Finance Committee, November 2017

November 27th, 2017  |  Published in Observer Reports

Finance Committee
Nov. 20, 2017

Members Present: Council members Nancy Moore (chair), Sean Malone, Earl Williams, and Rob Zimmerman; citizen members Martin Kolb and Linda Lalley
Others present: Mayor Earl Leiken, Chief Administrative Officer Jeri Chaikin, Chief of Police Ed DeMuth, Principal Planner Ann Klavora, Finance Director Robert Baker, Law Director William Gruber

The meeting was called to order by Ms. Moore at 7:30 a.m.

 Agenda—Committee actions:

1. The minutes of the Oct. 16, 2017, meeting were approved.

2. Chief DeMuth presented his recommendation to approve the transfer of Police “Personal Service” appropriations to Police “Other” appropriations in an amount of $35,250 to pay for one year of a three-year Support and Maintenance agreement and for the cost related to the data conversion from the police department’s current public safety software to the new Records Management System (RMS) purchased from TAC Computer. The cost of Shaker’s present RMS is $66,000 per year. It is not compatible with the RMS system used by most neighboring municipalities. The Heights Hillcrest Communication Center (HHCC) and the Chagrin Valley Dispatch Council (CVD) have converted to TAC software for Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Mobile Reporting (MR), funded by a Cuyahoga County grant. Shaker Heights is a member of HHCC and is therefore using the TAC software for CAD and MR functions. The cost of the TAC system for RMS would be $28,994 per year, thus saving $37,006 annually. The one-time data conversion cost is $10,000.

Ms. Moore summarized the savings for the city and then asked for questions and comments. Mr. Kolb asked how many neighboring cities are part of the two dispatch systems. Chief DeMuth’s answer: 45 of 67 emergency agencies are in the HHCC and CVD. Ms. Moore asked how the startup of TAC at HHCC has been. Chief DeMuth said there have been some bumps that have been ironed out now. Although HHCC at Severance is already live, Mr. Kolb asked why Shaker would move money when Shaker has excess capital needs. Mayor Leiken said this was a good question. Shaker has infrastructure needs and not enough funds to deal with them, and in addition it has to deal with any emergencies that arise. Chief DeMuth said they had reviewed the existing New World system and the one-time interface cost to HHCC would be approximately $30,000 versus an interface cost of $13,000 for the TAC system. Mayor Leiken commented this would be fiscally responsible and not require new debt. Ms. Moore asked for any further questions, and after hearing none she summarized the request and asked for a motion. Mr. Kolb moved to accept the recommendation, Mr. Malone seconded the motion and it was approved.

3. Chief DeMuth presented his recommendation to approve the services agreement with the Cuyahoga County OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) Task Force Court for use toward additional traffic enforcement patrols as soon as possible, and accept funds in the amount of $9,500 being offered as a grant by the Cuyahoga County OVI Task Force. The Safety and Public Works Committee recommended approval of this request at its Nov. 3 meeting.

The funds would be used as overtime pay for officers to target OVI offenses, not for general policing. Officers would only stop drivers for suspicion of OVI offenses. Mr. Zimmerman asked if there were any additional audit requirements for this grant. Chief DeMuth responded that Sgt. Martin would file a two-page report each month. Mr. Kolb asked if this was only overtime duty and Chief DeMuth confirmed. Mr. Williams asked if juveniles and/or adults were targeted. Chief DeMuth replied that adults were targeted. Ms. Moore asked for any further questions, and after hearing none she summarized the request and asked for a motion. Mr. Kolb moved to accept the recommendation, Mr. Malone seconded the motion and it was approved.

4. Principal Planner Ann Klavora presented her recommendation for authorization of an application for, and acceptance of, a grant up to $75,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant would be used to implement new public art guided by an ongoing visioning process and stemming from recommendations in the 2016 Van Aken District Connections Plan. A one-to-one match is required, and sufficient funds are currently budgeted to meet this requirement. The City Planning Commission recommended approval of this request at its Nov. 8 meeting.

RMS Investment Corp., the developer and manager of the Van Aken Center, is the primary stakeholder and is very supportive of pursuing this grant. The grant is competitive and applications are due in March 2018. Shaker wishes to be prepared by January in order to get early comment on our application. Mr. Williams asked how competitive this process would be. Ms. Klavora stated the grant was national in scope and therefore would be very competitive. Mr. Williams continued, asking if there would be levels of competitions, such as state or regional competition, prior to a final decision. Ms. Klavora answered no, only national, and that Christian Roadman has prepared the application. Ms. Moore confirmed the one-to-one matching funds have been budgeted. Mr. Malone asked how these budgeted funds would be used if Shaker did not win the grant. Ms. Klavora said the funds were part of the public art fund and would be used for other art projects. Ms. Moore asked for any further questions, and after hearing none she summarized the request and asked for a motion. Mr. Williams moved to accept the recommendation, Mr. Kolb seconded the motion and it was approved.

5. Chief Administrative Officer Jeri Chaikin presented her recommendation to authorize the contract between the city and the County Board of Health for the year 2018, at a cost of $117,206. The State of Ohio has adopted a requirement that all city health departments become accredited by the federal Public Health Accreditation Board by July 1, 2020, or lose necessary funding from the Ohio Department of Health. Our Health Department cannot achieve public health accreditation without substantial additional resources and reorganization. Health services for city prisoners are now provided by Cuyahoga County in the Solon facility. Resident services would be provided by Cuyahoga County at their existing accredited facilities. Mayor Leiken stated that consolidation with the county health department is responsive to Shaker residents’ fiscal concerns, as was the consolidation of the building and housing departments, and results in maximizing savings to deal with broader challenges “down the road.” Mr. Williams stated the present per capita health department cost is $4.12, that costs for other communities are rising, and asked if that rate would increase after consolidation. Ms. Chaikin replied the cost will probably increase regardless of where the service is offered. Mr. Williams asked what the savings are. Ms. Chaikin replied the savings would be $245,000 per year. Mr. Malone asked if all neighboring cities were now part of the county system. Mr. Gruber responded that Shaker is the only city not part of the county health system. Ms. Lalley asked what services might no longer be offered. Ms. Chaikin said that all services would transfer to county facilities except blood pressure screening, which would be performed at South Pointe Hospital. Mayor Leiken asked if transportation would continue to be provided. Ms. Chaikin clarified that transportation would continue to be provided for seniors, but not for other residents and children. Ms. Moore asked for any further questions, and after hearing none she summarized the request and asked for a motion. Mr. Williams moved to accept the recommendation, Mr. Malone seconded the motion and it was approved.

6. Director of Finance Robert Baker presented his recommendation that the Then and Now Certificate presented for various transactions and their payments be approved. A motion was made and approved.

Ms. Moore adjourned the meeting at 8:27 a.m.
Frank Goforth

Comments are closed.