Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blog #39 - Council Action from the July 7, 2010 Meeting

Council Reviews Town Budget, Master Fees

The Town Council reviewed the draft 2010/11 Town Budget and first passed a resolution to continue expenditures and revenues in accordance with the 2009/10 budget and directed staff to return to the next council meeting with recommended changes to the budget to balance the $205,000 deficit.

The Town Council also reviewed all of the proposed changes to the fees the Town charges for all services. The fees are based on a fully burdened labor rate and none of the fees charged are more than the cost of providing the service. It is necessary to review fees at this time because the Town has not raised fees for more than three and a half years. Council Member Bragman expressed concern over the increases in many of the fees and wondered about the ability of the public to pay them. Mayor Tremaine commented that the Town General Fund has been subsidizing many fee for service activities for many years and there is a need to have the fees right priced to avoid further subsidization from the General Fund. The Council will review the proposed fee changes again at the August 4, 2010 Council meeting at which time the public can comment at a public hearing.

Other actions taken at the Regular Meeting on July 7th, 2010:

• Appointed Mimi Newton, Jack Judkins, and Helen Fauss to serve another four-year term on the Open Space Committee. Appointed Chelsea Donovan to a four-year term on the Open Space Committee. Also appointed Laura Kehrlein to serve another three year term on the Design Review Board. Appointed Karl Varvek to serve a three year term on the Design Review Board.

• Received a report that Pacific Slope, Tree Masters, and the Tree Man were awarded a contract under the Hazardous Fuel Elimination Grant to provide tree trimming, brush clearing and tree removal services.

• Adopted a Resolution in opposition to Proposition 23, and effort to delay the implementation of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act)

• Received the Grand Jury Report “The Cost of Governance: Local Control Comes at a Price”

• Discuss and considered contracting out the business license renewal process. After some discussion the Council gave direction to staff to come back at the next Council meeting with a proposal to contract out the program in order to reduce the cost of collecting the business license fee and increase revenues through better data management and enforcement.

• Approved an Agreement with Camille Esposito to provide Youth Services as part of the FOCUS (Fairfax Open Circle Arts). The Youth Services budget ($18,000 per year) is part of the Measure I funds voters approved in November 2009.

• Discussed the progress being made on the updating of the General Plan and reviewed the draft Open Space, Land Use and Noise Elements of the General Plan. The Council will review all the elements of the draft General Plan in the ensuing months.

• Agreed to intervene in the City and County of San Francisco motion at the California Public Utilities Commission to suspend deployment of Smart Meters and agreed to have staff bring back a draft ordinance at the next meeting banning the installation of Smart Meters in Fairfax.