City Commission Budget Workshop



July 5, 2018              5:30 PM              Commission Chambers

1.              Call To Order

At 5:32 p.m., Mayor Morris West called the City Commission Budget Workshop to order in the City Commission Chambers located in City Hall, at 620 E. Main Street, Haines City, Florida.


Mayor Morris West, Vice Mayor Don Mason, Commissioner Roy Tyler, Commissioner Anne Huffman, and Commissioner Horace West were in attendance.


Also in attendance were the following staff members: City Manager Deric Feacher, City Attorney Fred Reilly, and City Clerk Linda Bourgeois.

2.              Discussions and Presentations

2.A.              Travel Policy Discussion

Staff Contact:              Anne Huffman, Commissioner 

Commissioner Huffman explained she wanted to discuss the travel options available to her as described within the City's policy. She went on to say she did not want to drive her own car to conferences and training sessions unless it was local [travel within Polk County]. In addition, she said she had to drive the ten-year-old city administration van one time and did not feel safe. She went on to request the City Commission consider purchasing a newer vehicle.


A discussion ensued about the potential to use a surplus vehicle, the amount of city commission travel using city vehicles, and the rental option.


City Manager Feacher said the city did not have any staff vehicles or surplus vehicles for usage, and explained the rental option relative to the policy. He explained the challenges faced by individuals renting, such as the rental companies requiring the driver to secure the rental with a personal credit card, insurance, deposit, and payment.


A discussion ensued about purchasing a vehicle, the negative cost-benefit analysis, and the potential for getting a rental invoice paid in advance. The city commission was not in favor of purchasing a vehicle. Further discussion led to a request that the finance department research rental companies to see if the city could open a corporate account.


The City Commission instructed Shantavia Conner to research the local rental companies and open a corporate account for long distant travel.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

2.B.              Budget Presentation

City Manager Feacher presented on the proposed millage rate and budget. He read section a section of the City Charter referencing his duties as the city manager.


Sec. 8.02. - Powers and duties of the city manager.

The city manager shall:

(e)              Prepare and submit the annual budget for consideration and approval of the city commission.

He went on to talk about how budgets in the past, were presented to the City Commission. He said it was his duty, as a city manager, to present the budget. He continued and shared the budget process the department directors went through and complimented the team.


Highlights of the presentation were:


·              The method used for balancing this budget was Revenue + Fund Balances + Transfers => Expenditures.

·              The balanced budget is at a 7.5895 millage rate.

·              The community experienced a 12% growth compared to 9% last year.

·              The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) experienced a 60% increase. The reserves in the CRA right now are $1.7 million.

·              The projected fund balance is $7.7 Million.

·              This is 28% or 3 million over the 17% requirement.

·              The city may experience a $220,000 - $260,000 loss in revenue with a new homestead exemption.

·              The average household pays more each year for their cell phone than ad-valorem taxes.

·              The balanced budget is $55,427,171.

·              Personnel Services are 33% of the budget. This compared to many surrounding cities (40% - 60%) is a low figure.


City Commission discussion surrounded the funding of employees out of the CRA, the need to conserve funds in the event of a downturn, and the future allocations for the payments of the Lake Eva Complex.


Further discussion surrounded the increase in operating costs. The travel and training line item for the city commission included new travel and training requests in the FY 2018/2019 budget. Those requests will come back to the city commission for approval on a future agenda.


Other discussion was the transfer of the Communications & Marketing Manager’s position into the City Administration department, the net-neutrality regarding the red-light cameras, the requested increase in operating expenses for the fire department, and the generators for the city being purchased this fiscal year. 

City Manager Feacher presented on the CRA budget, and Commissioner Huffman requested to have the city repair the cracked sidewalks in the CRA area.

City Manager Feacher continued and presented on the Enterprise Fund budget and provided an overview of the historical personnel trends.

Mayor West asked where the city was with looking into putting the employees back onto a pension plan instead of the 401(a) plan. 

City Manager Feacher said city staff was still working with the actuaries to see if it is financially feasible to return to a defined benefit plan.

Vice Mayor Mason requested to have a discussion prior to any action regarding returning to a defined benefit plan.

City Manager Feacher said the city is paying more than before, but we are able to cover it. He said we would also have to be mindful of the associated future costs.

Personnel changes were presented:

A discussion ensued about the staffing levels of the Police Department, and the need for additional Wastewater Operators. Further discussion surrounded the need to tamp spending in the Community Redevelopment Agency.


City Manager Feacher provided the breakdown of responsibilities for the following staff members:


Deputy City Manager Jeff Brown is over the Public Works Department, Utilities Department, and Fire Department.


Office of Management and Budget and Assistant to City Manager Shantavia Conner is over the Finance Department, Information Technology Department, and Human Resources Department.


City Manager Feacher is over the Parks and Recreation Department, Police Department, and Development Services Department.


City Manager Feacher presented on the grant requests from the local agencies, and said there were no increases over last year’s request.


The City Commission discussed the ownership of the Chamber of Commerce building along with the reversionary clause, the in-kind services the Chamber receives, and the Unity in the Community being a one-time request.


Without any further questions, City Manager Feacher said the City Commission would have their budget books well in advance of the adoption of the budget. 

3.              Adjournment

Before adjournment, Mayor West asked if there were any items on the agenda for review. There were no agenda items reviewed. At 6:54 p.m., the Budget Workshop was adjourned.






























Linda Bourgeois

City Clerk