Finance Caucus - January 13th 2014

MINUTES OF THE FINANCE CAUCUS MEETING
Monday, January 13, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
Mayfield
Village Civic Hall  – Mayfield Village Civic Center

The Finance Committee Caucus meeting was held on Monday, January 13, 2014 in Mayfield Village Civic Hall at the Mayfield Village Civic Center.  Mr. Delguyd called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

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Present: Mr. Delguyd, Mr. Marrie and Mr. Marquardt

Also Present: Dr. Parker, Mr. Buckholtz, Mr. Jerome, Mrs. Mills, Mr. Wynne, Chief Carcioppolo, Chief Edelman, Mr. Metzung, Mr. Marrelli, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Dinardo, Mr. Cappello, Mr. Diemert, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Wolgamuth, and Mrs. Betsa

Mr. Marrie explained to the students in the audience, this being a Caucus, nothing is voted on this evening as far as dollars. This is all discussed.  Everyone has a say-so on the subject. There are no votes taken tonight.  Votes will be taken at the regular Council meeting.

Dr. Parker added, the Committees’ purpose is to make recommendations to Council who will make the ultimate decision.

Council President Buckholtz stated, it’s probably very confusing tonight.  Safety and Service is a Committee that talks about what departments need based on their expenditures. We just slid into this Committee because of the unusualness of the night. As Dr. Parker said, these are just recommendations and discussions and asking for more information from Department Heads. Finance looks at almost the same issues and some additional ones that have to do with the expenditures and the money. Technically, Council Caucus will not start until 8:00 because that’s what we advertise to the public. All this gets brought before the entire body of Council and discussed again.  Typically in two weeks, at the Regular Council meeting, it’s voted on at that time.

1: Renewal of senior services for 2014 (Community Partnership on Aging - $38,175)

Mr. Delguyd stated, this was discussed in Safety and Service.

Mr. Thomas added, the sheet you did get in your packets is specifically what Community Partnership did for $38,000.  It’s on the back of the memo.  There is a report of activities and services. It breaks down the social work services, programming, transportation, trips, volunteerism and challenges and opportunities for this coming year.

Mr. Delguyd stated, so you are looking at 26 unduplicated residences for social work. Those are 26 residents that used the social services, programming, lunch and movie; 35-80 people, 34 unduplicated residents, transportation – 3 people using it constantly and another 15 using it on and off.  The transportation is to and from the doctor or running errands, correct?

Mr. Thomas replied, correct.

Mr. Delguyd asked, the trips are planned trips?

Mr. Thomas replied, correct.  Over and above what we do.

Mr. Delguyd asked, the volunteerism?

Mr. Thomas replied, we have nothing to do with that. That was through Community Partnership.

Dr. Parker asked, is there a dollar amount attached to those things?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, no.

Dr. Parker asked, is it possible to get that?

Mr. Delguyd stated, I think the big thing is the social service work, the trips and transportation is what’s going to cost dollars.

Dr. Parker asked, can we get that?

Mr. Thomas replied, and the lunch and movie. They come in with their staff and put a whole meal together day before.

Mr. Delguyd asked, we provide the facility, right?

Mr. Thomas replied, we supply the facility. They supply the meal.

Mr. Delguyd replied, but it’s not just going to be Mayfield Village people in this room?

Mr. Thomas replied, correct.

Mr. Delguyd asked, I am assuming because it’s a partnership on aging?

Mr. Thomas replied, they can be from Lyndhurst, Highland Heights, Mayfield Heights, the School District and South Euclid.

Mr. Jerome replied, it’s reciprocal. We go to them too.

Mr. Marrie stated, we pay 5% of the total.

Mr. Delguyd asked, and the volunteerism is our seniors volunteering for whatever program they are taking them too?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, it’s people volunteering to help seniors.

Mr. Thomas replied, our Mayfield Village residents.

Mr. Marrie stated, running errands and so forth.

Mr. Thomas stated, our number is low compared to the other communities obviously due to their population. The bottom line is we supplement it through Donna and our seniors program with other programs we offer.  It’s a good collaborative relationship.

Mr. Delguyd asked, obviously our seniors are taking advantage of the programs going on in the other cities that are doing the same thing.

Mr. Thomas replied, absolutely.

Mr. Delguyd thanked Mr. Thomas for clearing it up.  Does anyone have any other questions?

Dr. Parker asked, can we get a breakdown?

Mr. Delguyd stated, I recall that the social servicing, programming, trips and volunteerism were the core program. Transportation, you could either go with or without, correct?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, I believe the transportation alone was a $38,000 number. That was when we had the larger number.  Before they had any experience with us, they didn’t know what kind of reaction they were going to get.  In the second year, they reduced our fees down to $38,000.  I don’t know what portion the transportation would be.

Mr. Thomas stated, remember we were paying $39,000 for a half year.

Ms. Wolgamuth added, the first year.

Mr. Thomas stated, then they came back and said $38,000 for the year.

Mr. Delguyd asked, so transportation could be $15,000?

Mr. Marrie stated, and of the whole pie, we are paying 5%.

Mr. Delguyd asked, how long is that good for?

Mr. Thomas replied the whole year.

Mr. Delguyd asked, do we have an introductory rate?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, no, this is our third year.

Mr. Thomas replied, this is our second full year. They have kept the price the same as it was this past year.

Dr. Parker asked, is our utilization 5% of total utilization? Higher?  Lower? 

Mr. Delguyd stated, there’s no way to tell.  Are you saying, are we using more than 5%?

Dr. Parker stated, I don’t know how we gage.

Mr. Marrie stated, you can’t put a number on it. They use it in other cities.

Mr. Delguyd stated, the transportation number, you should be able to break out from the $38,000. Everything else is just an all-in number. We don’t pay per resident, right? 

Mr. Thomas replied, right.

Mr. Delguyd stated, I can guarantee 26 unduplicated residents of social service work is money well spent.  Can you imagine having to have a social worker on staff?  I don’t know how consistent the other 15 people are using the transportation, but if only 3 people are using the transportation, that’s something we can talk about.

Mr. Thomas replied, we had more than that.

Mr. Delguyd replied, it says here, three people use it fairly consistently, but 15 off and on.

Mr. Marquardt stated, 31 hours of social work—

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, but there is also some cost to having it available. You have it available for your entire pool of seniors whether they utilize it or not.

Mr. Delguyd stated, the question is, where do you get the service for 31 hours, just to pay someone for 31 hours?

Mr. Marrie replied, you don’t. 

Mr. Delguyd stated, I don’t think you can do that.

Mr. Marquardt stated, I can’t make heads or tails out of this, whether you are getting $38,000 worth of benefit out of it or not. There’s no dollar amount associated with each one of these line items that you can evaluate.  I just look at 31 hours of social work at $100 an hour. 

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, the cost is not just for what we utilize.  It’s to have it available for all of our seniors.  If you were going to put a dollar amount for every hour, none of those numbers would work out.  I am sure Mayfield Heights doesn’t necessarily utilize $200,000 worth.

Mr. Marquardt asked, how do you evaluate it?  If you don’t take some type of a value, how do you evaluate whether you are paying $38,000 for $10,000 worth of service or vice versa?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, again, and all I can say to that is it is to have it available for everyone.  If suddenly 85 people are using it and not 31, it’s still available and we are not paying more if we utilize more.

Mr. Marrie stated, we were paying Eunice a lot more money than this.

Mr. Marquardt replied, it doesn’t matter. We are not paying Eunice anymore.  I am trying to evaluate it.  It makes no difference.

Mr. Marrie stated, Eunice was running this program and it didn’t have near the benefits that other people had.

Mr. Marquardt replied, Eunice isn’t here. 

Mr. Marrie replied, I understand that. That’s what we stepped from. Eunice to this.

Mr. Marquardt replied, no, that has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Marrie replied, I disagree.

Dr. Parker would think that the Community Partnership would have to have all these numbers just because of their accounting and their status with the government. We just have to ask them for it.   It doesn’t really matter if we are paying a little bit of a premium to get this service.  It just would be nice to  know.  That’s not the point.

Mr. Delguyd stated, that’s why I go back to the original quote where if you want to look at it to blend the two arguments, for transportation on an $80,000 budget for the first year, they wanted to charge us a little less than half.  Could you say that the transportation on a $38,000 budget for this full year is $16-17,000?  That would be my question.  I would argue that now you are paying $22,000 and for that amount you get the program, the trips, volunteerism and access to the social worker.  I would say there’s good value there.

Dr. Parker stated, if we are underutilizing it, it’s our obligation to make sure we utilize it more so that we are getting more bang for our buck.  Obviously if we are going to spend this money, I don’t know if we have any money budgeted to market it, the more people that need this service that can take advantage of it, it’s going to be better for our cities.  It would say we are not going to probably change the price much. I don’t think we are in a situation now to go venturing out for some other alternative option. I would like to see us try to make sure that all of those people that could utilize it are aware of it and utilization perhaps goes up.  Let’s track utilization as well.

Mr. Delguyd asked, the social worker is provided by the CPA, correct?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, yes.

Mr. Delguyd asked, so that’s not an internal Mayfield Village resident that’s volunteering their social work?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, no.

Mr. Delguyd stated, if that’s the case, I can’t argue the value. Again, give us a number on transportation.  We can look at this transportation number and say, look, if I’m reading this correctly, you have three people using it fairly consistently and if I give you fairly consistently to be twice a month or once a week for the people who are fairly consistent, the question is what are the other 15 people doing?  I am sure they have travel logs?  What is the breakout cost of that transportation?  If that’s $16,000, comparing apples to apples, I would say that the other $22,000, to your point, yes, we need to market it more and get our utilization up, but that’s a service issue.

2: Annual subscription and fiber maintenance fee (OneCommunity - $15,000).

Mr. Delguyd stated, this was covered in Safety and Service. Are there any questions? There were none.

3: 2014 Support for Finance and Payroll Systems (Creative Microsystems, Inc. - $6,090).

Mr. Delguyd asked, this is just our software, correct?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes, Creative Microsystems is the company that provides our software and customer service support when we need it. This is our annual fee for 2014.  Last year it was $5,800.  This is a 5% increase to cover wages and benefits on their end.

Mr. Delguyd asked, they have the market cornered on this?

Mr. Wynne replied, no, there are a couple other companies in the marketplace.

Mr. Delguyd asked, okay, so there are other options.  That’s fine.  Any questions?  There were none.

4: Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan – 2014 (not to exceed $175,000).

Mr. Wynne reported, if you recall, two years ago when we joined the Cuyahoga County Regional Medical Plan we offered a high deductible plan through Medical Mutual.  Our Union contracts and Wage Ordinance says it will spend up to so much per individual for hospitalization.  This is the annual funding of the plan for all of the employees for a portion of their deductibles on the plan.

Mr. Delguyd asked, so we are covering some of their high deductibles?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes.

Mr. Delguyd asked, because the way the original Wage Ordinance was working? We are funding this because of that?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes.

Dr. Parker asked, how long is the contract with the County?

Mr. Wynne replied, it expires at the end of 2014.

Mr. Delguyd asked, and the Wage Ordinance expires this year?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes.  It expired last year. We are working on it right now as well as being in the process of Union negotiations.

Mr. Delguyd asked, does this include the normal health insurance premiums we pay anyway or is this in addition to it?

Mr. Wynne replied, this is in addition to it.

5: Hydrant Fee for 2014 (Division of Water - $8,217.44).

Mr. Delguyd stated, this has been discussed. Any questions? There were none.

6: Hillcrest Mobile Air Unit and Tech Rescue Team (MAUTRT) Annual Fee – 2014 (Mayfield Heights - $5,000).

Mr. Delguyd stated, this is an annual fee.

7: Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator Annual Appropriation – 2014 (Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District - $5,500).

Mr. Delguyd stated, this is something we pay every year.  Doug, what do we get out of this?

Mr. Metzung replied, it is a watershed for the Euclid Creek. What we get out of this is information which is our training that we need for the residents and people in the community. They provide all of our public information and education.

Mr. Cappello added, we need it for our Phase II compliance.

Dr. Parker stated, we have had a lot of discussion on this. It made a lot of sense.

8: Residents’ Memberships to Progressive Fitness Center for 2014 ($17,200 – pass through).

Mr. Delguyd asked, we are just appropriating funds here?

Mr. Thomas replied, exactly. We need a purchase order to cover it for the whole year. We pay it four times a year.

Mr. Delguyd asked, is this $17,200 a full year?

Mr. Thomas replied, correct.  That is what we are anticipating.

Mr. Delguyd asked, have we seen any fluctuation in residents?

Mr. Thomas replied, actually in 2011, we had 172 passes; 2012, 155 and 2013, 115. They are dropping. I don’t know if it’s because of Wildcat Sport and Fitness.

Mr. Delguyd asked, is Wildcat Sport and Fitness free?

Mr. Marrie replied, almost.

9: Retention of Village Engineer for 2014.
10: Retention of Animal Warden for 2014.
11: Retention of Municipal Architect for 2014.
12: Retention of Clerk of Council for 2014.
13: Retention of Prosecutor for 2014.
14: Retention of Finance Director for 2014.
15: Retention of Law Director for 2014.

Mr. Delguyd asked, does everyone have any questions on these? 

Mr. Marquardt asked, is there a comparison between last year and this year?

Mr. Wynne replied, for the Village Engineer, the same terms as in 2013.  Animal Warden, same terms as last year.   The Municipal Architect, a 2% increase and retainer for 2014 and then another 2% for 2015. There is no compensation involved for the Clerk of Council.  There’s just a timeframe associated with it as well as the Finance Director.

With regard to the Prosecutor, Mr. Wynne reported, Mr. Feudo has officially retired.  Mike Cicero, one of his partners, will be taking his place. He will be sworn in at the meeting next week, same terms and conditions. 

With regard to the Law Director, Mr. Wynne stated, the terms will be the same as far as hourly wages and retainer, but now the Law Director has the flexibility to assess the retainer amounts between the Law Director and the Assistant Law Director based upon workload. 

Mr. Wynne stated, aside from that, those are the only changes.

Mr. Marquardt asked, the engineer is the same agreement we had last year?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes.  Identical.

With regard to the Prosecutor, Mr. Delguyd asked, the current Prosecutor is retiring, this is his partner?  Has he done municipal prosecution? 

Mr. Diemert replied, he has been prosecuting for Vince and with Vince for 10 years.

Mr. Delguyd asked if there were any other questions?  There were none.

16: Postage Meter Rental.

Mr. Wynne reported, I will have information for you on this in packets this week. Our current machine with Pitney Bowes expires at the end of April. We are paying $556. a month.

Mr. Delguyd asked, plus postage?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes, that is just for the rental of the machine.  Pitney-Bowes has come in and pitched their renewal for a replacement machine. We also had NeoPost come in, one of their largest competitors. They provided a demo for us. Our recommendation is to go with the NeoPost machine.  It’s the same machine as Pitney-Bowes. The monthly cost would drop to $408.00.  It would be a 60-month lease.

17: Pavilion at Soccer Field (pass through).

Mr. Diemert reported, John Marrelli sent a memo to Council back in May explaining the pavilion along the new soccer lavatories and so on.  Progressive wanted to donate the pavilion and some landscaping. They have agreed to do that verbally. We have a letter of intent that they said they will sign that is in front of them at this time.  It’s just a matter of us doing the advertising and getting the cost.  There’s a lot of price benefits with the Village doing this rather than Progressive actually doing it.  It’s beneficial for us to have it in our name and have all of the work done in our name and to then have it reimbursed to us by Progressive. 

Dr. Parker asked, what was the budget again?

Mr. Wynne replied, the cost of the materials is around $22,500.

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, $22,589.00.

Mr. Delguyd asked, so what we are saying is we are going to front the money and we will have a signed letter of intent for them to pay us back?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes, we will invoice Progressive and they will pay us back. Everything is in our name from a liability standpoint.

Mr. Delguyd asked, are we planning on doing anything in terms of having a sign out for when it is actually built and people want to use it, or is it first come first served?  Have we thought about that?  Will it be like the Community Room where you have to reserve it and put a deposit down?

Mr. Thomas replied, I am not sure right now.  We will be working on it.

ANY OTHER MATTERS:

Mr. Delguyd asked, any other matters?   There were none. 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa,
Clerk of Council