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2007 10 15 Budget Workshop

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Monday, October 15, 2007
City of Lakewood
Second Floor Foyer
6000 Main Street SW
Lakewood, WA 98499




Mayor Thomas called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.




Councilmembers Present: 7 ? Mayor Claudia Thomas; Deputy Mayor John Arbeeny; Councilmembers Ron Cronk, Pad Finnigan, Helen McGovern, Walter Neary and Doug Richardson.




2008 Budget Overview


In response to Council questions from the previous Budget Workshop, City Manager Neiditz reviewed a summary of salary costs and explained that the total increase is 5.6 percent across the board and that insurance costs are 9.9percent higher than last year. He then reviewed the medical and dental premium comparisons of 24 other cities.


City Manager Neiditz reported that the General Fund budget for police services was 42 percent in 2006, 43.9 percent in 2007, and 47.9 percent in 2008. He then reviewed sales tax and property taxes per capita per year with other nearby cities.


A. Public Safety

i. Police


Police Chief Saunders provided an overview of the 2008 Police Department budget which includes refocusing on community policing, expansion of the red light photo enforcement, building the new police station, completing the transition to 800 MHz radio equipment, and completing the emergency disaster Plan. He then reviewed the Police Department budget totaling 130 full time employees (FTEs), amounting to a $3,332,449 revenue budget.


Police Chief Saunders reported that, in 2008, four officers (two Patrol Officers and two Neighborhood Patrol Officers) are being requested and budgeted.


City Council Budget Workshop Minutes -2- October 15, 2007


Discussion ensued on the number of FTEs funded in 2007.


Police Chief Saunders reviewed the police hiring process and staffing shortfalls in 2007.


Further discussion ensued on the reasons why police staff leave the department; what can be done to ensure the Community Service Officer (CSO) and Neighborhood Patrol Officer (NPO) positions remain filled at all times; whether there is a need for a bailiff and reducing a police officer position to hire a bailiff; if automation (i.e. red light traffic) are to create efficiencies and reduce positions, how is the budget doing this; and with funding coming from Western State Hospital for police services, where is the decrease of that amount shown in the General Fund.


Police Chief Saunders reviewed the refocus of community policing program which is to concentrate in high crime areas, implement the Weed and Seed program in Southgate and Lakeview, implement the Western State Hospital community policing solution and transition community policing to community government. He then reviewed the expansion of the running red light program at Pacific Highway/Bridgeport Way/Gravelly Lake Drive (subject to the results of the survey) and Bridgeport Way to Steilacoom Boulevard (subject to the results of the survey), with projected revenues at $148,800.


Police Chief Saunders reviewed the $1,236,504 reimbursable police positions (11.25 FTEs) funded by the Clover Park School District, the GREAT grant, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and the Washington State Patrol.


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Council recessed at 7:03 p.m. and reconvened at 9:07 p.m.


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Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Chair Alan Hart spoke in support of the proposed Police Department budget. He indicated that the Police Department is undermanned with high overtime, burnout among the CSOs and NPOs and that there needs to be a CSO and NPO for each of the six districts. He indicated that low level crimes are not adequately under control; and concerns were expressed about responding to high level crimes, however, the low level crimes may not be addressed sufficiently to keep our communities livable. He spoke about the need for a minimum of 108officers and 15CSOs. He added that the PSAC?s vision is livability and having a consistent budget. A majority of the PSAC members supported raising taxes to maintaining CSOs and NPOs.



City Council Budget Workshop Minutes -3- October 15, 2007


Discussion ensued on the funding of five teams (CSOs and NPOs) instead of six teams; the number of positions funded in 2007; amount of revenues collected in 2007 in comparison to actual expenditures; what kind of efficiencies will a new Police Station provide in the upcoming budgets; providing cost estimates for CSOs and NPOs, if districts were funded, which neighborhood districts had more priority ? Tillicum or Lake City; costs for overtime spent and whether better controls were implemented in overtime costs to fund positions; reasons for increases in Police Administration and Traffic Patrol; what is the cost for police salaries and benefits; and adding an additional five percent to the six percent employees are paying for health benefits and what would that save.


ii. Court


Court Services Director Westerdahl spoke about the Court?s proposal for a Court Security Officer (bailiff).


Discussion ensued on the amount of training an armed court security is required to have; what is the actual cost of salaries and benefits for the position; and the potential of increasing revenues with a new position.


iii. Legal


Assistant City Attorney McKenzie reviewed the Legal Department?s proposed budget.


Discussion ensued on the Domestic Violence Advocate positions; and what is the $300 continuing education budget for.




There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.