Welcome to the first edition of the Manager’s Memo. In this monthly memo, I hope to bring you information about items of interest that the Town is working on for you. The purpose of this memo is to get information out to you about your Town. I truly believe this is your Town and staff works for you. Please let me know of things you would like me to write about, at firstname.lastname@example.org This memo will not address issues on an individual basis, but will cover the topics you want more information on.
Appeal of Lawsuit to stop the November election:
Staff attended the appeal hearing at the Appellate Court in Tucson on September 17. The Appeal hearing lasted one hour. Attorney’s for both sides presented their case and answered questions from the three judge panel. The issues this time revolved around the state statutes and their interpretations. As you have probably heard by now, the Town won the Appeal so the election is on for November 4.
Car Show is moving to the Casino:
Staff met with the new organizers of the Car Show. The meeting was called by the organizers to explain why the Show will not be on Main Street in April 2008. They said that the move was non-negotiable. Reasons given were 1) The Main Street Merchants were unhappy when the show was on Main Street because they felt they received no business during that time. 2) The entrants in the show did not like the fact that once they were in their spots on Main Street, they could not leave when they wanted to. 3) Broadcasting news and events was hard due to the length of Main Street. 4) The Show experienced problems with Town requirements (Fire, in particular), although they would not give me the details, but they did say the Fire staff was very polite, but unable to compromise for their needs. They do expect the same support from the Town that they have received in the past, even though the location has changed. More on this subject in the future as the event gets closer.
As you may have heard, after the 08/09 budget was adopted, we received word of some unexpected costs we would have, as well as some reductions in expected revenues from the state. This is the same scenario that other cities/towns face as we are required to adopt our budgets by a date set by the state statutes. The State budget was passed after our required adoption date. 1) We were told that we would have to pay to send evidence to the DPS Crime Lab. This has been free in the past, but their budget was cut by the State. The original expected cost was around $113,000 to do the same level of submittals we did last year. After hearing how this would affect all local governments, the Governor was able to move State funding around and reduced the original cut to DPS. Although, we won’t have to pay the $113,000, we still don’t know what the cost will be. We did not budget any amount for Crime Lab services. 2) The State had a line in the budget that said that local governments had to pay back to the State around $29 million. Our share is around $75,000. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is taking the State to Court as they believe this is unconstitutional. If they fail, most likely there will have to be a Constitutional amendment to allow the local governments to pay. Per state statutes, once we submit our expenditure amount to the state, we cannot exceed that amount. To pay this cost, we would have to exceed out expenditure amount (as will all other local governments). This amount was not budgeted, nor do we have the funds to pay it at this time. 3) HURF funding was cut around $177,000. This amount was not known at the time of the budget creation, so the expected revenues are higher than what the actual revenue will be. We have further reduced HURF expenditures to cover this amount. More on these budget items as they become settled.
I will end this first memo with these items and will bring you updates and new items each month.