CITY OF UNIVERSITY PLACE
Special Meeting of the City Council
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Fircrest Golf Club
1500 Regents Boulevard, Fircrest, WA
1) CALL TO ORDER
The special meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m.
Attendance was noted by Executive Director/ACM Craig as follows: Mayor Pro Tem Keel, Councilmember Nye, Councilmember McCluskey, Councilmember Grassi, Councilmember Belleci, Councilmember Worthington, and Mayor Figueroa.
Staff Present: City Manager Sugg, Executive Director/ACM Faison, Executive Director/ACM Craig, City Attorney Victor, Deputy Finance Director Blaisdell.
2) MAYOR’S COMMENTS
Mayor Figueroa framed his personal perspective and expectations as the newly elected Mayor and facilitator of council meetings. He outlined new procedures to include the following:
§ Agenda Items: For future agenda items, a completed legislative proposal with two Council signatures will be required. Proposals need to be turned in at least two weeks prior to the requested meeting date. Councilmember Worthington asked that the guideline include a guaranteed turn-around scheduling not to exceed 3 months. Councilmember Belleci requested that Council of the whole be provided copies of completed proposals so that Council will be informed of future topics and issues for consideration. Mayor Figueroa concurred and agreed to make this a part of the new procedures.
§ Proclamations: Each Councilmember will take turns in reading proclamations and presentations for future meetings.
§ Council Meetings: Every effort will be made to conclude meetings at 9:00 p.m. to encourage residents’ attendance.
3) COUNCIL 2015-2016 GOALS AND OUTCOMES
§ Review 2015-2016 Goals: City Manager Sugg presented Council with a revised list of the 2015-2016 Goals and Outcomes and reviewed each goal and next steps towards completion. The following list highlights major points discussed:
- Schedule study on feasibility of over-all undergrounding of poles (only major arterial streets and will not include residential). Attorney Victor clarified that Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) is open to future undergrounding but cannot finance 100% of the cost.
- Council members requested that the following topics be addressed in future study sessions: tree topping and undergrounding; review of current City policies regarding possible matching funds that could be used including Surface Water Management funds. (Attorney Victor reiterated that SWM Funds cannot be legally used for under-grounding.)
- Need to pursue a more thoughtful approach to soliciting citizen feedback especially on City finances, resources, service levels and priorities. Ideas included Town Hall style meeting, direct household mailing of invitations to an open house format similar to U.S. Open Community meeting, Council visits door-to-door, HOA’s, utilize survey monkey, and social media. Council wants to gather citizen feedback for Council goal setting and budget preparation later on this year.
- Consensus of the Council is that study on the Creekside Plan can be deferred to a later date especially in light of resources and funding for implementation.
§ Peek 2017-2018 Council Goals: Mayor Pro Tem Keel facilitated discussion regarding council goals. Council discussed additional interests to consider for the 2017-2018 goals.
4) BUDGET REVIEW
§ Sewer Surcharge Options: Attorney Victor summarized the current franchise agreements with utilities and provided legal and historical background. He discussed the current sewer agreement and reported his on-going discussions with the County. Council also discussed other related issues such as the number of households who are still not connected to sewer; adding or increasing other utility fees; and B&O and excise taxes. After much deliberation, Council directed staff to stay on course and until ready, review a possible 6% surcharge.
§ 2016-2025 Financial Forecast – Executive Director/ACM Faison reviewed the current financial forecast and noted that despite an increase in anticipated revenues and improved forecast, the City’s general fund still has an annual deficit of approximately $600,000, forcing an ending fund balance goal of $1 Million beginning in 2022. Council discussed possible proposed solutions for the gap including the removal of the sunset provision on the Transportation Benefit District (TBD). Elimination of this provision would reduce general fund subsidy of the Street Fund by $373,000/year. Other options including an addition of a sewer franchise fee, as discussed earlier, and staff and service cuts were discussed. Based on discussions, Council directed staff to pursue the following:
- Move up discussion on City’s reserves/debt reduction.
- Community discussion on City’s finances, police contract and roads.
- Consider resolution adopting a policy on the use of available resources to add undergrounding of utilities with other infrastructure improvements.
- Funding plan for parks.
- Narrows Plaza (Council update/prioritization/regional designation).
5) COUNCIL RULES
§ Finance Committee/Chair: Mayor Figueroa facilitated a review of the current practice, historical context and protocol regarding the Finance Committee. After discussions, Council unanimously agreed to keep the Finance Committee as Council of the Whole rather than as a sub-committee. There was consensus on maintaining the current practice of adding finance discussion as part of council meetings when needed. Councilmember Belleci was named as the new Finance Chair for the next two years.
§ Commission Appointments/Functions: Attorney Victor shared his legal perspective and review of the City’s current commissions. He discussed commission roles, purpose and function, reiterating the role of commissions. He also clarified functions that do not meet the definition and provided possible models Council can pursue for a more realistic and efficient system considering limited staff resources. Mayor Figueroa also provided his perspective on ensuring diversity of opinions and value of recruiting other voices and expertise into the process. After careful discussion, Council decided to pursue the following next steps:
- Add language to the current policy referencing the Council’s desire to focus on ensuring diversity and rotation of new commissioners;
- Retention of Planning Commission as it currently stands with a minimum of 1 meeting a month but encouraging meetings as necessary;
- Elimination of Parks and Recreation Commission, Public Safety Commission and Economic Development Commission under current format. Instead keep commissioners on an ad hoc and reserve status, convening them when relevant legislative input is needed. Commissioners can still meet to discuss legislative issues they may want Council to consider and adopt under resolution.
§ Miscellaneous Rules: Council consented to move discussion of Miscellaneous Rules to a future business meeting date.
6) CONFIRMATION OF COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS
Staff Report - Mayor Figueroa presented Council with the names of his proposed commission appointments.
Public Comment – The following individual provided comment on the matter: Howard Lee, 8302 41st Street West.
Council Consideration - Council moved to add the list of Mayor’s appointments under Consent for approval at the next business meeting.
7) COUNCIL ASSIGNMENTS
Council reviewed current outside agency assignments and designated representatives for the next two years.
8) GOOD OF THE ORDER
Mayor Figueroa concluded the workshop by thanking each council member. He solicited their feedback on the workshop. Based on input, Council directed staff to identify another location for the next workshop.
The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m. No other action was taken.
Executive Director/Assistant City Manager