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Live Update of the Prescott City Council, January 30, 2017
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31 January 2017  
 

Council is meeting once again to discuss the challenges of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).

BREAKING: Council just voted to add a ballot measure to the August 29 election regarding PSPRS.

What is on the ballot measure? That has not been determined at this point.


The Council is getting creative today regarding funding.  

Downloads:
 Agenda  Agenda Packet 

Video Link

CALL TO ORDER

II. ROLL CALL

 

1. Roll Call

III. DISCUSSION AND VOTING ITEM

A. Discussion of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) unfunded liability, and adoption of Resolution No. 4373-1582 calling a Special Election on August 29, 2017

Council Memo Printout

RESOLUTION NO. 4373-1582

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PRESCOTT, 

YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA, PROVIDING NOTICE OF A SPECIAL ELECTION TO

BE HELD ON AUGUST 29, 2017; AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY CLERK TO ENTER

INTO ANY AGREEMENTS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR SUCH

ELECTIONS.

RECITALS:

WHEREAS, the holding of a Special Election is enabled by law and prescribed

by the City of Prescott Charter; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council desire to hold a Special Election for a

ballot measure on August 29, 2017.

ENACTMENTS:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

PRESCOTT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. THAT a City of Prescott Special Election be held on Tuesday, August 29,

2017, for the purpose of voting on a citywide ballot measure.

SECTION 2. THAT the City Clerk is authorized to enter into any agreements with the

Yavapai County Elections Department and any necessary vendors to provide election

services for the August 29, 2017 Special Election.

SECTION 3. THAT said election shall be held in accordance with the provisions of

applicable State Statutes, City Charter provisions, City Code and Ordinances and

Resolutions of the City.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Prescott

this _____ day of January, 2017.

 

Councilman Greg Lazzell has moved to declare a special election in order to vote on an [as yet undetermined] ballot measure regarding PSPRS. Councilwoman Billie Orr seconded it. 

Councilman Lamerson wants to understand what the measure will read. 

All this will do is to state that there will be an election on the PSPRS matter. 

Motion passes unanimously. 

Details to be determined at a later time or date. 

Blair notes that the City does not have the money to pay the PSPRS liablility bills. "This is serious business we're here to talk about."

Lamerson asks what the reserve standard is most cities and municipalities. 

About 15-25% is the answer.

Lamerson suggested that the City use some of their reserves to pay the debt down, and then use the .75¢ tax to pay down the liability. 

Mark Woodfill suggests paying down $4M at the beginning, and then perhaps more over time, but not as much as $15M (for example) all at once. 

Sischka recommends taking reserve monies to pay the increased amount for the PSPRS liabilities. 

There were 11 Options Reviewed:

1. Business tax

2. Increase Property Tax - Only can increase 2%/year. "Hard rock to push uphill to get legislative approval."

3. Increase City Utilities Rates It would cost $30/month/residence, $175/month/business

4. **Dedicated Sales Tax This could also include discussion of what amount the tax would be - .75¢, or .65¢

5. Dedicated Sales Tax with Elimination of Property Tax Muddies the water, cannot afford to lose that money

6. **Reduce Spending & Alternative Service Delivery Models - Explore possibilities of efficiencies. 

7. Bankruptcy Council is against this, at least in the short run.

8. **Use Reserves Councilwoman Wilcox recommends caution, and to use an inter-department loan, not simply a transfer. Should make it a regular part of the annual budget process. 

9. Municipal Income Tax - Prohibited by statute, will cause loss of State Shared Revenue, and income tax is the most expensive of all taxes to collect

10. Get out of PSPRS The City is mandated by statute to remain in PSPRS. No opting out.

11. Wait for Statewide Relief  Definitely no short term relief in the near future. They will continue to work for Statewide Relief/Reform.

12. **Borrowing - (External and internal funds) Leave this option on the table. Would still need a secure funding source. City Manager Lamar says that if they want to issue a bond, it should be done in the next 12 months, because the rates are low.

13. Variations on a Sales Tax - Could provide a lower rate for larger ticket items, such as vehicles. This part won't be considered. 

14. Sell unneeded property - Blair and Lazzell ask for a report on these properties. 

15. Start a City lottery. Illegal.

"I don't mind going to the voters, it's their money and their assets," Lamerson said. 

Another idea is for the Waste Water Enterprise Fund to purchase the Golf Course Enterprise Fund. Then the money that is owed to the General Fund could be tranferred over from the Waste Water Enterprise fund. 

Henry Hash is discussing the idea of the Waste Water Fund purchasing the Golf Course Enterprise Fund. "There is no money in Waste Water," Hash stated, pointing to the requirement to centralize the waste water treatment plant. That is going to cost around $42M.


Public Comment:

Jerry Weedepol: Thanks the City Manager for cutting the budget. Bankruptcy - Don't go there! Don't spend more than you take in. "Can't believe you are talking about raising taxes. I am taxed to death. Do not cut the library... I'll tell my mom! I love this City, it was like Mayberry growing up." Wants to stop the trails... Something else needs to be cut, y'all. Freeze spending, don't start new projects. No more taxes. "I'm dead serious, no bankruptcy, no new taxes."

Chuck McVeigh: Borrowing your own money... Don't get into the reserves. It's a slight of hand. "We're trying to find easy way to get money that doesn't hurt." Do not accept the risk of being both the borrower and the lender. 

Richard Steelman: Asking them not to hire PSPRS employees before the 1st of July. There are other ways, we can tread water for a couple of months. 

Mary Beth Hrin: She is frustrated that they are looking at the listed items after they chose to put the item on the ballot. "Everyone is making sacrifices except the unions," she said as she pointed to the hiring of firemen and policemen before July 1.

Sischka notes that the City is remarkably efficient as compared to neighboring local communities.  Weedepol stands up in the audience and says he wants them to quit comparing to other communities. "I don't care about other communities, I care about Prescott."

Lamerson: Points to potential privatizing. 

Blair: CYFD and YCSO won't take on our departments until the debt is paid. 

Phil Goode: Suggests the new police officers be brought on as temporary code enforcement officers until July 1. 

Wilcox: "I think we have had a good discussion." She asks Lamar if there is enough information for the staff to research. 

Next meeting: February 7 @ 3 PM.

Mayor Oberg reminds the audience that there will be a Town Hall Meeting Saturday, February 4 @ 10 AM at the Adult Center on Rosser Street.

 

IV. ADJOURNMENT

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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She will be leaving for new adventures on May 15, 2020.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/eNewsAZ/