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

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Committee members in attendance: Daniel Mullin, Cindy Corsaro, Marjorie Smith, Winfield Pate, Ronald Ruckdeschel, Pat McElderry (4:46 p.m.)
Committee members absent: Randy Case, Tim Cassibry, Richard Hansen, Frank O'Donnell, Joe Pelka,
Others present: Bob Lund/CSFD, Nancy McCauley/CSPD, Ken Hughlett/CSFD and Jena Rakoczy/CSPD
Call to Order: Chairman D. Mullin called the meeting to order at 4:32 p.m. but it was determined that only 5 committee members were present. Co-chair C. Corsaro contacted P. McElderry who stated he was on his way to the meeting. P. McElderry arrived at 4:46 p.m. and the meeting resumed.
Citizen Comment: No citizen comment.
Approval of Minutes:
MOTION: W. Pate moved to approve the minutes from the May 5, 2010 meeting as written. Chairman D. Mullin second the motion. There was no discussion and the motion passed 6-0.
Old Business and Updates:
Department Updates
Budget/Fire - Bob Lund
Fire - B. Lund stated he was standing in for Nina Rikoski as she had a prior commitment that evening.  B. Lund then referenced the handouts in the meeting agenda.  He stated that in June the CSFD was notified that it would receive $238,000 in federal funds through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  He stated in 2009 they had requested $1,000,000.  He stated that with the $238,000 which was awarded and the $59,500 match required, the CSFD will be able to make the eligible improvements at Stations 13, 5 and 6.  He added that if the contract bids are awarded, there may be sufficient funds to make improvements at Station 3 as well.  B. Lund stated that they have one year to spend the grant money.  The question was asked if CSFD still had the old fire station.  B. Lund stated that Wildland Mitigation from the Division of the Fire Marshal is utilizing the building and they are paying for the utilities so there is minimal cost to the City.  He added that this building is also being used for storage of reserve apparatus, and occasionally the Office of Emergency Management stores items in the building.  He added that the old Fire Maintenance Facility, located on Bijou is being used by City Fleet, thus the need to store reserve apparatus.  The question arose as to what the parameters of the grant were and if they included the HVAC for the stations, and/or electrical work.  B. Lund stated, yes, and that electrical upgrades were already being done using some of the PSST money that had been allocated for the boilers and HVAC systems.  He stated approximately $8,000 to $10,000 is being used to upgrade the electrical on each IAQ project.
Police - Nancy McCauley
N. McCauley stated that CSPD had no significant activity to report. She stated that City Finance had begun work on the 2011 budget; however, the City wants to wait until it receives one or two more months of sales tax revenue results before making a decision about final 2011 budget numbers. . She stated the City is hopeful revenues will continue to increase. It was noted by D. Mullin that the numbers on the hand-out show a small recovery in May and all agreed that they would like to see the recovery continue.  
Discussion & Action Items
    D. Mullin asked if anyone wanted to comment on the term limit issue that was originally defeated in June but ultimately passed after being rewritten. The question was asked why the original proposal was rejected by City Council. D. Mullin stated it had been defeated 8-1 by City Council, with Councilman B. Herpin as the only 'for' vote. If passed, the original proposal would have eliminated term limits for the PSSTOC members and City Council members were concerned that all other City boards and commissions would also want to eliminate term limits. The proposal was modified to allow members to serve a third term and City Council approved this version. It was noted that the City Council meeting was taped and could be reviewed. Because the City received very few applications for the vacant PSSTOC positions, there is some concern that the current public notification methods might need to be addressed.    It was suggested that perhaps the Independent newspaper and the scroll on cable channel 18 could be utilized in addition to the regular media outlets when advertising future vacancies.       
      D. Mullin invited discussion of the possibility of a 5-year PSST increase from .4% to 1.0% as presented by Councilman B. Herpin at the last PSSTOC meeting. W. Pate stated that it would be better to have a suspension of TABOR as it was noted that the ratchet down is very harmful. P. McElderry supported the idea of an increase but warned that a temporary increase prevents the funding from being used for on-going expenses. For example, PD uses the majority of its PSST funding for personnel. If the funding increase is temporary, additional officers could not be hired because the funding for those positions would not exist after year five. D. Mullin recommended proposing a permanent .2 - .3% increase instead of a temporary .6% increase to alleviate that issue. A recommendation was also made for the PSSTOC to support the concept of an increase without specifying the amount or timeframe and leave those details for City Council to decide.
     The Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) has expressed an interest in supporting a PSST increase. D. Mullen and R. Hansen have not yet had the opportunity to meet with CONO representatives to discuss the issue.
    D. Mullin asked what should be presented to City Council in October regarding the PSSTOC 2011 Budget. M. Smith stated that City Council appreciates less for the presentation. It was suggested that slides from the 2010 Budget presentation could be re-used and/or updated-bullet points and large print should be used as City Council knows what to expect in the PSSTOC presentation. It was stated that the Committee would discuss the updates and trends with N. Rikoski at the next meeting. It was suggested to consult with D. Hansen for any ideas he might have as he was the previous chairman. W. Pate stated that the budget handout showed that from 2002 to 2009 there was more money but Colorado Springs is now a larger city; there is less money to fund public safety. It was stated that word needs to get out to the citizens. It was suggested that the PD and FD publicize that there is not enough manpower to cover the City. It was noted that CONO and City Council are citizen groups and they are stronger at working through the issues. CONO recognizes that without enough PD and FD, the damage Colorado Springs' national image is a very serious problem.
     Due to the Labor Day Holiday, it was determined to extend the next meeting date to the Wednesday, September 15, 2010. It was also noted that there would be a meeting in October to finalize the budget presentation.
Next Meeting Date -  Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The meeting was adjourned at 5:36 p.m.
Notes: The minutes of the meeting were taken by J. Rakoczy. Any omissions or corrections should be brought to the Chairperson's attention at the next PSSTOC meeting.