Finance Committee Special Meeting Minutes

 March 8, 2017

Immediately following 9:00 a.m. regular committee meeting


Topic: Delegation of Council appropriation authority; Children’s Commission budget and transfer authority


Location: City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall – St. James Building, 117 West Duval Street


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


Also: Kirk Sherman, Kyle Billy, Kim Taylor – Council Auditor’s Office; Peggy Sidman – Office of General Counsel; Jeff Clements and Colleen Hampsey – Council Research Division; Jessica Matthews, Samantha Lane and Staci Lopez – Legislative Services Division; Ali Korman Shelton – Mayor’s Office; Angela Moyer – Finance Department; Jon Heymann and  Bill Hodges – Jacksonville Children’s Commission


Meeting Convened: 11:10 a.m.


Chairwoman Brosche called the meeting to order and introduced the topic of potential delegation of the Council’s appropriation authority, followed, if time allows, by a return to the Jacksonville Children’s Commission’s budget.


City Budget Officer Angela Moyer explained the Mayor’s codified transfer authority of up to $500,000 for each project, purpose or issue annually, measured on a cumulative basis (multiple transfers per project, purpose or issue allowed until a threshold of $500,000 is reached, after which City Council appropriation authority is required). The Mayor exercises his transfer authority through the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee which meets every other week. General Counsel Jason Gabriel explained that appropriation authority is a fundamental power of legislative bodies. The Council has currently delegated, not its appropriation authority, but limited transfer authority to the executive branch within a set of established guidelines that have changed over the years. Mr. Gabriel said that it would make sense to change the description of “self-appropriating trust funds” since that’s not an accurate characterization of how they actually operate. They operate via pre-approved transfers, not self-appropriation. After some discussion the Finance Committee reached consensus that no Ordinance Code or policy changes are needed at this time.


Jon Heymann, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, advocated for some delegation of administrative transfer authority to allow the Commission to shift funding between agencies and programs to meet changing conditions and help reduce the accumulation of fund balances and the need for emergency legislation, which the Council has questioned in the past. He explained that the combination of oversight by the JCC Board and the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee would ensure that funds are being properly transferred for valid purposes. Chairwoman Brosche invited Mr. Heymann to meet individually with committee members to give them historical perspective of the JCC’s transfer needs and what is and is not working under the current system.


Meeting Adjourned: 11:40 a.m.



Minutes: Jeff Clements, Council Research

            3.9.17   Posted 4:00 p.m.

Tapes:  Finance Special Meeting– LSD