December 21, 2009 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Finance Committee



Monday, December 21, 2009


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair

Councillor Linda Barnes

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Greg Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Bill McNulty

Councillor Harold Steves



Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:16 p.m.








It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on Monday, November 16, 2009, be adopted as circulated.












(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2777631)



Andrew Nazareth, General Manager, Business & Financial Services, provided background information and noted that the proposed 2010 Operating Budget is reflective of the reviving economy.  Mr. Nazareth further commented that the demand for City services such as the use of parks, recreation and cultural facilities, and Fire Rescue and RCMP services has increased.



Discussion ensued and in reply to queries from Committee, staff advised the following:




under the Community Charter, a 5 Year Financial Plan must be adopted annually by bylaw prior to the annual property tax bylaw deadline of May 15th;




the Community Safety Committee received a verbal update regarding the status of the ladder truck, where the Fire Chief advised that the purchase would be postponed in order to conduct a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to effectively integrate the ladder truck into Fire-Rescue operations; and




the ladder truck is included in the proposed budget for approval, however not in terms of funds for the 2010 operating budget as the operating budget impact would be phased in over three years.



Committee advised that the ladder truck should be taken out of the proposed budget as it has not been approved.



In response to queries about Victim Services and Communications, staff advised that (i) staff reviews were underway and will be brought before the appropriate Committee; (ii) Victim Services could be impacted by approximately $175,000 and Communications by approximately up to $100,000; (iii) any impact to Communications would be post-Games.



Committee stated that a strategy is needed to deal with these two components in the budget.



Discussion took place regarding RCMP surplus and a special fund established from the RCMP surplus was suggested.



Committee questioned the status of the Lubzinski Collection referral and staff advised that the referral requested that staff look at the possibility of funding the collection through the Road-End funding.



Discussion ensued regarding mandatory and discretionary training for employees.  Committee requested that a breakdown of the training costs be provided to Council, including the types of courses, the costs associated with the various courses, and the costs of mandatory versus discretionary training.



In response to a query from Committee, Mr. Nazareth explained that the shift of the tax burden from business to other classes has minimal impacts as it is spread across all classes.



Discussion took place regarding the City’s contracted wage settlement with CUPE locals, and George Duncan, Chief Administrative Officer, provided background information and stated that at the time there was a strong desire across the region to have certainty throughout the Games period, and Richmond was able to attain a settlement earlier than others.



A brief discussion ensued regarding the Hollybridge office and Robert Gonzalez, General Manager, Engineering and Public Works advised that the office space is transitioning from the Richmond Olympic Business Office to being utilized by the Project Development and Facility Services Department.  Also, Mr. Gonzalez commented that once the RCMP have relocated to their new facility, there will be an opportunity to relocate the Project Development and Facility Services Department to the current public safety building, therefore, terminating the current Hollybridge office lease if Council so wishes.



Discussion further ensued and in reply to queries from Committee, staff advised that (i) it is anticipated that the City Centre Community Centre proposed for Firbridge Way would begin construction in 2013; and (ii) less than 100 Richmond residents applied for tax deferment due to financial hardship.



As a result of the discussions, the following referral was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That the 2010 Operating Budget and 5 Year Financial Plan (2010 – 2014) report be referred back to staff for further information on:




the acquisition and the 2010 operating impacts of the Fire Rescue Ladder Truck;




Victim Services, and whether there are adjustments to be made in the proposed budget;




Communications, and whether there are adjustments to be made in the proposed budget;




what the budget would look like if it were presented in reduced increments;




the status of the Lubzinski Collection, budgetary and otherwise;




the plan for Britannia Heritage Shipyard, the Japanese’s Nurses Residence, and the Interurban Tram;




the training budget;




the status and future of the Hollybridge offices;




other ideas for revenue generation;




the temporary seasonal staffing complement, shown on a graph, from the beginning to the end of 2009 along with an analysis on the budgetary impacts if the employment dates for seasonal employees were changed;




City-issued cell phones and Blackberries, including comments on the policy, the number issued, and the plan rates; and




catering expenses including policy guidelines.


















It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:59 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, December 21, 2009.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie


Hanieh Floujeh

Acting Executive Assistant

City Clerk’s Office