2/4/19 – Finance Commission Meeting Highlights

Present: Roger Sievers (Fox), Jim Shute (Shea), Russell Stein (Wagner), Dale Cheema (Khan), Tanja Fournier (Kuo).

Chair Stein welcomed the two new Finance Commissioners – Tanja Fournier & Dale Cheema.

The Orange County Office on Aging

The Orange County Office on Aging wants to give the City an increase of $66,757 to fund the elderly nutrition program, nutrition transportation, case management, and in-home service. The Commission is recommending the City Council to accept this additional Title III grant money.

2Q Budget Update – Fiscal Year 2018-19

City staff presented a brief report. As of the end of the 2nd quarter, the City is projected to have a positive 4.3 Million dollars by the end of the year compared to the budget forecast created at the beginning of the year. A series of community budget neighborhood meetings is scheduled to kick-off in March. The public is encouraged to attend and ask questions.   

Two Agenda Items were put forward by Commissioner Shute for discussion & direction.

  1. Recommend a Veterans Cemetery Site to City Council. Shute stated that he personally wanted to push forward one site based on the financials provided for the Council to pursue. Stein responded that funding sources, not the location, were the decision before the Commission. He feels that the location and size of the cemetery are up to the City Council. Finance Commission discussion also included: whether the City is only responsible for the land and road structure and not actual construction costs. The question of where in the budget do we have city funds available for cemetery construction was a major theme. Fournier wanted much more information (design plans, detailed financials, etc.) for both sites before moving forward on a site recommendation. After discussion Commissioner Shute agreed to table this item.

Public Comments. One person said the SoCal Veterans Cemetery was promised to the community since 2014 at the original ARDA site and that the plan was well down the road including the 30 million approved for inclusion in the State budget before a new council changed its direction. Another speaker noted that the lengthy Veterans Cemetery concept plan and design plan  (333 page Owen report) completed for the ARDA site isn’t done for the golf course site, and that any Commission recommendation made without this type of information for both sites is  just “guesswork.”

No vote was taken.

  1. Recommend to increase the stipend for all City Commissioners to City Council. This item was discussed and will return before the Commission for further discussion after more data is provided by City staff. Stipends for the commissioner positions were last adjusted in 2004. Discussion included gathering compensation data on other commission stipends from similar cities and getting information on city council stipends including when was the last time they had an increase.

No vote was taken.