It is a busy time for the council. Budget hearings continue with this week's session where the tuff stuff happens... the rubber meets the road, the other shoe drops, the caca hits the moving air device, and,perhaps more appropriate, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.
Bisbee is a very difficult city to administer; ancient physical infrastructure, historic administrative and council inefficiency, outmoded administrative systems, few external sources of revenue, engaged but often cantankerous/ill informed, citizens, an historic company town still emerging from the corporate womb, a mix of legacy and new residents, a declining population base, a school system decimated by the State, and many other object conditions that confound newcomers.
All of this comes into play during budget negotiations. So the big tradeoff begins...the Mayor has taken a first crack at cuts reducing the $1 million+ deficit, check his facebook page.There is also a lot of kvetching on facebook and other venues, all about cuts, none about revenue raising. Many, not all, suggestions about cutting spending are well intentioned, but ill informed. On the other hand, suggestions by some such as former council person Ken Budge are thoughtful and informed. I would hazard a guess that not one of the kvetchers have written or called State legislators or written to newspapers or commented on social media about the drastic effects of public safety pensions (PSPRS) on Bisbee and called for action. The only reason we are having spending/revenue problems is public safety pensions. That is an undeniable fact. When $1.5 million dollars in revenue is taken off the top and removed from consideration, there are drastic consequences and difficult choices. Councilperson Lindstrom has complained publicly about the budget process. He believes that the budget should be presented by the CM, not the mayor, and the council should look at it and vote on it. He doesn't like protracted meetings. In the past he has called for more transparency for council items, but apparently this does not apply to the budget which is about the most transparent process there is. Residents and business people can see exactly where money is being spent. And there is ample public avenues to seek increased or decreased spending. Bisbee's process is cumbersome to be sure, and it likely will be tweaked somewhat next year. But let's understand that clarity is better than ease for a councilmember.
An oft overlooked benefit of this approach to the budget is that it educates council members. If they read the material and listen to the explanations they should know exactly how the city works, how departments are structured, where they spend money, how much people are paid and a plethora of other information. This then, should inform them about how they spend taxpayers' money.
Since the budget has been scrutinized, there has been ongoing consternation about City Manger Robert Smith's salary; with bennies and perks it comes to about $200k. I agree it is high. And I agree the last round of the CM hiring process was truncated. (Having a major fire with an interim CM did tend to skew the process.) But I think the criticism is not justified.
Here's the thing about City Managers. We can get young managers on their way up (Jestin Johnson) for cheap-they will tend to get experience and leave for greener pastures relatively quickly (or if treated badly). We can get city managers on their way out (Steve Pauken) for relative cheap-they will tend to tread water waiting for retirement, not rock any boats, and constantly hold their finger up to test the political winds. We can get ambitious city managers seeking to get out from under some dicey past jobs (R. Marsh-with a shoddy background check by the city.) We can get city managers with experience, but a ways from retirement, relatively expensive (current manager Robert Smith). We also have a time consuming, expensive, but open and democratic hiring process that involves meetings and citizen/business committees evaluating prospects that was instituted by interim CM John McKinnon some years ago. It yielded three of the last four CM's.
I think I have seen nine different city managers in 24 years. In my estimation it takes about 6-9 months for a Bisbee CM to grasp the history of Bisbee, complexity and depth of problems, understanding of political forces, grok the revenue flow, and sort out the loquacious time-wasting talkers from the much fewer doers.
Robert Smith has been CM on the job four months as interim CM and six months as CM. While not seasoned, he should now be grounded. The next year will tell whether he will be able to deliver the administration Bisbee needs. There is some heartening progress; recognition of the talent and dedication of CofB employees and dept. heads, an overhaul of some admin work flow, a search for new revenue, and an inculcation of better service to residents. This is his first budget and he inherited the format. Maybe the crits ought to be put away and give him a year. Set an CM evaluation in July of 2020, after his second budget. We'll know by then.
Last issue I made a mistake-it's the second one in about thirty years. I wrote that Home rule (on the agenda this week for putting it before the voters) would reduce the ability of the council to spend more than $3.9k. It should have been $3.9 million. The total budget will be about $18 million, with the General Fund about $8.5 million of that. If home role is not overrode by vote in November, the city could only spend $3.9 million total. Last time on the ballot it was overriden by a huge margin. fred
..................... COUNCIL AGENDA
Two sessions same evening..... Council Work Session Tuesday May 15 5:30
1. Presentation and Discussion of the Proposed Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.
Background here. http://bisbeeaz.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05152018-247
Council Regular Session Tuesday May 15 7:00
INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:
1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds
2. Approval of the Consent Agenda
A. Approval of the Resignation of Audrey “Luche” Giacomino from the Streets and Infrastructure Committee.
B. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of Vista Park for Movies in the Park on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 5:00PM to 11:00PM.
C. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of Vista Park for Movies in the Park on Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 5:00PM to 11:00PM.
D. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of Grassy Park with surrounding parking for the Bisbee Pride Vendor Fair of Friday, June 15, 2018 and Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 9:00am to 2:00pm and on Sunday, June 17, 2018 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
E. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of City Park, the Storage Room below and one parking space for the Bisbee Pride Children’s Activities from Friday, June 15, 2018 at 8:00am to Sunday, June 17, 2018 at 12:00pm.
F. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of Goar Park with four parking spaces for the Bisbee Pride’s Day Stage: Amplified Music/Talk on Friday, June 15, 2018 and on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 9:00am to 8:00pm.
G. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of 100 Tombstone Canyon to City Park for the Bisbee Pride Parade on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 9:00am to 11:30am.
H. Approval of the Park Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for the use of several streets for the Coaster Race Trial Run on June 30th, and pre-sets July 3rd and for the race on July 4, 2018.
I. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by Bisbee Pride, Inc. for an event to be held at Grassy Park on Friday, June 15, 2018 from 12:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 10:00am to 8:00pm; Doreen Edwards, Applicant.
J. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by Turn Your Life Around for an event to be held at City Park located at 62 Brewery Ave, on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from Noon to 5:00pm; Sam Donaldson, Applicant.
3. Presentation by University of Arizona Students on Results of a Parking Analysis.
David M. Smith, Mayor
4. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff on a petition received from Alice Hammers regarding Banking Locally.
David M. Smith, Mayor
5. Public Hearing and Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution R-18-07 proposing an Extension of the Alternative Expenditure Limitation and Authorizing the submittal of this proposition to the Electorate at the Election to be held on August 28, 2018.
Keri Bagley, Finance Director
6. Discussion and Possible Approval to purchase an Emergency Replacement SCADA Computer and required programming from Aqua Aerobic Systems for use at the Wastewater Plant for a total cost of $33,451.00.
Andy Haratyk, Public Works Director
7. Discussion and Possible Approval of an IGA between the City of Bisbee and Cochise County Fleet Services for Maintenance and Repairs on City Vehicles to include Fleet Services, Light Fleet Division, IGA Proposal to City of Bisbee.
Robert E. Smith, City Manager
8. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Real Property Lease Agreement for Santiago’s Sidewalk to be used for Outdoor Seating for a period of ten years.
Robert E. Smith, City Manager
9. Discussion and Possible Approval of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cochise County for Election Supplies and Services.
Ashlee Coronado, City Clerk
10. City Manager's Report:
· Other current events (No Discussion)
COUNCIL COMMENTS OR FUTURE AGENDA ITEM SUGGESTIONS: (Council members may suggest topics for future meeting agendas, but Council will not here discuss, deliberate or take any action on these topics.):
· Councilmember Higgins would like to comment on the upcoming Bisbee Arts Commission fundraiser on May 19th.
DESTINATION BISBEE: BUSINESSES! STOP DAWDLING AND MAP YOUR ASS! If you are a business, you need to be on the Destination Bisbee map which will also get you on their website which will have a link to your business. Widespread distribution (100,000) throughout the city, county, and all AZ visitor centers. Yeah I know it's like a physical map...how old school! But it works, I know cause I have gotten reservations from the website link as well as mentions guests have found me via the map. Cost is $300. For more info go to destinationbisbee.com. Email your listing info to: firstname.lastname@example.org Your business Category…EAT, SLEEP, SHOP, PLAY, LIVE (realtors)Your business name, 20 word blurb about your businessPhone / text to contact you If you haven't signed up, do so and then get your dough to them. You do not want to have them send around their enforcer!)
(A bit of history here...This map is the result of efforts of a group called Better Bisbee that was founded seven years ago in response to a lack of interest in tourism by the City and the perception of an ineffective Chamber. It had about 50 business that were writing checks for various endeavors. During the couple of years when we flourished.... we helped raise the budget for tourism, created joint marketing campaigns, objected to and were successful in reducing some city staff overhead through persistence in budget hearings, exposed the machinations of the then city manager, sponsored a candidate forum, beat back a recall effort, planted the seeds of what became the iBisbee committee, helped obtain rural marketing grants from the State, sounded the alarm about public pension problems, and raised awareness of the economic importance of tourism. As many of the goals had been met, and lassitude set in, the group disbanded. The comprehensive business map and successful tourism efforts remain the legacy of this group. Christina of 55 Main and Maralyce of Pan Terra continue to produce the Destination Bisbee map.)
..................... EVERYTHING ELSE
URBAN TREES BE GONE "They found that 45 states showed a net decline in urban tree cover, with 23 states experiencing significant decreases – resulting in an overall annual net loss of 0.12%, which is comparable to 175,000 acres of tree cover." https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/may/10/us-cities-losing-millions-of-trees-a-year?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=274390&subid=20881720&CMP=GT_US_collection
++++++++++++++++++++++++ CAN YOU SEE THIS? MONOPOLY ON MYOPIA "The creation of one huge corporation, EssilorLuxottica is a big deal. It will have big consequences for opticians and eyewear manufacturers from Hong Kong to Peru. But it is also a response to an unprecedented moment in the story of human vision – namely, the accelerating degradation of our eyes."
"...a largely unreported global epidemic of myopia, or shortsightedness, which has doubled among young people within a single generation." https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/10/the-invisible-power-of-big-glasses-eyewear-industry-essilor-luxottica?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=274390&subid=20881720&CMP=GT_US_collection
WORDGASM..MORE MADE UP WORDS
Askhole...Someone who asks many stupid, pointless, or obnoxious questions.
Bedgasm...a feeling of euphoria experienced when climbing into bed at the end of a very long day.
Textpectation...the anticipation felt when waiting for a response to a text.
Chairdrobe...piling clothes on a chair instead of a closet or dresser see also floordrobe.
Cellfish...an individual who continues talking on their phone so as to be rude to other people.
Nonversation...a completely worthless conversation.
Errorist...someone who repeatedly makes mistakes or is always wrong.
Carcolepsy...a condition here a passenger falls asleep as soon as the car starts moving.
Hiberdating...when a person ignores their friends in favor of a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Youniverse...indicates a person has speaks only of themselves aka the Reality Show guy
Internest..bedding gathered around yourself while spending periods of time on the internet.
Afterclap...the last person clapping when everyone else has stopped.
Unkeyboardinated...when unable to type without repeatedly making mistakes.
Epipihanot...an idea that seems insightful to the conceiver, but is in fact pointless or stupid.
Unlightening...learning something that makes you dumber.
Doppelbanger...a person who has sex with someone that looks identical to them, but is not related.