THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
MAY 26, 1999
MEETING NO. 99-17: The special meeting, which followed the Finance Committee work session, of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 7:50 p.m. by Deputy Mayor MacKinnon.
Assembly Present: Garrett, Kibby, MacKinnon, Perkins, Powell, Hagevig, Muñoz and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: Egan
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Dave Palmer, City Manager; Donna Pierce, Deputy City Manager; John Corso, City Attorney; Kim Kiefer, Parks and Rec. Director; Bonnie Chaney, Accountant; Mary Norcross, Controller; Carol McCabe, Library Director.
MOTION – by Kibby, to excuse Mayor Egan as he was out of town on city business. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
1. Ordinance No. 99-16
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING MONEY OUT OF THE TREASURY FOR FY 00 SCHOOL DISTRICT OPERATIONS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted.
Jeff Bush, encouraged the Assembly to amend the ordinance back to what was originally requested by the school district. It was his understanding that since 1990, the full and true value had gone up in excess of 70 percent. There has been a great deal of talk over the years about how the school district budget keeps going up and keeps putting a squeeze on the Assembly. He said he understands those arguments, but he had been informed that while the assessed valuation had gone up over 70 percent, the school district budget has gone up in the neighborhood of 65 percent so the funding of the school district had not gone up any more than any of the other expenses in the city government. He referred to the earlier direction for the school district to go back and look at their budget and he said he could safely assure the Assembly that they have struggled with budget cuts and severe budget situations for many years; there is no fluff in their budget. The reality was that the only personal services that could be cut would be teachers. He stated that they recently finished negotiations and in the course of the negotiations they had to reduce one janitor in order to cover the budget. He said this Assembly had been very good at funding at the cap; full funding for education for this school district in this city and he was proud to live in a city that does that. He meets at a statewide level with many school boards from around the state and there are other places in the state that do not fund at the cap. He appreciated the fact that this community has been committed to education and committed to paying for it to the maximum extent. If this body does what has been proposed here, it would be setting a new principle in this town and would no longer be funding at the cap. He thought that would be a bad precedence and a bad trend start. He said he appreciated that the Assembly would be looking for funding elsewhere and he was optimistic that other funding would be found to help the school district out of this dilemma. The long-term problem is not going to be solved with budget cuts; alternative funding sources will have to be found at the local level.
Mr. Perkins appreciated the comments but asked for breathing room to look at all the little piggy banks. He asked Mr. Bush to not go out into the public saying that the Assembly’s commitment had changed from full funding of education. He said his earlier vote in the Finance Committee was to allow time to check other sources. He has had discussions with the Manager about other revenue sources and he felt that would be the Assembly’s and the Manager’s priority.
Ms. Hagevig agreed and said she felt it was unfair to characterize the strong support that the Assembly has given to education for as long as she has lived in Juneau. Mr. Perkins’ assessment was correct in that the city is faced with a situation that requires additional time. The Assembly is faced with the legal requirement to pass an amount for the school district tonight, but meeting that requirement does not preclude the Assembly from trying to find alternative sources of revenue. She was in favor of municipal assistance and revenue sharing being held harmless, although that effort did not succeed this year and may not next year. There are two caps that have to be considered: funding education to the cap and the tax cap, which had been voted on by the voters. Should the time come to increase the tax cap, she hoped the school board and the district would be beside the Assembly in any effort to help make the community understand that there were no other alternatives.
Mr. Kibby asked staff what was the total amount that was obligated as the cap. Ms. Pierce said $16,618.00. Mr. Kibby said beyond that, how much does the CBJ contribute. Ms. Pierce said $123,000 for community schools, and $191,200 for youth activities. That changed last year in that the $348,700 used to be outside the cap and when SB36 raised the cap, it went under. Mr. Kibby said it was harsh to say that the Assembly was not funding within the cap considering what is looked at outside the cap and what is paid above and beyond that even though at this point in time, we are looking at $233,000.
MOTION – by Kibby, of Ordinance 99-16 for amendment as outlined by the finance committee.
Mr. MacKinnon indicated there would be four lines that would be amended.
Mr. Powell asked if Mr. Palmer’s list indicating the total reduction to the city was percentages. Ms. Pierce said those were dollars and they added up to $525,600. Mr. Palmer said it was prorated to be each department based on the size of the department. Ms. Pierce added that in some places balancing was done between departments. The way they came up with the $233,000 for the school district was on a prorated basis. Mr. Powell felt that nationally and statewide, many things could be agreed on to cut or not cut. One thing on the top of his list for keeping would be education. He felt the Assembly must trust the school board for how they manage their budget, unless they were mismanaging their budget.
AMENDMENT - by Kibby, to amend four figures in the ordinance: under Estimated Revenue, Operations, $16,385,500; Total Revenue, Fund Balance, $47,925,500; Appropriation, School District General Operations, $47,113,600 making the total appropriation $47,925,500 to reflect the $233,300 reduction under operations.
Objection was noted on the amendment.
Ayes: Muñoz, Perkins, Hagevig, Kibby and MacKinnon
Nays: Koelsch, Powell and Garrett
amendment passes 5:3
Objection was noted on the main motion.
Ayes: Hagevig, Kibby, Muñoz, Perkins and MacKinnon
Nays: Garrett, Koelsch and Powell
motion carries 5:3
Laurie Logsdon, Acting Clerk
Deputy Mayor MacKinnon