund has one of 8% as well. Most of them do have similar 8%, two to three months or that type of reserve. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 2:39:23
I just I wanted to make sure it’s like is that enough? Okay. Thank you,
Unknown Speaker 2:39:30
Unknown Speaker 2:39:33
I don’t know if this is the right time for me to mention it. I know. You. You ask. What do we want? I mentioned before a few months ago about speaking of compensation, compensation and retention, making sure that we had money in the fund to funds to provide for internships. So we were saying I don’t think anyone was opposed to it. But we I think we all agreed upon making sure that they get paid on up recruitment, having students from front range that are also receiving credits, as well as a stipend from us. We had already talked with them. And that has, you know, they’re kind of like waiting on us to see if that’s a thing that we can do that. And I know the chamber is also saying that they probably can provide a pilot the money for a pilot program this year. So if we give each intern $1,000, for an internship, that will be awesome if we can put that in the funding for next year. My other I don’t know if you mentioned this, and you probably did, but I’m not sure if that 8% is also a some funding for just in case COVID is still here. So I know, it’s not I don’t know, when it’s leaving, or if it’s ever gonna go. But are we are we putting money aside for any type of educational information? If, for instance, there’s another variant that come out that, you know, white people weigh, you know, not wipe us away, but you know, keep us at home. And again, we’re still going through that whole COVID situation, people stay in their home. And again, you know, that affects us as a city, too. So what are we doing to maybe make sure we have some type of funds set aside for our community, and also for our staff here. If by chance, there’s another variant that kind of, you know, have people you know, sitting at home in not able to work? And maybe we have to provide them. Other assistance? I don’t know if that’s your wheelhouse, but it’s just a thought that I was thinking of, are we putting anything aside for though for COVID? Because doesn’t look like is going anywhere? So?
Unknown Speaker 2:42:24
So I think there’s a lot of answers to that question. So where we’ve got where we’ve gotten to as an organization is outside of most of our positions either have to come in if they’re in the operational side, because we just need to make sure water wastewater, sanitary, all that’s working. Those that don’t have to come in, I think through COVID, we really have continued to refine the work from home component. So folks can still work. And I think when it when it really hits then is our operating departments like recreation in some of those areas. And so have we budgeted anything specifically in there for that? No. But I think that’s where we would look at the stability reserves, if we were in that kind of situation. And we were looking at our overall performance financially to see where we are, during the last time we didn’t hit the stability reserve. During COVID, we were able to manage that within the aggregate budget that we had in play. So I think it really depends what the situation is and how we’re looking at the overall financial performance. Because what we think got us through COVID was all of the box with the box stores we have in town because places nearest didn’t have it, we were just seeing a lot of revenue coming in during that period. So we start looking internally within the budget. And then in terms of putting information out we look with our budgets and public information, I have a contingency account that I can utilize to augment funding if we need to do more public relations work in that. So it really just depends what we’re seeing how much I think we try to hold off on those contingency accounts and manage within the budget to the best of our ability. And we were able to do that the last time.
Unknown Speaker 2:44:09
Okay, sounds good. I just didn’t know we had to tap into the budget for masks, making sure we could cut distribute masks out to anyone who needed them, and things like that. So it was just a thought. And something for us to think about and hopefully we don’t have to think about in 2023. But here we are.
Unknown Speaker 2:44:34
Tim Waters 2:44:36
Thanks, Mayor back to things as you talk about compensation. As we went through the last budget, and we were talking about what would be required to get to market and in how far beyond that we could go. We didn’t give direction I made a comment. So it wasn’t you weren’t told. Do you give direction to do anything with it? But I was curious then and I’ll Be curious as we go forward from CML, or from Mountain States or from Sherm or whoever we use to do salary studies. One of the things I would be interested in if it’s possible is to see as we benchmark, are we benchmarking. I know we benchmark against other cities that have similar approaches to compensation, which is anchored in the past, are there new models or approaches to compensation that we ought to be using to benchmark against?
Unknown Speaker 2:45:27
So that’s actually what we were trying to do with the comp study. But because of the timing and other issues, we didn’t get a solid response, we’re now working on that. It’s not going to be in time for this year. But specifically to that point, what we talked about is I don’t want to know what we’ve always done in the past. I want to know what the future is going to look like in terms of compensation, because it’s changing so fast that what are people doing that’s creative? And how are they adjusting. And in you tell us where we need to be five years from now, not where we need to be today. And that’s one of the things that we’re really pushing on.
Tim Waters 2:46:08
As we heard from Joanne and the workforce of the future, the initiative, I know that is cross cutting across the organization. But as we think about whatever that number is going to be, and obviously, we have to do more, I don’t know. Every other municipality is going to do it more and every other private sector entity is going to be doing more if we could get some idea of what what the future looks like, because we know what the past looks like and how we’ve compensated. So I, you know, when we get into it, it would be helpful just to know kind of what we looked at and what did we learn if we can’t do anything in in 2023? Kind of what we had was the trajectory maybe? I know, within the context of the workforce of the future, we talked about internships as well, so unrelated to the numbers, but just related to the process. I I wouldn’t want I see marks in up there. I wouldn’t want the library advisory board or any advisory board to get the message from this meeting. I know this wasn’t your intent, Mayor Peck that somehow where we are with the library budget is a result of the library advisory board not coming in lobbying us. Right. I think that’s a message Well, I would not want to send the message to 22 boards and commissions that the way to build budgets is for them to lobby the council. We all are liaisons and have that information and can feed that into the process. But I wouldn’t want them to feel like somehow the fact that we are 93rd at second, you know, with the numbers that we saw, is a which is a product or consequence of advisory board members not coming and lobbying council or individual council members for their budgets.
Unknown Speaker 2:47:59
Good point, counselor, Martin.
Unknown Speaker 2:48:07
Thank you, Mayor pack. I think, you know, up to this point, we sort of shared observations about Yeah, general agreement that we’re gonna have to pay people a lot more. But we haven’t given any direction yet. I remember last year or two years ago, you know, COVID time, right. But we did about this point in the process or say, Look, we need to add the equity lens to our budget prioritization process. And I would like to suggest some direction that is along those lines, although different, we have just determined here that we are going to have to put a lot of what looks like amazing riches, you know, for long mined into employee compensation. And that’s a good thing. That’s the right thing. That’s a just thing. And I am completely happy with with that outcome. But what I think that means we’re going to have to do is look at organizational capabilities or organizational maturity, and systems thinking in terms of technology reuse, because one of the things about paying people more is is that you cannot take the easy path of paying more people as easily as you did before. are. But we have already done some reorganization and set ourselves up for doing structural reorganization within the city that allows us to get more done with the resources we have by applying them using a systems approach that will involve technology resource reuse. And I would like to suggest that we direct the staff to put that lens in front of the budgeting process. And that in particular, we look at smart cities technology, and crime prevention, Through Environmental Design separated. And I suggest that just from what we’ve been discussing in the last few months, that that at least public safety, parks, our approach to homelessness, and sustainability of the urban design, all can be addressed that way. And I would like to add that to the lens and I so move that we direct staff to do that. No second,
Unknown Speaker 2:51:22
can you restate that that was kind of a long motion? I think I lost.
Unknown Speaker 2:51:26
Yes, I move that we just direct staff to consider as budgeting and organization that we consider improving our organizational capability, so that we make the most efficient possible use of human resources. And then we look at technology resources, that in some ways substitute for human resources in the obvious example that the city is already down this path is is using license plate recognition, recognition to cite speeders. And you know, I know that that’s already being investigated. And I think that and I see all the city managers are nodding, so I hope I’ll find a second. Again, those have direct applicability that I will be glad to explain at a later date for public safety, parks, homelessness, and sustainability of the urban design. So I move that we direct staff to consider those things.
Tim Waters 2:52:41
Well, I’ll second the motion for the purpose of discussion. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 2:52:46
So the motion was made by Councillor Martin seconded by Councillor waters. It’s open for discussion. Councillor waters?
Tim Waters 2:52:56
Thanks for your pack would help. First of all, I guess I would ask the question to those of you who are involved in the highest level of decision making budgets and program development, etc. What are we doing already? That reflects? Or is examples of a systems approach? Optimizing technology, avoiding duplication or redundancies that are unnecessary, assuring redundancies, where they are right for the sake sake of high reliability, etc. So I get some idea. When before we vote on a motion? Where are we today in relationship to this direction? Are we already doing it? Are we 70% of the way there? Or do you know what what this what this would require if we’re not doing it now.
Unknown Speaker 2:53:52
I’m going to start basic level and then move on. So in things like Smart City technology, and this isn’t the full optimization of it. But we’ve talked about the need for cameras at parks and other places, because the vandalism that’s occurring and trying to help manage some of those costs. We’ve talked about the need for cameras on some of our intersections in terms of when we have an issue and instead of going into high speed chase, you can utilize those cameras to then minimize community impact. We talked to council about the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. That’s a policy conversation we’ll have to bring back to you all so that you can so if you’re talking there’s things like that that we’re working on. If you look at what we’re doing in terms of data, and and we have a data management team, that we call it slain that data dragon that’s really understanding the use of data and what we’re collecting, why we’re collecting it so we can inform some of those decisions. That’s still It’s not in its infancy stage, but it’s probably in its toddler stage in terms of where they are and where they’re moving. And I think out of that there will be there will come some things, I think is they’re talking about the component of caring communities, and how do we connect people via technology so that we can better serve them as a whole person? We’re looking at that piece and how do we develop it? So that’s kind of what’s going on. I think there’s a much if you look to the future, we’ve got to look beyond even that. And that’s the work that multiple staff has been involved in Becky’s, obviously from what works Betty, I know Valerie in a group from next slide went to the Smart Cities conference in Ohio. And what’s interesting is there’s where we are, we’re kind of still on that front end of what cities are doing. But in the camera system, for example, James Brown in Public Safety’s working cross Oregon across the organization, with us to be Sandy. Now it’s Valerie and a team to really look at Project Nola, which is a more comprehensive use of technology and cameras to even opens it up for business owners. So and then it’s once you get that in place, it’s how do you bring the technology behind that to then inform and let us know what’s going on. But those are things that we’re still working on. That’s here, I’m not sure beyond that. You know, smart cities can mean, what Bob Allen does, where we’re evaluating road temps and looking at the images determining what mix we’re going to use of mag chloride, and how they’re going to do it. So we do some of that as well. But I think it’s it’s bringing everyone together via these teams that we built to look in the future. I don’t know if that’s what you’re talking about.
Tim Waters 2:56:53
So it’d be helpful before we cast a vote to know what’s more or different in terms of this motion than what the city is already doing.
Unknown Speaker 2:57:06
Thank you, Mayor Peck. That is exactly what I meant. And the reason for me introducing this motion is to make sure that it gets funded. Because I don’t want to be confronted with we wish we could do this, but we just couldn’t stretch our budget that way. So my motion was intended to get consensus that we prioritize those efficiencies in our organization.
Unknown Speaker 2:57:40
Councillor Martin, would you? It’s okay. Would you restate it using the words font you want it funded in the budget rather than that we’re just using it that you want them to use that technology?
Unknown Speaker 2:57:59
Absolutely. Is your restatement enough? Or do you need me to take another shot? Oh, that’s
Unknown Speaker 2:58:10
it? Well, let’s, let’s think for a minute about restating it that according to possibly the conversation that we had during the discussion of the motion certified or that the city was already on the path that you were saying. So the motion would be to make sure that we continue to fund it. Does that make sense?
Unknown Speaker 2:58:36
Yes, the motion, the motion needs to be that we continue to fund it. And that operationally, we adopt those techniques as a goal for improving city processes. Because a lot of the things that that I think have happened, you know,
Unknown Speaker 2:58:58
Unknown Speaker 2:59:00
we have have had in the past technology silos we’ve had, you know, repeated efforts, and this is is what I’m trying to say it and I I think when I said you know what we see this as a lens the same as as, as the idea of of an equity lens is that we’re looking for a process improvement lens of organizational capability. And when we look at the projects that we fund, look at them that way do they meet this criterion? Because they’re you know, Harold had a longer list than mine of, of things in those categories that we’re doing. And I just want to make sure that in addition to funding them, that we look hard at at reuse and building up our capabilities. So
Unknown Speaker 3:00:00
As you stick with your first motion, I have no idea what we’re doing in that motion. So let’s just
Unknown Speaker 3:00:07
can I make. So what I’m hearing is just really applying a lens as we’re evaluating programs, considering efficiency and effectiveness utilizing Smart City technology. And how we can adopt these techniques, more in a more robust manner throughout the organization.
Unknown Speaker 3:00:30
Unknown Speaker 3:00:37
I think is that that’s what I was distilling down out of the motion.
Unknown Speaker 3:00:51
Let’s vote. Carried unanimously, thank you. That was quite an interesting little discussion there. Does anyone else on council want to give some priorities to this budget at this moment? So I do want to make a statement, basically an emotion because last December, I made a motion to use that one half of the marijuana tax that was not used for housing for mental health. I would move that we changed that the what I forgot to put in there was that it should be in perpetuity. So it would end this year, and my time’s up. It was getting a little slap happy here. So I move that we use the second half of the marijuana taxes, not only for mental health, but for addiction. I see a funny face on Eugene. Is this incorrect to do? We’re thinking about
Unknown Speaker 3:02:31
I think you can codify Council chiefs. You can do it. You can codify so it’s not a one time.
Unknown Speaker 3:02:43
You the word I need. Okay, ongoing. Okay. So I move that we use the second half of the marijuana tax for mental health enhanced and addiction purposes as an ongoing policy. Thank you. Any discussion? Councillor winters?
Tim Waters 3:03:09
Just you said the second half the first half. We use for affordable housing affordable housing. So it would so I just wanted to be clear that we weren’t taking? No we’re not we were replacing the first half of the second. I’m good. Thanks.
Unknown Speaker 3:03:27
Any other discussion? Let’s vote please. Carried unanimously, thank you Jim, is that it for the budget then tonight? Okay. Thank you, Jim. So we are now at Item C of our study.
Unknown Speaker 3:04:02
Now my concern, my time is up.
Unknown Speaker 3:04:06
Turn it off. So we are at the last part of our study session items was which is a consideration of changes to the charter. So Sandy, you’re gonna take us the lead on this.
Unknown Speaker 3:04:18
I’m gonna walk you through it and ask some some questions as we go. So Mayor Peck members of council Sandy cedar assistant city manager, and I’m going to be relying heavily on my partner team here to help me walk through all of these different suggestions. But essentially, not too long ago, the elect the election of 2021 highlighted some issues that our charter presented around elections. And you all mentioned that maybe it’s time for us to take a look at our charter to determine if there are some different things that we need to look at with respect to elections moving forward. And most notably, the fact that our charter doesn’t really align with state election code. Today, and we’ll talk about some of the specifics around that what that means it looks like but since we were at it, you’d suggested that we take a look at The entire charter to see if there are some other things that might either create efficiencies or might be some good cleanup options. So we have four things for you to consider. And whatever you decide today, this is completely a policy decision. If you all decide that you would like to put forth a few changes to the charter, then that would go on the 22 ballot, if that’s what you all decided to do. So that’s what we’re looking for direction on. Would you like to run a ballot issue? And what kinds of things might you want to include if we were to put a charter amendment out there? So there are four sections we’re going to talk about today. One really is talking about the election pieces, one around electronic signatures, one around IG A’s. And then the last one talking about members of the pension and retirement boards. So I’m going to go ahead and start with elections. And so we’re just going to kind of walk through this the suggestions here. So there are a couple things with respect to elections that were troublesome, like I said, in 2021. The first one was the timing of the organizational meeting. So our charter says that the organizational meeting needs to be the Monday after the Tuesday of the election. Well, as you know, none of those results are certified by that period of time. And so it can make it very unclear as to what we should be doing during that organizational meeting. And so our suggestion is that perhaps we augment the charter to say that it will be the organizational meeting will be early December once we actually have certified results or something to that effect. So that’s the first problem that we’re taking a look at. And Mayor, I’m not sure the best way to go through it, maybe go through the entire election section and then discuss or whatever you’d like to do.
Unknown Speaker 3:06:40
i Let’s go through the whole thing.
Unknown Speaker 3:06:42
Okay. Sounds good. So then the the next portion around the election pieces is how to handle vacancies. So obviously, in this year, we had an issue where we had a vacancy that we really thought we would be able to fill with a special election and then weren’t able to really get any assistance from the county because it was also a redistricting year, we are to the size 100,000 People were really, it’s not practical for us to run our own elections in house anymore. For smaller communities, they can still do that. But for the size of our community, it’s just not practical with all the different laws and equipment and everything that needs to happen. So we really do rely on our county partners to help us with that. So so we didn’t actually make a recommendation in this section. But we included some information in the appendix around what other communities do around vacancies. And if you would like to pursue either, you know, there’s there’s lots of people do it in lots of different ways. If you would be interested in either pursuing a charter change that says, Oh, the council does appoint vacancies, or whatever that may look like, there’s information for you in the back that shares what other communities are doing in that case. The next one hours of voting. So we say polling places, will be from 7am to 7pm on election day, but you know, ran coordinated elections now. And so you know, we do this mostly through mail ballots. So this would really just clean up if we changed it to say that we’re just going to code we’re going to coordinate with whatever the state election laws saying that would make that a little different. So there’s the election ones. The next one is around electronic signatures on documents. So currently, the charter does allow for electronic signatures, we’re considering those facsimile signatures on contracts, but not everything else you do. So you know, you’re passing resolutions and ordinances and intergovernmental agreements. And none of those things are allowed to go through our E signature process. And so that does that is something that the state does, they’re they’re certainly asking us to be part of their E signature process. And so we’re still requiring hand signatures on those kinds of documents. So one thing that we could clean up that would create a lot of efficiency would be like allowing electronic signatures on those documents as well. The next one is changing the requirements so that the council doesn’t have to approve every inter governmental agreement with other public entities. Not very many communities have this requirements. So anytime that we make any kind of agreement with anybody else, it’s a governmental entity, whether that is borrowing artwork, whether that is facility use agreement, some most of them are no cost kinds of conversations, right? You know, those all each one of those has to go through to readings at the City Council. And so there’s a couple things we could do instead of that, we could say that if there’s $1 amount attached that we follow purchasing guidelines and purchasing would then determine when those contracts come to City Council like over a certain threshold. The other thing that we could do is make sure that we’re letting you know what the IGA czar that we signed over the last month so that there’s transparency and what we’re doing with other communities. But it does it does slow down our process often if we’re trying to do different pieces Yeah, go ahead, Tim. Oh, one ray. Oh, sorry. Wondering and so it does slow down that process for example, if we just want to, you know, be able to work with Boulder County either on rhythm on the river to make sure that we’ve we’re able to use the their area for parking, for example, those are the kinds of things that are coming to you. We’ve also included in the Attachment A list of all the different IDs that you’ve approved, so that you can take a look at what we’re talking about. Yeah. Okay, and the last one, modifying the charger, so that charter so that pension and retirement board members don’t have to be registered voters. So the charter currently says that all boards and commissions that are appointed by the city council need to be registered voters of Longmont that makes a ton of sense in almost all the other boards with the exception of the pension and retirement boards. So people who work for the city of Longmont don’t always live here. And when they retire, sometimes they go other places. So it becomes more and more difficult to recruit members of the Retirement and Pension boards. And so by changing this to exempt just those boards of which employees are the ones that are a part of that board, that I think will be make it easier for us to be able to recruit members. And of course, it would still leave the requirement for the rest of the boards and commissions. So those are the four that we are suggesting. And we are open for discussion direction. Excuse me.
Unknown Speaker 3:11:09
Thank you my back. So I’m just gonna go in reverse order, actually, because I feel like the more conversation is probably going to be had regarding elections. As far as the Retirement and Pension boards, I think that’s actually not just an issue of, of diversity, but of equity, in the sense that how many employees currently don’t live in the city of Longmont have no ability to try to get on and have a say in how their retirements and pensions are dealt with. So I think that makes 100% sense. And I would be behind that. That change. As far as inter governmental agreements, I that doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I think the $50,000 threshold is probably appropriate. I’m not sure how we came up with that number. But
Unknown Speaker 3:11:54
that’s from our purchasing code purchasing, we would just follow along with whatever the purchasing code says if the purchasing code changed to 60,000, then that would be the threshold Karachi has come into city council as well. Yeah, that doesn’t
Unknown Speaker 3:12:05
really bother me. I think the electronic signatures makes sense as well. Having gone in and myself had to sign documents, you know, when filling in for for Brian, last few years. So I think also being consistent with some of the other governmental entities and how they’re dealing with it. Because I think that was made a note in in the packet that some governmental entities would very much prefer that. And we’re not doing it. So I can definitely get behind that change as well. As far as city charter regarding elections. You know, I think this was kind of a unicorn year in how that all worked out with the redistricting, as you know, is and also how our election played out. I’m not real comfortable in council appointments to the city council. So I would not necessarily be in favor of that. I’m kind of fine with the status quo as far as that’s concerned. But I definitely do agree with the organizational meeting being boot moved. My question would be, would the previous sitting Council continue to sit until the organizational meeting December? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 3:13:14
I would think so. Tim, you the
Unknown Speaker 3:13:15
recommendation is that we choose the term change the term lengths and the organizational meeting so that they match.
Unknown Speaker 3:13:20
Okay. So it’d be December to December instead of November, November. Okay. And so that’s that’s kind of my opinion on all the the items presented.
Unknown Speaker 3:13:30
Thank you. Councillor Martin?
Unknown Speaker 3:13:36
Thank you, Mayor Peck. I concur with Mayor Pro Tem on all the points. But I have a question about the procurement threshold, which is $50,000 might be a good number now. And we didn’t read the Procurement Code. So I confess to not knowing it. So does that get get revised from time to time to keep up with inflation? Especially since inflation is, you know, not the not the paper tiger? It’s been for so many years now. How’s that? How would that work?
Unknown Speaker 3:14:15
Yes, it does get revised, I would say every few years. I think the last revision was maybe four years ago, just thinking off the top of my head. And there are several thresholds for purchasing. So anything that’s under $5,000 needs no competition, no bids, we just are able to award those. Anything between five and 50 require three quotes. And that’s currently how purchasing code works today when I first started at the city was $1,000.05 $1,000. So we have been able to make those adjustments. Today’s is $50,000. But what we would propose is that we just align it with whatever the purchasing code is saying at the time. So that that way and so the the $50,000 threshold is when you need an actual formal, either bid or RFP. That’s the threshold for something that is is kind of big enough to need serious competition.
Unknown Speaker 3:15:03
And then counsel has to if we were to change, if we come back on an adjustment of purchasing code that comes to counsel,
Unknown Speaker 3:15:09
it either will happen one of two ways either would be part of the purchasing code. Or if we change purchasing code to refer to the financial policies, you all set those as well.
Unknown Speaker 3:15:18
And I would just again, like to reiterate, when it comes to vacancies on the council, that I don’t want to make it any easier to appoint than it already is.
Unknown Speaker 3:15:32
Tim Waters 3:15:35
thanks for your pick. So ditto to what you’ve heard about IGA is and electronic signatures. And I, I’m comfortable with the current provisions in the charter that require an election if, if an opening on the council occurs outside of the year, with appointments inside of a year, which is I think, where we are now right, here’s the one question I have about that part of this. And a vacancy on the council exists the day a council member would declare or would resign, right? If that’s how they can see occurs, as opposed to resigning, declaring the intent to resign some date in the future, to avoid the need for a special election. Right. I could have, hypothetically, if the if the criteria were different, I could have resigned my ward one seat affected the November election. And declared that early enough so that the clerk could have run a special election to fill that seat, saving the city the expense to run a special election to fill the seat just like we’re now having to do we can’t do because we can’t get the clerk to do it. But I would have been willing to do that. But I wasn’t willing because had I done it I’ve been you know this vacancy what existed for months before, I just wasn’t willing to do that to you know, the residents of Ward one. But it would have saved potentially save the city the need to run a special election, the both the expense and the inconvenience. And where we are unicorn year that we that we’re living through right now, is that charter language that would need to be changed. To allow a council member to resign effective Election Day, keep stay in their seat until the election occurs, run a special election. So the seats filled on Election Day with and there being continuity, the seats never vacant.
Unknown Speaker 3:17:45
Try to think of how that would work practically. And I know Tim’s checking that out, run a special election you mean run this?
Tim Waters 3:17:52
It would be it would have to be a special election run simultaneous whether with a regular election, that
Unknown Speaker 3:17:57
would be Yeah, go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 3:17:58
So I can comment that you’ll see if you look to the appendix, there are a couple cities that have provisions in their charter, similar to what you’re describing what they have is a deadline for you to announce that you’re going to run. And then if you can’t withdraw that after a certain period so that there’s enough time to put that seed on election. And then it becomes effective the date of the organizational meeting or the date of death.
Tim Waters 3:18:25
Yeah, well, you know, it’s, it’s irrelevant for me at this point. But I think the bigger picture long term, this isn’t the only time that would occur. And it could potentially fill a seat with in there be continuity and or save the city the cost of a special unnecessarily the cost of a special election.
Unknown Speaker 3:18:44
And I think that’s the purpose of those provisions is to get it all done in one. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 3:18:48
I could see having to resign ahead of time also, as being part of that. But
Tim Waters 3:18:53
well, you’d have to declare that and have enough time to to run the special election election, simultaneous with a general election right.
Unknown Speaker 3:19:02
Challenges, because there’s the ward side, and then there’s the at large it would be Yeah, would be challenging, I think. Well,
Tim Waters 3:19:09
I mean, you could do it no matter what your role was you just have a city wide or a ward election in the context of this. Is a special election run simultaneously. Is that an option or not?
Unknown Speaker 3:19:24
So can I ask a question? So in that scenario,
Tim Waters 3:19:27
I get to ask you questions.
Unknown Speaker 3:19:31
In my head, yeah, in that scenario, so if I were the councilmember running for mayor position, and I say, I’m going to resign
Tim Waters 3:19:45
as of election as or, in this case, it would be as of the seeding of a new counsel.
Unknown Speaker 3:19:50
So in that scenario, no matter what happened, whether that’s yes, it’s it’s a different election. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 3:20:00
Second, a different election. That’s the whole point. An open seat
Unknown Speaker 3:20:04
is the question whether we can do that
Tim Waters 3:20:06
under our current language. I know we can’t do that under the current provision there.
Unknown Speaker 3:20:10
So there are a couple of cities that have those provisions. They just have a drop deadline deadlines that says you can’t take it bad.
Tim Waters 3:20:17
Yeah, I realized that would be a problem. Now you’re running an election, somebody says, nevermind, yeah, I’ve changed.
Unknown Speaker 3:20:23
So if you’re running for a position, that is not your current position, then you have to announce that by a certain date, and then you can’t take back by a certain date so that you can get that on there. And there are a couple of cities that have Colorado Springs is one that I can see after a quick search.
Tim Waters 3:20:41
I can find another while I may be the only one who thinks it’s a good idea. But I do think city council members ought to have that option. If that, if that if that’s the way they wanted it to play out. And that’s not an option without leaving a seat vacant for five months, or whatever that timeframe would be. And I just don’t think that’s fair to whether it’s an at large roller or a ward seat to the residents of that, of that Ward, or that or the city. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 3:21:07
because this definitely was a unicorn year, I’ve been here, you know, 23 years and had never seen that happen before. But to your point, you’re still four or five months before we could do a special election,
Tim Waters 3:21:16
you know, what I’m talking about? Yeah, unrelated to the unicorn, right? That in in any regular cycle, that it may very well be that you have the situation we had, and you have multiple people running and it is pretty likely that there’s gonna be a vacancy in one of the seats. And in this case, it would have saved money in assured a seat being filled with continuity. Right. So if there’s if there’s no other interest in that, I’ll let it go. But if there is, I think that’s that’s something that we ought to at least consider.
Unknown Speaker 3:22:03
Oh, sorry, counselor Yarborough.
Unknown Speaker 3:22:08
Thank you, Mayor. I agree with everything else that everyone has said had mentioned. I just want to give my perspective as a first time running for a campaign, I actually thought that that’s the way it should have been, as Councillor water has had mentioned. When someone ran for position, they’re actually given up their seat. And then at that time, there shouldn’t be a simultaneous election or, I mean, this is just me saying this is what I was thinking. And then this one would, maybe the third person for that seat. If it was for his seat that was in Ward one, then they could have taken that seat. You know what I’m saying? So I think that would, I don’t know all the formalities of everything. But personally, from my perspective on the outside looking in, who had never been on council, and had never ran a camp, you know, a campaign ran for anything, I felt like that that’s the way it should have been, because then you wouldn’t be stuck, right? And so that person automatically knows that. Whether we decide like if some of the other cities give DDOT 45 days to say, JK, just kidding, um, you know, I’m standing, I’m not giving up my seat, or they already know, that is gone, that the next person, you know, continue to how many seats that are available. That person, if they’re in a particular Ward, or if they’re at at large, will get that seat? I do not feel comfortable appointing anyone, myself. So I don’t have enough experience in that. So that I agree with as well. But that was my perspective. I don’t know if I confused it more or made it any better. But I can. I think that’s what you were talking about Council waters, right? The same thing. Okay. That was my perspective as running for the very first time for any official government position that that pert that seats should be like the next person in line, that third person who had the most votes if they were awarded one, or or they can run simultaneous, or they can run simultaneous with the other candidates.
Unknown Speaker 3:24:46
Yeah, that’s the way that it would have to be okay. It does depend on when people you know, have their terms up. So if two people ran at the same time, let’s say one at large and one, you know, for award sounds like what we’re saying is that they would both say You know, if they’re running both running for mayor, they would both say, Okay, I resigned effective the whatever the election date is and whoever gets the mayorship big maybe neither one of them. And and then in that case we’ve run elections for those two positions that right time cemetery right now
Unknown Speaker 3:25:20
all won elections.
Unknown Speaker 3:25:22
Yes. Yeah. Council, Councillor Martin? Yes. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 3:25:27
Okay. So I think I can restate it more simply, which is that if someone runs for mayor, when they’ve got time left on their council term, then their council, their their council seat, whether it’s at large or Ward becomes vacant, as of the December swearing in date. And that means because you know that it’s going to be vacant, that the regular election just lets people declare for that seat. So it’s note there’s no special election involved ever.
Unknown Speaker 3:26:06
Gonna have to call it a two year term.
Unknown Speaker 3:26:09
Well, okay. Okay. Yeah. If that’s the reason for calling it a special election, then I’m fine with that. But concurrently, it’s not it’s not a different election. It’s just a different. It’s an exceptional term,
Unknown Speaker 3:26:22
correct? Yes. Some cities call it an election to fulfill the unexpired term of Yes. And it’s a special technically it’s a special election to fill that. If counsels interested in that, I think what I would suggest is let us kind of look at some scenarios and put something together. If that’s what you want us to do, because we’re digging and trying to figure out
Unknown Speaker 3:26:47
just want to make sure that all the logistics are helpful. Ready? Yes, counselor waters.
Tim Waters 3:26:56
My the my intent wasn’t to make it obligatory. For a CSC city council member, to be if a city council member with an unexpired term beyond, say, a mayoral race, or if they wanted to run for networks, they could do that. I suppose. I wasn’t the intent wasn’t to make it obligatory. But to make it an option for that council member to resign effective Election Day or when the new council would be seated. So a so a, an election, to fill the unexpired term could occur simultaneous with a regular election, saving the city of the need to run a special election to fill the seat. And the expense that goes with it right. As a as a, I just didn’t have that option
Unknown Speaker 3:27:46
was for a counselor Hidalgo fairing.
Unknown Speaker 3:27:48
Okay, thank you. So would that? I mean, could it be written into our charter to allow people to have the option or it’s either we do it or we don’t?
Unknown Speaker 3:28:04
If that’s the direction that the council would like to go as city manager, and I said, I would, I would love to do a little more research on that. So knowing that that’s the intention of what you’d like to see, we’d be happy to work with city attorney’s office to make sure that we’re able to provide options that would get you where you wanted to be.
Unknown Speaker 3:28:20
Okay, again, I guess I would like to see, I don’t know that answer option. A, you know, what it legally what, you know, is it something that we can make it be an option? Or are we just going to have to say, Okay, you are resigning from this post, or we don’t go that route. So
Unknown Speaker 3:28:47
weak? So. So, you know, I do I wanted to say that I, you know, I agree with, with what my colleagues have said, as far as the item number four, item three, the electronic signatures, number two, and the organizational date, I do want to see a little bit more about what our options could be for the charter provisions. But one thing I do not like the idea of appointment, but I wanted to make that that part clear. The other one is for number three, looking at the inter governmental agreements. You know, I, the thing I liked about it is, as I’m reading through my packet, I really I know what’s, what’s going on. So if there’s an opportunity to just even throw that page in the packet that we’ve accepted these or we’ve moved through on these, we don’t even have to have a discussion during counsel. But if that’s added to the packet somewhere, so I could see those you know, those contracts,
Unknown Speaker 3:29:46
we could treat it like we did our capital improvement improvement updates where we just have it on there to go, here’s what we’ve approved that way you see it? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 3:29:55
I would like that. Yeah, and I’m sorry, couldn’t add more to it. a vacancy piece, but I, you know, I want to go a route that’s going to minimize the length of of vacancy. So.
Unknown Speaker 3:30:14
So I agree on all the changes, the vacancy piece was very confusing to me. So do you need? Did you get direction on that? Do you need a motion on on what to do on that vacancy? I
Unknown Speaker 3:30:28
feel like what I heard was that all of the other pieces that staff suggested go ahead and start crafting ballot language for you to consider for the 2022 ballot. And when it comes to the vacancies come up with some options that the City Council could consider that do not include appointment that, you know, taking a look at what councilmember Waters was talking about whether that could be optional, whether it would need to be obligatory, and bring that section back to council with a little more detail.
Unknown Speaker 3:30:58
So here is my on the vacancies. If I understood Councillor waters correctly, that he he is saying that someone would be able to resign their seat in November, before right before the election, after the election had happen. You could you could declare that you’re going to resign your seat once the election concludes. And my my question there is, how can that run concurrent because no one will know if that seat is going to be open until he resigns it. So and then the election, that campaign season is over. So it would have to be another special election in January or February, wouldn’t it? We would like to have confused.
Unknown Speaker 3:31:42
So the way I understand it is that if I’m in a position where I’m running for another seat, I would declare against simply I’m going to vacate my seat at the end of the election, win or lose. And so then what happens is you’re running that seat election at the same time that you’re running the other ones. That’s the way I understood it.
Unknown Speaker 3:32:08
So the declaration that you’re going to resign has to be that’s the part I missed. I thought he was going to declare that he resigned to after the election. And I thought that doesn’t make sense. So
Unknown Speaker 3:32:18
now the nuance to that is we’re we’re seeing it in most cities, and this is where we need to do research is the way they haven’t written is you you announced on this day. So let’s say it’s 100 days before the election, just simple math. But by the 90th day, if you haven’t pulled out, then you’re declaring that and there’s not a choice. And I think that’s the difference in what we were talking about was when councilmember water said he wanted heat what he was thinking of it’s a choice of the candidate. And I think that’s what we’ve got to figure out, okay, is that accurate?
Unknown Speaker 3:32:55
But after the 90 days or whatever time is specified, it is too late to resign.
Unknown Speaker 3:33:00
That’s one option. There may be other options
Unknown Speaker 3:33:03
Unknown Speaker 3:33:07
So that’s where we need to do some research.
Unknown Speaker 3:33:09
Okay. So you have your direction. Thank you for the all of that. So now we’re at Marin Council comments, comments from anybody. Seeing none, we’ll go straight to herald city manager
Unknown Speaker 3:33:25
actually do have some comments, Mayor council. So we had trying to find the meeting on May 31 is an optional meeting. It’s the day after Memorial Day. One of the things I wanted to talk to you about is I really, as we’re looking at the attainable housing work, I really need a work session, not even a study session, a work session with counsel. Because there’s things we figured out as we’ve been on the development side, but I need some policy direction and some very specific questions so that when we create the task force, we at least have some sideboards that we can understand, you know, go no go areas. And I think that’s we’re struggling with that right now, in terms of what are you willing to consider? What are you not? And so what I was going to see is, are you all open on May 31, or another day very close to either side of it, where we can schedule a work session before the regular meeting. So we can sit down and really talk as a group similar to what we’ve done in transportation and some other issues on attainable housing. If you all are open to May 31. Then we can also add the lhsaa meeting that we were going to have to double team on the 24th to accept the audits because of some time requirements. But my question is, is the 31st a day that you all want to consider that?
Unknown Speaker 3:34:56
Is everybody going to be back from whatever they’re doing Memorial weekend? Okay, I think yeah, I think we’ll all be here.
Unknown Speaker 3:35:03
Okay. So we’ll schedule a work session that will start earlier and then we’ll schedule an LH a meeting that will start after the work session to deal with the audits and get the audit report and that hopefully will give us the policy direction we need. Okay. Take the next step.
Unknown Speaker 3:35:20
Okay. So we’re all here on that date. Eugene, any city attorney remarks? No comments, Mayor. All right. I think we are ready for a motion to adjourn. Thank you. So it’s been Moved by Councillor waters seconded by Councillor Martin that we adjourn. All those in favor vote. Aye. Aye. All right. That’s unanimous. Thank you. Good night.