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Bisbee Wire/Local First/council work sessions/the Budget revealed/ 2018 April #12


Monday, an interesting session with Kimber Lanning of Local First talking about her results of talking with some Bisbee residents and business people about their perceptions of Bisbee. An eye opener for some things she has to say. Likely will be recorded for your listening pleasure. In an attempt to confuse some people with facts, I offer a detailed explanation of how this came about.

Budget sessions kick off in earnest on Wednesday. The draft budget is available at the url below. The rubber hits the road as there is a $600k gap between projected revenues and expenditures. The CM has introduced a different kind of budget process so comparisons with the current budget and draft budget is somewhat difficult. Hopefully all will be revealed.


<><><><><><><><><><><>< MONDAY APRIL 16, Senior Center 300 Collins Rd. Doors open 5:00, 5:30 start LOCAL FIRST SURVEY RESULTS: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Local First Executive Director Kimber Lanning will outline the results of a Bisbee-wide survey conducted in 2017 at the behest of the iBisbee committee.

How this came about... Kimber Lanning has had a long history of trying to figure out how Local First could help Bisbee. Some meetings were held about 5-6 years ago in conjunction with a business group called Better Bisbee but nothing came to fruition. Based on her experience with Bisbee and other communities such as Cottonwood, the iBisbee committee began talking with Ms. Lanning in late 2016 informally about how Local First could be helpful. (Local First had already paid for a one year position in Bisbee. for Rachael Hudson who works with Jen Luria in the visitor center.)Those talks morphed into a suggestion by the committee that Local First submit a proposal for a possible interview survey to be undertaken by Local First. She submitted a three part plan in Feburary/17.  Details were hammered out; questions to be asked, who should be surveyed, how results would be presented, and several other operational aspects. The cost of Part 1, the initial survey, was $4200. $800 of that was paid by the City through the economic development budget. The remaining $3400 was paid by Local First through a grant to them from Freeport McMoRan. iBisbee committee members suggested some 100 names of people to be interviewed. The Local First team interviewed 64 people, either in person or on the phone, none by email.

In November/17, Ms. Lanning presented her results to the iBisbee committee. She outlined four key challenges facing Bisbee are:  Inconsistency;   Lack of Collaboration;  Economic Leakage; Workforce Gaps. She also suggested short, medium, and long term possibilities to address those concerns

After hearing her results, and after much discussion the committee decided to implement Part 2 of her proposal consisting of a community meeting discussing the results of the survey, and possible formation of committees if there was significant interest.  And a second follow-up meeting if there was significant interest in working on possible solutions to problems outlined as a result of talking to Bisbee residents. This phase of the project was $2500 which has been paid from the CoB economic development budget. (Initially it was put on the council agenda for approval, but then pulled because expenditures of less that $5000 do not come to council.)

It was decided by the iBisbee committee members that there would be an invitation to many community leaders, business people, and other stakeholders. A community-wide meeting was discussed, but rejected because this is not just a talkathon, but an attempt to engage people to actually work on some of the areas that will be discussed.  An email invitation was sent out with an ask for response to gauge how many people were coming. An announcement that the public was welcome was also put on the CoB home page as well as the CoB facebook page. The light refreshments are being paid for by iBisbee committee members (about $325)


................................ COUNCIL AGENDA

WORK SESSION  TUESDAY APRIL 17, 5:30 Bldg G 1415 Melody Lane


1. Presentation of Recommendations to Council by Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona Regarding Challenges and Opportunities for Bisbee.

Kimber Lanning, Executive Director Local First Arizona 


WEDNESDAY APRIL 18, 6:30  (note time) Bldg G 1415 Melody Lane

Background here:

If you want to see the draft budget this is the place, all 96 pages. It is significantly different than past budgets as a different budget process is being used. The flow of dough is somewhat difficult to follow. Hopefully that will be elucidated in the the work sessions scheduled for each week on Wednesday.

As the CM talked about last week, there is a shortfall of about $600k.  That amount will have to be cut if revenues remain as projected. There are some revenue ideas including an increase in sales tax, an increase in lodging tax, and several others. I stress these are ideas and not recommendations.


1. Presentation and Discussion of the Proposed Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.

Robert Smith, City Manager


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