Control: Economic Development and Human Services Committee
File Name: BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS
Agenda Date: 8/22/2007
Agenda Item Number:
Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
Economic Development and Human Services Committee
Report received as corrected
Commissioner Moss noted he identified some common issues in the memorandums from the Committee members. He noted the need to have further discussions on identifying the funding sources or to allow the County Mayor or Manager to comeback with recommendations in conjunction with the Commission Auditor. He stressed the need to identify the Committee budget priorities.
Commissioner Jordan had concerns regarding the County Commission using the Committee process to set budget priorities; however, she thought the Committee could review a couple of budget categories. She noted the only potential funding source for Committee priorities was the Countywide General Fund due to restrictions on the use of other funding sources.
Ms. Jennifer Glazer-Moon, Director, Office of Strategic Business Management (OSBM), informed the Committee that it needed to focus on the Countywide General Fund. She noted the Unincorporated Municipal Service Areas (UMSA) General Fund may fund some activities in the County departments that reported to this Committee, depending upon the nature of the activity. Ms. Glazer-Moon pointed out staff could assist the Committee by identifying other funding sources for eligible activities under this Committee’s jurisdiction.
Following Chairwoman Edmonson’s comments regarding the identification of the budget priorities today (8/22) and of the funding sources at the First Budget Hearing, September 6, 2007, Commissioner Jordan stated that the identification of the recommended funding source today would help the County Administration and Committee members instead of waiting until September.
Commissioner Moss informed the Committee of his request for a report of all of the County reserve accounts. He noted that information was needed prior to discussing the Committee budget priorities.
Commissioner Moss asked if Mr. Glazer-Moon could provide a broad overview of the funding gap for human services and economic development projects/activities. He also asked for staff to provide additional information on the status of the County’s self-insured healthcare plan and the proposed $50 million savings.
Chairwoman Edmonson concurred with Commissioner Moss regarding information on the status of the County’s self-insured healthcare plan and asked the OSBM Director to provide that information at today’s meeting.
Chairwoman Edmonson presented and provided a summary of the Committee budget priorities based upon the memorandums submitted by Committee members included in today’s agenda package. She indicated she has reviewed the following issues for inclusion in the Committee’s memorandum:
-that the Community Action Agency (CAA) should not be merged with another County department, and should remain as a separate department and funded at its current level.
-that the 400 CAA Head Start/Early Head Start Program slots recommended in the proposed budget for transfer to delegated agencies should remain with the County, and request the County Manager to identify the $716,000 required to maintain these slots.
-that the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program, a successful county-wide program offering assistance and a unique opportunity to small businesses that benefit their local communities, should be maintained at its current funding level.
-that the Metro-Miami Action Plan (MMAP) should be maintained as an independent entity with its current level of funding, and that all other funding sources currently governed by MMAP should also be maintained.
-that the Community-based organization (CBO) funding should be maintained at its current level of funding for this fiscal year in order to avoid interruption of service; and an assessment of the current CBO process should occur prior to funding cuts.
-that the Department of Human Services (DHS) should be maintained at its current level rather than reduced in order to monitor the CBO funding process.
-that the County’s General Fund for the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) in the amount of $687,000 should be placed in abeyance until the final outcome of the possible United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) takeover, and if the MDHA was transferred to the Federal Government these General fund dollars should be used for other County needs.
-that the Greater Miami Service Corps funding should be maintained at its current FY 2006-07 funding level.
-that a list of all of the County reserves should be made available to meet priority needs.
-that consideration be given as offered by the incoming Urban Economic Revitalization Task Force (UERTF) Chair to move the remaining UERTF staff to the Office of the Commission Auditor instead of the Office of Community and Economic Development.
Responding to the Committee’s request for a status of the budget category for economic development projects/activities, Ms. Glazer-Moon noted a number of memorandums that were sent to BCC members during the Property Tax Reform discussion, which depended upon the ultimate outcome of the special budget legislative session.
Responding to Commissioner Moss and Chairwoman Edmonson’s inquiry regarding the status of the proposed savings for the County’s self-insured healthcare plan, Ms. Glazer-Moon inform the Committee of the County’s self-insurance healthcare funding gap was approximately $90 million, which was less revenue saved through self-insurance. She questioned whether that was the funding gap in the proposed budget the County was attempting to close by recommending other reductions included in proposed budget.
In connection with the Committee's budget discussion, Ms. Glazer-Moon proceeded to advise the Committee that reductions existed in almost every tax supported department. She pointed out no across-the-board reductions were recommended. Ms. Glazer-Moon noted staff also took into consideration during the discussion for Property Tax Reform and Relief, and the concerns rose regarding the types of budget items that would be reduced. She noted certain items could not have significant reduction, such as the cost of operating correctional facilities. Ms. Glazer-Moon noted the County Manager’s proposed budget had some built-in flexibility and the County Manager’s budget message referenced an $11 million reserve created for County services, which was a combination of Countywide and UMSA General Funds to address those areas that the BCC identified as priorities for funding. She indicated all of the information she was providing, including the reserve information, was included in the proposed budget; and that she would meet with Commissioner Moss to ensure he had all of the information. Ms. Glazer-Moon pointed out staff was preparing a comprehensive report outlining the appropriated dollars.
A discussion ensued between Commissioner Moss and Ms. Glazer-Moon regarding the difference in the cost increase for the budget associated with growth and personnel costs.
Commissioner Jordan asked that a review concerning the $11 million reserve identified by Ms. Glazer-Moon be added as a Committee priority; and that this review be conducted before instructing staff to shift funds. Commissioner Jordan suggested commission districts’ priorities be ranked. She expressed concern that the $11 million would not be sufficient to respond to all commission district needs.
A discussion ensued between Ms. Glazer-Moon and Commissioner Jordan regarding the Table of Organization for the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Community Action Agency (CAA) and the new Office of Community Services along with the budget for these departments as separate entities.
Commissioner Jordan asked the Office of Strategic Business Management Director to provide a copy of the draft Table of Organization for the proposed Office of Community Services to the members of the County Commission.
Commissioner Jordan noted that she would send her questions regarding the difference reflected in the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the number of Early Head Start slots versus the allocated slots; and also, for the greater than $1,300 difference in the per slot funding amount. She expressed concern with whether the BCC had a true picture of the balanced budget for Head Start because of the significant cost increase.
Commissioner Jordan informed the Committee that the BCC Chairman and she received telephone calls regarding concerns with the County’s Early Head Start program. She noted a Sunshine meeting was scheduled for August 23, 2007, to discuss this matter with the Atlanta, Georgia, Office of Community Action Agency.
Responding to Chairwoman Edmonson’s inquiry regarding loss of grant funding for DHS, Ms. Glazer-Moon noted a reduction in the grant funding for DHS. She stated detailed information could be provided to Chairwoman Edmonson later in the day.
A brief discussion ensued between Chairwoman Edmonson and Ms. Glazer-Moon regarding the grant funding that was not based on consolidating DHS and CAA, but based on improving the delivery of services by the County.
Following Ms. Glazer-Moon noting she would follow-up with Commissioner Jordan’s request regarding the Table of Organization, Chairwoman Edmonson asked that the information requested by Commissioner Jordan be provided to all Committee members.
Commissioner Jordan asked Chairwoman Edmonson to consider adding as a Committee priority that proposed cuts occur across-the-board for the County.
Chairwoman Edmonson asked the Office of Strategic Business Management Director to provide a report identifying the number of upper administrative positions and salaries of those County employees, across-the-board.
Ms. Glazer-Moon provided a brief overview of the County Department directors’ role in the County’s budget process who worked with the assigned OSBM Budget Analyst.
Discussion ensued among Chairwoman Edmonson, Commissioner Moss and Ms. Glazer-Moon regarding the proposed recommendation to eliminate the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program, and the need to support this program due to its efforts in this community.
Commissioner Moss asked that staff make every effort to identify and maintain the current level of funding support for the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program in the amount of $1.95 million.
Commissioner Jordan suggested that all of the Committee’s budget priorities be prepared for submission to the BCC Chairman and the County Manager. In addition, she asked that the budget priorities include the funding levels for the budget priorities specifically for CAA and the Early Head Start Program.
Chairwoman Edmonson advised the Committee members of her intent to prepare a Committee’s memorandum to the BCC Chairman Bruno Barreiro, the County Mayor, the County Manager and the BCC Commission Auditor regarding the Committee’s budget priorities. In addition, this memorandum would outline the funding amount needed for these priorities, as recommended by Commissioner Jordan.
Later in the meeting, following the discussion on Agenda Item 3B, the Committee resumed its consideration of the foregoing item pertaining to budget recommendations.
Commissioner Moss informed the Committee that he received information for discussion by the Committee regarding the Urban Economic Revitalization Task Force (UERTF) and its contribution to the economic development in the County. He noted the current recommendation was to transfer the UERTF function into the OCED.
Ms. Karen Moore, Executive Director, UERTF, provided an overview of the Task Force and the purpose for the creation of the Task Force. She pointed out the Office of the Mayor and the BCC created the Task Force for the purpose of evaluating the trends and tendencies of public investments in target urban areas (TUAs). She indicated the Task Force reviewed investments in the TUAs. Ms. Moore noted the Task Force devised a series of projects based on findings from a series of annual studies and community roundtable discussions that illustrated when certain flexibility was applied to economic development initiatives new results could be seen.) Ms. Moore pointed out prior to the creation of the Task Force, investments through loans and grants were very low in the TUAs; and that the only exclusive investment in the TUAs was Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. She indicated UERTF entreaties to the BCC resulted in the Section 108 TUA Revolving Loan Fund being created as a collaborative initiative between the UERTF and the BCC. Ms. Moore noted there have been recent issues raised regarding the Section 108 program, and the Audit and Management Services Department (AMS) recently visited the investment sites worth approximately $18 million. She noted that AMS sent her summaries of their investigations at the sites; and that one summary found businesses were operating and buildings were built in every investment that UERTF recommended. Ms. Moore noted the investment sites had not met the minimum job creation requirements governed by United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (USHUD). She concluded by highlighting certain projects in the community.
Mr. Charles Byrd, incoming Chair of the UERTF, informed the Committee of his prior experience as Beacon Council Director of Urban Initiatives. He noted the various projects initiated by the Task Force and that $15 million in Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program (GOB) funds was allocated to the Task Force to initiate commercial investments.
A brief discussion ensued in connection with the approximately $800,000 of the General Fund allocated to UERTF.
Ms. Moore continued her presentation and explained the process for the Section 108 Loan and US HUD’s requirements. She also provided an overview of the Task Force’s review of proposals to participate in their process.
Commissioner Moss questioned the impact of the County Manager’s budget recommendation for UERTF.
Responding to Commissioner Moss, Mr. Byrd reminded the Committee the BCC established the Task Force. He provided an overview of the primary function of UERTF to review the utilization of economic development funds and policy initiatives for Miami-Dade County’s targeted urban areas. Mr. Byrd further explained the Task Force would review how each County department was utilizing its funding for economic development initiatives in targeted urban areas. He noted the legislative initiatives and the economic development policies/initiatives would better serve the BCC if staff members from the Task Force were moved to the Commission Auditor’s Office.
Following the comments made by Commissioner Moss and Mr. Byrd regarding the resources used by the UERTF, Ms. Moore informed the Committee the Task Force used the annual reports by County departments to compile a comprehensive annual report regarding all of the County’s loan and grant programs for efficiency to ensure they were managed properly. She noted, in addition, the Task Force would review economic development programs administer between County departments and the Beacon Council because they were the primary facilitator for the tax abatement program. Ms. Moore informed the Committee that all of the annual results were published and within the next two weeks the BCC should receive this report. She pointed out this report would be a comprehensive analysis of all the economic development reports outlined by Commission Districts and by TUAs.
Responding to the comments made by Mr. Byrd regarding the UERTF staff being placed under the Commission Auditor, Mr. Charles Anderson, Commission Auditor, noted his discussions with some of the BCC members regarding the restructuring of the Legislative Analysis Office. He noted the intent of having a person on staff with Ms. Moore’s experience was to have a staff person who would provide an in-depth analysis of economic development proposals presented to the Board.
A discussion ensued among Commissioner Jordan, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Byrd regarding the County Manager’s recommendation to merge UERTF under the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), and the maintenance costs of operating the UERTF review policy.
Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry regarding how much of the $40 million in the Section 108 Fund was used, Ms. Moore noted approximately $25 million was used by UERTF over a five period.
Commissioner Jordan noted Jackson Memorial Hospital and other Miami-Dade County Dept/Agencies, and other entities were still committed to use the Poinciana Industrial Park area. She expressed the County Manager’s Office should continue to review this area because the concept was very viable.
Ms. Moore continued to discuss the funding for the Section 108 fund and noted three loans were overdue and OCED was communicating with those entities to address this issue.
Commissioner Jordan asked the County Attorney to prepare an item for the County Manager to apply for another Section 108 Loan in the amount of $25 million. She stated she would like to maintain the Task Force in its original structure.
Further discussion ensued among Committee members and Ms. Moore regarding County departments monitoring and tracking economic development projects.
Responding to Chairwoman Edmonson’s inquiry regarding UERTF staff being part of the Commission Auditor’s Office, Mr. Anderson stated UERTF staff’s expertise could help provide the BCC with a legislative analysis for economic development items.
Ms. Moore suggested that staff be allowed to meet with the Commission Auditor to discuss UERTF being part of the Commission Auditor’s Office and to submit a report to Chairwoman Edmonson.
Responding to Chairwoman Edmonson’s inquiry, Ms. Curry stated the appropriate discussion should occur among the County Mayor, the County Manager and Ms. Moore regarding UERTF staff being apart of the Commission Auditor’s Office.
Mr. Byrd stressed the need for UERTF to be maintained at the appropriate funding level.
Ms. Curry noted one of the reasons for the recommendation for UERTF to be placed in OCED was to create more synergy with economic development projects. She stated the BCC and the County Mayor created the Task Force and the Manager had recommended changing it. Ms. Curry stated UERTF would continue to be staffed by the OCED. She pointed out the Task Force would not be without staff support to continue their function of making recommendations to the Manager and the Mayor’s office for the $15 million of GOB.
Chairwoman Edmonson stated she would schedule a meeting with the County Manager, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Byrd to further discuss the County Manager’s recommendation pertaining to UERTF.
Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry concerning what authority created the UERTF, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks stated the Board created the Task Force by the adoption of an ordinance as recommended by the County Mayor.
Commissioner Jordan expressed that she wanted to ensure that the mission and vision of the Task Force would continue. She expressed concern with bifurcating UERTF’s role into the Commission Auditor’s Office and the OCED. Commissioner Jordan stated priority should be given to retaining the current structure for UERTF.
Ms. Curry explained very few of UERTF recommendations on economic development were presented to the Board. Therefore, staff had on-going discussions with Ms. Moore and UERTF to develop a better approach for a greater impact on the economic development recommendations presented to the BCC for consideration.
A discussion ensued between Ms. Moore and Commissioner Jordan regarding the review, the evaluation process, and other methods to improve the process conducted by the Task Force in making recommendations concerning economic development.
Commissioner Jordan noted an area to be addressed was how other County departments’ funds were spent in TUAs, such as Miami-Dade Water and Sewer, Public Works, and Department of Environmental Resources Management.
Mr. Byrd informed the Committee that the Task Force has reviewed infrastructure priorities throughout the TUAs and the use of GOB funds for infrastructure initiatives.
Chairwoman Edmonson reiterated her request to schedule a meeting with the County Manager’s Office, Mr. Byrd, and Ms. Moore to discuss UERTF and the merger of the Task Force functions.
Following Commissioner Moss’ comments regarding the proposed County Manager’s budget recommendation to reduce funding for CBOs, Mr. Anderson spoke in support of the Committee’s budget priority to maintain CBO funding at its current level. In addition, he stated all CBOs should be required to competitively compete for funding through a new process for all CBOs. He noted this process would commence on July 1, 2008.
Commissioner Moss recommended that all of the current CBOs funded through a competitive process should continue through June 2008, at their current funding level.
Chairwoman Edmonson stated she would not support the County Manager’s proposed budget cuts to the CBO funding. She also expressed a concern with the potential adverse impact countywide.
Mr. Walter Hardemon, Executive Director, Youth of America, Inc., 6102 NW 7 Avenue, appeared before the Committee, and concurred with the comments made by Chairwoman Edmonson and Commissioner Moss regarding the impact to CBOs. He noted if the CBO budget cut was approved his organization would have to close. Mr. Hardemon noted his efforts to seek funding from the Children’s Trust and the City of Miami. He urged the Committee to oppose the County Manager’s recommendation for a budget cut to the CBO funding process.
Commissioner Jordan asked Senior Advisor Cynthia Curry to conduct a comprehensive review of all County departments to determine the feasibility of reasonable mergers and reconsolidation for potential cost savings from a reduction in top level administrators. Therefore, those savings could be used to fund community-based organizations (CBO).
Commissioner Moss asked staff to review a list of all County reserves available to meet priority needs.
Commissioner Moss noted the savings to the County through self-insurance that were applied to lower the premiums paid by County employees.
Responding to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry regarding County employees merit and longevity increases covered under collective bargaining agreements, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks asked that she be allowed to contact the assigned assistant county attorney to follow-up with Commissioner Moss on this issue.
Chairwoman Edmonson asked the Commission Auditor to provide a report of the issues raised at today’s Committee meeting outlining the funding amount and to provide this report to the County Administration.
Following Ms. Curry’s brief overview of the Committee priorities discussed at today’s meeting (8/22), Chairwoman Edmonson added a review of the $11 million in countywide reserves and the reduction in the County Administration as a priority.
Chairwoman Edmonson noted her staff would consult with the County Administration to schedule the next Committee meeting.
Hearing no further comments from Committee members, the Committee received the foregoing report as corrected.
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