August 12, 2016

9:00 a.m.


Location: City Council Chamber, City Hall – St. James Building; 117 West Duval Street,

In attendance: Council Members Anna Lopez Brosche (Chair), Greg Anderson (dep. 11:18), Aaron Bowman, Katrina Brown, Bill Gulliford, Sam Newby, Matt Schellenberg


Also: Council Member Tommy Hazouri, Joyce Morgan (arr. 9:30); Peggy Sidman – Office of General Counsel; Kirk Sherman, Kim Taylor, Brian Parks - Council Auditor’s Office; Katrin MacDonald – Legislative Services Division; Sam Mousa and Ali Korman Shelton – Mayor’s Office; Mike Weinstein and Angela Moyer – Finance and Administration Department


Meeting Convened: 9:00 a.m.


Chairwoman Brosche convened the meeting and the attendees introduced themselves for the record. She noted that at the end of yesterday’s meeting she neglected to mention the Ethics Office enhancement request to be placed on the wrap-up meeting list.


Page references from this point refer to Council Auditor’s Meeting #2 Handout.


Office of General Counsel

Council Auditor Kirk Sherman reviewed the OGC’s budget and had no recommendations. Two positions have been added devoted to servicing the JEA’s legal needs, which will be paid for by the JEA. In response to a question from Council Member Bowman about transfers from other funds, Budget Officer Angela Moyer said that funds are being transferred from OGC Fund Balance as a funding source for the purchase of new radios for the new police officers and community service officers. In response to another question, General Counsel Jason Gabriel said that he would agree that more could be budgeted into the account that funds expert witnesses and other case-related expenses to provide a realistic amount for the average need in that line item. Council Member Schellenberg advocated for assigning the cost of large legal settlements to the department or agency that was the subject of the lawsuit for accountability purposes. Mr. Gabriel said that the OGC has been attracting very high quality job candidates in the last couple of years because of the varied and interesting nature of the work and because of its developing reputation for a good working environment and personal life-friendly policies. Council Member Gulliford suggested a wrap-up meeting item to consider


Mr. Gabriel requested that the salary line item be adjusted to increase the OGC revenue and salary and benefit lines by $54,960 to account for the salaries needed for the attorney and paralegal assigned to the JEA.


Motion (Schellenberg): approve an adjustment to increase the OGC revenue and salary and benefit lines by $54,960 to account for small increases in the salaries needed for the attorney and paralegal assigned to the JEA – approved unanimously.


In response to a question from Council Member Hazouri, Mr. Gabriel said that the model of assigning attorneys full-time to be resident in and serve the needs of the independent authorities appears to be gaining popularity as the School Board and JEA models show. He believes that all attorneys in all agencies should be hired by and ultimately responsible to the General Counsel in the spirit of the consolidated government.


Jacksonville Public Library

Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 3, reduce the salary line by $46,855 to correct a posting error, with a positive impact to Special Council Contingency – approved unanimously.


In response to a question from Council Member Schellenberg, Library Director Barbara Gubbin stated that the library’s budget for new materials purchases has been reduced by over 50% in the past 10 years and the increase in materials costs has reduced the purchasing power even further. She estimated that $6.6 million would be needed to return the purchasing power to the 2005 level. Ms. Gubbin described the effort to add a sixth day of service at a Mandarin/Southside library and shifting the closing day of the Mandarin Library from Monday to Friday. In response to a question from Council Member Gulliford, Ms. Gubbin said that it would take $900,000 to provide 6 day per week service at all libraries. She estimated that it would take approximately $3 million to restore the system to the greatest number of hours it provided after the Better Jacksonville Plan expansion before the budget cuts began, which would provide six day per week service at all libraries and seven day service at 11 libraries. Ms. Gubbin explained the “databases” line item and the variety of services it actually encompasses, which includes downloadable books and video, language learning programs, online homework tutoring services, and other electronic services.


Council Member Bowman said that he frequently hears compliments on adding the sixth day of service back to the Pablo Creek Branch – the community is very happy to have the additional service. Mr. Bowman asked Ms. Gubbin to provide further details on how much more is needed for new materials purchases given the changing usage patterns and services the library provides. She described the difference between e-books (can only be used by one user at a time) and streaming services (can be accessed by many users simultaneously). She explained the tiers of 40 hour, 48 hour and 52 hour per week libraries. Council Member Crescimbeni requested the Auditor’s Office to produce a 10-year history of the materials purchase budget and asked Ms. Gubbin to compile a history of the number of holds that are requested for pickup at each library branch and the longest hold periods before fulfillment as an indication of the demand for materials that is currently going unmet because of the reduction in the materials purchase budget. In response to a question from Council Member Morgan about library buildings, Ms. Gubbin said that the ages and conditions vary widely and that maintenance is provided by the Public Works Public Buildings Division, not directly by the library. The buildings are heavily used and could certainly use additional maintenance and capital improvements if budgetary resources could be found, but the library understands the City’s budget constraints. Priority repairs to prevent damage and address problems are being accomplished, but no real enhancements.


In response to a question from Council Member Katrina Brown, Ms. Gubbin explained that the state library assistance grant is applied for and received every year, but requires a local match and is based in part on the library’s budget (3 year rolling average). As the City’s budget for the library has decreased, the state grant has decreased as well. The grant can be used for any purpose. Council Member Gulliford suggested the need to again consider closing the Maxville Library due to very low usage and to consider the need for a new library branch on the fast-growing Northside. Ms. Gubbin said the library is looking at a new Northside branch in the long term, but not in the next few years. Mr. Gulliford suggested consideration of increasing the library’s fines which haven’t been changed in many years. Ms. Gubbin said the Library Board just increased the out-of-county library card fee at its meeting yesterday, from $25 for 6 months or $40 per year to $25 per quarter or $100 per year. Council Member Hazouri suggested joint use agreements between the library system and colleges and schools that might offer opportunities to save money will also offering greater access and hours to serve the public. In response to a question from Chairwoman Brosche, Ms. Gubbin said that the library is required by the state to update its strategic plan every three years and the library is just preparing to begin the next update process.


Erin Skinner, the Chair of the Library Board, briefly addressed the committee about the library’s successes in the current year and thanked the City Council for its support of the library system.


Information Technology Division

Mr. Sherman reviewed the division’s operations, radio communications and technology system development budgets.


Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 13, approve the Auditor’s recommendation to place funding for the Unified CAD System – JSO/JFRD into the project line for CAD- 911 Call System Replacement (the same project) and to replace the “Banking Fund” title with “Debt Management Fund” to reflect abolition of the Banking Fund – approved unanimously.


Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa informed the committee that the IT Division has improved its performance dramatically since the Curry administration came into office. On August 31st the City will issue the RFP for the replacement City financial management system (ERP). The internal service charge and billing system have changed for the better. Mr. Mousa and Finance Director Mike Weinstein meet with the IT staff at least monthly to review all proposed technology purchases. Council Member Schellenberg said that he has seen some very interesting local government software packages demonstrated at the Florida League of Cities and Florida Association of Counties conferences and recommended that Mr. Mousa and ITD explore the new applications being developed. IT Division Chief Ken Lathrop addressed security measures and hacking and virus prevention. He explained how ITD works with the Sheriff’s Office’s separate IT department on some functions, but not on JSO’s law enforcement-specific applications. Mr. Lathrop said that the division is moving more toward use of contract application developers as full-time staff leave the division and is moving from hosted to cloud-based applications and reducing the number of hardware-related staff. Mr. Mousa said that the IT Division is an example of one of several divisions that had positions upgraded to make the salaries more competitive in the marketplace.


In response to a question from Council Member Anderson, Mr. Lathrop said the new ERP system will replace the existing FAMIS accounting system, human resources, employee benefits, payroll, asset management and other computer systems. The RFP will be for the software package and a system implementer, which could be the same company or different companies.


The committee was in recess from 11:18 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.





Fleet Management Division

Motion: on p. 21, approve Auditor’s recommendation to reduce the fuel budget by $2.1 million due to reduced fuel consumption by contract garbage haulers and reduce revenue by the same amount – approved unanimously.


In response to a question from Council Member Schellenberg about whether the City plans to use futures contracts to lock in fuel prices for the coming year, CFO Mike Weinstein agreed that fuel prices have probably very nearly bottomed out and will likely start to rise. Fleet Management monitors fuel prices and is ready to take action to lock in long-term prices when the market begins to turn. Angela Moyer said that preliminary figures show that the City will save approximately $4.7 million in its fuel budget in the current fiscal year because of the low market prices and reduced usage. C.J. Thompson, Chief of Fleet Management, answered questions about the size of the City’s fleet and the potential for conversion of vehicles to compressed natural gas in the future. The current low price of gas and diesel fuel makes CNG non-competitive at the present time. Council Member Gulliford requested a 5-year history of parts purchases and recommended a return to a pay-as-you-go basis for vehicle replacement. Budget Officer Angela Moyer said she tries every year to find the cash to buy vehicles on a pay-as-you-go basis and believes that borrowing may only be needed for a couple of more years. Mr. Gulliford asked to add an enhancement item to the wrap-up meeting to add $2 million or more to Fleet Management for pay-as-you-go vehicle replacement. He also suggested exploring leasing rather than purchasing vehicles. Ms. Moyer noted that Fleet Management has a $120,000 budget to rent specialized equipment that is needed only rarely. The average age of JSO vehicles is 6 years, 8 years for Fire and Rescue, 10 years for Public Works vehicles and 10 years for the rest of the City fleet.


Employee Services Department

Mr. Sherman reviewed the budgets of the Group Health fund, City Wellness and Fitness Fund.


Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 27, approve Auditor’s recommendation to transfer $903 of investment pool earnings in City Wellness and Fitness Fund 64H to cash carryover – approved unanimously.


In response to a question from Mr. Schellenberg, Sam Mousa said that there is currently $14 million in self-insurance reserves above required reserve levels and pending claims. A noticed meeting was held by several council members and representatives of the administration to discuss possible uses for the excess reserve funds. Mr. Mousa said that the administration wants to wait until later in the fall to consider how much of the reserve is available and to suggest possible uses. The City is preparing to enter into a contract with a wellness program provider to offer several programs to City employees to help improve health awareness and physical fitness, which will lower insurance claims costs. Kelli O’Leary said that the City has only had 2 claims exceed the threshold that trips the stop-loss insurance, with two others beginning to approach the limit (currently $600,000, changing to $550,000 in the next contract). Mr. Gulliford suggested that the City approach the independent authorities about their potential interest in joining the City’s self-insurance program, if their claims experience would not negatively impact on the City’s rates. Sam Mousa said that Ms. O’Leary is in discussions with UF Health/Shands Jacksonville about


In response to a question from Council Member Bowman, Mr. Mousa recounted the past discussions about the possibility of constructing locker room/shower facilities in City Hall to serve City employees who want to exercise before or during the work day, saying the previous city councils have not been favorably disposed to that concept and the City has not installed shower facilities in any of its buildings. The City does have a discount membership fee arrangement with Bailey’s Gym.





Health Department

Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 32, approve the Council Auditor’s recommendation to add two dollar figures (state allocations of $372,215 for sexually transmitted disease program and $132,674 for immunizations) to Budget Schedule B6 to fill in blanks – approved unanimously.


Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority

Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 35, approve Auditor’s recommendation to reduce professional services allocation by $17,507 to correct errors and increase the computer data center allocation by $365 to $2359 – approved unanimously.


Medical Examiner’s Office

Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 39, approve Auditor’s recommendation #1 to remove the formerly red-lined Chief Toxicologist position and associated funding from the budget with a positive impact of $92,662 to Special Council Contingency – approved unanimously.


Motion (Schellenberg): on p. 39, approve Auditor’s recommendation #2 to increase District IV services revenue by $100,000 to reflect current trends – approved unanimously.


Medical Examiner Dr. Rao explained how toxicology testing is being done under contract with a highly reputable company rather than in-house once a means was found to do that without negatively impacting the office’s ability to be accredited. She informed the committee about the dire emergency being faced by her office and by the community at large from the epidemic of opioid overdoses.


Military Affairs and Veterans Services

In response to a question, Division Chief Bill Spann explained that salaries were upgraded during the year because of a market survey that found Jacksonville was paying 25% below the market rate for other similar veteran’s affairs offices and a number of employees came very close to leaving for better paying jobs. Outreach efforts are increasing the number of veterans being served and he believes that the staffing level is appropriate for the time being. In response to a question from Council Member Newby, Mr. Spann said that his office provides wrap-around services to coordinate and fill in around the services provided by the many other providers in the City. The division provides a minimum of 4 job fairs per year and could possibly do more some grant funding.


Emergency Contingency Fund

Motion (Gulliford): on p. 42, approve Auditor’s recommendation to transfer $2 million from General Fund-GSD fund balance to the Emergency Reserve to meet the minimum 5% of operating fund goal – approved unanimously.


The Special Council Contingency fund stands at $1,259,036 at the end of Hearing #2.


Outstanding items

·        Gulliford suggestion – legal settlement fund assigning liability to departments where claims originate

·        Gulliford suggestion – add $900,000 for 6 day per week service at all libraries and add $2 million additional for new materials purchases in the new budget.

·        Gulliford suggestion - add an enhancement item to the wrap-up meeting to add $2 million or more to Fleet Management for pay-as-you-go vehicle replacement



Meeting adjourned: 1:55 p.m.


Minutes: Jeff Clements, Council Research

8.12.16     Posted 4:30 p.m.

Tapes:  Finance Budget Hearing #2 – LSD


Materials: Council Auditor’s Budget Meeting #2 handout - LSD