Finance Committee Special Meeting Minutes

 January 19, 2017

Immediately following 9:00 a.m. Finance Committee meeting


Topic: Continuation of budget process improvements discussion


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


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

Excused: Council Member Greg Anderson


Also: Kirk Sherman, Kyle Billy and Heather Reber – Council Auditor’s Office; Peggy Sidman – Office of General Counsel; Jeff Clements and Colleen Hampsey – Council Research Division; Philip Zamarron – Legislative Services Division; Jessica Baker – Mayor’s Office


Meeting Convened: 9:48 a.m.


Budget Officer Angela Moyer distributed and discussed a document showing the implementation status of several items the committee discussed and agreed to at previous meetings, many of which will take effect for the FY17-18 budget preparation process. Several sections of the Ordinance Code (not just the Budget Code chapter) will need to be amended to codify the decisions previously made. A comprehensive budget-related clean-up bill will be drafted for that purpose. The Jacksonville Children’s Commission will come to a Special Meeting in February to discuss their intention to switch from a contractual to an RFP-based system for service provision.


The committee and staff discussed a desire to allow the Mayor’s administration to process some small transactions administratively to save the time, effort and expense of a full-blown ordinance process that may cost more than the amounts being received/expended. Deputy General Counsel Peggy Sidman reminded the committee of the Council’s absolute authority under the City Charter to appropriate all funds for expenditure and cautioned against delegating that power without very careful and cautious consideration. The first consideration in making any change to the budgeting process and the Mayor’s transfer authority is to ask if the action being contemplated, however good the motivation, is permitted by the Charter. She stated that code changes have been made over the years that may be interpreted to allow funds to be appropriated without Council approval beyond what the Charter allows. In making recommendations for code changes, first the Council should look to the Charter for the authority to delegate the appropriation power and then make the policy decision whether the changes are desired. Ms. Moyer said that there are many nuances and considerations to be taken into account, such as the existing practice of contingently appropriating grant funds that may be received in the future in excess of originally budgeted amounts (an increase of up to 10% over the original grant amount does not require additional Council action to expend) and the self-appropriating funds such as “fair share” revenues. Chairwoman Brosche suggested that a policy regarding very small grants may be worth considering.


Meeting Adjourned: 10:05 a.m.


Minutes: Jeff Clements, Council Research

            1.20.17   Posted 5:00 p.m.

Tapes:  Rules special committee meeting– LSD