Only response to the Questions from the 5/04 CC Meeting and email sent to the Mayor and CC on 5/05
was from CC GAnderson. After thanking him for his offer to help me understand the RULES, TERMINOLOGY AND PROCESSES I refocused back to where I started.
Thanks for the response BUT these answers and the still unanswered questions/answers NEED TO BE posted on the City website as originally requested.
"Please answer the taxpayers of Camas utilizing the CC PUBLIC COMMENT FOLLOWUP Q&A WEBPAGE."
Hello, Let me take a run at your below questions, not those in the two attachments:
What amount of savings & cuts that you have already made, are one time savings versus ongoing savings? What is the amount of the ongoing monthly savings you have implemented? This information that was in the presentation, is an annualized number from when implemented (March 18th approximately) to/through the end of 2020.
Last night, once citizen asked "when will the city reserves be exhausted according to your current plan?" This cannot be answered at this time. In the forecast presented on Monday, with the information known as of May 1st, we have sufficient reserves IF the last of the stay-home is lifted on/about July 1, 2020 to end with the fund balance above or near our policy goal of 17% of the general fund yearly budgeted amount. If the scenario changes, with additional information, as we move through the year, we will revisit this and readjust our expenses going forward at that time, the mentioned "phase 2" of changes which have not been specifically identified at this time, but are in process of being finalized. These phase 2 steps MAY include layoffs, furloughs, reductions in services that are funded by the general fund. As much of the labor force are members of a collective bargaining group there are procedural rules & contractual obligations IF we get to this point. We are also likely entering preliminary negotiations with some of the labor groups to seek modified work-rules that, if adopted/agreed, which would lessen some of our labor expenses, if necessary due to revenue shortfalls.
You were also asked: "Is there a minimum amount you will let city cash reserves fall to?" Please answer that question. Our adopted policy by council is that we budget to have a 17% of the annual budget available as a reserve, mainly to cover unexpected general fund expenditures (not budgeted). The fund balance being carried as a reserve is also to cover for unexpected hiccups in revenues that cause a delay in their receipt, so that we are not needing to borrow funds to cover routine expenses. The actual reserve balance can fall below the stated percentage during the year as it is not a fixed value of "do not touch" funds, any reductions at the end of the year are to be budgeted to recover the fund balance in the next calendar year. And, relatedly, as a tool for short-term cash-flow situations the city has an established line-of-credit that also helps us avoid significant negative events; this has established written guidelines to staff when, and how, to use this resource.
Have you considered employee pay and benefit cuts? If so, how much and when will you implement them? Please see the response above regarding labor negotiations. Any changes would need negotiations with our collective bargaining groups for those employees represented. The city cannot unilaterally reduce pay or benefits, or significantly change working conditions outside of the duration of a declared emergency.
You were asked last night if there is an out clause in the $848,000 consulting contract signed in March, for the roundabout. Is there one? If not, why not? I am not able to respond to the specific clause/s in this contract at this time, it will require some research and may require some legal review before responding further.
If there is a cancellation clause, what would cause you to utilize that clause, and cancel the consulting contract in order to save taxpayer funds? Please see answer to prior question. And, lastly for now: As to the financial condition and steps that our western neighbor is encountering or taking, the city of Camas is much smaller, has a different revenue mix, and entered 2020 with a different financial status and with differing goals, and Camas has significantly fewer employees. To compare us, or for us to follow their example would not necessarily end with similar results. I would like to move forward with helping you to understand, it has taken me many years to work through municipal financial management, and as such I'm not an expert but can help if you are open to dialog instead of question/answer on somewhat unrelated matters. Our budgeting process for 2021-2022 will be starting soon and this could serve as a tool for us (the city) help you understand the rules, terminology, and processes. Please let me know if / how I can help you further gain knowledge and information. Stay safe, stay healthy, Thanks, Greg Anderson Councilmember As of today, FRIDAY 5/08 there has been no response, referencing Part 1 of this topic, regarding the real issues: