July 2014 - City of Oak Hill

First Report of the Oak Hill Citizens Advisory Committee 14 July 2014 Background and Authority On June 26th, 2014 the Oak Hill Board of Commissioners (“BOC”) passed Resolution 14-­‐2 creating a Citizens Advisory Committee (“CAC”) for a 90 day term to provide input on fiscal, contract, and other city business during the BOC member and leadership transition. CAC will assist the BOC in seeking resident input on the city’s future direction following the historic June 10, 2014 election. The BOC appointed Chuck Burgess to chair the CAC and directed him to select additional members, convene the Committee, and to seek input from citizens as to the state of the city and its future direction. The BOC directed the CAC to submit its advisory reports and recommendations at the next three regular BOC meetings. The BOC further directs the city manager and staff to accommodate CAC requests for information. Members The CAC is comprised of seven Oak Hill residents. Chuck Burgess, chairman [email protected] 899 Thompson Avenue Jimmy Bradshaw, recorder [email protected] 875 Robertson Academy Road Aileen Katcher [email protected] 3556 Crestridge Drive Jeff Janes [email protected] 912 Oak Valley Lane Sharon Monroe, recorder [email protected] 1101 Stonewall Jackson Court Stacy Widelitz [email protected] 5520 Cherrywood Drive Lester (Buddy) Williams [email protected] 5000 Franklin Pike Members represent different geographic areas of Oak Hill, provide subject matter expertise (public works, legal, communications, finance), and include those with historic and institutional knowledge of city governance as well as newer residents. Progress The CAC held an initial meeting July 3, 2014 to discuss CAC plans for the next 90 days and identify areas of member expertise or interest. Members took up more formal, substantive topics at the first regular meeting Thursday, July 10, 2014. Community Input: CAC members will seek frequent and ongoing input from Oak Hill residents, city staff and other resources to help determine community priorities, issues, and views. Many citizens have reached out offering input and assistance. The CAC will rely on these citizens and others, plus people and resources outside the city as we move forward Meet With Comparable City Leaders: CAC members plan to have discussions with management and commissioners of relevant cities to discuss contractual, financial, and staffing issues. The CAC expects these meetings to take place in August. 1 CAC Meetings The CAC established the following Meeting Schedule (includes regularly scheduled BOC meetings): July 10 (Thursday) 7:00p pre-­‐BOC report meeting July 17 (Thursday) 5:00p monthly Board of Commissioners meeting July 21 (Monday) 6:30p post-­‐BOC planning meeting August 14 (Thursday) 6:30p pre-­‐BOC report meeting August 21 (Thursday) 5:00p monthly Board of Commissioners meeting August 25 (Monday) 6:30 post-­‐BOC planning meeting September 11 (Thursday) 6:30 pre-­‐BOC final report meeting September 18 (Thursday) 5:00p monthly Board of Commissioners meeting The CAC may schedule additional meetings if necessary. CAC Meetings will be at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, 2525 West End Ave, 15th floor. Jimmy Bradshaw can answer questions on parking or accessibility ([email protected]; 615.251.6683). Reporting The CAC plans to deliver reports to the BOC at least two days prior to the July, August, and September 2014 BOC meetings. Reports will be delivered to the City Manager who will promptly forward the report to each Commissioner. First Report-­‐ Tuesday, July 15 Second Report-­‐ Tuesday, August 19 Final Report-­‐ Tuesday, September 16 Issues/Areas of Study The new BOC faces changing priorities and a tight budget. The CAC plans to support the new BOC in prioritizing core services and ensuring they are delivered efficiently and effectively. Focal points identified at CAC’s initial meeting include budget and finance, sanitation services (trash, chipper, etc.), communications, staffing, governance (charter/written guidelines/boards and commissions), plus engineering, zoning and land use. Recommendation The CAC identifies one issue for prompt BOC attention; Capital Planning and Financial Reporting Upgrades Recommended Background-­‐ The city manager is finance director and budget commissioner under city charter chapter 22. Sound finance and budgeting includes and is not limited to fiscal planning, knowledge of city finances, recordkeeping, reporting, advising, and disclosure. We recommend that the BOC insure prompt development and implementation of financial guidelines addressing…. Capital Planning-­‐ The BOC should insure implementation of a capital plan as a tool to project capital needs and ensure ongoing financial stability. This includes a disciplined process for capital budget development, approval, and maintenance outside and prior to annual budget establishment. The absence of longer term capital budgeting contributes to uncertainty about actual needs in recent and planned city budgets, inability to clearly quantify capital shortfalls in the budget, and limits the ability of commissioners to make sound budget decisions. It should be a 2 rolling budget (five years suggested), updated at least annually to provide for planning and allocating funds for projects in advance. Key areas include for example streets (paving, street lights, signage, etc.) and stormwater management. Financial Reporting-­‐ BOC-­‐approved guidelines should require the city manager to provide and report on the city’s income, expenses and balance sheet at each BOC meeting. This includes but is not limited to reports on actual revenue and expense vs the budget and vs prior periods. It should further include the manager’s explanation of significant variances from relevant prior periods (prior month, prior year). In recent years financial reporting to the BOC is largely limited to annual approval of the statutory city budget. Disclosure-­‐ The BOC should ensure guidelines require that the most recent internal monthly income statement and balance sheet be posted promptly and conspicuously on the city website, with summary financial information presented in the city newsletter or similar publication. Advisory Expectations-­‐ BOC guidance should make clear the BOC’s expectation that the city manager, as financial officer and budget commissioner, analyzes and communicates the cost and budgetary impact of significant decisions such as those involving service levels, staffing, and any action that may impact city reserves. Advisory expectations might be addressed as part of BOC-­‐
approved financial reporting requirements. Upgraded capital planning, financial reporting, disclosure and advice will provide for more informed budget decisions, common knowledge of budget needs, transparency with city residents, and will promote conformance with widely accepted, sound financial practices. Close The CAC urges all residents to forward questions, concerns and other input regarding budgetary issues, city services, contractual relationships and similar matters to the Commissioners or the CAC members. Respectfully submitted, Oak Hill Citizens Advisory Committee Chuck Burgess Jimmy Bradshaw Aileen Katcher Jeff Janes Sharon Monroe Stacy Widelitz Buddy Williams 14 July 2014 3