|View Agenda for this Meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2000 AT 12:00 NOON
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer.
ALSO PRESENT: Mr. Klaver, Ms. Smith-Roy, Ms. Lalonde
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW
Mr. Klaver recommended postponement of the hearing on the Fire Department and Building and Ordinance Departments. He asked that the meeting of the 15th be rescheduled for 12:00 PM rather than 11:00 AM. He would also like to start on the 15th with the Building Department because Don Saven has a prior commitment.
Mayor Clark asked Council if there was a majority for the 15th at 12:00 PM? There was a majority.
Chief Shaeffer began with personnel and said they remained one of the key components of the department and a growing community that dictated the increase in personnel standards. They directed their efforts at increasing personnel in a manner that would have extra value added components.
Chief Shaeffer said by employing additional officers not only would they be performing very vital functions but would also help relieve other officers of duties so that those officers would be able to spend more time in the community as well.
Materials pertaining to his presentation were passed out and Brenda Borders the Analyst Planner who has been instrumental in the preparation of the budget was introduced.
Chief Shaeffer said the first officer they are asking for would carry out traffic activities; the number one concern of citizens in Novi is traffic. Traffic accidents have been increasing as documented in previous reports as well as issues of complaints from concerned citizens, homeowners associations and businesses who want extra patrols and traffic enforcement activities carried out in their subdivisions, etc. They try to accommodate them as best they can but it does take away from patrol time to do that. However, by adding one additional person they could alleviate a loss of time because the new officer would concentrate solely on traffic enforcement. This particular officer would pay for himself because grants are still available for officers. There is one grant available and it would fund $75,000 spread over a three year period for that officer. Additionally, that officer could be expected to write ten traffic tickets a day during his tour. He said the City generates approximately $25.00 per fine, $250.00 a day and $52,500 a year would be generated and couple that with the grant
component and over a three year period that officer would cost the City $116,000 but would generate revenues of $156,000.00.
The other two officers would be front desk patrol officers. They have struggled for years and have presented to Council several times in years past ways to keep the front desk open to satisfy the citizens that come to the department after hours. The contracts with the labor unions restrict the assigning of record clerks to the hours of 8 and 5. Regardless of that half or more of the citizens who come require the assistance of a police officer to be there with them. He said these officers are called in from the field 15 or more times a day between the hours of 7 AM and 8 PM in the evening.
In the citizen suggestion box this is the number one citizen suggestion because they had to wait too long for an officer. He has looked at a cadet program but they are restricted in some of the police officer activities that they can do. They figured out that between the officers that are coming in from the field to work the desk with the addition of two additional officers they could staff that desk for those hours seven days a week. The needs of the citizens can be satisfied.
He said at the same time, needs would be satisfied in the records section. The records section has not grown in more than a decade. The community and workload has grown significantly in that time period but they have not increased staff and they do need it. This alleviates that because the clerk at the desk can be relieved and returned to the record section so there is no additional cost to the City. He said a grant is available for both of those officers at $75,000 each over a three-year period but they would not produce any additional revenue.
Chief Shaeffer said the last item is the school liaison program, which he and Council had talked about previously. They computed the cost factors on that and Council has this material. He cautioned Council about the grant program and said if they expected to use it they must reach a decision soon because the grant had to be filed by May 31st and preferred to have the application in their hands by May 1st. He received paperwork on the grant and it indicated that money was exceptionally tight and they would be filled on a first come first serve basis. If Council exercised the option to use it he urged them to do it rapidly so they would have a better chance of competing for the grant.
Chief Shaeffer said the second section is the equipment listing and particular descriptions. He said Motorola Prep Radios was already funded in the budget and did not need consideration.
Chief Shaeffer said the first item is the U.P.S. Unit, Universal Power Supply Unit. It is a battery unit that backed up all critical electrical equipment in the department. It filled the gap between the time the power fluctuated or went out and the time period a generator could start and come up to speed. Now they have a lot of stand-alone units and this unit would take the place of all of the units and combine them into one and consolidate that.
Second item is a generator that would be used out at the D.P.W. tower. There is some generator power out there now that is provided by the County tower but it does not run the heating and air conditioning unit in their building. The radio equipment is heat sensitive and over time that building would reach a temperature that would cause the radio equipment to fail.
They were also asking for a car radio and an in car video system which is permanently mounted in the car and records everything that takes place in front of the camera or that is
recorded off a microphone the officer carries with them. This is a very valuable item for two reasons. One, it tapes evidence that would be utilized in criminal trials and in civil proceedings and also in terms of citizens complaints about officers. It has been used successfully throughout the United States and many departments around Novi.
The next item was the Smart Trailer that is seen beside the road that displays speed. We share that equipment on a rotational basis with three other communities. The trailer is about seven years old now and has been rebuilt three times and is now being rebuilt again. Our use is limited to one week a month. He said they would like their own to help satisfy some of the citizens needs and concerns about traffic in the community.
The next item was a Net Clock that synchronized all of the timing devices throughout the communications center so that they can keep better and accurate sequencing of the timing systems.
The next item is an A.V.L., Automatic Vehicle Locator System that visually maps where the patrol cars are throughout the community on a constantly updated basis. In Dispatch it would be used to send the closest available car to any high priority calls. It would show where the officer is and if he has been there too long without being heard from him they know to check on them. Also, the Managers know exactly where officers are because they can see them from their offices.
The last item is Video Arraignment System. The current procedure is Novi must secure their prisoners from the Oakland County Jail and take them to court for court proceedings. This equipment would alleviate the Novi Police Department from having to do that. They would stand the person in front of a video camera and have their court proceeding take place rather than having an officer go pick them up in Pontiac and bring them to court. This system is proposed to be in place this year.
Member Kramer asked Chief Shaeffer to clarify which items are included in funding under General Funds and which are funding from the outside.
Chief Shaeffer said these have not been funded.
Mr. Klaver suggested directing that question to the Finance Director.
Ms. Smith-Roy said what has been included with the information was a Revised Capital Request Form. Two columns have been added. One for the C.I. P. ranking and the other is the funding source. The first column on the left is the items that are included in the budget. The first page and up to the top of the second page are items of Capital that are included in the General Fund right now.
On the second page there are items funded by Parks and Recreation, Drain Fund and Capital Improvement. The two items that are included in the proposed budget under the Capital Fund
are $45,000 for a tractor which is a roll over from a prior year plus an additional amount because when it went out to bid it cost more than originally anticipated.
The second item is the Fire truck, which is rolled over because of the delay in building and sending it. Everything else in the next column are items that are not included in the budget but requested by the department. The next column is the C.I.P. Ranking and the last is the funding source.
Member Kramer said he did not see $16,000 there.
Ms. Smith-Roy said part of this might be her misunderstanding but she took them as replacement radios and they are included under operating supplies. She said the only other replacement items are items actually included on this Capital Budget. The radios are typically not considered capital. Items like vehicle replacements and so forth are included on the sheet they passed out.
Member DeRoche said the Auto Vehicle Locator and the Video Arraignment numbers appear to be less this year. Chief Shaeffer did not know of any changes that were made and if the numbers changed then the vendors changed the cost to them.
Member DeRoche said the overtime budget is $350,000 and last year it was budgeted at $425,000 and it looked like they were coming in less. He asked what was causing that?
Chief Shaeffer said it is not coming in less. It is coming in more. Member DeRoche said he had it down as an amended $332,400. Chief Shaeffer said it is dramatically under funded.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that is the amended budget and asked him to look at the estimated column.
Member DeRoche said it was budgeted for $306,000 last year and it is closer to $425,000 this year. He said the administration is encouraging the Chief to find ways to get this down under $350,000 this year. Chief Shaeffer said it was an admirable goal but he doubted if they could achieve it. They are working at it and the department’s angry with him.
Member DeRoche said he did not see a lot in here. He thought there were ongoing expenses for software, computers, etc. He also expected to see charges for the patrol officer’s cars, communication towers, fingerprinting or basically all the computer systems. He was surprised there were no upgrade or new equipment purchases in here.
Chief Shaeffer said there is an ongoing replacement cost and it has been stripped out citywide and all those funds from all departments for replacement of computer items are funneled through Ms. Smith-Roy’s department now and she will satisfy those needs citywide. That should be reflected in Ms. Smith-Roy’s budget. Is that correct?
Ms. Smith-Roy said there are two items that incorporate the police software. They are in the Other Services and Charges. If looking at the detail on page 18 they are called Data Processing and Outside Data Processing and those items represent primarily maintenance. In terms of replacement of PC’s and laptops they are in the contingency section of the General Fund. The policy has been a replace as needed basis so rather than fund for these items by
department request they have set aside an amount in the contingency balance to be used for replacement.
Member DeRoche said then it makes more sense for the Chief to run his computer needs through a department that is handling all of our computer needs and then it is billed back to his budget.
Ms. Smith-Roy said it is charged to the individual department budget, as they need it.
Member DeRoche said it makes more sense to have our I.T. Department handle his stuff too.
Ms. Smith-Roy said network related items yes but not software. Software is handled in his department and it is handled in those two items.
Member DeRoche asked if the Chief was asking for any new systems this year?
Chief Shaeffer said they are contractual and he is satisfied with the vendors they contracted with and felt they had an outstanding quality product and in fact this next year is the first time they would have to pay the full price for it.
Member DeRoche questioned the line item for telephones.
Ms. Smith-Roy said there were two issues for telephones across the board. When the upgrade of the phone system was done last year they allowed departments to put in additional equipment where they needed because it was a lot cheaper to do it on the front end than to have people come out later. Our service in general on the phone system has gone up across the board. The other item that is included in this department’s budget is for cell phones.
Chief Shaeffer said they would like cell phones for the patrol and detective cars. They did not want to rely on the radio component of Nextel but did want to rely on their own radio component. The idea being they want to keep the police officers in the field. Now they have to return to the station to make their phone calls. They would need 28 mobile phones and they funded that at a cost of $15,000 and that included purchase and usage time.
Member DeRoche felt the money would be well spent if it kept officers in the field rather than hiring more officers. He asked about the service charges.
Ms. Smith-Roy said they were not more than she expected it was just that in certain areas there were not phones before where new personnel or offices were added. Additional equipment was added and they were able to do that through the bid process when they went out for the new phone system. As a result of that, the service has gone up a little bit. They also went out to bid on the long distance charges and got a fairly decent rate and Council approved the contract.
Member Csordas asked if the additional officers were one for the front desk and one patrol?
Chief Shaeffer said there would be two at the front desk. They are assigned to patrol but there would be two at the desk. He said there would be one person at the front desk but it would take two more officers to do that.
Member Csordas said for the traffic activities that the City would receive approximately $250.00 a day, does the City retain all of the funds through those tickets.
Chief Shaeffer said there was a formula that distributed those funds out. Two dollars goes into a State Training Fund, $5.00 goes into a State Police Fund, one third is kept by the Court itself, a third goes to the State and a third is returned to the City.
Member Csordas asked what the ratio of police officers per population was and what is the city’s current ratio of police officers per population?
Chief Shaeffer asked Council to turn to the charts to see that Novi’s ratio is 1.18 versus 1.76 for Oakland County. He said department staffing studies have been conducted since 1988. Some are done by citizen committees, internal studies, consultant firms, one that compares to Oakland County and a study of what the FBI number is for similar communities our size and in our region of the country out of a five-state area.
Member Csordas asked that from Coopers and Lybrand down to the FBEI 99 ratios, dropping out any of the fire needs, our ratios would have to be increased by all the red numbers in the far right column? Chief Shaeffer said that was correct.
Member Csordas asked if there was any market for the current equipment that would be replaced by the requested Power Supply Unit for $18,450? Chief Shaeffer said it would be disposed of according to City Ordinance which would mean it would probably go at auction and he would not expect a great deal of proceeds from it.
Member Csordas asked if the in car video would reduce the city’s exposure to lawsuits?
Chief Shaeffer said it would. Member Csordas asked if the City ever had any lawsuits to date that this equipment would have helped on? Chief Shaeffer said there have been several debated issues and there was one that was settled in dispute. It would not have been on video but it would have been on audio.
Member Csordas asked if the Smart Trailer was really an effective tool? Chief Shaeffer said
he put it up on a busy South Lake Drive that had tons of citizen complaints and about a half mile down a patrol car ran radar on it and they compared it. He said the numbers dropped dramatically and the patrol officer wrote one ticket all day. It was very effective. He said citizens also like seeing it out there.
Member Csordas asked, regarding the AVL Hardware, if the $7,500.00 included the software, how many vehicles would have the hardware installed and would it require a monthly fee. Chief Shaeffer said it would satisfy all their black and white cars. It does cover all the software and hardware and there would be a small monthly fee but he thought it was already wrapped up with the licensing agreement with the software vendor. It does coordinate with our computerated dispatch component of that. It is a GPS system.
Member Csordas asked if he had considered how the union would respond to this? Chief Shaeffer said some of the communities that have it have experienced some problems. They did with in car videos as well. He said the growing pains were over pretty easily though. Member Csordas saw a huge value to the in-car video mitigating any exposure and also for the safety of the police officers. He asked if the Chief anticipated any problems?
Chief Shaeffer said the Union could say they do not like the equipment and to take it out but the Chief was not sure it was an item that was subject to negotiation. He said the other side of
that is this is a tremendous work force and they work hard every single day. For them to be afraid of what someone might see because of an in car video or where they are is a bunch of bunk. It will be proven that the technology will work in their benefit not in their determent because they are a hard working group of men and women. Member Csordas agreed and felt that this would be a significant safety factor for them.
Member Csordas asked if the Video Arraignment equipment was operational at the Oakland County Jail? Chief Shaeffer said no. Member Csordas asked if he anticipated when that would be up and running? Chief Shaeffer said it is supposed to be this year.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said obviously public safety is a high priority in the City of Novi. She had concerns about the Police Academy for $9,900.00 and it would be her position that it be eliminated or make it a pay to participate program. This would pay for the AVL Hardware or the Smart Trailer. She was concerned with whether the municipality or the school district funds the D.A.R.E. program. This is a total amount of $247,857.00 and she felt it would provide a lot more police officers for the street. She felt they should be exploring that funding with the school district.
She was very much in favor of the traffic officer but questioned whether the second and third officers were needed at the desk. She felt there was more of a need to spread those officers out in the street and she would look for additional personnel out patrolling. She asked if any of the personnel salaries requested reflected any promotions? The Chief said no.
Ms. Smith-Roy said they budget for overtime in this department by assuming the department is going to be fully staffed including the dispatch area. Since it has not been fully staffed it has been a big chunk of the overtime. That is why they start out with a low number because they budget that the number of positions in the budget will be filled. The numbers in Personnel Services now represent the actual staff positions with the actual people and what their benefits are; they do not include any increases for next year. That is being held in the contingency item.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought the school should be supporting the school liaison officer if this is a need but it should be the school district that is funding an officer that is primarily assigned to the school.
She said in terms of capital she would like to find money for the Smart Trailer or the AVL Hardware and she is not sure whether the others are wants or needs.
She asked whether or not, regarding dispatch, they should consider the consortium that we are involved in with Wixom and South Lyon. Obviously they are adding a lot of calls to the City of Novi and there is a very high workload in the dispatch area which is not fully staffed. She would explore what is the fair cost that should be allocated to Wixom and South Lyon, whether it should be continued or discontinued based on the workload and how much they are paying towards this. She said the Chief indicated that the actual fair share that Wixom should be paying is around $100,000; is that right?
Chief Shaeffer said that was a real swag at this point and asked that she not anchor on that but yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked what they were currently paying? Chief Shaeffer said they were paying about $63,000. She said they should pay their fair share if the program is continued. It is an overburden to our dispatch, which is not fully staffed for lots of reasons.
Chief Shaeffer corrected a typo in the material they presented on the AVL. He said it is not $7,500.00 it is $75,000.00.
Mr. Klaver said in the area of overtime being higher due to staffing deficiency he wanted to point out that some of that is a reallocation because there are salaries budgeted that were not completely spent. That is somewhat offset even though it showed up in the overtime. There is going to be a cost savings because they have not had that personnel on board nor have they paid those salaries.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the budget for Personnel Services does include step increases, which are part of the contractual agreement. They are not raises separately received but are a part of a contract that Council already approved.
She said in the documents provided there was a Change to Base Summary page that highlighted some of the items talked about today about where the differences are. Council might want to refer to it periodically to help point out what the differences are.
Member Kramer said $5,490.00 is requested for Membership and Dues that last year was only $4,055.00. He suggested that the amount should be $4,100. He said to date they have spent only $1,800 and the budget runs out the end of May.
Chief Shaeffer had an itemized list of what the memberships are. The particular increase Member Kramer was referring to was all in one particular item and that is a very sophisticated computer link nationwide that allows them to use investigative tools. It is a background type software that allows them to tie into their nationwide data base link that gives background information on individuals that are under investigation and helps to locate them among other things. He said it is an organization but it is also a business. It is not something that Doug Shaeffer would belong to; it is an association that the police department would contract with so their information can be utilized by the department.
Member Kramer said the question arose because Membership and Dues went up and he did not see any justification for it and there isn’t. This is expenditure for something else that really is not Membership and Dues. Member Kramer felt this should be a line item because he is purchasing a service. He said Radio Maintenance is $44,000, which is up from $15,000. He asked why?
Chief Shaeffer said the replacement of the radios that were on the list that he requested Council strike off is located in that account and the lack of contract that they have had for maintenance of their radios. The Communications Manager wants to go to a contractual component with the maintenance people so they can be relied on to be there to fix things. They currently utilized a "call when needed" type of basis.
Member Kramer asked if the radios were $16,000.00? Chief Shaeffer said yes. Member Kramer said 16 and 15 is $31,000 so we are paying $12,000 for a maintenance contract. He asked where the $12,000.00 came out of the budget somewhere else. Chief Shaeffer said it
doesn’t. Member Kramer said so it is $12,000.00 extra that we must spend this year and the Chief would rather have that than some of the capital items he requested.
Chief Shaeffer said yes because the radios have to be up and running properly. They are a vital bond and link with the police department. It is a high priority.
Member Kramer said there is $25,000 for Building Maintenance. He said they are putting in a building expansion and there is building renovation associated with millage.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this is normal type maintenance for cleaning, windows, etc. Member Kramer asked why it is up when in prior years it was $10,000 to $16,000 and the last couple of years it has jumped? He asked them to look at that.
Member Kramer said the new vehicle install, $25,270, is to get new cars up to speed. It is not included in the cost of cars? Chief Shaeffer said no the items are just listed in different accounts. The basic cost of the car is in one account and then the lights, siren, radios, etc. are in another account. Member Kramer asked if there was another line item in the budget that was down $25,000? Chief Shaeffer said it would not be down by $25,000 you just do not see the equipment reflected in another account. Member Kramer said it did not exist before 1997 then it was $9,000, then $22,000 and this year $17,000. Chief Shaeffer said the number of cars being bought would reflect the differences over the years. Member Kramer asked if they were buying more cars this year than last? Chief Shaeffer said yes.
Member Kramer asked if there was a way the D.A.R.E. officers could be used as the School Liaison Officers too and seek half funding from the schools. The school would have to provide an office for the officers. If there were some reasonable way to go at this he would be very interested.
Member Kramer asked if any of the requested personnel was funded? Ms. Smith-Roy said there are no new positions included in the current budget.
Member Bononi asked, for the listening audience, the Chief what the total proposed budget is, what last year’s budget was and what was the increase or decrease?
Chief Shaeffer said the total budget for this year is $7.375 million, the previous year was $7.092 million and the difference is all in personnel costs.
Ms. Smith-Roy said there is a new school crossing guard that is included for $34,000, an increase in overtime, step increases of about $47,000, $34,000 for a bike grant that is offset by revenue. It includes employee benefit increases and increases in telephone and radio maintenance.
Member Bononi said she looked at the graphics provided and found them interesting, revealing and a little scary in some cases. Particularly the 1998 and 1999 graphics which were the Drinking and Driving statistics. She asked if there were any educational programs to address this.
Chief Shaeffer said they have a new video that was produced in house in cooperation with the Novi Youth Assistance, Communities That Care and others about drinking and driving. It is very demonstrative of the effects of drinking and driving and the accidents that occur with that.
Things are also being done with the liquor license holders in town. One is a controlled drinking exercise where people are put in a controlled drinking environment and they start consuming alcohol so they can understand at what level they get drunk. They blow in the Breathalyzer and they understand exactly where that is at. It is even better for a bar tender or server to know so they know at exactly what point their responsibility begins to stop people from drinking. It is their responsibility to do that. They have also had impact panels with bar people, managers and owners.
Member Bononi was concerned about what kind of results it would take to make a difference. Chief Shaeffer said he hoped they were making a difference but the charts say the number of arrests went up last year. Whether that is due to their efforts because more attention is being paid to it and the officers are making more arrests for it or whether it is because there are increased incidences of it drinking. He did not have the tools to evaluate that.
Member Bononi said she hoped that we will because when she gages this situation over some other educational programs this seems to be the most immediate; although the other programs have merit. She asked why the Novi School District was not paying for the D.A.R.E. and School Liaison Officers programs?
Chief Shaeffer could not tell her why they were not paying for D.A.R.E. because it precedes him. He said comparatively schools do not pay for D.A.R.E. and over the entire Metropolitan area there were maybe one or two schools that participated in the D.A.R.E. program. He said regarding the School Liaison there were very few that were contributed to in any manner by the schools and were all paid for by the cities that sponsor the police. He said the tentative discussion with the schools was they would pay 50% of the cost of the officer for the amount of time that he was in the schools.
Member Bononi said she looked up the program on the Internet and found out that many school districts do support the program. She was concerned there did not seem to be a reason why the Novi Schools are not defining what that is. It seemed to her they had the most to gain and she could see us doing this for a few years but not for the long haul.
She said with regard to these increasing arrests she would also be interested in looking to those resources being placed toward officers on the street.
She asked about the amounts that are spent on printing and publishing and what they are for and also from a standpoint of whether or not their legal consulting is bid out or just assigned?
Ms. Smith-Roy said it is a $21,617 funding request for the printing and publishing.
Chief Shaeffer said the consultant line item she is referring to is for pre-employment exams. He said the legal consulting is handled through the Consultant Review Committee.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked the Chief to explain the philosophy of community policing, how many districts we have, whether they are fully manned and if not how many additional personnel it would take to fully man those seven districts?
Chief Shaeffer said it is basically a philosophy of trying to direct our efforts into the community with our services so that the greatest amount of impact possible can be made. The greatest impact in any community is to prevent crimes from happening to begin with rather than reacting to them after they have occurred. There is much greater value in being able to do that. It is a quantum break from the traditional model of policing services into a community where all that is provided is in response after something has occurred. In the traditional model police officers would drive aimlessly throughout the community very visibly in their black and white cars. They thought creating omnipresence would prevent crimes. More than half of the crime takes place behind closed doors and the officers would not see it and the officer would have been in any given location for only a matter of seconds. They found out that they could direct the officers in the areas they were greatly needed.
In Novi between Nine-Mile and 12 Mile 20% of the traffic accidents occur. If officers are sent to that stretch of road there is a better opportunity to make a greater impact than in other locations in Novi. Community policing is directing officer’s activities and allowing them to direct their own activities in the areas where they can make the impact to prevent crime to begin with. That goes into enforcement activities as well because enforcement, arrest and conviction are very valuable tools. They do not try to de-emphasize the need for officers to respond to calls for service. That is very, very important and they do respond to calls for service and it remains a very viable component to every police department. When they are not responding they need to be utilized to the greatest degree possible. He said there are seven districts and they are manned according to need.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if there were enough officers to man the seven districts evenly throughout the day?
Chief Shaeffer said absolutely not.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said there was a discrepancy of cost regarding the school liaison officer between the information of today and the information supplied in October 1999 and perhaps the response to this could be given to Mr. Klaver.
Mayor Clark stated he would be looking for funding for as many of the items as possible. If they have to start making selections between items, he thought the AVL System would be good and hopefully they could find funding for that this year. Also, the video arraignment equipment is a good idea and would probably more than pay for itself in a short period of time. However, until the County system is up and running this would be a contingency item at this point. He felt an in-car video system was a benefit to the taxpayers, police department, City and the Officers in particular. There is the untold cost when a dedicated officer has his career maligned by a false charge and this would afford the department the opportunity to see that that does not occur. He would be looking to fund this item if possible.
Mayor Clark commented on a concern raised by Member Bononi about the number of O.U.I.L. citations, 450 arrests in 1998 and 468 in 1999. He assumed that these are not all Novi residents and are visitors from other areas. For people in the community they should be aware that the Department takes this function of their job very seriously and the District Court should be commended on their tough stand on drinking and driving.
He said Council wants to hold the line and bring in a budget that would not result in tax increases. However, there are certain elements when it comes to Police and Fire that are of paramount importance and they would do everything they could to cooperate with them to see that those are appropriately and adequately funded for the community’s benefit.
Member Crawford asked if the in car video system was transferable between cars? Chief Shaeffer said they have to be permanently mounted. Member Crawford hoped that the funds could be found to allocate for the car video system. He said one wrong liability suit and more than the cost would be spent. He asked if the Video Arraignment equipment would be of use to the 52nd District Court also? Chief Shaeffer said they were not prepared to do this. Member Crawford asked if that could be handled through the cable provider or perhaps run our own internal system from here to the Court? Chief Shaeffer said he did not know.
Member Crawford felt Video Arraignment would also be money well spent and would save the City a lot more than the $15,000 it cost. Vehicle locators would be nice but he would rather see the in car videos first. He hoped areas in the budget could be found to allocate funds for other items such as generators, radios, net clocks that are lower cost items. As far as personnel he hoped money could be found to allocate them because all of those positions were justified.
He thought the school had indicated in preliminary discussions that they would be willing to fund half of the time the school liaison officer would be in the schools. He felt it was an important program and hoped discussions could continue.
Mr. Klaver asked what Council’s thoughts were regarding any further agenda changes? He said the Fire Department and Building and Ordinance have been moved to April 15th at noon and DPS - Forestry to April 27th.
A budget meeting was scheduled for April 27th at 7:00 PM and May 8th at 8:00 AM.
PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Ms. Conley explained that they wanted to take some of the information that they have now and make it more readily available in formats more easily used by the public. They would like to provide an opportunity to use the Web site and expand it to its greatest capability. They have put their Site Plan Manual and Development and Review Guidebook out there and as much information as possible so people do not have to come to City Hall but can do it from the comfort of their own home.
Mr. Arroyo said they did a demo disc to give Council an indication of what this product might look like once it is complete. This would take a lot of information from a lot of different sources and pull it all together so a resident or small business person could understand what is going on around their property.
Mr. Arroyo thought the Adobe Acrobat Program should be used. It is a
program a lot of people use and could learn easily. He showed Council the
program and how it worked from a disc. It covered the Master Plan for Land
Use, Zoning Map, Wetlands,
They would also have an information link which would be linked to the World Wide Web so if more information was needed and the Web Browser was open it would be accessible through the Muni Code Site that is already funded and available. This is an excellent planning outreach program that would be targeted to residents and small business. A large developer would hire consultants to accumulate this information for them.
Member Kramer asked if there were updates available on an ongoing basis? Mr. Arroyo said yes. Member Kramer asked if this could be used for Council meetings and Planning Commission in the same way? Mr. Arroyo said yes, once it is complete it could be at every meeting. Member Kramer thought this was very exciting as opposed to very large boards with a lot of overlays.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought it was very interesting and helpful item but our major challenge is going to be wants and needs. This particular item is $13,700 versus the video arraignment equipment that is $15,000.
Member DeRoche asked if it was in the PDF format and if for people with slow Internet connections could it be made into Jet Files or J Pegs? Mr. Arroyo said one of the reasons they suggested this format on a section by section basis is so that the PDF Files could stay smaller. He said the way the City Web company has set it up Acrobat does not have to be loaded on your home computer because it is on the City server. It opens it up for you and the map comes up and it does not have to be on your hard drive. Member DeRoche thought that was good.
Member Bononi stated she wanted Mr. Arroyo to know that this is wonderful, she loved it and she was not going to support it. She thought the citizens and businesses are hungry for this. However, primary stuff has to be worked on first. In working on the Rouge Program with regard to the Storm Water General Permit she found it disappointing that there is no community newsletter and had talked with Lou Martin about what was important with regard to residents and community outreach. Those things are essential. She said this had untold potential and she would support it down the road. She said after a certain amount of time the number of hits on this would steadily diminish so it is either through publicizing or making their value known that the cost of investment could be recovered.
Mr. Arroyo commented using this for Planning Commission and City Council meetings was a good idea and if that were done it might be a good way of dealing with diminishing interest in it.
Member Kramer said the Communication Committee has been working for over a year on the issue of newsletter. It is funded in this budget and this Council can recognize that.
Mayor Clark said Council has been talking about communications since November and he thought this was a great tool to achieve that. Again, needs versus wants, if there is a way to do this he supported it.
Mr. Arroyo said it would be very easy to have the information available to the public before the meeting.
Member Bononi asked if the Planning Advisory Service was included in the Planning Department Budget?
Ms. Conley said it was.
Mayor Clark asked Ms. Smith-Roy to indicate what the total City budget for the last fiscal year was and what last year’s revenues were.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the total revenues for last year were $18,315,000 and the projected revenue for the coming year is $18,975,800 and the expenditures are projected at $20, 073,565. They are assuming that they are going to have to use about $1 million worth of Fund Balance to balance this budget.
Mayor Clark asked what the increase in revenue is? Ms. Smith-Roy said the property tax revenue change from the prior year to current year is from $1.9 billion taxable value to $2.075 billion taxable value. The Revenue is $7,990,000 and current year is $8.5 million.
Member Crawford said last year’s estimate was $18.4 ˝ million and this year is $18.975 million, which is about $510,000 difference. The change in revenues from last year to this year is primarily in the property tax revenue.
Mayor Clark asked what the percentage change is in property tax revenue? Ms. Smith-Roy said it is about a 6% increase and is also the anticipated increase in State shared revenue for Novi for the current year as well.
Member DeRoche said the revenues traditionally have been very conservatively approached. The administration does not want to bring in less money than they project in a budget and they go to great lengths to not project the extra revenue. He said it appeared that it came in less than what was anticipated when at the time it was proposed it was supposed to be under what was expected because of new appropriation laws and new State Revenue Sharing formulas. It was estimated at $3.8 million and it was $4.1 million. He asked what changed?
Ms. Smith-Roy said the amended budget for last year was $3.78 million in State Shared Revenue. She said they were estimating between now and the end of the year $3.86 million. She said those revenue figures were obtained through the Web site provided by the State of Michigan and are checked weekly because they seem to be changing weekly based on their estimate. The $4.1 million is what they are projecting for next year and they are actually projecting slightly higher than that and we backed it down by about 2 ˝ % because the numbers on the Web site are declining.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said in preparation for the next meeting she would like to know what impact are the challenges to our taxes, particularly from the State Tribunal in terms of total cost, total dollars and percentage and how that impacts the revenues?
Ms. Smith-Roy said the City Assessor would be present at the next session and that he had assisted her in preparing the estimates for next year and the property tax, which is one of the schedules in Council packets. It is the 2000 Headlee Schedule.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was interested in the past year in terms of how much successful challenges have impacted our revenues.
Mr. Klaver said the Assessor has indicated that we should back off what we are going to lose. He reminded Council based on Council direction that they had always gone through departmental budgets and then did revenue. It is a deliberate design that has been established through the years. They would present on the 15th that part of the Headlee calculation that does not include the new revenue from the resale of homes that goes from the taxable value back to the SEV.
Mayor Clark told Mr. Klaver that he might schedule an executive session early in May and ask them to get working on it now. He would like an executive session with one topic, pending litigation; he wanted to know each and every lawsuit pending against the City now.
Mr. Klaver said they were aware of Council interest and were working on it. Mr. Klaver said in prior years Council has always tried to have the public hearing and the adoption of the budget on a regular scheduled meeting. They had thought that this was a Charter provision and he has researched it and would like to have the attorney double check it. It does not appear that is true. He said they would not be able to come back with anything on May 1st since there is a budget meeting on the 27th. He said on May 8th they would come back with a presentation to submit to the public. The public hearing could be held and then Council could discuss it and then they would come back with an agreement on the 8th ; Council would act on it on the 15th.
Mayor Clark said that was fine.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
CM-00-04-114 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That the meeting be adjourned at 4:42 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Nancy Reutter, Deputy City Clerk
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: May 1, 2000