Sebastopol City Council preview

By Zoë Strickland, Managing Editor, SoCoNews, June 15, 2021

city council preview

The Sebastopol City Council meeting on June 15 is all public hearings — one for the annual solid waste collection adjustment and one for the 2021-22 city budget. The council had another public hearing planned, for the city’s Capital Improvement Program, but it’s anticipated that it will be continued to June 21. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is being held virtually over Zoom and via the city’s livestream page. To view the council agenda in its entirety and to peruse the various agenda packet items, go here.

The council will be asked to approve the following items as part of its consent calendar:

  • Approval of the minutes of the June 1 city council meeting
  • Approval of extension of the emergency proclamation proclaiming a local emergency due to COVID-19
  • Approval of Modification 1 to contract amendment #24 for on-call engineering consultant services with GHD Inc.
  • Approval of letter support for grant application for Civic Spark
  • Approve to raise the progressive pride flag at City Hall annually during the month of June

The council has no presentations and no regular agenda plans, and will instead be holding multiple public hearings.

First, it will be holding a public hearing for the annual rate adjustments for solid waste collection services.

According to the council agenda, the rates are proposed to change as such: “Single family rate change for single cans weekly pick-up would range between 2.1-2.3% per month, with the actual monthly rate changes effectively in the range of 28 cents per month to $1.53 per month; the most commonly used 32 gallon size would rise 52 cents per month. Commercial single can and bin weekly pick-up rates are requested to rise in the range of 0.8-1.0% per month. The actual monetary amount of the commercial single can and single bin increases between $0.19 per month and $6.38 per month; while the often used 4 cubic yard bin weekly pick-up would be increased by $4.87 per month.”

City budget

The council will also be holding a public hearing for its 2021-22 budget. The hearing will include a report out from the city’s budget subcommittee, a presentation of budget details, a discussion about the budget details and any additional budget requests, a presentation and proposal on a request for funding for community vitality from vitality consultant CoMission and a presentation and proposal on a request for funding for West County Community Services.

While Tuesday night’s meeting has a scheduled budget hearing, the council agenda has a disclaimer that the city anticipates the budget to take more than one meeting, and that the city has set aside future meetings on June 21 and June 30 if desired.

According to the council agenda packet, the proposed budget assumes a deficit of $1.25 million, and the city’s budget subcommittee is seeking direction regarding weather the council wants to reduce the deficit by adjusting budgeted expenditures or if it wants to approve the use of reserve funds to balance the budget.

New initiatives and department proposals included in the budget, according to the council agenda, include;

  1. Relaunch Sebastopol to secure a marketing consultant services which also includes landscaping contract for beautification of city locations. The placeholder amount of $74,000.
  2. Partner with West County Community Services for a wide range of services to address homelessness program. The placeholder amount of $72,000.
  3. Proposal to engage a municipal finance consultant to evaluate management of assets, review reserve account allocations and examine potential revenue enhancements. The placeholder amount of $30,000.
  4. Funding for consultant to provide a study on long range fire service. The placeholder amount is in the amount of $40,000.
  5. Proposed set aside of $15,000 for sponsorship pilot program (draft policy attached).
  6. Proposed funding of $11,000 for Sebastopol Sea Serpents due to impact of fireworks event closure (if approved, it is requested this funding be included in the Community Benefit Grant program).
  7. Proposed funding of $29,000 for Civic Sparks.
  8. Placeholder of $80,000 expenditure in FY 21 22 for a Fire Engine replacement/purchase that will be funded by Equipment, Technology & Vehicle Replacement Reserve Fund. Final figures to be determined based upon bid process.Set aside funding of $10,300 for Map Your Neighborhood and update to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Plan.
  9. Transfer of $28,000 to pension reserve.
  10. Proposed funding request for Community Vitality Contract (CoMission) with a placeholder of $72,000.
  11. Administrative Services Reorganization. On Dec. 1, 2020, city staff brought an agenda item for position reclassifications for the reorganization of the Administrative Services Department. At that time the item was postponed until the new budget FY 2021-22. The Budget Committee reviewed the request and initially deferred filling the positions until mid-year budget review (Jan-Feb 2022). However, city staff recently received the notice of resignation of one of the temporary personnel and believe it would be in the best interest of the city to move forward with the reorganization with hiring of one employee prior to January 2022. The current budget contains the costs of the reclassified positions. However, staff is recommending hiring of one of the reclassified position to have someone bought on board by November 2022 to ensure a smooth transition. The additional cost for the additional two months would be $15,000.

To view the city’s proposed budget, go here.

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