City of Colorado Springs / Commissions & Committees / Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee

Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee - Minutes     
Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Police Operations Center ? Community Room
705 S. Nevada Avenue
Committee members in attendance: Cindy Corsaro, Robert Gallagher, Bernie Herpin, Pat McElderry, Frank O?Donnell, Winfield Pate, Joe Pelka, Marjorie Smith
Committee members absent: Randy Case II, Richard Hansen, Ronald Ruckdeschel
Others present: Dan Raider/CSFD, Nina Rikoski/CSFD, Bob Lund/CSFD, Sue Autry/CSPD, Sam Azad/CSPD, Joe Curro/CSPD, Leslie Hickey/Budget, JoAnn Cox/Budget
Call to Order: Vice Chair Marjorie Smith called the meeting to order at 4:28 p.m.
Citizen Comment: No citizen comment.
Cindy Corsaro introduced herself as the new Committee member for PSSTOC. Her background is in emergency preparedness and citizen protection. She was welcomed by the group.
Approval of Minutes:
MOTION:  Bernie Herpin moved to approve the minutes as corrected (minor typo) and Winfield Pate seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed with a 6-0-0 vote.
Pat McElderry and Joe Pelka arrive at 4:36 p.m.
Old Business:
Amendments 200/201 and Safer Community Initiative 1A: Frank O?Donnell began the discussion with a reference to an article in the Colorado Springs Independent by Ralph Routon that raised the question of whether the County and City police departments should be merged to gain efficiencies. The County Sheriff has indicated that he must release prisoners early to make room for additional prisoners coming through the system. How will this deficit in money and personnel affect the City next year with troops returning home and how will PSST money offset a deficit to continually provide a safe community? The Sustainable Funding Committee was mentioned as a way to help identify additional funding sources. Many in the public do not know we are short on officers and fire personnel. Should the PSSTOC take on education of the public so people understand that we are short on public safety personnel? General committee consensus is that the ramifications of 1A?s defeat are not understood by the people in this community. If the committee wishes to take up these issues, Joe Pelka stated that he believes City Council will need to redirect the PSSTOC as most of this discussion is beyond its scope. Vice Chair Marjorie Smith states that Citizens for Effective Government (CEG) plans to meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month at United Way. Marjorie Smith stated that the common belief is that PSST was the ultimate fix for public safety needs and we need to let people know that is not the case.
Annual Presentation Recap: Vice Chair Marjorie Smith made the annual presentation to Council in October. Only feedback from Council was a comment that the police and fire slides should have more clearly stated how bad public safety really is for our community. CSPD and CSFD were asked by Council women Radford for additional information and this information has been provided to her. For the Fire Department, the challenge is that the current data does not show how bad it will be as estimated in the future.
Note: Chair Richard Hansen added post-meeting that demonstrating a public safety improvement resulting from PSST expenditures is a priority responsibility of the PSSTOC.  Priority one response time has been the key measurement, and the results have shown measurable improvement.  Other measurement indicators were included in the PSSTOC annual report in prior years; however, they were eliminated for 2008 because they were redundant with planned CSFD and CSPD reporting. Reporting on all public safety performance and unfunded requirements is beyond the scope of the PSSTOC mission.  
Police Update: All CIP projects are now completed, with the exception of the land purchase for the 5th Division. PSST money goes to pay for salaries and benefits and therefore, the Police Department will only provide updates to the PSSTOC as necessary. The Committee members acknowledged that they understood this and were fine with receiving reports only as needed. Police will still be represented at PSSTOC meetings. The Police Gold Hill Construction/Operations Center renovation Project returned $60,000 and the DNA lab construction project returned $70,000 respectively to the PSST Fund Balance as they were completed under budget. Vice Chair states that the DNA lab ribbon cutting ceremony was very nice and seemed to be well received by the community.
Fire Update: Bob Lund presented the Fire update. Station 2?s air quality improvement work has been completed and final payment is being processed; the engineer is working on finalizing the design for Station 7. The RFP for moving Station 1 is being reviewed next week.  The Architect for Station 21 (Stetson Ridge) is moving forward on the design of the station. The COP sale for Fire Stations 1 and 21 continues to be delayed due to volatility in the market.  When they get ready to select a contractor for Stations 1 and 21, the Fire Department indicated that the City Procurement Services Division would be interested in having a PSSTOC member sit in on the contractor selection, just as Marjorie Smith did on the new Station 8.  Whoever participates will need to sign the integrity form and make sure there is no conflict of interest.
Budget: Leslie Hickey provided the budget report. The sales tax revenue is down almost 9 percent from October 2007. Vendor fee charged with no cap per council creating an additional $1.2M shortfall. The second reading of the Budget will be held in Council Chambers on December 9th and then the budget will be final. This budget is likely to be adjusted with supplemental appropriations in January, once the County determines whether or not they will be paying the City the road and bridge revenue. This is being reviewed by our City Attorney to determine if they can legally withhold this payment. If the City does not receive this money then a plan is in place to accommodate this shortfall. In terms of property tax collections, there may be a 2008 refund that needs to go before voters.
Elections: Pat McElderry nominated Richard Hansen to retain Chair and Marjorie Smith as Vice Chair. Bernie Herpin seconded the nomination. (Note: 3 terms are allowed per the Committee?s Policy and Procedures; this will be the 3rd term for both Richard and Marjorie in their current positions.)
MOTION:  Winfield Pate moves to close nominations and Joe Pelka seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed with an 8-0-0 vote.
Meeting adjourned at 5:33 P.M.
Next Meeting:
TBD Police Operations Center, Community Room as Committee must meet quarterly. Next agenda shall include Station 8 and disposition of that property.
Notes: The minutes of this meeting were taken by JoAnn Cox. Any omissions or corrections should be brought to the Chairperson?s attention at the next PSSTOC meeting.