The following letter to Ferndale City Councilmembers is provided courtesy of Ferndale City Administrator Jori Burnett. It provides summaries, and background in some cases, of the items on the meeting agenda for the regular City Council meeting scheduled for 6pm, Monday, March 18th.
Our Monday agenda includes the following:
Item B: Consent Agenda
– Approval of Council minutes, authorization of payroll, approval of claims.
Budget Amendment – The Council is asked to approve a budget amendment that would amend the 2019 beginning cash balance. As part of the 2019 budgeting process in November/December 2018, the City projected a 2019 beginning cash balance. These projections are made based upon the best information available at the time, but necessarily cannot include the complete year-end accounting, which runs through December and the majority of January. The Finance Committee noted that the Current Expense (General Fund) experienced a relatively large increase above projections, whereas the Streets fund experienced a decrease. Each of these funds are comprised of a number of sub-categories or line-items, with each contribute to the overall beginning or ending cash balance. As an example, the General Fund may have received more revenues than were projected as a result of a strong retail shopping season, sales, or a decrease in City purchases during that time period. Meanwhile, while no single project or purchase was responsible for the change in the Streets fund, vendor or consultant billing, increased City expenditures, or other costs contributed to the change in that fund.
As noted, the overall projections for the City’s budget remain in-line with projections, and the City does not anticipate that the budget amendment will result in modifications to the City’s overall work plan.
Court Agency Fund Creation (Ordinance) – The Council is asked to approve the creation of a separate fund to track court financial activities. The City currently tracks such funding through a decentralized financial system, but is required to track the activities through the City’s centralized (primary) financial system.
Student Resource Officer (SRO) Contract Approval – The Finance Committee has placed the draft SRO contract on the consent agenda for approval. The contract would apply to the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years; the current contract applies to the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year. The proposed contract, which was developed by Police Chief Turner and the Ferndale School District, would increase the City’s compensation equivalent to 100% of the salary and benefits for one police officer, for the 180 day school year. This reflects the request of the City Council. The contract also improves both agency’s understanding of the role that the SRO and related educational/support efforts will play within the schools.
Item C: Todd Anderson, Probation Officer. We continue with our ongoing staff presentations with Todd Anderson, the City of Ferndale’s probation officer.
Item D: 2019 City Administrator Work Plan. The City Administrator will provide his 2019 work plan as well as an overview of the responsibilities of the City Administrator, and how the City Administrator expects his role will mesh with the rest of the organization.
Item E: Contract – Utility Rate Study. The City Council is asked to approve a contract with the FCS Group to complete a comprehensive Utility Rate Study. The City has not conducted a third party study such as this for many years. The study is expected to provide an objective of accounting of the City’s current policies, identified projects, and funding needs for water, sewer, and stormwater. The study will also include options for utility rate structure modifications, as well as modifications (likely increases) to utility rates. FCS is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent consultants in this field.
Staff anticipates that the study and the FCS Group will ask the City to make difficult financial decisions and to think long-range in making these decisions.
Item F: Executive Session. Pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(b), the City Council will enter into Executive Session to discuss the acquisition of real estate by lease or purchase.
The public is encouraged to attend City Council meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month (the Tuesday following in case of a holiday) at 6pm in the City Hall Annex in the Council Chambers at 5694 2nd Avenue.