The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.
TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO:
The Finance Committee held a meeting on Monday, December 11, 2017 at 6:15 P.M. in Council Chambers.
PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Tanner, Madison, Baird, Lotko
OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Finance Director Pileski,
Law Director Serazin, Assistant Finance Director Farrell, City Engineer Schneider,
Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Police Chief Whitely,
Parks Director Reardon
1. Approval of the November 27, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes.
Lotko moved and Baird seconded to approve the minutes of the November 27, 2017 Finance Committee Meeting. MOTION CARRIED
2. The matter of amending Ordinance 2016-161 and the authorized contract for Walter/ Haverfield. REFERRED BY: SS Director Siwierka
The amount that is not to exceed is $234,000, which is up from last years amount, which was $160,000. Mrs. Siwierka explained that 2017 was an extremely busy year for collective bargaining agreements and multiple personnel matters and an increase in workers comp claims. The money is in the account. Charges that were paid this year were; Fire Department contract total cost was $95,000 which includes $16,000 for expert witnesses for conciliation and fact finding, some workers comp claims have required hearings in downtown Cleveland at a cost of $16,000, $25,000 for work on Fair Labor Standards, (which the City is recouping about $4,000 a pay period), EPPA was $5,000, general personal matters equaled $34,000, dispatchers were settled at cost of $16,000, AFSME agreement was settled at around $27,000, FLSA was $25,000 and the last contract was FOP was just over $11,000.
Next year there will be a new contract for Fire and for EPPA only. HR Department/Mrs. Dillinger will be handling a number of personnel matters verses going to Walter/Haverfield, mostly Workers Comp Claims.
Mr. Madison asked if the expenses have already incurred? Mrs. Siwierka answered, yes. Mrs. Siwierka explained that the work on the FLSA was not part of the initial contract. Mr. Madison stated the that contract had a ‘not to exceed’ amount, but we incurred additional expenses, of $74,000, what is the process moving forward to avoid going over the original amount?
Mr. Serazin explained that the matter is asking for an increase in the allocation of the amount to take care of those expenses.
Mr. Madison questioned how Council passed a ‘not to exceed’ clause in legislation and then the amount of expenses exceeds the amount.
Mrs. Siwierka said that it’s like any other matter where they don’t have the exact numbers. Once something is finalized, like construction projects, the cost could be more. Many claims and filings come in as they occur. For example, final bills came in for AFSME which was just settled was settled a month and a half ago, we just settled FOP and final bills came in for that. Many workers comp claims come in as they occur.
Mr. Serazin said that this is amending the amount of the contract amount to conform to the actual expenditures and there is nothing improper or unusual about that.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend an ordinance to amend Section 1 of Ordinance No. 2016-161, to authorize the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Walter/Haverfield, LLP for collective bargaining and other specialized legal services, with the amount not to exceed $234,00.
3. The matter of a authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract for the replacement of the current compressor with new compressor at North Park.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend an ordinance to enter into a contract for the replacement of the current compressor at North Park Ice Rink.
4. The matter of authorizing the Mayor to advertise for bids and award a contract for the WWPCP UV Disinfection Project.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to advertise for bids and enter into a contract for the WWPCP UV Disinfection Project.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to authorize an ordinance to amend the fee ordinance to reflect changes to the rates for Sanitation service outside City limits.
6. The matter of the final amendments to the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.
REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski
Mr .Pileski said that he needs to go through the current appropriation levels and he has to estimate that all the departments are fully appropriated to cover the final 2 pays of 2017 and other expenditures that may occur. Mr. Pileski handed out an 18 page document with a list of all the funds and the changes. He said that he had to take out $251,687 from other areas to cover the additional appropriations that were needed. Mr. Pileski went over all the changes that were reflected on the 18 page hand out that was distributed to Committee Members.
Mr. Baird asked when the Finance Department cuts off paying the bills for 2017. Mr. Pileski said they will cut off purchase orders on Friday, December 15th. The final pay of the year is December 31st.
Mr. Madison said that he does have additional questions and he will not be voting against the legislation but, he will be abstaining on voting for the matter. He will be meeting with the Director so that he can get his questions answered.
Mr. Pileski told the committee that he works on these figures right up until the meeting time which is why he is not able to get the figures to the committee prior to the meeting.
Mrs. Siwierka wanted to note that a number of transfers with salary overages, there are approximately 24 open positions that the administration hasn’t filled, which will be reflected with the 2018 Budget. A lot of monies that have been moved around are because they haven’t back filled a number of those open positions.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to authorize an ordinance to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriation Ordinance.
7. The mater of transferring monies; $169,461 from General Fund to Street Construction M&R Fund, $59,000 from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund, $5,000 from the Muni Court Security Fund to the Muni Special Collections Fund.
REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski
Mr. Pileski said the first two were both included in the original appropriations that were passed in March and those funds have to be subsidized as the gasoline tax is the main source of revenue to keep up with the requirements of those operations. The State Highway fund is used to purchase road salt. We are 75% full on the salt shed storage. The muni court special collections are funds that muni court administrators administers; one fund is a little short.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to authorize the Finance Director to transfer monies to various funds.
8. The matter of advancing monies from The General Fund to the Brownfield Hazardous Assessment Fund and to be repaid upon receipt of grant monies.
Mr. Pileski explained that this is an advance of $787. It’s a reimbursement grant project.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to authorize the Finance Director to advance monies to the Brownfield Hazardous Assessment Fund.
9. The matter of the 2018 Temporary Appropriations REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski
Mr. Pileski said that he typically passes a temporary appropriation to start the new year and the permanent has to be passed by March 31st. He took 25% of the current appropriation levels prior to the amendments on Dec. 11th. Any accounts that have open purchase orders were adjusted. And he zeroed out any capital outlay with exception of some of the sewer and water projects that are slated to go out for bid during the 1st 3 months of 2018. So, it’s the same thing that is done every year. Mr. Pileski handed out a 10 page 2018 Temporary Appropriations list to all committee members.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend an ordinance for the first 3 months of 2018 Temporary Appropriations.
REFERRED BY: Clerk’s Office per: Assistant Service Director Brubaker
Mr. Stewart removed himself during this matter due to a conflict of interest.
Mr. Madison read the committee report and Mr. Brubaker explained that this a request to waive the $100 fee for the vacation request of Filbert Street. It’s a collaborative project with the Elyria Foundry.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend the waiver of the $100 fee for vacation of Filbert St.
11. The matter of the salary increase for Elyria Police Chief.
REFERRED BY: Mayor Brinda and Safety Service Director Siwierka
Mr. Stewart reminded the committee that this referral was made by the administration in August.
That referral was for all the non-bargaining managers, department heads and superintendents.
At this time committee will focus on the Elyria Police Chief salary increase.
Mayor Brinda said in August they sent a memo and asked the committee to look at a modification of the Police Chief’s salary schedule. The administration’s memo included information from other communities showing salary ranges for Police Chiefs from $77,000 to $128,606 with various formulas that include the increase of salary ranges, longevity and other benefits. Many communities offered a salary range for experience. A recommendation for a revised formula included eliminating longevity, creating minimum and maximum salary ranges. Currently Elyria uses the 14% increase between ranks.
The current Police Chief salary base is $87,903, longevity is $17,580 with a total compensation of $105,483. Under the proposed formula, the beginning salary would be the same, the next step at $100,209 to $114,000 or $130,000. This would provide some flexibility of determining which step the individual’s salary would be, based on experience and other factors.
Mrs. Siwierka said they looked at comparables communities and found almost all, with the exception of 2, have a charter and several comparables do use civil service testing. One recommendation was to just add a 14% differential, but that won’t increase the chief to a level above, since the FOP just received a pay increase. The way to increase the chief salary is to do the range that was suggested. If the process is applied across other departments it will eliminate longevity. Currently, longevity is the only equalizer. The City is now looking into the salary of a Chief Building Official, the City isn’t even in the ballpark in terms of that salary. Mrs. Siwierka also said HR is in the process of putting together a proposal for a salary study for next year. What ever is decided, it effects about 25 other employees.
A lot of Department Heads only have a ‘Step A’. Unless there is a raise given, they stay at ‘Step A’ and the only differential is longevity, which only goes to 20 years.
Mr. Lotko said he has had several discussions with the Chief and the Finance Director and this can be changed anytime, so whatever the decision will be, there are options for future. Mr. Lotko said the Chief would take that 14% differential and mirror vacation and sick time with other captains. Mr. Lotko feels that’s the way to go at this time. If the committee with vote on the 14% increase, that would bring the Chief’s salary to $95,789.33, plus $850.00 certification that all captains, lieutenants and sergeants receive, would bring the base up to $96,639.33, plus longevity, would make the total $115,839. Mrs. Siwierka said that the 14% does not solve the problem. Mr. Lotko said that it solves the problem for now, because the chief is happy with that. Mr. Lotko said this is what the City can do for him at this time. And that more discussions can be had down the road.
Mr. Madison asked as to the 2018 budget itself. He understands that we have the 2018 Temporary Appropriations to keep the City going. But, he asked is they have looked passed those 3 months? Do they foresee any potential lay-offs in 2018?
Mr. Pileski said that his office is just now receiving the budget requests. Then he goes over those requests to determine if they are over what is available. He is currently working on estimated revenues. He is waiting on the final RITA reconciliation. And everything will start to come into to place as far as the first round of what needs to be looked at.
Mr. Madison said that he supports the chief, he feels that he does great work. Mr. Madison’s concerns are more as it relates to the General Budget and the big picture of where we are going in 2018. So therefore he stated that he wouldn’t feel comfortable voting on this matter this evening, in support of that without really understanding the big picture and where we’re going. He feels that there may be better options or other opportunities to support the chief. But, for now he is more concerned with understanding where the City is financial within the budget.
Mr. Baird stated that the City is very fortunate to have very professional people leading the Police Department as well as the Fire Department.
Lotko moved, Baird seconded to recommend to amend the Salary Ordinance for salary for Police Chief to be 14 ½ percent above the current Administrative Captain’s Base Salary, plus FOP Certification fees, per Section 14.12 incentive, to be effective for the 1st full pay of 2018.
(Per Mr. Serazin, an abstention counts with the majority, the committee’s vote on the matter is
4 = Aye and 1 = Nay)
Baird moved, Lotko seconded to recommend an amendment to allow the Police Chief to be allocated the same benefits as the FOP, with the exception of overtime pay.
(1 Abstain) – Madison
Baird moved, Lotko seconded to adjourn the Committee Meeting at 8:10 P.M.
Colleen Rosado, Secretary