Edmonds resident Harry Gatjens is providing regular reports to My Edmonds News on the workings of the 2010 Citizens Levy Committee.
The Edmonds Citizens Levy Committee will have its third meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the bracket Meeting Room at City Hall. Our second meeting was held two weeks ago, and the committee was split into subgroups in order to handle the wide variety of issues that need to be examined.
The Levy Committee is made up of the following people:
Members: Barbara Chase, John Reed, Jessie Beyer, Darrol Haug, Harry Gatjens, Bill Vance, Eve Wellington and John Carlin.
Moderators: Diane Buckshnis, Michael Plunkett
Staff Liaisons: Debi Humann, Stephen Clifton
The committee was assigned the following items, by the City Council, as to the scope of our investigations:
-Augmenting General Fund (levy)
-Review City Departments (compare with other cities)
– Capital Targets of Opportunity (levy or bond or refinancing bonds and/or both)
– Review Compliance with Policies (especially the new financial policies
The subgroups we have been split into are:
– Expenditures Review – Eve and Barbara (ex: weekly expenses; consultant fees; labor trends, etc.)
– Revenue Review – Jessie and Bill (ex: bond refinancing; emails on web; tourism, etc.)
– Levy Committee – Harry and John R (ex: financial modeling; general fund movement; compliance, etc.)
– Capital Planning – Darrol, Bill and John C (ex: Yost Pool, Senior Center; Civic Playfield, etc.)
The committee is working to come up with recommendations for the Council on how maintain the economic integrity of the City. Whether it be from increasing revenues, decreasing expenditures, additional taxing (a levy or other tax type). The goal is to know what needs to be done for the next five years.
We have been asked to ensure that the City ends up with a minimum one month of cash reserve at all times. This is a standard recommended by the Government Financial Offices Association (GFOA). We are not to deal with the City’s separate emergency fund, which the council established for use in case of an catastrophic emergency. This fund is $1,927,600 and is in the truest sense of the words, a “rainy day fund.”
The Committee is looking for input from the citizens of Edmonds. You can help by talking about the issues with your friends, emailing ideas to the committee, supporting the city staff and the committee with constructive suggestions, come to our meetings and think how much you are willing to contribute to the financial needs of your city.