May 31 2014

Blair Park Trees, WW Funds for Pool or Park, Police Body Cameras: June 2

The Piedmont City Council has a full and important agenda at their meeting on Monday, June 2, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue.

Click on items below to read staff reports.

Budget Approval Hearing; 

Staff report on budget.

Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Report

Police Officer Body Cameras:

Use of WW Funds of over $500,000 for parks, senior facility, pool or other recreation purposes

Emergency Tree Removal in Blair Park 

Additional Sewer Tax 

Election Date change to State General Election Date: 

Full agenda 

One Response to “Blair Park Trees, WW Funds for Pool or Park, Police Body Cameras: June 2”

  1. from the 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee (MTRC) report:

    “The City should establish a new Municipal Financing Planning Committee (“MFPC”) made up of volunteer citizens (serving staggered terms) to annually review the five-year plan and provide guidance to the Council. The MFPC charter would focus on providing for the long- term sustainable financial future of the City. This new committee would not replace the quadrennial parcel tax committee, but would meet only a limited number of times each year to review the 5-year plan and provide a “check” of the plan for the Council, as well as to provide a financial review of any new program commitments in excess of $250,000 annually”

    from the 2014 BAFPC report:

    “Prior to 18 months before the expiration of the Municipal Services Parcel Tax, undertake a study and recommend to the Council the level of Municipal Services Parcel Tax necessary to meet the financial needs of the City. For the
    year of the study, the Council could elect to expand the Committee and add up to 3 new temporary “voting” members (which could include any alternate member), whose service would only be for the purpose of reviewing the Municipal Services Parcel Tax and would only last 1 year.”

    The proposal from BAFPC 2014 sugests that it will assume the tasks of the MTRC. For those who may not know, the Municipal Tax Review Committee is a long-standing committee of volunteers convened every 4 years to review city operations and recommend a parcel tax rate. The committee and sub-committees meet intensively over a 3-6 month period to provide an extensive analysis of city expenditures and projections of revenues which can be read at

    There is no discussion of this proposal in the staff report so hopefully City Council will deliberate over this recommendation before considering dissolving the MTRC. From my experience on Council, it would be difficult to recruit skilled financial analysts for the BAFPC given the increased workload and heavier meeting schedule. And the 2104 BAFPC acknowledged that it did not have time to consider this year’s financial projections by staff so adding to its work load perhaps is not wise. And BAFPC advises taking on a new role: “Periodically review and advise on the pension and retiree healthcare funding/financial health”. That alone is a daunting task but is a more appropriate for the committee than proposing tax rates.

    Ironically, it was a long-term financial projection by the 2011 MTRC that led to its recommendation to form the BAFPC. It’s best to keep these two committees separate, having the MTRC take the short view and the BAFPC take the long view. Rather than have temporary members to BAFPC, why not just have a few members serve on both so there can be some cross-talk?

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