Thursday, October 4, 2007

Minutes - Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee (Sept. 4)

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City of Federal Way City Council
Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
5:00 p.m. / City Hall / Hylebos Conference Room


Committee Members in Attendance: Chair Faison and Member Burbidge; Member McColgan excused.
Council Members in Attendance: Kochmar (5:10 arrival), Dovey (5:45 arrival), and Mayor Park.
Staff Members in Attendance: Assistant City Manager Iwen Wang, Assistant City Manager Cary Roe, City Attorney Pat Richardson, Senior Financial Analyst Mark Turley, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Director Donna Hanson, Community Center Supervisor Doug Nelson, Recreation & Cultural Services Supervisor Mary Faber, Communication & Governmental Affairs Manager Linda Farmer and Deputy City Clerk Krystal Roe.

1. CALL TO ORDER – Chair Faison called the meeting to order at 5:03 p.m.



A. Approval of Minutes: August 7, 2007 FEDRAC Meeting - The Committee m/s/c to approve the minutes as presented.

B. Uniform Utility Tax Calculation Ordinance – Ms. Richardson presented the staff report and noted that the ordinance was brought forward based on prior direction by the Committee. Ms. Richardson stated that the changes included in the ordinance were housekeeping in nature. Specifically the language now deducts the City’s utility tax from their income computation so that utility providers do not “tax the tax” when collecting utility taxes from their customers. Furthermore, the ordinance will remedy tax collection discrepancies.

The Committee inquired about the status of delinquent collections from some providers. Staff replied that all utility companies now understand how the tax is to be collected and will pay any back taxes owed. However, staff does not plan to assess penalties on the amounts owing since utility providers could argue the collection formula was not clear.

The Committee m/s/c to approve the draft ordinance amending the City Code to decut utility taxes from the taxable revenue definition and forward to the September 19, 2007 City Council meeting for first reading (Option 1).

C. July 2007 Monthly Financial Report – Mark Turley presented the monthly financial report. The Committee discussed additional information it would like to see on the report regarding the Community Center. However, the Committee also agreed that issues specifically relating to the performance of the Community Center should be referred to the Parks, Recreation, Human Services & Public Safety Committee. Mr. Roe commented that additional reporting will be forthcoming over the next four months.

The Committee next discussed the amount of overtime used by the Police Department and asked that the issue be specifically addressed during the next budget session. Mayor Park stated it does not appear that the overtime is being managed within the budget.

Chair Faison complimented the utility tax reporting format.

Next the Committee discussed the staffing changes in Community Development and Mr. Roe’s plans to manage them. Mr. Roe replied that he has several options under consideration including utilizing one-time funding for additional employees, contracting with consultants (including a former employee), continued use of long-term consultant Janet Schull and adding an additional staff member. Mr. Roe also remarked that frank conversations about formulas for personnel backfilling and hiring will be coming to Council in the near future.
Mr. Turley noted a correction to the Sales Tax by Area (page 18); the figure was changed to $616,200 instead of $543,447.

The Committee m/s/c to approve the Monthly Financial Report as presented.

D. Vouchers – Mr. Turley presented the staff report. The Committee inquired about acquisition method used for the new vehicle purchase and why the vehicle hadn’t been purchased from a local dealer. Staff replied that vehicles are typically purchased through the state so long as the state offers the best price. However, all purchases over $20,000 go out to bid.

The Committee m/s/c to approve the vouchers as presented.

(Note: The minutes contained no E.)

F. Federal Way Community Center Performance Benchmarking and Strategic Planning - Ms. Faber updated the Committee on the status of the Community Center’s performance. The Committee discussed how some of the items removed from the budget/project may be negatively impacting the Center’s performance, such as the quality and amenities of the sound system. Ms. Faber noted that $70,000 has now been allocated to add amenities back into the Center; the audio system’s shortcomings will be remedied.

The Committee discussed the high membership and rental costs and that the City should consider subsidizing fees so that the Center is enjoyed and utilized by more citizens. Specifically, members of the Committee addressed reassessing whether the focus of the Center should be a community resource versus a business/profit venture.

Ms. Faber further mentioned that up to this point staff has been getting familiar with the building, the business plan, customer service issues, and necessary (impromptu) adjustments.

To attract more customers, Ms. Hanson announced plans to install a reader board at the Celebration Park Entrance (South 333rd) and stated staff is sending Community Center pamphlets to all tournament directors reserving fields at Celebration Park.

The Committee expressed support for additional signage but noted it will take more than one sign. Mr. Roe replied that a wall sign is under review by Community Development but will likely need to go before the Hearing Examiner for approval.

4. OTHER – Ms. Wang announced the resignation of Tho Kraus and stated Mark Turley will be representing the Finance Department at future Committee meetings until a permanent replacement is named.


6. ADJOURNMENT – Chair Faison adjourned the meeting at 5:47 PM.

Attest: Krystal Roe, Deputy City Clerk

COMMITTEE APPROVAL: Eric Faison, Committee Chair; Jeanne Burbidge, Committee Member; Dean McColgan, Committee Member

Source: (PDF)



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