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

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Fire Department Complex ? Training Room
375 Printers Parkway

Committee members in attendance: Randy Case II, Richard Hansen, Bernie Herpin, Pat McElderry, Frank O?Donnell, Winfield Pate, Joe Pelka, Ronald Ruckdeschel, Marjorie Smith

Committee members via telephone: Cindy Corsaro

Committee members absent:

Others present: Dan Raider/CSFD, Nina Rikoski/ CSFD, Bob Lund/CSFD, Cassie Beckey/CSFD, Pete Carey/CSPD, Sue Autry/CSPD, Joe Curro/ CSPD, Nancy McCauley/CSPD, and Dorothy Stevens/CSPD

Call to Order:      Chairman Richard Hansen called the meeting to order at 4:33 p.m.

Citizen Comment: No citizen comment. Chairman Hansen took the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Bernie Herpin for his successful campaign to win the seat on City Council.

Approval of Minutes:
MOTION: Frank O?Donnell moved to approve the minutes from the February 4, 2009 meeting and Randy Case seconded the motion. There was no discussion. The motion passed by a 9-0-1 vote; Joe Pelka abstained.

Old Business and Updates:

Fire Updates
Mr. Bob Lund provided the updates for the fire department and offered clarification to questions on Old Fire Station 8. The old Fire Department fleet maintenance building is now being used by City Fleet?s body shop, so fire apparatus previously stored there was moved to other locations. No vehicles are currently stored outdoors except for the ?Command Vehicle,? which is moved outdoors from the bay at the FDC when the indoor space is needed and weather permits. Deputy Chief Raider, CSFD, explained that the Command Vehicle is an older RV that was purchased two years ago to deploy in extended events. It can be used with the CSPD Command Center and is extremely valuable in providing a briefing area and relief from the elements. Fort Carson deployed their unit to the CastleWest fire and proved its importance; the FD was commended for making the purchase. Station 8 continues to be utilized by the Firewise program and OEM, and they pay for costs associated with the use of the building.

Ms. Nina Rikoski reported that the certificates of participation (COPs) for stations 1 and 21 were not purchased in 2008 due to the poor market. Therefore, the FD is able to use part of the funds budgeted for the COP payments to cover the 2009 budget reduction and for the retention of personnel. They are now looking at stimulus grant funding for fire station construction.

Budget adjustments were required in the General Fund balancing sessions for the 2009 budget. The Fire department eliminated five vacant positions and reduced its required minimum daily by cross-staffing Haz-Mat 14 with Engine 14. In addition, it is cross-staffing auxiliary HazMat units at Stations 6 and 20 to minimize the impact of the changes in deployment on response times.. The FD has eight vacancies that are currently funded in the budget but explained that sometimes it is a more efficient use of funds to pay overtime on a limited basis instead of hiring a new firefighter. There is a breakpoint that they watch very carefully and must factor in the cost of benefits for a fulltime position.

Police Updates
Deputy Chief Carey, CSPD, reported on police budget adjustments that required the loss of six sworn positions and four civilian positions from PSST; two civilian positions were layoffs and the others were vacant positions. All associated duties will be absorbed by other personnel via redistribution and cross-training. The PD also lost five vacant sworn positions and two civilian employees in the reductions to the General Fund. The intended April Police Academy is delayed until June but anticipates 22+/- recruits to fill currently funded vacancies. The CSPD staff is diligently pursuing funding from stimulus grants to fund sworn positions that were lost in the budget cuts; some of those positions may include dedicated assignments to areas where partnership funding is guaranteed. The CSPD is trying to look at innovative solutions to some of their budget challenges.

New Business:

Project Warranty Issues
Mr. Joe Curro, CSPD Fleet and Facilities Manager, provided updates on warranty issues affecting the Stetson Hills (SH) and Gold Hill (GH) substations, which were both PSST projects. The final GH issue was resolved when the subcontractor replaced the vehicle gates, which were improperly installed initially. Mr. Curro and the structural engineer are monitoring cracks in the walls and joints at Stetson to determine a course of action. The engineer will provide a list of recommendations in the near future for consideration and remediation.

PSSTOC Committee Role
Committee members discussed looking at an expansion of their role with City Council after a recent event where public safety was negatively affected by a known risk assessment at a public venue ? concert at Mr. Biggs. PD personnel explained that they are under some specific mandates in these situations and can not prevent events from taking place. The members of patrol division Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) can contact Council members when they have similar concerns to address. PSST committee members discussed whether it was within their scope, in maximizing their fiduciary oversight of public safety resources, to have similar opportunities.

MOTION: Cindy Corsaro motioned that the PSSTOC meet on Wednesday, May 6 to discuss a proposal to Council to leverage opportunities of the PSST Oversight Committee to address Public Safety concerns. Joe Pelka seconded the motion.

Discussion: Deputy Chief Carey indicated that Chief Myers made the original presentation to the Sustainable Funding Committee (SFC) and could probably attend the May 6 meeting to address this group. Ms. Rikoski indicated that she would ask Chief Cox to also attend, although their interaction was more of a discussion with the SFC.

Discussion: Randy Case suggested a PSSTOC representative could brief the Sustainable Funding Committee on the public safety situation to ensure they are aware of the concerns.

The committee unanimously approved the motion and the next meeting will be scheduled for May 6 at 4:30 p.m.

Budget Update
Chairman Hansen provided the Budget report for April in Leslie Hickey?s absence. He indicated that Vice Mayor Small will be working on candidates to fill two positions on the PSSTOC. Three positions (Mr. Hansen, Mr. Pate, and Ms Corsaro) are expected to be approved for an additional term.

Notice of Resignation
Mr. Bernie Herpin submitted his intent to resign, effective April 21, 2009, upon his swearing in as our new Council Member for District 4. He indicated his pleasure at what this committee continues to accomplish and will continue to attend meetings as his schedule allows.

The meeting adjourned at 6:21 p.m.

Notes:  The minutes of this meeting were taken by Dorothy Stevens. Any omissions or corrections should be brought to the Chairperson?s attention at the next PSSTOC meeting.