Finance Caucus - February 1st 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016 – 7:15 p.m.
Main Conference Room
Mayfield Village Civic Center

The Finance Caucus Committee meeting was held on Monday, February 1, 2016 in the Main Conference Room at Mayfield Village Civic Center. Mr. Saponaro called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Present: Mr. Saponaro, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Marquardt

Also Present: Mrs. Mills, Mr. Jerome, Mr. Marrie, Mayor Bodnar, Mr. Wynne, Mr. Marrelli, Mr. Metzung, Lieutenant Girbino, Chief Edelman, Mr. Cappello, Mr. Esborn, Ms. Wolgamuth, and Mrs. Betsa

With regard to the budget, Mr. Saponaro stated, we might be scheduling a Caucus workshop to go through it with everyone so that we have enough time. The budget has to be approved by March 31st. We may want to adjust meeting scheduling.

1. Renewal of services for 2016 (Community Partnership on Aging - $37,590).

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, everyone should have received the information on this. Bill Thomas and Donna Heath deal with the Community Partnership the most on a day to day basis. Our numbers have not increased substantially over last year despite our best efforts. We have announced events in the VOV. Donna prepares a quarterly newsletter. It is on the website. We have tried to advertise it as much as we can. I spoke with Mayor Bodnar and we talked about the fact that the Community Partnership puts out a newsletter every month with a monthly calendar and all of the activities. They don’t mail that out to anyone. We thought that might be a good piece of literature that we could mail, not only to seniors but to everyone in the Village. That should give people more understanding of the services and programming.

Mr. Jerome asked, can people ask for it to get mailed to them?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, I don’t think the Community Partnership has the budget to do that. They have their newsletters available at all different events and locations.

Mr. Jerome asked, can we offer mailing to our seniors if they want it?

Mrs. Mills replied, Donna has the newsletters for the senior group. There are a lot in the beauty shops and barbershops and places that allow it.

Ms. Wolgamuth continued, our renewal is only $500 more than last year. Also, they became a 501(c)(3) Foundation. This year they will be actively seeking funding. If they are successful, that should reduce every city’s contribution in future years. They just received their 501(c)(3) status.

Mrs. Mills added, also, they are trying to create a board of all of the different municipalities. Once this board is in place, these people will be more in-tune to the needs and wants of their residents.

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, we are also a member of the Council of Governments, comprised of five cities. That meeting is next week. Mayor Bodnar will be attending.

Chairman Saponaro asked, is there anything in terms of the budget where anything is new as a result of the 501(c)(3)?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, not yet.

Chairman Saponaro asked, so they did not even include it in the 2016 budget?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, not yet.

Chairman Saponaro stated, now that they have it, as a member organization we expect them to apply aggressively and if there would be an opportunity depending on the type of grant that if we approve this they return money back for the 2016 year, or just make sure that there’s an across the board reduction. They spent a lot of money, which we are paying in part, for them to do the 1023 application for 501(c)(3). Now they have to vigorously utilize it. You have to stress that. Only because we have underutilization and that’s not entirely their fault, but I do expect for the $37,600 that you don’t have to go door to door. That’s something they should be doing. If I remember last year, we had the same conversation. I don’t change my position. I don’t think it’s up to you or Donna to knock on doors. If that was the case, we could do this ourselves and figure out programs ourselves and do it in a completely different way. We are paying that money to be a part of that.

Mrs. Mills stated, Stacy does go to different community events and provides programs. I don’t know how many other people do that.

Chairman Saponaro stated, on a different level then, we also have to have expectations. If they are not able to provide this level, the level of what we get, is it beneficial to our residents at this point? We have to keep exploring it and figuring it out. We will see how everyone feels around the table whether they want it approved.

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, based on the chart I gave you, if you look at the numbers, like the transportation numbers, there’s 33 people registered; there’s 5 using it fairly regularly. It’s hard to know what number to use, but the best I can come up with is about 118-120 people are using at least one program or another, not just transportation but the various programs. It is hard to determine what to add with those figures. The social work alone has been pretty constant. We usually have 20 some instances of social work throughout the year. The registration on the transportation is up. Travel is down, but they stopped offering those kinds of trips. They reduced their trips a lot. The volunteers are fairly steady. The chore file is not a big thing. That’s just people calling and asking for referrals for someone who can work at their house.

Mrs. Mills replied, the social work is probably because of Meals on Wheels because you have to have a certified social worker interview people for Meals on Wheels. That’s why that figure is that high.

Mr. Jerome stated, we also have our own senior department. Do you know if the other communities that are members do their own programming like how we do?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, I don’t know. You would have to talk to Bill about that.

Mr. Jerome stated, we are paying that and this.

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, the three that started out, Lyndhurst, South Euclid and Highland Heights, only utilize Community Partnership   Mayfield Heights might have something extra like we do. They just joined a year before we did.

Mr. Jerome stated, this is costing us less money compared to what we were offering.

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, we were not offering most of these programs. We were only offering the card playing, games and different programs, but we did not offer the social work, but Eunice was a social worker, so we had her on staff.

Mr. Jerome stated, and we were paying her salary which was much higher than what we are paying here to get more.

Mr. Marrie asked, do you have any numbers from other municipalities?

Ms. Wolgamuth replied, I had asked them in previous years. Utilization and participation from their seniors is 12-15%. We were hoping to get to that.

Chairman Saponaro stated, hopefully we will continue to get more information because comparatively if we are still dollars ahead versus what we had previously in the past, we need to go back and kind of do the analysis.

Ms. Wolgamuth has the old memos from the last few years.

Chairman Saponaro stated, prior to joining this, see what the costs and expenses were and where our budget has gone in terms of that. It historically makes sense.

Chairman Saponaro asked, anything else on this? There were no further comments.

2. 2016 Budget

Mr. Wynne reported, we have already had a detailed sit down with the department heads and the Mayor on the capital budget. There are still one or two holes in that. It’s pretty much to a point where we can wrap it up. The operations budget was distributed to the department heads on Friday. I will be sitting down with them throughout the week to go over that and finalize that with the hopes of getting draft copies to you this weekend for both the operations and the capital. It won’t be final final by any means, but it would be substantially final.

Chairman Saponaro stated, in terms of our timing of this, at our next Caucus meeting in March, I would like to set aside enough time to get people’s questions asked, answered and so forth.

Mr. Wynne stated, either that or we could have a Special Meeting.

Chairman Saponaro stated, what we are trying to do is avoid the Special Meetings so everyone does not have to come another day to do this. But if we have to, we will. After I get the capital and operations budget, I will be scheduling a meeting with Ron and the department heads so I can bring back information to Council and see what this Committee needs to help that process along as well. We will figure out what we will need to do for the next Caucus and try to limit items on there so we can concentrate on the budget.

Mr. Marquardt suggested it also be discussed at the next meeting on the 22nd.

Chairman Saponaro stated, we will have the capital and operations budget on Friday. We will have an extra week between meetings due to Presidents’ Day. I will meet with Ron and the Department Heads to talk with them about budget and come back to Council so I can get all of your questions.

Mrs. Betsa stated, you will still need to schedule a Special Meeting. You have to have three reads on the legislation.

Mr. Jerome stated, we should have the First Reading on the 22nd.

Chairman Saponaro asked, anything else on the budget? There was no further discussion.

3. Sale of Thornapple Property

Mr. Wynne stated, this is the property that Jim Deacon rented. It has been vacant for 6 months. We filed easements which have been recorded. The fence is up and the sewer work is done. We are ready to sell the property. We discussed this with the Law Department. Because it is not specifically required in our Charter or Ordinances to bid it, we do not have to competitively bid the sale of municipal property. We have several choices. We can advertise it for bid in the papers. If we do it that way, the Ohio Revised Code says you have to advertise for 5 weeks and then wait until the results come in. Or we can sell it on our own through the hiring of a realtor or try to just sell it on our own in general. I have four or five interested parties already that knew Jim Deacon moved out and we would be selling the house. They asked, when you are ready to sell it, let us know. I can contact them to see if they still have an interest. We will have legislation at the February meeting. I will need to know what direction you want us to pursue in selling it.

Chairman Saponaro asked, okay, any thoughts?

Mr. Marrie asked, does the house have a bedroom downstairs?

Mr. Wynne replied, it’s a ranch. We had the property appraised back in February of last year at $140,000. We put new windows in it. It got a new driveway. It’s probably between $150,000-160,000.

Mrs. Mills stated, that’s too cheap.

Mr. Wynne replied, it’s based upon an appraisal.

Mayor Bodnar asked, does it have a basement?

Mr. Wynne replied, no.

Mr. Jerome stated, I like the realtor idea.

Mr. Marrie stated, I have an addition to the list of names you have.

Mr. Wynne stated, if we sign up with a realtor, we can tell the realtor right up front if we sell it to any of these parties.

Chairman Saponaro asked, what would you prefer to do Ron?

Mr. Wynne replied, I think a realtor is the best. None of us really have time to do this, from showing to selling the house. A realtor is the best way to get it out there and market it. From the standpoint of selecting a realtor, I can ask the Law Department for a recommendation for a realtor to use.

Chairman Saponaro stated, we have a Hanna office right here.

Mr. Wynne asked, does that become favoritism or bias? We have worked with Patty Gaeta, but I am not sure if it is proper.

Chairman Saponaro stated, check with the Law Department. If you are comfortable with her, I don’t see it as an issue. Anything else on this? What is the direction we will be looking at?

Mr. Wynne replied, list with a realtor.

Chairman Saponaro stated, okay, list with a realtor, carve out the property, potential buyers.

4. Yearly Assessment – Bureau of Workers’ Compensation ($90,000).

Mr. Wynne reported, this is our annual Workers’ Compensation premium based upon payroll. Even though you really won’t see it in the budget, we are actually saving $90,000.   We always pay in arrears, so it is based on last year’s payroll. This year they changed their system to where now you are paying in advance based upon last year’s payroll and then they do an audit at the end of the year and make a final adjustment based upon actual payroll dollars. Because of the change, we really owe for all of 2015 now and then we owe for all of 2016 now. They are giving everyone 50% credit for 2015’s premiums and 2016’s premiums so you are ending up saving a year’s worth of premiums in the transition. From a budget standpoint, we are still going to show the same dollar amount.

Chairman Saponaro stated, great. Any questions or further discussion? There was none.


Mr. Jerome brought this up. I don’t know if you guys remember, last year they sent some information to all Council. I looked into it and did not get a response last year. I finally got back to John Roscoe. I did some research on this. There are a lot of communities on it. I think it’s the way of the future. I had him send over a fact sheet and a sample resolution. I wanted to know Council’s thoughts.

Chairman Saponaro asked, do you have an opinion on this Ron?

Mr. Wynne replied, I was aware of it. It’s been out for a while. Mayor Rinker and I discussed it when it came out last year. We both felt it was not worthwhile for several reasons. One is if we want people to learn about the Village, we would much rather have them come through our website as opposed to something that might be on the State’s. We are very transparent with what we do with our monthly financial reports. Our PowerPoint presentations for the annual Town Hall meeting is informational. The budgets posted on our website has the same kind of detail you guys get. It shows the history of actual expenditures over the years. When we talked about it, we felt we were more than transparent on things the public would want to see and that it would be redundant to do this.

Chairman Saponaro stated, where this is a good product, it may be for those municipalities that don’t have what we have in terms of not being up to speed on transparency as we have been. This is a good place for them to start, but from your perspective, we are already there.

Mr. Wynne agreed.

Chairman Saponaro asked, are there any other questions or comments on this? There were none.

6. New car changeovers and equipment (Northcoast Two-Way Radio, Inc. - $16,254.38).

Chief Edelman stated, this is for the three new police cars that we are getting. It also includes equipment for one of the cars that is going from the old Crown Vic to the new Charger. We have to get new equipment for that because it’s all different.

Mr. Jerome asked, the one car is going to be the new K-9 vehicle correct?

Chief Edelman replied, yes.

Mr. Jerome asked, we bought new equipment for the K-9 to fit the old car and now we are buying all new equipment again for the new car? Why didn’t we just buy equipment to fit the Charger at the time we did this?

Chief Edelman replied, at the time it was a brand new program. It’s difficult to justify outfitting a brand new Charger to a single officer into a brand new program that’s untried. We used an older car for that program. It’s turned out to be very successful since then. Now it’s time for him to have a new car.   That car is up in miles. It’s wearing out. It’s time for that car to be cycled out and changed out.

Mr. Jerome asked, is there anything we can do with that old equipment?

Chief Edelman replied, absolutely. There’s a market for it.

Chairman Saponaro asked, any other questions? There were none.

7. HVAC maintenance contract – 2016 (Comfort Control Systems, Inc. - $1,989).

Chief Edelman reported, we are going with a new maintenance company. We were with Geauga Mechanical since we moved into the building. We are not happy with the service they provided. We are going with a new company.

Mr. Jerome asked, what were we paying to Geauga Mechanical?

Chief Edelman replied, I don’t recall. I don’t have the information with me. It was more than this. I just don’t recall what the numbers were.

Chairman Saponaro asked, any other questions?

Mr. Marrie stated, this was discussed at Safety and Service.

8. Request for additional manpower.

Chairman Saponaro stated, everyone should have received the memo from Chief Edelman. Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

Chief Edelman stated, since we are running out of time, is this something I should just hold off to discuss until Caucus or do you want to go over it now?

Chairman Saponaro stated, it saves you from going over it three times. Let’s move on.

9. 5 year internal investigation (Police Department - $2,100; Fire Department - $3,900); annual sprinkler inspection (Fire Department, Civic Center, Service, Police Department - $175 each) (S.A. Communale).

Chairman Saponaro asked Lieutenant Girbino, do you want to talk about this now or on the floor of Council?

Lieutenant Girbino replied, I can discuss it on the floor of Council.

10. Rescue Task Force Personal Protective Equipment (North American Rescue - $7,199.88).

Chairman Saponaro stated, this can be discussed on the floor of Council.

11. Bid results: sale of 2003 Ford Van.

Mr. Metzung stated, the bid came in at $1295.

12. 2016 Road Program.

This item will be discussed on the floor of Council.

13. Relocation Assistance to Magnus Equipment.

Mr. Esborn reported, last month we had a Resolution of Support on the agenda for offering Magnus Equipment an incentive package that included an income tax rebate grant, 30% for 5 years. We tabled that Resolution at Magnus’ request because Magnus wanted a chance to try and convince Council to increase the grant. Mr. DiFranco, one of the company owners, talked at the Council meeting. At that meeting, the plan was for Magnus to come to the next CEDC meeting but since then it was brought to my attention that the company intends to finalize its lease by the end of this month so they are requesting Council action at the February meeting. If they came to CEDC the night of Council, Council would not have an opportunity to review their argument. I asked them to put their case into a letter. That’s what you received in packets this week. It’s pretty straightforward. They say because the building has a higher than normal amount of need in terms of work, the Village should provide a higher than normal assistance. I have discussed it with Mayor Bodnar and we recognize there is a large amount of need in the building, but we think that should for the most part remain between the tenant and the owner. This program was not designed to be about buildout but more an acknowledgement of new income tax revenue. Their request is to go from 30% for 5 years to 35% for 8 years. Our recommendation at this point is to continue with Resolution 2016-07 which is 30% for 5 years.

Mr. Marrie stated, which is exactly what the others got.

Mr. Esborn stated, it’s exactly what the others got. I will announce on the floor tonight that Mars Electric signed their Lease at 30% for 5 years. Both Freedonia and Mars are larger companies with higher payrolls and more income tax. It is compelling. It’s a difficult building to move into and whoever moves in there is going to bring us a lot of value if they can turn the building around but again, I don’t think it’s a buildout program.

Chairman Saponaro stated, that’s exactly the right analysis this Committee wants to hear. What’s the purpose of it? If it was meant to be for buildout, that would have been included as part of the rubric. It never has been. Those are dollars they need to seek elsewhere. In this situation, to keep consistent with the tenants of the program makes the most sense. Does anyone have anything else to add?

Mr. Jerome stated, so the rubric told us 30%. That was the same for Freedonia?

Mr. Marrie replied, yes.

Mr. Jerome stated, I would think theirs would have been more.

Mr. Marrie stated, they were all 30%.

Mr. Esborn stated, it’s a new business to the County. When we made the rubric, we took that into consideration. They are moving into an empty building.

Chairman Saponaro stated, any other discussion we have on this can be taken up on the floor so we can keep on track.

14. Traffic Engineering Services - SOM Center and Sandalwood Drive Pedestrian Crosswalk (TMS Engineers, Inc. - $7,370).

This item will be discussed on the floor of Council.


Chairman Saponaro asked, are there any other matters? There were none.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Conference Room.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa, Clerk of Council