SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY COUNCIL
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING
A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY COUNCIL WILL BE HELD
ON Monday, March 12, 2012, AT 5:00 p.m. IN THE Basement Conference Room.
THE PROPOSED AGENDA IS AS FOLLOWS:
Budget Work Session
BY ORDER OF THE MAYOR BY Paige Barfield
BASEMENT CONFERENCE ROOM – March 12, 2012
Council met in special session on this date with the following members present: Mr.
Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith, Mr. Norris.
Ms. Beauregard presented to Council. She gave an overview of the FY 2013 General
Fund Revenue, including real estate tax, sales and use tax, meals tax, and lodging tax.
Ms. Smith asked if the utility tax rate was dictated by Virginia State Code. Ms.
Beauregard said she did not think so. Ms. Galvin asked why utility tax revenue went down. Mr.
Wray said we had a wet year and a warm winter, so citizens used less water and less gas. Ms.
Smith said it would be good to see utilities broken out at some point.
Ms. Galvin said other communities with universities have service charges in the millions.
She asked how often agreements with other entities are revisited regarding various service
charges. Staff replied that they are normally revisited when either of the entities indicates interest
in doing so.
Ms. Beauregard introduced the revenue team and thanked them for their work on the
Currently, there is a stalemate on the budget at the state level. This impacts the schools
more than it impacts the City.
Ms. Szakos asked if the City is tracking things that are on the national legislative agenda.
Staff replied that it is difficult to say what the impact of national level items would be.
Transportation would have the greatest impact.
Ms. Beauregard reviewed FY 2013 General Fund Expenditures, the largest portion of
which goes to the schools.
Ms. Smith asked where money will go if the state comes back with funding. Mr. Jones
said it would be part of a discussion we have with the School Board. Mr. Huja said he believes it
should stay with the schools.
Ms. Beauregard reviewed the Council Priority Initiatives fund, which has a current
balance of $178,000. No new funds are included in the FY 2013 Proposed Budget. Ms. Szakos
said we should be willing to tighten up on our funds just as staff has been asked to. Ms. Galvin
said we should be more organized on what these funds would be used for. Council agreed to
discuss priorities and funding at a future work session.
Ms. Beauregard reviewed new expenditure items, including the Carver Recreation Center
at the Jefferson School City Center, the Fontaine Ave. Fire Station, and expanded Sunday
Holiday Service. Ms. Szakos asked staff to look into bus service to the jail. Ms. Galvin said the
job center on Hydraulic does not have service either. Mr. Norris asked to add CATEC to the list.
Mr. Jones said we can discuss these locations with the transit consultant.
Mr. Huja said the new position at Carver should not be created; the old one should come
back instead. Mr. Daly said operations among Parks departments have grown exponentially, and
staff has been able to operate all facilities without additional positions until this point in time.
With the reopening of Carver and expansion of that facility, an additional position is needed.
Ms. Beauregard reviewed FY 2013 General Fund Expenditures fixed costs, which
include fuel, HVAC, equipment replacement, and compensation and benefits.
Ms. Szakos asked if LEED-certified building occupants are paying a lower rate because
they are more efficient. Ms. Mueller said no. Mr. Watts said departments cannot pick which
buildings they will be in.
Mr. Norris said he supports bonuses of a flat dollar amount instead of as a percentage of
salary. Mr. Jones said the flat bonuses in the past were from a surplus fund. Ms. Szakos said she
agreed with Mr. Norris. Mr. Huja said he supports giving bonuses during hard times. Ms. Szakos
said if the City instead contributed more to healthcare, it could be pre-tax. Staff reminded
Council that the bonus was one-time, and using it towards healthcare could be complicated.
Ms. Beauregard reviewed living wage issues. Mr. Huja asked what the basis for the $13
living wage estimate was. Mr. Jones replied that the living wage campaign at the University is
basing it on EPI estimates, who gave the UVA Living Wage campaign unofficial updated figures
for 2012. Mr. Norris said we should find a commonly agreed upon formula for what the living
wage index should be. Ms. Galvin said we need to be careful with our money and thoroughly
study the issue because some studies show raising the wage does not necessarily help the poorest
workers as much as policy changes could. Mr. Huja said we should discover what the right
number is, and if that is $13, he is supportive of making sure we are paying it to all. Ms. Smith
asked for more information on temporary and seasonal employees, especially because there are
so many of them. Staff will research these items further and report back to Council.
Ms. Smith asked what portion of the rates is going to providing utilities, and what portion
goes towards taxes, pilot, etc. Staff said they would return an answer before the next scheduled
utility rate discussion.
Ms. Colette Hall asked Ms. Beauregard what the annual $330,000 payment to the new
fire station includes. Ms. Beauregard said it covers operating costs for the fire station, not
including salaries and benefits. Ms. Hall asked what the additional $200,000 in revenue per year
from the Carver Recreation Center was coming from. Ms. Beauregard said the funds would be
generated through programming, banquets, lease payments from Martha Jefferson Hospital for
their Wellness Clinic, new classes and programs, access passes, and other services. Ms. Hall
asked why City assessments have not dropped when property value has declined by 32%,
according to an article in The Hook. Mr. Barbour said assessments are also based on area sales.
Mr. Norris asked for a breakdown for the fire station payment.
A citizen asked for user-friendly non-technical language for the budget when staff
disseminates information to residents. Mr. Jones said we will continue to keep this in mind. Ms.
Beauregard said there are copies of the budget available in the library and in the City Manager’s
office for citizens who do not have web access.
Ms. Smith asked to see expenditures matched with the revenues it creates more clearly
displayed in the report.