July 26, 2016 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION

Special Commission Meeting

 

July 26, 2016                                                                                                                                7:00 A.M.

Meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian Linin with Vice-Mayor Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner John Garcia, Commissioner Gary Farris and Commissioner Gwen Mai responding to roll call. 

 

2017 BUDGET

Mayor Linin stated, I think in looking at the budget, we are getting lost in the numbers.  With a budget this size, we are talking about $40,000 to 60,000, which in perspective is not a lot of money.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, I have been thinking about what is best for the community.  I feel we should go up two mills and leave the proposed wage increases in the budget.  Commissioner Farris stated, a friend of mine works for the agriculture department; they have not had an increase for years.  The Federal Government is cutting employees.  I do not feel we need to increase wages and do not need to give bonuses.  I do not want to increase taxes they are high enough.  Commissioner Mai stated, I do not want to increase taxes in the community.  When it comes down to it, if we do not have a major project that we need the money for, I cannot see raising the levy.  I would like to approve the budget as is, leaving proposed wages as presented.  We need to let the employees know that if we are against the lid next year that may be a place we cut.  Mayor Linin asked, Gerry you give them a percent of money and the amount is distributed on an average right?  Gerry stated, yes and the City Manager always has the final approval.  Commissioner Garcia stated, Commissioner Mai sheds some light on the fact that there may be difficult days ahead and we want to be fair to the employees.  I would like to see the proposed wage increase be reduced to two percent.  This is not an option we have to deal with the issues.  My emphasis for a long time has been that insurance is paid 100%.  I talked to Colby City Manager yesterday, they maintained the mill levy.  I feel we need to reduce the proposed wage increase and not raise the mill.  Mayor Linin stated, if we decrease the proposed wage increase, the mill will decrease.  Commissioner Farris stated, the Federal Government is not increasing wages.  Gerry stated, not a lot of Federal employees are paid $14 an hour; they surpassed that wage.  I would like to see the Commission leave the budget as presented and set guidelines for wage increases.  Commissioner Garcia stated, that is what we have discussed with you, we need to take care of employees pushing shovels.  Commissioner Garcia stated, Mayor Linin is correct when you look at the overall picture, we are being over conscience.  My vote would stand at reduce wage increase to two percent and leave rest of budget as is. 

 

ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to leave proposed wages as presented for publication with an increase of one mill to help with Economic Development costs and help protect against the lid in 2017.  Commissioner Garcia asked Mayor Linin what his thoughts were on budget presented.  Mayor Linin stated, I have mixed thoughts but am open to ideas.  If we increase the mill I feel we should have a purpose for it, same if we decrease it.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we discussed it is because of our concern that Sherman County quit funding Economic Development.  Mayor Linin stated, I know valuations have increased so many people will see an increase in taxes.  If we increase our levy, we will get blamed for tax increase.  I am mixed on the proposed wage increase with Gerry leaving.  I do not want to create turmoil with employees.  The State average increase is 3.5 percent which is where I think we should be.  We are only discussing about $40,000 to $50,000 overall.  Gerry stated, I understand the Commission’s desire to hold the line, but I do not always think it is right.  In the past I would recommend 1/10% increase except now with the State putting a cap on municipalities and the City funding Economic Development 100%.  MOTION died for lack of a second.

 

ON A MOTION by Commissioner Mai to publish proposed budget as presented.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I see Mayor Linin’s point that we are dealing with a small percent of overall budget but I will not vote for a tax increase.  If we only need $30,000 citizens will say we are not doing something right.  Commissioner Mai made some good points; we have to address it with our employees.  I will second the Motion.  Commissioner Farris stated, if we increase the mill it will put an extra break on Economic Development anyway.  People say is costs too much to do business in Goodland and I think they have a good point.  The farm economy will be bad for some time.  Commissioner Garcia asked, we have $5,000 in budget for the Freedom Festival?  Which event brings more to the community, Freedom Festival or Flatlander’s Festival?  Gerry stated, it is important to have these items spelled out in the budget so that they are set in stone.  There is $10,000 in the budget for NWT College.  Mary stated, there is $5,000 for Freedom Festival and $2,500 for Flatlander’s Festival in 2017 budget.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-1 with Vice-Mayor Fairbanks casting the dissenting vote.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

Executive Session – Under authority K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for a preliminary discussion relating to personnel matters for nonelected personnel –Commissioner Garcia made a motion at 8:34 a.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters of nonelected personnel not to exceed fifteen minutes.  I request only the Commission be present.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks seconded the motion.   MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5 to 0.  Meeting resumed at 8:49 a.m. Commissioner Garcia made a second motion at 8:49 a.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters of nonelected personnel not to exceed ten minutes.  I request only the Commission be present.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks seconded the motion.   MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5 to 0.  Meeting resumed at 8:59 a.m.    

 

Mayor Linin addressed Gerry; the Commission appreciates all you have done for our community and agree to your request of forty-five days.  ON A MOTION Commissioner Garcia to approve the request of forty-five days or August 18, 2016 as Gerry’s last date of employment with the City of Goodland seconded by Commissioner Mai.  Motion carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve utilizing the services of Don Osenbaugh to assist with the search for a new City Manager seconded by Commissioner Mai.  Motion carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Gerry stated, I have mixed emotions about leaving as I enjoy what I am doing and Goodland is a community with potential and very good staff.  Mayor Linin asked Gerry to try to get as many loose ends tied up and present the Commission with a list of outstanding projects and their status before he leaves. 

 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Fairbanks seconded by Commissioner Garcia.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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ATTEST:                                                                               Brian Linin, Mayor

 

 

 

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Mary P. Volk, City Clerk