2003-04 AND 2004-05 PROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Susan Hunt, Director noted the role of the Community Services Commission with regard to the budget is to review and forward their comments to the City Council. She reported that all standards set forth by the Finance and City Manager's office were met and introduced Glenn Steinbrink, Acting Director of Administrative Services.
Mr. Steinbrink gave a brief overview of the entire City budget; noted at this time the City is financially doing well; reviewed the positive and negative impacts of the City's budget, and reported the most significant budget deficit was projected for fiscal year 2004-2005. He reported that since the negative impacts outweigh the positive, all departments were asked to return 2% of their General Fund contribution this year and cut their 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 General Fund budget by 5% over the current budget plus reduce the public liability and workers compensation allocations by 5%. He stated that the City Council was presented with decision packages which outline further cuts in the event the State has a major impact on City revenues.
Alice Loya, Senior Administrative Analyst gave an overview of the funding sources and the proposed budget; noted the 5% budget cut is from the General Fund contribution only; and clarified attachment C of the staff report, the proposed budget decision package, was for reference only.
Randy McDaniel, Parks Project Specialist presented the Capital Improvement Program budget; noted the last two years the City has been heavily invested in park improvements; and reviewed the thirteen proposed projects in the four major categories of park improvements; field improvements, recreational facilities and miscellaneous improvements.
Commissioner's Questions and Comments:
Commissioners' asked questions and commented as follows: If all of the City departments had returned the 2%? Were there consequences to a department if they do not meet the 2% return? If the City has to go to 5% would it be individual departments or citywide? What condition was Fullerton in compared to other cities in regards to the budget? Would there be a policy change in terms of charging for events like "First Night" or the 4th of July fireworks show? How was the staff position of Youth League Support being funded? Is the Community Services Department the only department that spends money from the Brea Dam fund? If increasing fees for programs would decrease the number of people using the programs? What the permit fees were for and how many permits are issued each year? Would youth and teen programs be cut? What impact would the budget have on the Muckenthaler Center, the museum and museum programs? If the number of staff positions was being increased or decreased? Why wading pools would be replaced with spray grounds?
Virginia Neal, Fullerton, was opposed to the proposed increase in swim lesson hours and decrease in public swim hours at Independence Park. She felt the pool should be opened from noon to 3:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily including weekends to accommodate recreational swimming.
Gladys Lionbarger, 2201 W. Orangethorpe, presented signatures from winter swimmers opposing the new pool schedule; noted there are a lot of swim lesson times with very little public swim time. She stated the area is densely populated, with disadvantaged people that cannot afford swim lessons and just want to come play in the pool and asked for evening swim hours as well for the general public.
Ann Hallway, Fullerton, was in favor of increased public swim hours, and evening hours for lap swimmers. She noted that recreational swimmers do pay for themselves and with the new hours business people cannot come in for a lunch swim.
Director Steinbrink reported the departments had six months to save the 2%, and the final figures would not be available until June 30, 2003. Stated if one department did not make the 2% cut, hopefully another department would make up the difference before further cuts are made; and going to 5% would be City wide. He stated that Fullerton was in better shape than most cities within the County; due in large part to CalPERS where Fullerton is super-funded for Fire and miscellaneous employees and has not had to make employer or employee contributions, however Police is not super funded and we have been paying the employee contributions to CalPERS which puts us in a better position than many cities.
Analyst Loya responded there has been no direction with regards to charging for events. The funding that paid for field maintenance and staff that ran the youth league has been combined with the Sports Complex, with one person in charge of both programs. This allowed the City to replace funding for youth league support with Brea Dam funding. She noted Brea Dam funds are restricted and all revenue generated there must be used at Brea Dam. She stated they looked at what other cities were doing in regards to increasing fees and tried not to increase them too much to turn people away and the City is in line with other cities. They have not increased gazebo fees, but have changed the way the fees are collected; and revenue generated is approximately $30,000.00 gross. There would still be youth and teen after school programs. Analyst Loya referred to the budget worksheets noting changes in job titles; a decrease of one staff position, which at this time is an unfilled position of Coordinator for the Downtown Plaza; and more part-time, non-benefited staff will be utilized in the parks. She stated with the addition of the new area at Hillcrest Park there have been a lot of requests for renting the area. Volunteers are hard to come by and although the numbers are down, the number of volunteer hours has increased. The spray grounds do not require staffing as the wading pools do and will save the City money. The wading pools are old and in need of expensive repair.
Director Hunt noted it was the intent that the Brea Dam revenues would pay for the Sports Complex. She stated the Community Services Department manages the fund, but any department who does work in Brea Dam can charge for it. Director Hunt noted a park ranger program would be instituted utilizing part time employees on the weekends to visit all of the fields, parks and picnic shelters that are rented out.
Joe Felz, Community Services Manager reported the museum would be closed on Mondays when there are not too many school tours; they would have a shift of resources and the main impact would be the elimination of a part time staff position. The Muckenthaler Center was presented with information to cut 5% of the contract amount to the Foundation, but they have not responded on program impacts.
Commissioners' commented that recreational swimming programs are important, especially if the wading pools were being closed. Questioned how many people are on the swim scholarship program?
Director Hunt replied the highest use of scholarship funds in the Secret Pal program is for swim lessons; there is a higher priority on water safety for children; all one need do is apply for a scholarship.
Vice Chair Miller MOTIONED to approve the proposed budget for the Community Service Department and move the minutes forward to the City Council.
Commissioner Swanson SECONDED the MOTION.
Ayes: Quirk, Miller, Spencer, Dalton, Han, Russell, Swanson
The MOTION carried unanimously.2003-04 PROPOSED POLICY STATEMENT AND FEE SCHEDULE
Alice Loya, Senior Administrative Analyst reviewed the proposed changes, noted a 12% increase ($86,140) in revenue and noted if the proposed fee increases cannot be implemented, they would have to review the budget for further cuts.
Commissioners' Comments and Questions:
Commissioners asked why Fullerton based private schools and Universities are being charged for the use of athletic fields when they are non-profit schools and why the public schools are not charged? They questioned if there was a state law that prohibits private schools from being placed in Group 2 and questioned if there was an overabundance of private schools wanting to utilize the fields? They asked for explanation of page 7, Exhibit B with regards to General Use.
Alice Loya, Senior Administrative Analyst reported the City does not have field space for private schools; they fall under the classification of religious organizations, which is a higher fee therefore the City created a new user group for the private schools which moved them up in priority for field use, but noted they cannot have the same priority as public schools even if they are non-profit because the fees taken in are for Fullerton residents and private schools have students from many different areas. The elementary schools allow the City to program use of the school fields and the City must make sure they get priority over private schools. She noted there is an overabundance of private schools wanting the fields and the City has always charged the private schools and the City cannot charge the public school for use of their own field. Analyst Loya explained that there are more people using the parks and the change pertains to permitted park and picnic area use during holidays and weekends and gives the City a little more control of the park facilities.
Commissioner Dalton MOTIONED to approve the fee schedule and to adopt the proposed changes in programs and services.
Vice Chair Miller SECONDED the MOTION.
AYES: Quirk, Miller, Spencer, Dalton, Han, Russell, Swanson