OF PARTICULAR INTEREST:
• A resolution on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (Resolution 2015-13).
Requested by Councilmember Jennings and Mayor Welsch
• A resolution committing $7 million (Resolution 2015-14)
Requested by Councilmembers Sharpe, Glickert and Jennings
On June 8, 2015 city Council voted 6:1 to amend the budget by removing the $7 million earmark for a police station from the budget. These funds were moved back to the unassigned Reserves until Council and the administration had the opportunity to discuss this and elicit public engagement on this issue. To date there has been no presentation to Council or discussion of the police station, and certainly no public engagement.
Why has this been brought back without Council having the opportunity to discuss what we might want and how to best finance this project, and without engaging the public? I can only assume that this is an attempt to tie up the Reserve funds so they will not be available to fix our streets and sidewalks. Combined with the Council’s refusal to provide any additional street or sidewalk work in the FY2016 budget, it looks as if this Council could bring forward another bond issue to pay for street and sidewalk work once they make sure all money is obligated elsewhere.
• A resolution approving the Committed Fund Reserves (Resolution 2015-14)
This resolution commits money from the reserves for various projects, which includes:
• $7 million for a police station - again, we have not discussed the building or engaged the public.
• Carrying over funds for projects approved in the FY2015 budget but not yet started or completed
• Two street maintenance projects that have not been labeled as either a carry over from the last budget
or new projects
• FINALLY, I HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT THE MONEY PREVIOUSLY COMMITTED FOR FLOOD
MITIGATION. There is a recommitment of $461,000 for costs and expenses associate with flooding in the City.
This money was set aside for this purpose in 2011 by a resolution of the Council, but it was apparently never
officially committed. There have been two additional resolutions that committed funds for flood mitigation in the
amounts of $39,000 in FY2013 and $250,000 in FY2015. Together this would amount to $750,000
committed to flooding and was approved in the budget passed last week. It is not clear from this
resolution whetheronly $461,000 is committed, or there will be a total of $750,000 committed for
flooding. To be clear, a resolution of the Council to remove the funds from designated status would be required,
not just a resolution to approve the committed fund reserves. This will have to be discussed.
• A DISCUSSION OF FIRE DEPARTMENT STAFFING
Requested by Councilmembers Crow and Carr
On Sunday morning, June 14, 2015 Engine House #1 with all apparatus was closed due to lack of staffing. The minimum staffing for the University City Fire Department (UCFD) is 11 firefighters per shift. That morning only 6 UCFD firefighters - and no officers - were on duty to protect all of University City! By early afternoon, two more fire fighters were on duty so an ambulance was running out of Engine House #1, but according to reports it was not until 7:00 PM that there was enough staff be fully operational. To date, I have received NO communication from City Manger Walker regarding this problem. Since the Council makes policy, and public safety should be our number one priority it is incumbent upon the Council to discuss what appears to be a staffing problem.
The documents relevant to the discussion are listed below, and can be viewed and downloaded here.
1. A consultants report on the Fire Department Management - the MAG report
2. A copy of the 2015-2018 fully executed Collective Bargaining Agreement
3. A copy of the SOP A-1 referenced in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.