I'm austin mayor lee

A quorum is present, so I'm
going to call this council
budget work session to order
2012 At 9:08 a.m.

We're meeting in the boards
and commissions room, austin
city h01 west second
street, austin, texas.

I believe the first
presentation today is not a
presentation, but first
discussion item is austin
police department.

And we'll just follow our


previously used procedure of
we'll go directly to
questions and answers.

We've all been furnished the
data on the police
department presentation.


Do you have any questions to
the police department

Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: I have a few
topics I wanted to ask

The first is that we
received -- last year we
commissioned a report from
perf that talked a lot about
utilization of our forces,
and had some
recommendations, some on

And I wonder if you could
talk a little bit about how
that has or will or won't
impact our budgets and how
we're going to be utilizing
our officers.

>> Sure.

Good morning.

Thank you, mayor and council
for this opportunity to come
before you.

It's always an honor and a
privilege to represent the
austin police department.

City manager, thanks for
your leadership and for
everything you do to help us
keep the city safe.

That perf report we're still

The essence of what it's
telling us.

In summary, in short what
it's telling us is what
we've already known, that
we're a very busy police
department that despite the
continued growth of the city
and despite the fact that
we're short on bodies as
that report indicates, that
we continue to see some
positive outcomes.

So the value and the
efficiency of the department
I think is something we aid
all take a little pride in.


In terms of the utilization
of resources, we agree with
the vast majority of what
they had to say in that

one, our
current staffing as it
relates to just sworn
personnel is not really
where it could be or should
be for a city of this size.

And two, there may be some
opportunities moving forward
in the future to look at
changing -- moving some of
the responsibilities to
non-sworn personnel where
you can achieve some
potential savings.

So with that said I think
that that's something that
moving forward we do want to
look at, but the
conversation can't just be
about changing positions or
moving responsibilities

It also has to be about the
appropriate level of sworn
staffing on the front end,
which we're not at right

>> Right.

Although I do notice that
they mentioned that we talk
a lot and have talked a lot
about the 2.0 per thousand.

They're calculating that the
numbers they're using that
were at 2.08.

Do you agree with that?

>> Well, yes or no.

Because they also included
the airport as part of their
calculation, which is the
airport operation is a
significantly sized
operation that the personnel
that are there are required
to remain at the airport and
they really can't be used
for the rest of our

And the second piece is that
at any given time we run
upwards of 10% vacancy rate.

We're never quite caught up.

Although we have the
authorized positions that
you give us, because of the
ongoing attrition or people
retiring and quit willing,
being fired, moving on to
other -- other -- although
you have the authorize
authorized strength, we
rarely are at the actual
operating strength of those

>> Morrison: So when we
0, we're
talking about more than 2.0.


I think that would be
interesting to make sure --
if you think that we really
need to section off the
airport police.

We ought to get those
calculations sort of sorted
out separately.

>> Yes.

Michael mcdonald, deputy
city manager.

And really, councilmember,
that's the way we've always
sort of approached this.

As everyone knows, long
ago -- when I say long ago,
about five, six years ago,
we had the departments that
were parks, airport and the
city marshals, they were
actually a separate

So historically we had
always done the calculations
based on the sworn staffing
outside those units during
the last meet and confer
negotiation we were actually
able to bring those officers

And so historically we've
done -- calculated them

>> Do we do the same with
parks police or do you
include them in the mix?

>> We include the park
police as part of our
current two per thousand,
which in the past -- and the
courts, which is the
marshals service.

And I'm very proud to say
that we've actually
increased since the
consolidation that the mayor
was part of, a big part of
this and council was part
of, we've actually increased
our sworn staffing at the
parks because it is
something really important
to our citizens in keeping
our parkland safe is really

The other piece of that was
a savings at the time was
that we created through
parks and director hensley,
the park ranger, to

That's been a really good

But the net gain for the
parks has been that we've
added additional police
officers when you compare
where we're at today than
where we were at before
because it's a huge part of
our city and there's a lot
of people, you including,
that are always on those
trails walking, running and
just enjoying the beauty of

>> And soon we may have a
new facility for the parks


police and rangers.

>> Yes.

And it's desperately needed.

>> Morrison: I do want to
mention, there has been a
lot of talk about the use of
0 per thousand in
terms of determining our
policing needs.

And in their executive
summary right up front they
address that in particular
and say that it does not
appear to be based on an
objective assessment of
policing needs in austin.

They have little value
because they do not provide
insight into using those
numbers into how officers
are used.

And really what they go on
to say is maybe we ought to
be -- instead of using those
numbers, consider other
measures like utilization.

And I know we've talked
about the fact that our
patrol officers, for
instance, their time is
significantly taken up by
responding to call after
call after call, whereas
there are recommendations
that these guys and gals
need to have free time to be
working with the community
and initiatives and all.

As you digest this report,
will you be sort of delving
into the possibility of
looking at other measures to
fold into our calculations?

>> Absolutely.

But I think when you -- it's
something that we've talked
about before that the
staffing formula is not what
really the city manager is
looking for.

It's something that has been
a policy decision by this
council or in previous

The mayor referred to it as
a minimum staffing formula.

And I think that when you
take what they say, then you
take what they recommend,
what it shows me, this
0 has
been somewhat of a good
measure of what the minimum
staffing levels.

Because ultimately what
we've recommended is 257
additional police officers
for the city of austin.

So I think that although the
formula itself isn't what
really matters to any of us,
I think that having said


that, that in light of the
study it appears to me that
it is, as the mayor said
previously, somewhat of a
good measure of where we
should be.

Because regardless of how
you get there, what we've
been using and then what the
study shows is that we're
definitely not overstaffed,
we're understaffed.

And so to answer your
question, it's not something
that we need absolutely to
rely on, but it has been a
good barometer for us to
follow in terms of minimum

>> I appreciate that.

And I think that this report
gives us an opportunity to
start folding other
considerations into the mix
as we look at those things.

On a related, but somewhat
different topic, related
because it's still about
policing, I was visited by
some folks from dove springs
recently talking.

I'm not sure how they
calculated their numbers,
but they were raising the
issue of the increase in
crime in dove springs and in
78744 crime increased from
2001 to 2011 was up 61%.

And just basically raising
the issue that public safety
is basically a fundamental
issue in terms of being able
to needing to solve that
issue before we we can help
raise up the folks in need
there in any other way
because until they feel safe
on the streets, they're not
going to be able to get out
and exercise and access the

And one thing they mentioned
was that there used to be an
storefront presence
in dove springs.

I think in the rec center.

And that they were
questioning why that was

And from their perspective
to have a storefront
presence would be a huge
boone to public safety in
that neighborhood.

So I guess I'm asking two

And maybe the chief knows --


chief mcdonald knows the
answer to this is why that
did disappear, if it was
there in the first place.

And is there discussion or
can we have that discussion
about getting a storefront
presence there?

>> Well, I'll let the chief
respond to how they're
actually utilizing resources
now, but in fact, almost 20
years ago I was one of the
sergeants in charge of all
the storefronts back then.

And really what has happened
is policing evolved.

We used to have the
storefronts there and there
was an expectation.

And in fact, some community
members would get
disgruntled because the
officer was not always
sitting there in that

Well -- and what we moved to
was getting the officers out
of the storefront actually
and out in the community
solving crimes, ie evolved
into our dr process that we
have now.

So prior to the dr process
we have many storefronts.

We had as many as probably
about seven or eight of them
throughout the city.

And so we transitioned more
to a dr approach, not having
them in the storefronts.

So that's what happened with
the old storefront that they
had before.

And I'll let the chief talk
about how they're utilizing
their services now.

>> And councilmember, the
storefront, what they're
referring to the storefront
was just an office in the
rec center.

I don't think that
officers -- I don't want
people to think that it was
a substation with officers
in there all the time.

Officers would utilize it to
write reports and it was
just a presence.

When you look at the
staffing document that this
council commissioned, a
study last year, we are
short police officers.

We have become a department
that -- by the way, I have
good news on dove springs.

It's actually trending down

We're watching that closely.

That has to do, like all of
government, more with less,
like all of our partners.

So what we're constantly
focusing on is moving our


resources, looking at data,
looking at statistics,
crunching numbers to
actually put our cops where
they go.

Our response team, our
tactical response teams, our
district representatives, to
try to have an impact on

Quite frankly if we were
just to put an officer in a
storefront, all that
proceeds us and you keep
them there, community knows
they can go there they'll
find a cop.

The crooks know that too and
it won't have an impact.

From a sense of feeling
better about the
neighborhood I understand

I get that.

And what we're going to be
doing with dove hinges
springs like we do with
other communities is from
the command staff.

You gave us an additional
assistant chief last year
that we still are in the
process of making the
meeting with the austin
neighborhoods councils, we
are going to have that
chief, his commanders on a
regular basis meet with that
community down there so they
know that we are listening,
we're paying attention and
we're going to continue to
respond to their challenges.

>> Morrison: Great.

I appreciate that.

I know that as we move
forward, for instance
working on an update on the
neighborhood plan for dove
springs and collaborating
with the folks that are
already working under a
grant there to have a.p.d.

As part of that discussion,
I think will be very

>> And I just want to throw
out one more thing that's
been on my mind, having
spent my first 21 years in
another place, any time you
had a neighborhood being
built, if you had a
traditional highway being
built, the environmental
impact reports in those
cities always included the
staffing analysis for
police, fire, and all
government services.

And I kind of think that one
of the things that this
council did or previous
councils did with that two
per thousand study is almost
like that commitment was
took the place of the impact
reports and the staffing

Because that's something
that we don't do here that
is done in other places


around the country.

So I really think that --
I've been trying to think
why did they come one that
two per thousand?

And quite frankly it's tied
to growth, all those
projects are tied to growth
and I think that policy, not
wanting to speak for
previous councils, is really
what was put in place in
lieu of or instead of the
environmental impact report
that normally would have
those additional bodies.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

>> Councilmember, david
carter, chief of staff.

One of the things you
mentioned on the perf study,
one of the proposals we have
internally is looking at
this report moving forward
is obviously that report
cost or that study cost
100,000 or thereabouts,
whatever it is, is that just
like the chief mentioned
about environmental impact,
we're actually proposing now
resources to actually
replicate that kind of
analysis or study every
three to five years to help
with this process with
looking at environmental
impact as well as addressing
some of those future needs
from a business case, and i
think that's some of the
discussion here.

>> Morrison: Great.

And I just wanted to go back
to one thing you said that's
in the report is I think
they recommend about 28
positions that could be
moved to the civilian

When might we expect to see
some adjustments or
recommendations for
adjustments based on that
and other things that you'll
be discussing in the report?

>> Here's the challenge
there, councilmember, for
us, at least from my

I completely agree with the
concept of civilianization
of some of the positions,
but wildfire before we start
doing that I think we have
to also think about catching
up with the sworn positions.

One of the things that we
lose when we do lose sworn


positions to non-sworn
positions is the ability --
I can take a cop and have
them do a non-sworn function
today, but tomorrow when f1,
we get surprised and instead
of 300,000, 500,000 show up,
and with all the things we
have going here, I would be
very hesitant to start that
process before we catch up
with our sworn positions.

So you think you can dance
the conversation has to be
here's an opportunity to
civilianize and at the same
time here's an opportunity
to catch up with our sworn

Because I've been in favor
of it.

We've talked about it
before, but we're just so
behind, we're a little bit
behind on the sworn staff
that I don't think you can
have one conversation
without including the other
conversation in that
catch-up piece.

>> Morrison: I understand
that, but the bottom line is
to be able to civilianize as
you said -- I guess that's a
verb -- some positions, that
offers an opportunity for
some significant cost
savings too.

So that's why we do
necessarily have to keep our
eye on the ball.

There was one other topic i
wanted to raise, and that
was street event fees.

And I don't know if my
colleagues want to talk
about these issues that
we've discussed and come
back to that.


>> Mayor Leffingwell: I'd
like to follow up real
briefly on the study that
showed a need for what it
was it, 227?

>> 257.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
think you made point that i
was going to make, is that
before you talk about
adding -- giving desk duty
to more sworn officers,
we've got to get to that
goal, the additional 257.

So if you take the 28
positions out of that you
still have over 220
additional officers that are
needed to meet what the perf
study said that the city of
austin needed.

0 goal was established
a long time ago we've held


on to that as a minimum
until there was really solid
justification to deviate
from that and now it looks
like the solid justification
would be an increase.

And just back of the napkin
calculations, it shows that
study would indicate that we
really need a ratio and i
think that ought to be our
2 instead of --
maybe fine tune that number,
2 as a goal for
the future to maintain safe

But once you reach that
goal, then you can talk
about this process of
assigning other duties to
sworn police officers.

Versatility, you talked a
little bit about that, but a
sworn police officer can do
some desk duty, but a desk
person who is not sworn
can't do the sworn duties.

So as long as we have this
deficit of about 10% in
sworn officers, I think we
ought to hold off on any
adjustment in that transfer
of police officers to --
sworn police officers to
desk duty.

Another -- I wanted to ask a
question about the -- looks
like there's 14 grant funded

Evidently the grants are
expiring, so the cost to the
city is 12 for communication
cost positions and two for
victim services.

Could you elaborate?

I think I understand pretty
clearly what the victim
services positions are, but
how about the

>> Thank you, mayor.

The communications
positions, president obama
provided the reinvestment
act funding to the city that
has really been funding
those positions.

Eight of them will be 911
call takers and four will be
communications operators
that are actually

What that will accomplish is
maintaining the level of
service that the city has


been providing through the
reinvestment act funding
that the president has been
providing the last few

If it goes away the impact
would be if we lost those
positions, would be a
reduction in terms of our
ability to respond to our

The sooner that we take the
calls, the sooner we process
the calls, the sooner we
dispatch the calls the
quicker we get to that

So those are critical

As you probably recall it's
something that comes occupy
a regular basis with the
public safety commission and
with the community that
dispatch, if anybody is put
on hold it's not something
you'd want.

And if we didn't get those
positions you probably would
see a degradation in terms
of our response times and
our pickup times at

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
agree that they're critical
positions, but not as
critical as the 22
additional sworn officers.

So if there were a reduction
of some kind, I permanently
think the reductions ought
to come in that area instead
of the sworn positions.

>> Martinez: Mayor?

I wanted to go back to a
point that the mayor made
and that councilmember
morrison was talking about.

When you talk about
civilianizing positions, did
the report acknowledge that
that would have to be
negotiated via the contract?

If you are truly going to
civilianize a current sworn
position, state stot doesn't
allow that.

Civil service law won't
allow it, therefore there
may not be a cost savings
because you have to
negotiate that with apa in
your next round of contract

Anyone that's wearing a
badge and doing a duty or a
function right now cannot be
handed to a civilian without

>> Correct.

And one of the things,
councilmember, that -- perf
is in dc.

They don't understand state

In some states civilians can
investigate traffic crashes.

In the state of texas you
can't have civilians
investigate it.

That's just an example.

So their recommendations are
based on general knowledge
of what can work around the

And you're right on point
that in order to accomplish
that there's two things that


have to happen from my

One we have to catch up with
sworn positions and secondly
you would have to look at
ensuring we're not violating
state law depending on what
the function is or two or
three, the contract, the
meet an confer.

You're absolutely right.

>> Martinez: I wanted to
switch a little bit here and
ask you about something
that's very seldomly brought
up in budget discussions.

But it's something that i
think is a tremendous value
to the organization.

I wanted to ask you what
your plans are and what you
currently are doing for
internal leadership
development within the
police department.

What type of professional
training is going on.

That in my mind makes an
officer more connected to
their community, more, gives
them a better way to respond
with interpersonal ways in
our community with
situations that can turn
volatile very quickly.

What kind of leadership and
professional development are
we doing?

>> That's something that
we're very proud of.

In the last five years we've
really invested in training
our folks, not just the
person with the stars and
bars, but our corporals, the

The next generation of upper
management in the austin
police department.

We've established a command
college since I've been here
and leadership classes that
were not previously here
that when you look at our
young men and women that are
coming up through the ranks
they're learning about
leadership, they're learning
about history.

I really believe if we don't
teach our people history --
some of the things I always
talk to my cops about is
you're not going to be
judged just by your actions,
you will be judged through
the prism of history.

And if you don't understand
that, you don't understand
that judgment sometimes is
going to come down here
instead of on an even
playing field.

You have to have that

That's part of the education
process that we have taken
very seriously as a
department and that we've
invested in because it does
pay dividends.

Having that organizational


sensitivity, that community
sensitivity, understanding
that part of our role as
peace makers, which is what
we are.

We're not -- we're law
enforcement but that's just
one part of what we do.

We're peace makers and part
of restoring the peace and
communities is part of the

Having a comprehensive
multidisciplinary response
to a community issue like at
dove springs.

Like one of the things that
we're doing through our --
on the east side is our boy
scouting, we have about 1500
kids through the urban --
the urban scouting
initiative that I got
involved in really
jumpstarted two years ago
but we have about 1500 kids,
just about all of them,
quite frankly, from
socioeconomically deprived
parts of this community.

Many them from single parent

Many of them with parents in
prison that are in scouting.

And we can debate scouting
and some of the political
issues there, but the data
is clear, if these kids
scout for five years, and go
to their sunday promotions,
the waterloo promotions
where they get their

If you scout for five years
or more, instead of 55%
dropout rate, you go to 94%,
92 to 94% graduation rate.

That's real data that's

So those are the things that
we're teaching our folks in
our leadership classes that
we need to get involved with
and support those kind of
programs that will do two
things, help us reduce crime
and -- several things.

Help us reduce crime, help
us improve public safety and
help us improve officer
safety by building those

That's part of the training
we're providing our people.

I think chief carter who is
probably one of our better
leaders here, do you want to
add anything on leadership

>> Yes, sir.

I think in terms of the
leadership that's critical
and something that is
ongoing at a.p.d.


The police department like
all police organizations is
paramilitary to some degree,
so each rank has some
responsibility to their
officers and to the

So at each level of -- each
rank as it were, there are
some requirements in terms
of leadership development.

Everything from the cadet
who comes to the training
academy receive some basis
of leadership, but I think
under chief acevedo's watch
here the past five years and
we're continuing today to
develop and recognize and --
especially the first line

We put a lot of time and
energy into developing our
sergeants and our corporals.

Then we have our leadership
that's so important as well
and that's what chief
acevedo is alluding to,
getting our officers to do

I will quickly mention that
the same can be true.

You can't make an assumption
because somebody has risen
through the rank that they
know everything there is
about leadership.

So we also put a lot of
energy into trying to
develop our assistant

>> That is critical to us.

>> Let me just add one other
thing that I think is

Civil service is a double
edged sword and one of the
great things about civil
service is it takes politics
out of policing to a great

It protects people from some
of the things that have
happened in our history.

But one of the things I'm
very proud of is that when
you make that list we have
made it where past
performance matters, where
your body of work matters as
a police officer.

And we've bypassed, as you
know, several people.

I'm very proud to say that
just recently we want our --
we won our first bypass,


promotional bypass.

What that does is it sends a
message to our folks, if you
can answer textbooks and
answer questions that we can
all tell people when they
want to hear, that this
department is paying
attention to how you conduct
yourself everyday and if you
do not conduct yourself
appropriately, that it's
going to come to bear at
some point in the
promotional process.

You remember that commander
we had to give him back that
position, one of the things
that we did is we actually
codified in policy our
bypass policy, and that was
actually very helpful in
winning that last
arbitration for that bypass.

And that's part of
leadership is establishing
setting the bar high and
making peopled in that what
they do matters.

>> Cole: Mayor, I wanting
0 just a
second here because the
genesis of that study was a

And I actually made the
amendment to have the study

And I'll tell you that when
I voted for that or put that
amendment up, I really
thought that the study would
come back and show us how to
make some significant cost

And that it might actually
show that we could go below
the 2.0.

And it's not what it shows.

So what I'm really curious
about is if you found
anything in the study that
would help us think of cost
savings within the
department because it is a
major issue, the escalator
because of growth and the
percentage that the police
department takes of the

And I don't want to be, you
know, not hit that straight

>> Right.

I think that in our
long-term planning as we
move forward as a city, that
once we do catch up, if we
have the ability to catch
up, that we do look for


opportunities to see if
there are some functions
where we can have non-sworn
personnel work on those

But until we do play that
catch-up I'm not sure we can
do that.

I think the city manager
wants to comment.

>> I think that's right and
I think it is important that
we catch up relative to what
the report is saying, but
just I think that the chief
is not known for being shy,
but I think you should take
credit for fact that you are
always looking for ways to
reduce your cost.

One of the things that i
would point at is how good a
job he's done in terms of
managing overtime expense.

accomplishments and the
department's accomplishments
in that regard have gone a
long way to help us over the
past four years as we've
dealt with the economic
challenges of the day.

So we're always focused on
that, I've just given one
major example.

He will continue to do that.

>> Cole: Thank you, city

Do you want to brag for
yourself now?

>> I'll brag a little bit.

Thank you for that

We are very efficient.

I think that there's always
a -- I have to -- if you
don't study history it will
be repeated.

Before 2011 the headlines
were that we're overbudget.

We have not only come in
budget every year since I've
been here in 2007, we've
come in significantly under

Our budget has actually been
reduced and trued up to the
tunes of millions of

And despite that reduction
in true dollars, overtime
used to be about 10 million
and now it's seven million.

We're still achieving
reduction in crime and
maintaining the city as one
of the safest in the

The 80% staffing that again
is just a reminder of what
we used to have here where
we would staff eight people
on every shift guaranteed,
every shift, everyday,
everyday of the week,
everyday of the month, every
month of the year, I got rid
of that within the first
week I was -- actually, the
first seven days that I was

And I remember the old city
manager going, what are the


cops going to do?

I said it doesn't matter,
we'll do the right thing.

And our budget that first
year, you'll remember
because you were here and
the mayor was on the
council, they were looking

I was sworn in on july 19th.

On the 23rd I was at a
budget briefing and we had a
budget shortfall.

We got rid of that 80%
staffing formula and went
7 million shortfall,
we ended up closing somebody
else's budget at a
350,000-dollar shortfall,
which is huge.

The other piece, just to
show you some of the
efficiencies we're
constantly looking at, we
took a look at christmas day
where contractually they
paid double time.

I don't remember.

But when we looked at that,
everybody wanted to work
christmas day because it's
double time.

And we looked at the data
and we found that bad guys
even take that day off.

So we established absolute
minimum staffing levels
based on data and we saved
125,000 in that one day.

And we've done that and we
will continue to do that
because I think that we live
in this city.

Even if we live right
outside the city, a lot of
our folks come here,
recreate here, shop here and
are employed here and we'll
always look for those

Our workman's comp is down
50% from when I got here.

Same number of injuries, but
we've reduced our costs by
about 50% because we
actually manage those

We pay attention to what's
going on and we ask
questions of the doctors.

>> Cole: I am very aware
of the efficiencies that
you've made since I've been
on council and I want to
congratulate you on that.

But there is an asterisk
down here that says the
amount does not include a
transfer from the general
fund for civilian retirement

And I know from audit and
finance committee we've been
real concerned about
retirement contributions.

Can you say something about
how you're managing those
and the impact they have on
the budget.


>> Councilmember, that was
just an accounting change in
the city.

The retirement for the
civilian employees had been
accounted for at the fund
level, in the general fund.

And this year it was decided
that that would be
distributed back into the

So all departments have this
distribution back to them.

Ours is rather large because
of the size of our

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Would you put your name on
the record.

>> Alice sutter.

>> Cole: I have a last
question because I know,
chief, you were public about
needing a new headquarters.

>> Yes, ma'am.

>> Cole: And I think while
everybody is here you might
explain where that desire
was coming from and what you
were thinking about that,
especially for long-term
because something like that
would involve long-term
strategic decision by the
council just in terms of the
conditions and why it should
be on our minds.

>> Well, if you ride our
elevators you do so at your
own risk.

Fire alarms don't work.

We're putting a lot of money
into a building that is
outdated, overcrowded.

It doesn't really meet the
needs and it doesn't meet
the needs for the future.

We have people working in
closets, on landings.

It's not a very good

We've outgrown it.

The department continues to
grow and we haven't built
the facility now for awhile.

So I think that it's
desperately overdue.

I know that we as a city
team and city manager is
looking at that issue to be
able to report back to the
council in the future.

>> That's right, we are, and
I absolutely agree with the
chief that that building is
long past its useful life.

It's more dysfunctional than

>> Cole: Thank you.

Thank you, mayor.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
we're way behind not only on
police headquarters, but on
substations, the municipal
court project which turned
out to be partially funded
in 2006 bond election.

Didn't have enough money in

So that project is on hold.

And didn't even make it into


it this year.

So we do have a lot of
catch-up to do and I agree
that facility is outdated,
worn out and needs to be
replaced not only for police
department operations, but
also for redevelopment in
that area, which is an
important biproduct of that.

So it's definitely something
we need to start looking at.

The need is getting more
everyday, every year that
goes by.

It will become more
overcrowded and you will
have to put more people in
closets, not less.

>> We're running out of
closet space, mayor.

>> Cole: I have something
on that same subject when
you get a chance.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
wanted to reinforce
something that councilmember
martinez brought up and you

I hadn't thought about this,
but the perf study is of
course based on -- it's an
idealized study.

Everything permitted this is
the way it should be.

Maybe not taking into
account all the local
restrictions that you might
have with regard to union
contracts and civil service
status and all that.

So that probably needs to be
massaged to work those local
factors into this washington

Mayor pro tem?

>> Cole: Yes.

I wanted to remind you that
the work in terms of
evaluating the long-term
feasibility of police
headquarters was actually
sponsored by mayor pro tem
bettie dunkerley and I and
that in the process of
looking at that feasibility,
I don't know if the
resolution included the fact
that we needed to do a
market evaluation as we
considered potential

>> We are discussing that
scenario and also
recognizing given the waller
creek development, not just
public works project, but


all of the things that will
come afterwards, the
increase, frankly the value
to the city.

We're mindful of all of
those things and our hope is
to come to council with
several options for you to
consider in terms of a new
station and so on.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: Thanks for the
previous discussion.

And it sounds like there are
regard that the perf study
several issues that we could
devil into more deeply.

This is probably not the
right setting, so I would
suggest to my colleagues
that we have this as a
discussion topic on one of
the work sessions coming up
and it would be great if our
colleague, councilmember
spelman, were back, so we
might consider that timing.

But one of the things I did
want to ask you about, you
talked about the

It's come up a few times
that not everything that is
recommended in here is
necessarily possible under
state law.

It would be helpful to get a
sense of whether that is
strictly about the ability
of the police department to
civilianize those positions
or whether it was about
whether civilians could
perform the functions that
they were contemplating be

Is it a matter of their
contracts or is it a matter
of state law doesn't allow
civilians to perform some of
the job functions?

Those are the kind of
detailed discussions that i
would like to have with
regard to the study.

>> It's a matter of both and
that is something that we
are analyzing to be able to
discuss it more in-depth and
in more detail.

>> Tovo: Great.

Have you had a discussion
with the public safety
commission with regard to
this report?

>> Yes.

>> Councilmember, david
carter again.

Yes, we have actually
briefed the public safety

I believe it was the last

In other words, the study
was in the past two months
and obviously they meet once
a month.

So they have received the
report and we gave them an


overview and a hard copy.

So I suspect the chair,
lauderdale, had
indicated they would be
looking more at that in the

>> Tovo: But they have not
at this point had a detailed
discussion about it or heard
your detailed response?

I mean, at this point you
are still preparing a more
detailed response.

>> Yes.

>> He is here if you would
like to ask him.

>> Tovo: Sure.

lauderdale, if you would
like to come up and talk
about your plans for the
study and what the public
safety commission's role
would be.

>> Thank you.

Mike lauderdale, chair of
the public safety

We've received the study.

We've begun to look at it.

We're going to be having
questions in subsequent
meetings with regard to the
reports in there.

We appreciate the
opportunity that you've
afforded us to take a look
at it.

We think there are some
interesting things.

We're digging into it.

With the agreement of my
colleagues in the police
department we're looking
forward to it.

>> Tovo: Great.

Thank you.

I know you always keep our
offices up to date on the
deliberations that you have
at the commission.

I look forward to hearing
more about your analysis.

>> I'm accused of sending
too many emails.

Thank you.

>> That would be the other

>> As long as on there,
you're safe, doc.

>> Very safe, yeah.

Councilmember riley.

>> Tovo: I still have more
questions, thanks.


So let's see.

That was regard to that.

To get back to the dove
springs example and i
understand what you're
saying the community
expectation would have been
that when there were
storefronts that there would
always be a police officer
in that spot and that the
district representatives get
out within the community.

But how often does do the
district representatives
have a place within the
community to actually stop
and write reports.


Are they housed in any kind
of spot in community when
they need downtime to write

>> Let me just throw out a
word of caution to everyone
here about storefronts.

This is austin.

If I put a storefront in
dove springs, I can
guarantee you that other
neighborhoods will start
asking for storefronts.

When you know you have
limited resources our job is
through efficiencies,
through data and
intelligence, is to
constantly -- this
department on -- there's no
two days in the year where
our deployment, our
strategy, the way that we're
conducting business is the
same because we're
constantly crunching data
and we're moving toward a
daily tactical briefing
citywide so our folks can
see what has happened in the
last 24 period to adjust on
a daily basis and not on a
weekly basis or biweekly
basis or 72 hour basis.

So that is the concern.

Our dr's work out of the
prospective stations.

Many of them have
relationships with local
churches, with rec centers
and they will spend time

Part of the job is to spend
time at the pan am building
talking to the kids and
hanging out with them.

But they're all over the

But that is truly the

That's why I always caution
folks because if we do a
storefront in dove springs,
john's is going to
want a storefront and then
12th and chicon, they're
wanting a storefront.

And this is what I always
tell the community.

It is seamless.

If you see a lot of police
officers in your
neighborhood, that means
that there's a challenge
we're dealing with.

If you don't see a lot of
police officers because in
some of more affluent areas
sometimes we get complaints
that I don't see the cops
too often.

That's because we have a
challenge over here.

So they work out -- their
job is not to be at the
station, it's to be in the
community and to be all over
this community.

We have about 66 folks


assigned to the dr program
throughout the city and
they're all over the place.

But again, that's just a
word of caution that just
understand that if we start
doing a storefront in one
place they'll start having
demands throughout the city.

>> One other thing too.

The chief alluded to it, is
that also the other dynamic
that occurred in some of the
neighborhoods, and when we
had storefronts, is everyone
just relied upon that one
officer because that officer
was showing up there and not
interacting with all the
officers that work that
beat, we certainly didn't
maximize what was taking
place with the patrol and
maximizing the information
that that officer was

So the dr concept allowed
both, that they interact
with the community, but also
interacted with every one of
those officers on the five
or six different shifts that
are located in that area.

So it would be a group
approach working with that
commander at solving the
ongoing problems that were
taking place.

>> So what extent are their
formalized areas.

You said some of the dr's
have churches where they
will go and write reports or
community rec centers.

Is that pretty common?

To what extent are those
relationships formalized so
you know if you're at the
rec center at some point
during the week you will see
your dr and here or she will
be there for a few hours?

>> Councilmember, when you
look at the district
representatives, if you
think about the city they're
in excess of 300 officially
recognized neighborhood
groups or councils or
neighborhood associations.

Looking at the district
representatives they're
spread out throughout the
district and throughout the
city so they have areas of

Not only to work as chief
mcdonald mentioned to work
with the police officers,
but also interact with the
different neighborhood

And community groups that
have an interest.


It's not the same all
throughout the city.

Not every neighborhood
association or group
interacts with their
district representative as
much as some.

There are some neighborhood
groups that really require
or request a lot of the
district representative's
time so there's a balance

There's not a perfect answer
to your question.

It's not exactly equal
throughout the city.

But they are -- dr has an
area of responsibility to
reach out and engage and
work with people and with
groups that have an

So when you say is there a
formal arrangement, they do
have things that are
expected of them by the
district representative
supervisors, the lieutenants
have expectations that
there's ongoing

So we're always looking for
best practices.

Each district representative
in some ways is an
entrepreneur in his or her

And we're statisticking to
get the district
representative to share
experiences on how they can
better relate to whether
it's a church or whether
it's a neighborhood

So I'm not sure if I've
answered your question.

>> I think that information
is helpful and certainly i
know that the district
representatives go to a lot
of the neighborhood
associations and I've seen
them there myself.

What I'm wondering is when
you have a community like
dove springs that would like
an on-site presence and feel
it would be valuable, and
there are all of these other
considerations that you've
mentioned, whether you've --
I guess I'm wondering
whether you've considered
something like having office

lauderdale and

What about having office
hours three hours a week at
the rec center or are there
any district representatives
that have organized their
time so that they have a
place they are either the
church or the rec center, at
some predictable time every
week when other events don't
demand their time?

>> District reps, here's
part of the challenge is we
have 60 something district


reps for a city fast
approaching a million

I think that perf study is
talking about how busy the
department is and that we
are behind the time.

One of the things that the
district rep is supposed to
be is the eyes and ears and
kind of the ambassador and
the shop steward for that

If there's an issue going
on, he or she is not just to
address the issue, they are
also to talk to the other
police officers on that beat
to make them aware of what's
going on.

So then those police
officers can go out and try
to impact that issue.

Our dr's and the folks that
have an interest in the
dr's, everybody has their
cell phone -- a lot of them
have their cell phone

They all have their pager
numbers and they all have
their office numbers.

So they're very easy to

If -- like the pan am rec
center, if it wanted to make
an office available, when we
hear about those
opportunities, we tell our
officers, hey, you're
encouraged to -- if you have
a report to write, here's a
place for you.

It hot outside, if you want
to spend time in there you

But if they set actual
hours, we're doing a lot
with less and that could be
a challenge.

>> Tovo: But it sounds
like some of them have --
maybe the better term is
informal relationships where
they will on their downtime
go to the pan am rec center
or go to a particular

>> Councilmember, that's
absolutely the case.

Again, it depends on the
particular neighborhood
association and the way they
want to interact because we
also found one size does not
fit all.

For example, some
communities will want to
rely more on electronic
communications and others
will want a face to face.

So that's why we allow some
latitude for the district
representative to develop
that relationship the way
that particular community
wants to communicate with.

>> I wanted to addome
other things.

The dove springs
neighborhood, I probably
personally haven't met with
them for a year.

So I'm going to go out there
and I'll commit to you all
that I'm going to go listen.


Sometimes it's good.

I want to listen to what's
going on and see for myself.

Because we don't want to
just look at data.

We want to hear from real

What are the concerns?

Is there something we're

And we'll report back to the
city manager what we find

>> Tovo: I think that
would be great.

I've been part of
neighborhood associations
where the district rep came
once a month or once every
other month and reported.

And that was extent of --
and of course they were
involved throughout those
months with individual

But when you have a
community that actually
would like an officer in
their -- one of their
community facilities, then
there might be some way to
accommodate that.

possibilities that would
work well.

Thank you for your
willingness --

>> and also when you go
through the assistant city
chief, remember that every
neighborhood was going to
have an executive team
member that is going to be
their police chief.

We are -- when I go, we will
have that chief with us to
make sure who the chief is
and if he or she is not
answering the issues they
call me and they know i
don't like to get calls
because we're not going what
people need done.

We'll get on that.

>> Tovo: Thank you.

I have a few more questions
I want to run through.

You talked about the
environmental impact -- the
environmental impact report
that some other
municipalities do.

And I wondered if you can
tell us we've got a bunch of
neighborhood associations
that were not discussing
tomorrow, but we're setting
public hearings.

To what extent is your
department involved when we
are contemplating annexing

To what extent is the police
department called on to say
what the impact would be in
terms of need for officers,
need for --

>> the two for one staffing
formula is being used --


it's tied in to growth of
the city.

Is being in lieu of the
environmental impact report.

So I can tell you that
there's very little to not
at this point.

That's something we'll start
doing internally for you all
and for the city manager.

If you build the shopping
center, you can almost say
you -- you can project how
many calls per service will
that create, crashes, calls
for a burglaries.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Chief, we have six more
departments to do today.

If we could try our best to
confine the discussion to
budget matters instead of
general departmental policy,
etcetera, it would help us
get through this day on

>> One thing I want to add
is in terms of what the
chief was saying in terms of
an impact discussion in
terms of annexations, we
don't get too deep into

However the formula in terms
of officers per thousand,
everything is taken into
consideration when we move
forward in those annexation

>> Tovo: Good.

For me this is -- i
appreciate your comment,

I know we have a long day
ahead of us.

To me this is a budget
matter when we have
annexations coming up, some
of which may not be a big
impact, but at least one of
them sure could be because
it's the circuit of the
americas track and that
could be a high cost of
serving that area.

So I do think we need to in
the weeks ahead come up with
some information about what
the relative costs of
annexing properties.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: If i
could make this quick
comment on annexation.

Every annexation goes
through that fiscal

It's a positive cash impact
on the city overall before
annexations are favorably

>> Tovo: Great.

I just want to make sure
that the police impact and
the public safety impact is
a part of all that fiscal

>> I think that's a two per
thousand is that piece of it
for -- the two per thousand,
that's why I'm trying to
explain it, is really taking
the part of the er process
for policing.

>> Tovo: In fiscal
analysis we're strictly
relying on the two per
thousand formula.

We're not looking
individually at those areas
in a broader way with regard
to public safety.

We're relying on the two per

>> Which probably explains
for the most part why we're
behind a little bit on our

>> Tovo: Thank you.

[One moment, please, for
change in captioners]

>> for improvement, anything
that we do, that's what we
do on a regular basis
trying to improve, but we
did work with them.

I'm not sure which example
you're providing there.

But we work together on a
regular basis in the parks
and because they have the
facilities, we have some
great programs, but we
really do rely on the parks.

There's a program right now
that -- that midnight
basketball that we work in
conjunction with them on
that givens park.

Right now we're working on
something that I don't want
to talk about yet but it's
going to be another program
that's going to be -- kids
from affluent side of the
city, neighborhoods, pockets
to maybe less affluent and
bringing these kids together
to play basketball.

It's going to be teaching
them leader, focusing on
education philanprotny,
focusing on the kids because
we do want to work with

>> Tovo: In terms of
crafting this year's budget,
who within the police
department who works with
programs like the urban
scouting or the explorers
program, where does the
responsibility lie within
the police department and
were those staff members
working with the police --
with the parks, with our
parks representative, is
there any kind of connection
in terms of crafting your
budget for the next year and
your focus on -- on those,

>> We don't get together
with the parks in terms of
developing each other's

I can tell you that our
office liaison does work
with the parks and actually
not just the parks, but also
with the fire department
because a lot of times there
are youth programs or there
are programs in the
community affairs where we
are all coming out together
and so we work
interdepartmentally, we do
work together.

There probably could be room
for some opportunity to work
even closer together.

We'll explore those in this
upcoming year as well.

>> Tovo: Great.

And we have a great
opportunity to do so with
the youth summit that the
city is sponsoring, so i
hope the office of community
liaison --

>> oh, yes, we will be

We will be there.

>> Tovo: Great, thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember riley.

>> Riley: Chief, I just
wanted to ask you a few
quick questions about the
major projects the
department has going on this
coming fiscal year, to get a
sense of what, if any
budgetary implications might

First I wanted to touch on
an item that we previously
funded, I don't think it's
going to have much of a
budgetary impact this year.

The transition to digital
cameras in police vehicles.

Could you just briefly tell
us how that's looking.

>> First of all, I want to
say again thank you to this
council and the city manager
for making that investment.

It is going to -- going well

About 85% deployed.

The infrastructure is 100%
completed and I'm excited to
say that I'm pretty
confident about sometime
this year we will be
completely done.

The quality of the videos,
the data that's being
captured is second to none.

We are -- we are leading the
nation when it comes to what
we're capturing with our

It was a project that set a
standard, I'm not sure
anybody else is following
that standard.

I don't see any more budget

>> Riley: That was a
significant cost for the
past year, but we're set on
that now.

>> It was an investment,
yes, sir.

>> Riley: No, no, i
appreciate that.

Totally support it.

Secondly the e citation,
electronic ticketing.

>> The electronic ticketing,
you folks just approved i
think the contract just came

What that's going to do, we
need to be paperless.

We're trying to save trees,
that's going to help us save
some trees here by making
all of the data transfer
electronic, it will be
seamless, we will reduce the
amount of time officers set
out and the poor person
getting the ticket, that
they will be exposed to
passing traffic on the

It will help us transfer
data, capture data, and more
importantly, come in and
look at data, seamlessly.

So it's -- that project is
ongoing that you just
approved and that was
actually -- that was
actually -- it was -- it was
a federal grant dollars that
we're using on that.

>> Great.

It will actually result in
saving some time for

>> Yes.

It will free up -- one of
the things that that report
talks about is free tie.

Not committed time.

Uncommitted time.

If I can write a ticket in
two minutes instead of
taking 15 minutes, it will
help in that end as well.

>> Okay.

Lastly I wanted to ask about
the halo efforts, the high
activity location

That involves the cameras,
street --

>> yes, sir.

>> Riley: And those are
now deployed where?

>> They are deployed

They've been very successful
so far.

Councilmember tovo actually
came out and got to look at
the rtcc, real-time crime

They are having the impact
that we are hopeful that
they would have, but they
are primarily right now
downtown and not only on
sixth street, but part of it
is the warehouse district.

They are in the saint johns

The second piece, I really
believe like all of you in
public/private partnerships.

We actually have the ability
to access some of our
private partners in business
cameras that are -- that
are -- that might have
information on crime that
might have occurred from --
from the rtcc.

That's really enhancing our
investigative ability.

>> Riley: So the results
on that have been positive
so far.

>> Very positive.

>> Riley: Do you expect
any significant changes in
that program this year in
terms of -- new locations
or --

>> we are looking at the
12th and chicon area, we
are looking at putting some
cameras in.

If we could have some
dollars in there, david, do
you remember?

>> We have the grant dollars
that obviously we are
working with the
neighborhood associations
and looking into that kind
of thing.

There are additional areas
of people that have actually
come to us, looking into
making inquiries about, you
know, would they be
effective in this area or
that area.

So we're still working
through that.

I think the biggest thing
that the chief alluded to
was that public/private
partnership, the ability to
kind of leverage existing
infrastructure out there.

So we're continuing to look
at that.

We know that there's
different areas, the
university area, there's
some consideration, but
those are just in
discussion --

>> [indiscernible] you don't
expect any major budgetary
implications for that
program this year?

>> I do not.

>> We didn't ask for any

Let me just add to this.

I really believe the
technology is the multiplier
that you have all authorized

Part of the reason that we
continue to do more with

We are in discussions.

We take a tremendous
economic hit in our malls,
we're in discussion now with
some of our major business
owners to actually have them
fund some of the technology
that we're using with grant
dollars that use their
private dollars to help us
solve their crimes as well.

>> Okay.

I appreciate the report.

Thank you for all that you
are doing.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor?

>> Councilmember morrison.

>> Thank you, mayor.

In deference to the fact
that we have five more
departments, I think, to go

>> Six.

>> Morrison: Six.

I just want to make one
comment, actually two

One is just to clarify the
discussion about the deficit
that we have that the report
showed up.

There was a -- there was a
number thrown out there that
we were 228.

We had a receive did it of
228 officers.

Just to clarify for the
public, that was the number
of officers foreseen by the
year 2017.

I didn't want anyone in the
number of increased officers
by 2017, I didn't want
anyone in the public to go
out there and think oh, my
gosh we're 228 officers
short today because that's
not accurate.

>> My recollection is 257.

But in our discussions with
the author of the report,
the understand -- they
understand you can't just
hire 257 officers overnight.

There's budgetary
implications and the ability
to find them, recruit them,
investigate them, put them
through the process and
actually train them.

So I think if you reach out
to author he would tell you
in a perfect world that we
could do it, it would be
what we need, but we
don't -- there's just no way
to hire that many officers.

Budgetarily-wise, right off
the bat, even logistically
being able train that many
officers overnight, can't do

>> Morrison: The number
was 257, the -- we should go
back to the 257.

We should also look at the
growth in population over
those years.

To clarify that.

I did want to talk about
street events we have gotten
a lot of comments about how
that's really impacting some
of our long term events that
have been here, non-profit

I think that's maybe going
to be a detailed

My thought is that we could
plan, I know councilmember
tovo is interested in that,
too, maybe just getting an
opportunity to sit together
offline to delve into that
to see if there are ways
that you all have been able
to address the issue or that
we could come up with
addressing the issue.

>> I just want to thank the
city manager for his
leadership on that.

What's happening right now,
what will happen sometime
this year, we're moving all
of the different departments
involved in special events
planning to one location and
one texas center and I think
that's part of the best
managed cities which -- the
most liveable city, world
class city, that will happen
this year.

I think that's going to have
a huge, positive impact on
the synergy of bringing all
of those departments
together and most
importantly, not just us,
our ability to talk to one
another, but the community
shouldn't have to run around
at 19 different locations to
get something done.

So I think that is going to
be huge in terms of our
efficiency and in terms
making it easy for the
people that need our

>> Morrison: Well, i
appreciate that.

I completely agree that will

For example the welcome home
iraqi veterans parade almost
didn't happen because of the
prohibitive expenses.

We found ways to work around

I think to think about that
issue more globally is
something that we need to

>> You know, then I will
shut up, mayor.

We will always do our best
as a department to
facilitate, just remember
when we say yes for one
person, this is a huge city
with a small town feel to

You all know what I'm
talking about.

People compare notes, if we
do something free to one
group, then the next group,
so it is a challenge.

I hate to say no to anybody.

We're here to serve.

>> Morrison: Right, we'll
kind that in mind.

>> Thank you.

>> Morrison: Thank you,

>> Mayor Leffingwell:


>> Thank you, mayor, thank
you, council.

Fire department.

>> That will -- that
helicopter there, yours will
be black and white.

but it will be painted red

>> We like the red.

>> Does that get your vote

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

Any questions for the fire
department folks?


>> Are you just doing this
to make it easy?

>> You all want to get out
of here, right?

>> Done?

>> All right.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember riley has a

First I just wanted to start
off with a note on our
progress towards per person

I understand we have three
ladders left to get there.

>> Rhoda mae kerr, fire

We currently have three
areas left to get there.

But we were just awarded
recently a grant, the safer
grant and there is a slide
on that in the presentation
1 million, which gives
us an additional 36

And that will improve --
that will take all of our
units to four-person
staffing much those three
aerials and our three
rescues, our three heavy
rescues, so we are actually
ahead of a council
resolution of 2019 by
several years.

So we are very excited that
we're going to be moving
towards that full
four-person staffing.

I do want to publicly thank
the mayor and council and
the city manager and the
local 975 for helping us in
achieving and obtaining that

So it's really good news for

And we will start a -- a
class in january that will
include those 36 positions,
and they should be on the
street by july.

>> July of 2013.

>> Yes.

>> At that point we will be
at four person staffing for
the first time.

>> That's true.

>> Riley: Terrific, great
to here.

I wanted to hear about the
possibility of a wild land

Some discussion about that

It's been pointed out that
our water utility has a burn
boss and has been in the
position of -- of trying
to -- to do some -- some --
do some measures aimed at --
at wildfire prevention and

But we don't really have a
comparable role within the
fire department.

The numbers that we've been
hearing -- in terms of what
it would take to establish a
wild land within the
department, generally up in
the ballpark for a two
million for actually fully
staffed division but we've
also heard that you could --
you wouldn't necessarily
need to do that all in the
first year.

You could transition to it.

One suggestion has been that
if we just set up three
positions, chief, captain
and a -- and a gis secretary
position, it would be
roughly $4,030,000 in the
first year to have a --
430,000 within the first
year to have a wild land
division within the fire

I wanted to get your
reaction to that.

Is that a priority within
the department, is that
something that you feel
would be an appropriate
expenditure or -- or is that
something that you are not

>> The answer to the
question is yes, we do think
that it's -- it's needed and
we do think that it's

In actuality, we inserted
several slides into our
budget presentation and
there is -- there is a slide
there that talks about where
we go and in the phase 1
we're asking for -- in that
first year, we believe that
again it's sort of saying
that by the time that we
advertise and to get the
position description and
then hire that person and
then that person hires their
staff, we won't need a full
year of -- of funding for
those salaries.

So -- but we have proposed
about a $350,000 budget that
would include an assistant
director position that would
oversee that and a gis
specialist in admin support,
included in that would also
be the -- the development of
the community wildfire
protection plan, which is
really sort of the keystone
of -- of mitigating while
-- wildland fires.

That takes a lot of effort
and development and it's not
just in the fire department.

This wildfire mitigation
division will reside in the
fire department but it
really is more global in
that it includes many other
city departments that have a
part of that and then
ultimately it's also a
coordination and a regional
approach because we know
that if a wildfire starts
in -- in the county and it's
on one side of the road,
it's not just -- not just
going to cross over because
that's the city and they
have a wildfire plan.

So we are working diligently
and have been previously
since september with the
mayor's task force that
we've worked on and that
task force came to some
conclusions, we are able to
make that recommendation
that the -- asked the
manager if we would support
the -- the implementation of
a wildfire division.

So there is money proposed
in this year's budget or the
fiscal year '13 budget for
that purpose.

>> Riley: Chief, mcdonald
did you want to add
something to that?

>> I just wanted to add a
couple of comments to build
on top the comments that the
chief just made.

Over the -- certainly after
september of last year, this
task force that was put
together that involved
representatives from -- from
travis county from our
various city departments,
from the union, we pulled a
lot of folks together that
have been working hard for
the last year.

Actually, implementing some
of the things that -- that
this division would be
taking care of.

We took a look early on on
what -- what are some of the
most vulnerable
neighborhoods, field issues,
education that need to take

All of that work has been
done over the last year,
leading up to this
recommendation that was made
about -- about the division
that would actually carry on
the work that -- that this
task force has been doing
and that recommendation
didn't come until quite late
in the budget process.

And so it -- you know, i
want -- twofold, one, I want
to make sure that folks
understand it wasn't an

It's just that it took a --
it took time for the task
force to work through all of
the different
recommendations, it came
pretty late, and the idea
hyped this division is to
actually continue the work
that a lot of people have
been working on over this
last year.

>> So this budget that's
before us today does or does
not include the phase 1 for
the wildfire division?

>> Does not.

>> Riley: It does not.

>> Does not.

>> Riley: But you all are
suggesting that we could do
the phase 1 for 350.

>> Yes.

>> Riley: That would
require some modification

>> Yes, sir.

>> You are also suggested a
phase 2 that would be an
5 million that
would involve some
additional sworn staff,
scanned fuel mitigation
efforts and the coordination
of prescribed burns.

What's your timing on phase
2, are you all picturing
both of those occurring
within the coming fiscal
year or would phase 2, would
you expect that phase 2
could be done in future
fiscal years?

>> The expectation is that
phase 2 would come and start
in fiscal year '14.

>> Riley: I see.

In terms of fiscal year '13,
what you are suggesting is
that it would just take
$350,000 to move forward
with phase 1, which would
establish a wildfire
division within the fire
department and get us moving
in the direction of really
fully staffing that

>> That's correct.

>> Riley: Okay, thanks.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: And
just to follow-up on that,
are a little bit, I've heard
a lot of talk in the
community that we have this
wildfire threat situation,
which has grown worse and
that we're not doing
anything about itment and
they have been doing a lot
about it over the last year.

A lot of extra effort by
your firefighters who
actually have gone door to
door to hand out
information, materials, but
how to protect yourself, how
to evacuate in the events of
a fire.

How to mitigate potential
fire damage by the way you
manage your landscape around
your house.

So a lot has been done.

We have a good basis to
start from.

With the hopefully the
inclusion of a -- of a joint
use helicopter, it could be
very effective in wildfire,
firefighting, I think that's
a huge step forward, too.

And I fully support efforts
to fund phase 16 the
wildfire mitigation

Because frankly I think it
makes a whole lot of sense.

We are vulnerable,
especially in the western
part of the county.

Not so much on the eastern
part of our county but in
the eastern part of our
metropolitan area.

We have a lot of fuel, a lot
of material for fires.

And that's -- that's one big
thing I think we need to
take a look at is how do we
reduce that fuel supply.

I know that's going to be

That's why I'm asking you to
do it instead of me
but --

>> I appreciate that, mayor.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: But
again we've made some big

We have some more to do.

And -- with the -- with the
help of a lot of public,
public safety commission and
others, I'm sure will make a
lot of progress in the next

I want to touch real briefly
on the safer grant.

We -- we obviously there --
these opportunities for
grant funded positions in
all departments come along
on a fairly regular basis.

A part of our -- on the one
hand you want to say if it's
free, let's take it.

But on the other hand you
want to take a look at that
and say, is this something
that we really need,
realizing that in all
probability when the grant
funding expires, it's going
to fall on us.

But in the case of the safer
grants, this was a clear cut

Because these were people
that were already in our
plan to hire, to -- to
implement the four-person
staffing on the trucks.

All it means is that we can
do that job earlier.

And we can do it at no
expense for doing it

By the time the grant
funding expires is when they
would have been hired

So it's definitely one of
those that -- that there's
no question about whether or
not to accept it, but -- but
just to assure folks that we
do go through that analysis
process for all grants that
we might accept.

Because it will have budget
impact in future years.

Councilmember martinez.

>> Martinez: Thanks,

I definitely want to start
where you ended and not lose
the significance of finally
achieving four-person

Mayor wynn and the council
in 2002 I believe, maybe 3,
voted to move towards
four-person staffing.

That was ten years ago.

City manager ott came on, he
committed with chie
Chief to getting us there by
2017, 18.

>> 2019.

>> Martinez: Here we are
today finally achieving that
in this year's budget.

I cannot lose the
significance of that, not
only to residents but
firefighters, their personal
safety on the job.

Thank you for that, I'm glad
to see us moving towards
full four-person staffing,
as well as on our rescue

In the wildfire mitigation
division, obviously there's
always rampup time when you
create a new division.

How do we know that it's
good go to take a full year
to ramp up?

>> Councilmember, I think
that just in regard to a
full -- you know, needing a
full year to ramp up, i
think that first of all, the
key there is hiring the
right person to head that
division up.

You know?

That that will be a civilian
person at an assistant
director level.

But then the next part that
becomes really important is
that community wildfire
protection plan and that
is -- it's like the -- the
foundation for a wild land

And that is truly, mayor,
that's the part that
addresses how do we do fuel
mitigation and still have
respect for endangered
species act.

Once we have a community
wildfire protection plan,
not just a simple document,
it takes a lot of research
and a lot of work involving
all of our stakeholders,
then we become eligible to
apply for federal funds that
can even help us with those
fuel mitigation efforts.

Then fuel mitigation efforts
can be taken on by seasonal

So we are hopeful that we
will be able to do some fuel
mitigation within this next

>> Martinez: So can you
explain to me why we believe
that needs to be a civilian
employee as opposed to a
sworn firefighter within the
fire department?

>> Well, in phase 2 we do
incorporate sworn employees.

But it's such a subject
matter expert position and
the fact that it's global,
it's not just the fire
department that's involved
in this -- in the -- in the
outreach efforts and the --
and what happens.

It's austin water utility
and austin energy and it's
the county and it's so many
other partners that I think,
first of all, that subject
matter expert becomes
important and also
consistency, you know, and
in our world and in the fire
department, many times our
key people move in and out
of staff positions.

They are there two years or
three years and part of that
actually is part of the
collective bargaining

So I believe that at that
level and the need for that
subject matter expertise and
consistency and
sustainability that that --
that that position should be
the civilian.

But phase 2 does start to
incorporate --

>> sure.

>> Worn and uniformed

>> Martinez: So I guess
what I want to throw out
during the budget discussion
is -- is obviously
supportive of creating the
division at the $350,000

But I want council to keep
in mind that -- that maybe
we need to -- to not fully
5 this
year, but partially fund it.

Because if we can ramp up
within '12 -- within 12,
within eight months, we need
to start fuel mitigation
right away.

If we wait 12 months and
don't fully fund it until
next fiscal year, we have a
division that's identified
work that needs to be done
but doesn't have the
personnel to do it.

So I just wants us to be
mindful of that.

It may not be the full
1.5 million this year.

But if we can hire a
civilian and get ramped up,
you know, understand how
much fuel mitigation needs
to be done, if we're
planning to start fuel
mitigation, in phase 1, i
wouldn't want us to, you
know, just partially do it.

I would want us to go after
it and aggressively pursue
mitigating those high-risk
areas as much as we can.

I don't know what that would
cost, but that's the kind of
conversations that I want to
have before we make the
final decision on the

>> Councilmember,
[indiscernible], chief of
staff, austin fire

One of the things that i
want to point outside is
that the mayor's task force
will continue to function,
in areas of public
education, in areas of
communication with the
community, fuel mitigation,
those kinds of things that
we can coordinate with other
agencies we will continue do
do that so there will be a
parallel track going there.

So -- so when we start the
wildfire division, the task
force isn't going to shut

It will continue to, we.

It won't solve everything,
but there will be parallel
activities going on.

So to give you some level of
comfort there.

>> Martinez: Thank you.

Going back to some
's for this
year, one in particular, the
community outreach is
important for me.

We've had recent fire

Both in the hispanic
community and obviously
community outreach is
actually means community not
just one specific part of
the community, but obviously
hispanic community members
have been affected by this
and they are also -- they
are also spanish speaking
only parts of our community.

What can we do in relation
to this community outreach
person that we're going to

Be effective in those areas?

>> Councilmember, it's
interesting because
yesterday afternoon we met
with some key leaders from
the hispanic community and
we were talking about how
can we better improve our
outreach, how can we better
reach the community
that's -- that's most at

And in both those fire
fatalities, first of all, it
was tragic in that they
occurred within minutes of
each other and one was
elderly and one was young.

Those are our two highest
risk communities that suffer
from fatalities.

In both of those homes there
were no working smoke

There were other challenges
that were presented there
and one of those within --
within the case of the two
children was the language
barrier as well.

But our plan is that this
community outreach
coordinator, we are very
pleased that we've been able
to put that into our budget
will be -- will be working
with our -- our community
leaders and working and
looking at our high-risk
neighborhoods and part of
our plan is to -- to involve
those operations,
firefighters that are out
there, in that community
engagement and we're going
to try to ramp up that smoke
alarm program, so that at
the very least, every home
has a working smoke alarm in

And so -- so we have started
doing some mapping as to
where those smoke alarms

I'm happy to say that I got
a page this morning that
there was a small fire that
the residents evacuate and
they had working smoke
alarms in the home,
otherwise it could have been
very tragic because it
wasn't an easily detected

So we are going to do
everything that we can to
ensure that -- that we do
better job at reaching our
at-risk communities.


I really do appreciate that.

Are we still working with
other organizations to help
us identify these needed
areas, like meals on wheels,
maybe w.i.c. program.

If elderly and children are
our two highest risk areas,
I really want us to go
aggressively pursuing
partnerships with folks who
interact with elderly and
children so that we can
identify those areas where
we can have the most impact
on improving our safety.

>> Councilmember.

I couldn't agree with you
more in working in
collaboration with many
other organizations, elder
care is another one and
lulac and any of those other
organizations, anybody and
everybody that we can
partner with that helps us
get our message across, we
are absolutely trying to do.

>> Great, thank you, chief.

Congratulations on your

>> Thank you very much.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: I just want to
echo congratulations and
congratulations on the

That was a great

I have a couple of quick

Since the earlier questions
talked about fuel
mitigation, I just want to
make it really clear to the
approximate be who may be
listening that you engage in
fuel mitigation on an
ongoing basis.

>> The answer to that is yes
we have been doing fuel

Not necessarily the austin
fire department but, you
know, again we're a partner
in this whole overall global
perspective of mitigating
wildfire risks or the damage
from if they do occur.

And -- and fuel mitigation
has been ongoing with parks
and recreation, it's been
ongoing with austin water
utility, so we just want to
expand that but again i
always -- I try to make it
very clear because we know
there are many competing
interests and we've all seen
the emails and media about
making sure that we are
still protecting our
preserves and maintaining
those things that are
important to us as

So that's why that community
wildfire protection plan is
really pore because it does
take into account all of our
endangered species and
preserves but also how to
create safe adaptive

>> Tovo: Right, thanks for
mentioning the parks
department and public works
I know they've been working
hard on responding to
concerns with regard to
potential fire risk.

>> The water utility as

Harry evans, the water
utility as well has been a
great partner.

>> Tovo: Thank you, do you
have money for this year's
budget for fuel mitigation,
I thought I heard from a
citizen there was some money
available in this proposed
budget for fuel mitigation?

>> In the proposed budget,
$350,000 there is a small
amount in there to do some
fuel mitigation.

Again, we'll partner with
austin water utility, austin
energy, and any other city
partners and county partners
that can help us in -- in
achieving better fuel

>> And does -- is it about
45,000, is that -- that was
the number that I thought
that I remembered.

I can ask it for through the
budget q and a.

>> I'm sorry, I will have to
get back to you on what that
was, I can't quite remember.

>> Tovo: I can submit
this, too, through the q and
a process, how much of the
phase 2 budget includes fuel
mitigation as well.

My colleague suggested that
maybe some or all of that, i
don't want to speak for you,
but what I heard was that it
may make sense to fund some
of that phase 2 so some of
the fuel mitigation could

It would be good to have a
breakdown of that phase 2.

>> We will provide that for
you as well.

>> Tovo: Thanks, lastly i
wanted to talk to you a
little bit about recruitment
and where that falls in our
budget detail.

I wanted to really use that
as a way about talking about
the fire academy.

>> The recruitment part of
our budget is in, it comes
under community outreach,

So we have a whole division,
we have community outreach,
we have recruitment and then
we have community relations.

And so our -- we have
budgeted dollars in there
for the recruitment and in
fact we have adopted a new
way of looking at
recruitment where before we
would recruit for a high
period of time and then hire
and then we would sort of

Now our recruitment efforts
are ongoing, they never

They have -- when we're
getting ready to hire a
group, sometimes we ramp up
the staff so that we have
more people available to
actually go out and, you
know, do recruitment fairs
and do job fairs but we have
a presence year-round on the
recruitment efforts.

>> In terms of the budget
detail that's in front of
us, we have section -- maybe
one of my colleagues can
point me to it.

I see fire emergency
response, emergency
prevention, one stop shop,
operating support, support
services, transfers, other
requirements, emergency

So I guess that I'm just
trying to figure out which
page my -- you said more
general category is
community outreach.

>> And I'm -- we're
conferring on how to direct
you where to look.

>> Tovo: Thanks, I can
submit that question, too.

>> If you would like, we can
get back to you with the
exact amount and where that
would be.

>> Tovo: That would be
terrific, thank you.

>> Tovo: Last year as part
of the budget there was some
shifts with regard to the
city support for the fire

I know as I mentioned, as i
acknowledged last year, i
know some of those earlier
decisions had been made by
the council before I got on

But I wondered if you could
speak to this last year as
the city withdrew some of
its financial support, what
has -- how has the academy
functioned, will the city
continue to be involved in a
financial way in this next
fiscal year and if so to
what extent?

>> The -- the best of my
knowledge and again I don't
have all of the details, but
continued to function
and I believe that austin
community college is now
going to partner with aisd
in making sure that that
fire academy

>> Tovo: Great and it
would be good to get some
more specific information
about whether the city will
continue to have a financial
commitment over this next

To me I know it was a vision
of that fire academy to
assist with recruitment.

I continue to be interested
in hearing how successful
that has been and -- if not,
why not.

So I will submit some
individual questions.

>> Okay.

We will get that information
for you as well.

>> Great, thank you very
much, chief.

>> Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: Thank you,
just to harken back to the
discussion between yourself
and councilmember martinez
about working on the smoke
alarm and outreach program
as with partners, i
appreciate that because i
think there's obviously a
rich opportunity there.

Are you also, you know, we
also have several city
programs where we have folks
working with people in their
houses, for instance,
weatherization with austin
energy, conservation
programs with the water

Are we partners in those
regards on those programs,

>> Councilmember
morrison,able that we have,
but I do believe that we are
going to be looking for more
opportunities so that we
find ways where we know how
we can go out and help
and -- one comment that I do
want to make, even though
it's after the fact, over
this past year we have taken
the ortunity wherever
there is a structure fire in
a neighborhood or in that
community, the next day or
the following days, the
firefighters that live and
work -- I mean, work in that
neighborhood, go knocking
door to door and they talk
to folks and they, do you
realize that there was a
structure fire and this was
the cause and so just let's
be careful and then by the
way, do you have working
smoke alarms and just
through those efforts i
think we've installed over
200 smoke alarms.

I realize that it's after
the fact and we want to be
ahead of the game before
there's a tragedy.

But we have been making sort
of these what I call
grassroots efforts that the
firefighters just go out and
knock on doors and it's been
very effective.

>> Morrison: Yeah,
certainly a teachable moment
at that point in time.

>> That's what we try to do
is grab that teachable

Because many times people
just -- they don't think
that it's ever going to
happen to them, you know,.

>> Morrison: Yeah.

Well, I this I that looking
from -- I think that looking
from the inside of the city
out because we do have those
programs, that's where we
are actually touching
individual homes and
households would be one

The other is, maybe you are
already doing this, we have
a lot of departments,
several departments that
have a continual stream of
community meetings.

If we're talking about the
parks department, doing
community outreach on
things -- on new programs
and projects.

We have the planning and
development review
department going into
neighborhoods and having

I would think that that --
that that also could be an
opportunity to -- to team up
with them and make sure that
you are getting information
out at that point.

>> You are exactly right.

Those are great
opportunities and sometimes
we do capture those and
other times we don't.

But I think we can do a
better job with -- with
getting the community
engagement and community
outreach and that's really
important to me is if we can
engage the community, you
know, I have a saying that
says do your part.

And we have -- we have to
have the community and the
people that we serve know
that there's a part that
they can do and we can help

>> Morrison: I can
envision, I appreciate that.

I think to be really maximum
maximally effective at this,
if we can get something
systematic inside the city,
in pard could have you on
their notification list so
you are always aware of what
the meetings are, your folks
that are doing the outreach
that that would spur that

>> I think that's a great

We're going to work even
harder in our community
engagement because we
realize that's the key.

We have got to prevent these
tragedies from occurring.

Never mind, you know,
prevention, response and
recovery, but the prevention
part is the most important.

>> Morrison: Right.

Then I just wanted to ask
for a brief description, we
are talking about
four-person staffing, we
have made great
accomplishments in that.

It's a significant
investment by our community
into our safety and into the
safety of the residents and
I wonder if, I don't know if
councilmember martinez or
you would like -- I would
like to ask for us lay
people, could you explain
the impact of four-person
staffing, what it means in
terms of increased safety
for our residents and what
it means in terms of
increased safety for our

>> The grant is actually
called safer, it has to do
with safe response for our
emergency response workers.

What that does, if you
recall a few months ago i
showed you a video of a
legacy room, a room that was
built with all solid wood
and cotton fabrics versus a
room of today that is --
that has got light-weight
construction that is built
with, has all kinds of
plastics that burn at a high
rate, and so when a room
flashes over in four
minutes, we have got to put
an effective firefighting
force on the scene as
quickly as possible.

And as we all know, you can
always have an effective
response, but you can only
get there so quickly no
matter how effective you

But if you can put four
people on each unit on scene
in a quick amount of time,
then we can mitigate the
fire and contain it to the
room of origin.

So that in turn makes the
community safer because
we're getting there and we
are putting the fire out and
containing it, or we are
effecting a rescue.

The other part of that is
that -- that it's safer for
the firefighters because
there's so many tasks that
have to be done because this
fire is burning so hot and
so fast that everybody has
an assignment that they have
to do.

So when we have the
appropriate number of people
on the scene to do that, it
makes it safer for our

And there is a slide in our
budget presentation that
talks, it's one of our
performance measures that --
that we have contained the
room, the fire to the room
of origin at 84% of the

And we are able to do that
ite the fact that fires
are burning quicker and
faster because we've been
increasing our staffing,
because we put the
appropriate amount of people
on the scene in a fair
amount of time.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Thank you for that,.

>> Morrison: Thank you for
that, I appreciate it.

I think it's important for
all of us to know the impact
of investing our dollars.

Councilmember martinez did
you have --

>> Martinez: Just some
more anecdotal information.

In 2001 the state statute
was enacted, it was
sponsored by senator
barrientos, it was referred
to as did two in, two out.

So every two firefighters
that you send into a burning
structure, there must be two
firefighters fully equipped
and engaged and ready to
intervene in a rescue
situation should something
happen to them.

That's where this nationwide
movement of four person
staffing started in the late
'90s, the napa adopted it in
2000 I believe as a standard
to live up to.

That's where it kind of made
its way to austin, texas.

Once the state statute was
passed in 2001 we had to
transition our policies in
the fire department and it
was controversial.

Because we only had three
firefighters on a rig, so at
least two fire trucks had to
show up before you could
make entry into the burning
structure, that was very
controversial, that's why we
started moving towards four

One unit there, two
firefighters go in, two can
stay on the outside to
intervene if they get into

>> Morrison: Thank you for

>> Cole: Thank you, chief
kerr I have a couple of
questions, one thing that i
don't think we have touched
on, I know that you have
spent a lot of time with,
we've talked about cadet
training and outreach
efforts in the fire academy.

And realizing that all of
those things have budget

Can you give us a feel for
how your diversity training
is coming?

>> We have -- first of all,
we incorporated diversity
training, if you will.

And we're talking about how
do we best serve our

We have incorporated that
into our cadet training.

Those initial cadets in that
first six months, they are
getting, they are receiving
that type of training.

I think chief aisd kind of
hit it as well, too.

They said it's all part of
leadership training.

It's all about how do we --
how do we treat our fellow
firefighters, how do we
treat the citizens that we
serve and so it's -- it's
really part of our culture
and it's always ongoing.

So in that regard, it's part
of our ongoing fire
department culture and
training and it's -- it's
happening all the time.

>> How can -- does that
relate to the diversity
recruitment efforts that you
are making?

>> In the diversity
recruitment efforts that we
are making, we have really
concentraed on targeting
some of our minority
recruitment efforts.

Sometimes we do really well,
other times it doesn't seem
that we're doing as well.

We've had very good success
this last cadet class in
attracting women.

In the current group now
finishing up testing, there
are actually I think 20
women in the top 100

Which is just phenomenal.

Our hispanic numbers are
increasing as well, our
african-american numbers
have not increased at the
rate that we would like.

We are looking at the data,

Week we have a number of
that population,
african-american population
apply but there was a 46%
no-show rate.

So we're -- we're trying to
go back and find out why
didn't you -- why didn't you
show up for the test or why
didn't you show up for your
oral interviews.

See if it's maybe it's the
date that we give the test,
is it our recruiting

We're working on what's
working and what's not

>> I appreciate that
follow-up and all of the
efforts that you are making.

Colleagues, are there any
further questions?

Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: I apologize.

I forgot one of my more
important questions that i
wanted to ask.

You may have heard me ask
the chief of police about
annexation and the extent to
which the police department
is involved in that
discussion prior to the
council taking action.

I would like to ask the same
question of you, in
particular much one of the
issues that -- in

One of the issues that's
come up recently among my
constituents has been the
issue of infrastructure,
water infrastructure in
areas that the city might be
considering annexing.

I wonder if you could just
sort of speak to that.

When the city is
contemplating annexing an
area, is the fire department
involved in looking at the
water infrastructure to
ensure that it will allow
the city of austin fire
department to protect that
area safely?

Because it sounds like
sometimes the water
infrastructure in some of
those areas may not be like
what we have in some of the
areas service area.

>> I don't want to answer
for austin water utility.

But we are engaged in
annexing, and part of that
obviously is water supply,
but the water supply issues
are usually addressed by
austin water utility, but we
also look at our response
and our effective
firefighting force and if we
need to have yet an
additional fire station and

So when the annexations are
considered and an example
might have been grant avenue

More recently that was
decided not at the time to
take that on as
an annexation project, but
that would have needed a
fire station in that area.

As annexations are proposed
through the city process, we
are a part of that and we do
look at whether we can cover
that from existing fire
stations with existing
resources or do we need to
add an additional station
and additional resources.

>> In fact I would just to
build on it, I would -- i
would say that among the
public safety, the fire
department is probably the
most engaged in those
discussions because as we
talked about with police,
0 has just basically
been plugged in and ems is
already austin travis county
, so they already
serve the county.

So when we are contemplating
annexations, the fire
department and our ability
to deliver those services
are probably among the
public safety departments at
the forefronts of the

>> Great.

So we can expect then with
regard to the annexations
coming forward here pretty
soon before council that the
fiscal impact will have
accounted for any additional
fire support in those areas.

>> That's correct, it does.

We are always involved in
those discussions.

In fact, even more so than
ever before.

Since I've been in -- in
the -- as the chief.

So --

>> great.

>> We are making sure that
we are there.

>> Tovo: Thank you, then i
think the key as you
mentioned is to talk with
the water utility and
coincidentally I think
they're up today, too, about
that issue, about whether
they have the
infrastructure, hydrant,
water pressure, necessary to
provide service to that area
safely, thank you.

>> Cole: Any other
questions, colleagues?


Next we'll -- thank you,

>> Can I just say thank you
to the council that we
appreciate your time and i
know chief aisd took the
privilege and I always want
to take the privilege that i
am so proud to serve at the
chief of the austin fire
department and we -- I used
to say we're striving to be
the best in the country.

I think we've got there.

I just came back from a
conference a few weeks ago,
a national conversation and
we were so highly regarded
and we had three or four
different presentations and
I had more people approach
me and ask me how we're
doing things, can we use
your policies, can we
follow, come visit your
department, see how you're
managing all of this data.

I want you know that we are
seen as the top department
in the country.

It has a lot to do with the
support that we've received
both from the manager and
from the mayor and council,
so I just want to tell you
thank and how proud I am to
say that I get to be the
chief of such a great

Thank you.

>> Cole: Thank you.

Next we have austin travis
county e.m.s.

>> Good morning.

>> Cole: Good morning, go

Whenever you are ready.

>> Field questions?

>> Okay.

>> Cole: Any questions,

You want to thank your
department and say how much
you enjoy working for the

>> Waiting.

>> Cole: Any questions,
colleagues, go ahead.

>> There we are.


Now I feel better.

We have a couple of my team
members that you would like
to introduce.

John ralston, our assistant
director of felon and
administration, he's our
number whiz, chief of staff
[indiscernible] to help
answer questions.

So we're happy to answer any
questions that you may have
about the proposal that we
have submitted.

>> Cole: Any questions,

Councilmember riley.

>> Riley: Yeah.

I want to start by just
asking about some -- some
staffing issues that the
[indiscernible] has been
experimenting with some new
approaches for staffing.

>> Yes.

>> I wanted to ask about
both of those.

First I want to talk about
the community health
paramedic program, we have
talked about in some years
in the past.

We have kind of moved into
that within the last year or

You've got on -- in your
presentation, you first talk
first group analysis, second
group analysis, can I ask
you to just briefly
highlight where we are on
the community --

>> absolutely.

We started off the program
with one officer in charge
of the program who is
primarily working on
creating all of the
community links that we were
going to need in order to
make the program work.

And so we formed alliances
with just about every other
health care provider that
there is in our community.

And we started off with the
sample group, which is
primarily those persons that
use e.m.s. a lot.

We began to work with them
and correct them to the more
appropriate providers of
health services for them.

That reduced the utilization

Now we've added the persons
that council has approved
for us in the previous year
and we have taken another
batch of frequent users.

We've managed to reduce
their utilization of e.m.s.

By about 41%.

We're suspecting that it's
going to get harder and
harder and harder to reduce
that because we're thinning
out the group and we're
getting to those folks that
are the toughest group to

One of the things that we're
beginning to consider is --
is what will be our next
movement for that program.

One of the things that we
are seeing now is -- as
people are discharged from
hospitals, you know, our
community is getting older,
and we're living longer and
we're sicker, many times as
we get older, so the
complexities of health care
are increasing.

One of the things that is
beginning to happen more and
more often, we are being now
included any time patients
are being released from
facilities and they are
quite sick, now they include
our officer hoffmeister to
come in and assess so e.m.s.

Is aware of what their needs
are before they get back

So one of the things that's
beginning to happen is our
need to beginning to elevate
the type of care that we
provide for those types of

Some communities that we
looked at doing best
practices are doing programs
they call advance practice

Those paramedics are able to
go into the homes of these
individuals and do -- do
collection of lab samples
and other types of tests,
report that back to the
physician who is caring for
that individual and they are
able to provide the care
without having to take that
patient, move them back to
the hospital.

So that is probably the next
evolution of this program.

That -- that's now we take
an expansion of nine to a
dozen paramedics and begin
to train them to that level
of care.

That's probably a year away.

It's going to take us at
least that long to develop
the training processes, to
work with our medical
director to develop the
medical protocols that we're
going to need.

And then we'll be back to
talk about the equipment,
the tools and the personnel
that we're going to need and
the additional costs that
come with that.

The advantage to the
community, our community is
better cared for.

We're not seeing, we won't
be seeing a lot of people
for frequent
transports to the hospital
because we are able to
manage them better where
they are in their homes and
by connections to the other
services that are available
to them.

So that's kind of the next

[One moment please for
change in captioners]

>> Riley: To the extent
that those changes will
require additional funds,
you're talking about next

>> Yes.

>> Riley: Okay.

Another shift that's been
the shift to an emt and
paramedic staffing model for
each ambulance.

That's been a very sense
sieve subject for a lot of
people, so how has that been

>> That's going really well.

In the previous hiring
processes that we've had, we
actually had a pretty low

We were lucky to get about
60 people to show up to come
to our test.

In this most recent hiring
process we had 180 people
that filed application.

Of that I believe somewhere
around 120 or so showed up.

Not as many showed up
actually for test as who
showed interest.

One of the things that we've
discovered, this is our
first time to do this, we
did two things.

One is we modified how we're
hiring and staffing our
ambulances, which has
broadened the group that
we're able to go seek andrew
horansky re-- seek out and
recreate n this experience
we aligned ourselves with
the new civil service model
and we found that the
highest failure rate of the
applicants occurred in two

First is the knowledge test,
the e.m.s. knowledge test.

And the second is the e.m.s.

Skills exam.

So one of the things that
I'm going to -- and this
just happened.

This is about a week ago
that we experienced this.

So what I'm going to do is
go back and consider how we
can improve on that.

We don't want applicants to
come in and be surprised by
the level of testing and the
knowledge base that we're
requiring to be an employee

And we don't want them to
walk into one of those
skills exams and that be the
first time that they ever
have to experience taking
one of those exams.

So we're looking at creating
prehire academies and
activities to allow them to
come in and meet with some
of our staff, learn about
the exams and the
qualifications that we're
actually looking for.

Our exams are based on
national standard.

Some of the applicants have
never been tested to that
level and it's their first
time to see it.

So we want to give them
opportunities to see that in
advance, to practice, to ask
questions, to do it in a low
stress environment.

So they have a better chance
of passing the exams when
they actually do decide to
go forward and be applicants
for e.m.s.

>> Riley: You've covered a
lot of ground there so i
want to ask about a few
things that you touched on.

First you mentioned that
you're working on aligning
the department to the new
civil service model.

>> Yes.

>> Riley: Is that in
anticipation of the ballot
item this november?

>> The situation is that the
law gives us a particular
date where if we do not hire
people and do it in a way
that's in substantial
compliance, those persons
stand the chance of losing
their jobs on the day that
it's approved.

So we have to comply
substantially with the civil
service requirements as best
as we can at this point.

>> Riley: So you will be
fully prepared in the event
the item in november passes,
the department will be ready
to move forward seamlessly
with a new system.

>> That's correct.

And the persons we hire
between now and then won't
be in danger of losing their

>> Riley: We've talked a
lot about the hiring

How many vacancies does the
department currently have?

>> We currently have 29 --
excuse me.

49 Vacancies.

And we're just right now
interviewing still.

If we're able to hire 20 of
the applicants, that will
bring us down to 29 by

Then we have planned another
academy in february for
which we're going to hire.

If we're able to bring in
another 20 that will leave
us three vacancies.

Then what we have to account
for is natural attrition.

We overestimate that at
about one and a half persons
a month.

If we were to follow that
and the council and the
county both add equipment
and vehicles and staff to
our current, we could look
at having as many as 17
vacancies remaining in

>> Riley: And once you
hire -- I'm sorry, were you
going to add something?

>> He wants to clarify a
little bit.

>> I think it's important to
mention too that the 49
vacancy number includes 12
's staff of a station
at mueller that's not open

It's still under

So the effective number of
that is 12 less.

>> Riley: Once you hire
someone to fill one of the
vacancies, how long does it
take them to go through the
whole process to be cleared
for independent duty?

>> The academy portion is
only a few weeks.

They can complete that in --

>> the academy is eight
weeks and then about 10
weeks after that.

So about 18 weeks from time
to hire they go to a
two-person crew on the

So they start on the

It's several more weeks or a
couple of months actually
before they're completely
cleared to independent duty,
but from time of hire to
week 18 is where we really
start to benefit from that
extra person in the field.

>> Riley: Okay.

Just a couple more

I want to ask about the
interlocal with travis

Has -- can you provide an
update on efforts to --

>> we're in the process of
renegotiating that agreement
right now.

And there are several things
that we want to address in
that process.

One of the issues that we
have is currently the county
provides us enough medics
and ambulances to cover only
about 60% of the county.

But our performance is held
to 100% of the county.

So we're trying to discuss
how fair that is and how
realistic it is to expect
that we can cover 100% of an
area with 60% resource

The other issue that we're
talking about is the
activity in the county and
the growth in the county is
out pacing that in the city.

Currently our city units are
responding to about 47% of
the calls in the county.

That's creating quite a draw
from the city units.

And our utilization per unit
is increasing pretty

We've got at least two units
right now in the city that
are working way too hard.

A lot of that is driven
because of the cascading
effect that occurs any time
we respond out into the

So we're asking the county
to add additional units and
personnel so that we can
cover better in the county,
reduce the number of calls
that we're responding to
with city units, so that we
can level off the work load
for our employees.

>> Riley: So you're
optimistic about those
discussions with the county?

right now we're
talking about some pretty
radical changes.

Things in the way that we
look at how we develop our
budgets, how we spend our
money, how we deploy our
units, how the units and
equipment is owned.

And even our development

So -- our deployment

So we've put everything on
the table.

At this stage the county has
been very willing to talk
about every bit of this and
we're really very close in
concept about what we're
talking about.

We may in fact be coming
back to you in a near
session, either requesting
an extension of our current
agreement or to allow us to
have a holdover agreement
until we finish our

The changes that we're
making are pretty drastic.

And there may be a delay in
how quickly we can actually
resolve everything before we
can have an absolute new

So you probably will be
hearing from us in the next
month or two asking for an
extension to give us
adequate time to finish our

>> Riley: You mentioned
the growing demand placed on
certain units in the county.

A number of units in the

Is that going to be an issue
with respect to the
ambulances and in terms of
the mileage you put on the

I've heard that there are
some ambulances that are
very -- that are up around
250,000 miles, but -- that
are getting up there in
terms of their age.

Are we going to be facing a
need to replace them?

>> Anything that causes us
to have to move an ambulance
for any reason increases the
mileage demand on that

One of the things that we've
been facing year over year
is we haven't been able to
catch up with our
replacement plan for

So each year when we choose
to replace a few, but not
all the ones that we need,
we begin to backlog the
number of ambulances that
are accumulating too many

This year we've proposed to
change a significant number
of those ambulances.

You won't see that plan.

That's going to leave me
with a huge backlog.

We can't continue to manage
our fleet that way.

So one of the things that we
have planned is a rather
intensive meeting to discuss
is managing its

A lot of this is done for us

So we're going to have to do
some serious work on that.

But yes, our vehicles are
accumulating mileage and we
do have to replace them.

>> Riley: And so that is
not really addressed in the
budget that's before us now.

Is that something that we're
going to be seeing midyear?

>> We're going to replace a
number of our ambulances
this year.

Not enough of them to
alleviate that problem.

>> And let me chime in a
little bit on it.

As you know, years past,
like all cities we've had
some challenges, you know,
with the economy.

And so the replacement
schedule that we've had in
years past we weren't able
to come forward and do some
of the replacements at the
same rate because we had to
make some tough decisions in
the city.

So part of what we're in
discussions with the fleet
about right now is figuring
out the best way to try to
catch some of that up.

But we lag behind a little
bit because we just
simply -- finances here,
we're struggling through
some tough times.

So I think that also
impacted some of the -- some
of the vehicles beginning --
the mileage to rack up on
some of them.

Because usually we have a
schedule where a certain
amount of them rotate out
over a certain number of

And we got off schedule a
little bit through some of
the tougher, recent years.

>> Riley: So what's the
time frame of your
discussions with fleet?

>> We have one next week.

>> Riley: Are we going to
be seeing a report from that
or any recommendations about
budget adjustments?

>> There may be some.

>> I hope to have -- you
know, that's part of the
reason we have that meeting
set up.

So certainly if there's some
upgrades and changes we can
make out of it, we're
certainly going to make it.

But we first have to have
the discussion with them
because they've got to weigh
it out with all the other
needs across the city.

>> And councilmember, also
we switched to a new design
of an ambulance to a450

Ford has had huge issues
with the engines.

That has turned out to be a
very unreliable engine for

And we're actually talking
about switching to a
different chassis that will
carry our patient module.

We're looking at a mold that
will require about half as
much maintenance.

Any time that we have --
even if it's a new unit, if
that unit requires twice as
much maintenance, then our
shop has to work twice as
much to keep that unit

That was an unanticipated
change in the ford design.

We bought those vehicles
without expecting that.

So in all fairness to our
fleet department, they got
hit with having to double up
their service levels for
in an unexpected

That was a surprise to all
of us.

So part of this conversation
is whether or not we should
switch to a different model
that doesn't have the
service demand like this
current vehicle does.

>> Riley: Sounds to me
like we need to be braced
for an item to come in the
not too distant future that
may have a fairly
significant price tag.

>> Ambulances are everything
to us.

We have to get to where
we're going.

>> Riley: But at this
point it's not really -- we
don't know what the cost is
going to be in order to
address all those issues.

And we won't know until
those discussions are

And that will be at some
point after the budget is

>> Well, again, part of what
we've got to balance that
discussion out with fleet
because they look at the
fleet across the board and
the city to see what we can
do and what adjustments they
may be able to make in some
of the other procurements.

So I think it first starts
with having a more in depth
discussion with them about

But again, it's not for a
lack of effort, but it's
some of this also in
addition to this change with
ford had to do with just
getting off schedule those
tough years that we had here
in the city.

>> And they're already doing

They're already shifting
some planned purchases that
they had planned for this
year, not doing those
purchases and instead
replacing some ambulances.

So they're already shifting
some priorities as well.

>> Martinez: Can I ask one
question on that point,

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Are
you finished?

>> Riley: I had one last

>> He's not done going
through mr. levy's emails.


>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember martinez, if
it's okay with councilmember

>> Riley: Sure.

>> Martinez: I thought the
whole reason we switched to
a different chassis in the
previous generation of
ambulances was because of
the truck chassis that we
were using, and why did we
go back to a ford f-350
truck chassis if we knew and
we had that history that the
maintenance was substantial?

>> No, the chassis that we
were using before was a
medium duly chassis, a
freight line he, a much,
much larger vehicle.

And we switched to a much
smaller vehicle, anticipated
to have fewer service
requirements and more

But because of the engine
issues, it's actually

Part of ford's mitigation
process is to require more

>> Martinez: I just
remember we were using fords
before we went to freight

We went all freight line we
are a heavier chassis and
now we're going back to ford
and finding we're back in
the shame shoes.

>> Originally we were on
350's and we were finding
that the f-350, it was
marginal on weight because
of the vehicle design and we
were going through brakes
and everything on that
truck, and suspension.

We jumped up to the next
biggest truck at the time,
which was the medium duties,
which is a big jump.

The trucks are really made
to be -- not made to be

They're made to be delivery

The ride is tough.

And then after that time
ford came out with something
between the two.

It's an f-450, which is what
we're purchasing.

It handles the hate, what
the construction of the
boxes are wider and overall
we really like the size and
the ride and the design of
the truck, but at the same
time ford went to designing
their own engine, and that's
not been a real successful
program for them at this

I think we're in the right
size truck.

The problem is the service
cycle and the failure -- the
recall and failure issues
with this engine is what
we're fighting through,
along with what chief
mcdonald mentioned being
behind in replacement
because of kind of where
everybody is right now with
our budget situation.

>> Martinez: Thank you.

>> Riley: Just one last
issue I wanted to touch on.

And that is -- that relates
to the patient charting
software that e.m.s. uses.

There have been some reports
of issues with that
software, that in particular
that it doesn't allow medics
access to prior records and
that it takes four minutes
to print out a record.

That it's just a clumsy

You're often in the position
of having to reenter data
multiple times for the same

So I wanted to ask you, if
you've been hearing reports
about that and if there's
any issue there that we're
going to have to address in
terms of --

>> we're not anticipating
that we're going to have to
spend any more money on it.

We are working with our i.t.


Part of the way that the
system works is it has to
integrate with hospital i.t.

Systems as well and there
are some hospitals that
won't let us into their@i.t.

System on that complicates
printing some charts.

We are working with the
vendor to try to maximize
and optimize how it prints
because sometimes it does
sit there and it cycle too
long before it prints out a

Some of the things we've
done is we've worked with
the hospital staff to try to
trim the chart down to a
more appropriate size and
have it spin out faster so
it prints better.

We also have worked with --
we have a team that actually
works on this.

And they're actually taking
out a lot of the extraneous
data that's contained in
this system so that it runs
faster and more efficiently.

This system, we've been on
it for about a year and
we're still going through a
lot of the tweaks and bugs.

It's getting better.

I don't think it will ever
be perfect.

We looked at quite a few of
these and they all have

They all have something that
doesn't work.

Overall the system seems to
be working well.

But there are a few bugs
with it and I think we'll
have to live with some of

>> Riley: I appreciate
your continued efforts to
make that work better and
I'm relieved to hear it
won't require any additional
dollars to fix it.

Thanks for all you're doing.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember tovo.

>> Tovo: So earlier you
were talking about -- I've
forgotten the term you used,
but paramedics who could go
into a home and run some lab
tests and then report that
information to the doctor.

I wasn't clear oticon text
in which they would do that.

Would that be in a crisis
situation where somebody has
called 911 or would that be
in the context of the
community health?

>> This is in context of
community health.

It has to do with patients
who are discharged from
hospitals and who are still
pretty sick and who need a
lot more attention than a
typical person would get
when they go home from the

They may have complicated or
chronic illnesses and they
require more monitoring.

What we would do is we would
use our paramedic staff to
be able to take care of
those patients, primarily
within the first 72 hours of

The highest rate of return
to a hospital post-discharge
is within the first three

So what we would do is work
with the hospital to try to
care for that patient to
avoid having to move that
patient again back and forth
and back home again.

And that's the context.

>> In fact, this was
something that council --
again, we received great
support for council to
create this program because
a lot of these folks were
chronically dialing 911.

And in some cases it wasn't
that they just didn't need
some level of help, but
didn't necessarily need to
be transported to the e.r.

So what council has allowed
to do is to
proactively go out, visit
with those patients, keep
track with them and in
return it keeps those other
units available for 911

>> Tovo: I see.

I wasn't aware of that
component of the community
health paramedic.

>> That's new.

We're beginning to develop
that program now.

This whole fiscal year is

Next fiscal year is when we
intend to come back and
probably have a proposal of
additional cost that we may
have to incur to build the

>> Tovo: And I assume that
you're working with our
other community health
partners because in other
arenas I hear about -- I'm
trying to think of the term.

Home visits and where a
nurse will go and visit
patient whose have recently
been discharged and other
individuals who are
considered to be at high
risk of returning.

So I assume that this
program is being developed
in conjunction with our
other community health
partners who may have
similar programs.

>> And it's not long-term.

>> Tovo: I see.

So would you say that the
distinction is that the
community health partners
who are developing home
visits programs are tending
to be more ongoing?

>> Yes.

They could last for years.

We're talking about three

>> Some patients are leased
and already have all those

>> Tovo: Thanks.

I think that may be my
last -- yeah.

I think you've answered the
other question.


>> Mayor Leffingwell:

Thank you very much.

>> Thanks.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: And
trash department is next, i

We're scheduled to go to

I think probably the most
practical thing is if we get
done before noon we'll break
to lunch.

We're scheduled to go until
4:00 this afternoon.

00 it will depend
if we need it, it will
depend on the availability
of a quorum.

I know that I have to leave
at four.

We are skipping

We'll go directly to

And I'll start off.

's to start the
master plan initiatives.

Could you give me a very
quick run down on that.

>> Certainly.

And mayor, city council, bob
getter, director austin
resource recovery.

I would also like to
introduce sam and gloria,
our deputy director, and
tammy williamson county, our
assistant -- tammy
williamson, our assistant

's, let me find
my chart here, we have five
staff that are directly
related to the master plan
implementation, some of the
new programs and diversion
programs that we plan on

And five staffs that are
related to the operational
growth of the department.

And I can break those down
if you'd like.

How far in detail would you

>> Mayor Leffingwell: What
aspects of the master plan
require 10 new f.t.e.'s.

>> For instance, one is zero
waste program development.

Another is business outreach
on the universe tall
recycling ordinance.

Another staff person is a
pio for our universal
recycling ordinance

If we have a resource
recovery center operator
specialist for our bulky
collection program.

And those are directly
related to the diversion

The other staff positions
are indirectly related due
to the growth of the master
plan activities and the
limited staffing levels we
have to increase work, for
example, contract
management, an additional
person on contract

>> Mayor Leffingwell: What
is the cost of the 10 new

>> Good question.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: My
next question relates to

What is the cost of the zero
waste campaign.

I'm assuming that doesn't
require personnel?

>> The zero waste education
campaigns are a combination
of outreach efforts.

I'll give tammy the lead on
that, but that includes
universal recycling,
implementation as well as
the plastic bag issues as
well as recycle right


>> [Inaudible - no mic].


The approximate cost of
that, mayor, is
1.75 million.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: And
that would be for, what, tv

>> It would be for tv ads,
print materials.

You will see, as I said
print materials, cost of ads
on the radio, marketing
materials that will be
handed out, a consultant
that would be -- we'd like
to hire for additional
campaign and outreach,

You see various marketing
targets and tactics for

>> Okay.

So you --

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

So we're working on a cost
number for the 10 new
employees to support the
master plan, not to support
our existing service.

>> Exactly.

That's correct.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: And
the reason I'm asking these
questions, I'm looking
here -- what I'm looking at
is your budget shows a
nine-million-dollar deficit?

>> Yes.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: And
so in light of that I'm kind
of wondering about extra
frills in the budget.

I know you're probably
covering that out of reserve

>> Yeah.

A couple of comments on that

Our budget -- I mention this
in our may presentation.

We have a structurally
deficiency between revenues
and expenditures.

We're on a three-year plan
to become neutral on that
issue, to have revenues
match expand captureds.

-- Expenditures.

The budget proposal in may
has been trimmed down and
you'll note that the rate
adjustments that are being
requested now are
significantly less than what
was proposed in may.

And that directly affects
that deficiency as well too.

We are proposing a lower
rate increase.

The extra aprils that we
have identified -- extra
aprils that we've identified
we've done in july.

We've done quite a bit of
scrubbing in the budget.

And I believe the estimate
is that we scrubbed
5 million out of our
budget request.

>> And mayor, we have the
luxury of a real strong cash
balance to do that.

If we didn't have that --

>> Mayor Leffingwell: What
is the balance?

>> The predicted ending
balance for this year is
$4.1 million.

And obviously a a balance
that will be decreased to
2 million by the end
of next fiscal year.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: By
the end of the next fiscal
year it's going down all the
way to 5.2?

And what's your normal --
what do you have prior to
this year, for example?

>> Prior to this year --

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Nine
plus nine?

>> I believe the carryover
balance was around
20 million into this fiscal

>> Do you have any
departmental policy that you
follow to try to determine
how much reserves you need?

>> Yeah.

We have a one-12th policy.

One-12th reserve policy and
that factors out to about
5 million --
5 million as a cash

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
you're well above for this
year, but not for next year.

>> Exactly.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

Those are the questions that
I have.

Anything further?

Councilmember riley.

>> Riley: Just a couple of

First on the fee schedule, i
notice that -- I know that
the residential is going up
75 for the
base customer charge up to

I also noticed that -- on
the commercial side the base
customer charge is coming
down from -- coming down
from 30 to 9.50.

Can you just explain the

That's a pretty hefty drop
on the commercial base
charge while the residential
base charge is going up

What's the conflict there?

>> Exactly.

What we performed, our staff
over the last six months has
performed a cost of service

What we're doing is
factoring in the direct cost
of services to each client

And what we found was that
we couldn't justify that
30-dollar base rate.

It was an oversubsidized

And I believe that our
services to our business
community has increased due
to the obligations of the
universal recycling

Therefore it's proposed that
at $12 for the clean
community and a base rate of
50 on the cart service and
the commercial sector, and
it's based on direct cost of
providing that service.

We're adjusting the rates
for the direct costs.

>> Riley: Okay.

While there may be a
significant drop in the base
customer charge, there will
be the addition of this new
fee that will somewhat
offset that drop?

>> That is entirely correct.

We're putting the fees in
the programs that are
delivering the services,

>> Riley: Okay.

And then I just wanted to
ask about our -- the
movement toward the north
facility's location.

Could you give us a brief
update on where we are on

>> As you well know in our
master plan we've identified
the need for a north service
center, a deployment of some
of our services in the north
as well as the south for
cost efficiencies.

We also need a north
household hazardous waste
facility and a north fueling

That's what's driving that

We are centering in -- we
were working with the
facility development plan
and actually had a detailed
meeting yesterday on that

And we're working on a
financial plan of action
on -- and a proposal and
we'll be coming to council
pretty soon.

When would you estimate a
council impact?

>> We're always balancing
because we're in the middle
of the facility master plan,
the overall goals of the
city with the departmental

So we're trying to work that
through and make sure that
we're on track so council
gets kind of both of those
at the same time.

So we'll be looking at some
alternatives for austin
resource recovery as well as
some other co-located
departments in conjunction
with the master plan.

I expect it will be coming
forward with the master
plan -- that's not my area
city manager,
but probably the next few

And then with the
co-location part we might
have to come forward a
little bit earlier on some
land alternatives.

>> Riley: So that would be
a capital item that we'll be
seeing in a few months?

>> Yes.

>> Riley: Where are those
dollars coming from?

>> That is part of the
excess carryover balance
that we're dedicating toward
a land purchase.

>> Riley: Okay.

So we can expect to see that
land purchase sometime in
the next few months.

And then of course we'll
have to go through

Certainly it won't be this
fiscal year when that
facility is up and running.

>> I'm predicting late 2015,
early 2016 for occupancy.

We still have a lot of work
to do, site selection as
well as land development.

We are looking at
cooperatively working with a
consolidated concept of
three, four, five different
departments of the city
working together,
co-located, including a
heavy vehicle fleet repair
shop next to our facility.

>> Riley: And you're also
doing some planning efforts
on other major initiatives.

And the one I wanted to
touch on is organics.

Initiatives related to
collection of organics.

Are we going to be able to
see anything this fiscal
year in terms of actually
getting an organics
selection system in place?

>> Yes.

We have a three-year
phase-in for a more
elaborate organics
collection system and we are
starting up a pilot in
january of this coming year
with 8,000 households in
five distinct different
neighborhoods throughout the

Two of those neighborhoods
are annexation areas and
three are existing service

And we will be adding a
third cart to their program
service and asking residents
to put in yard trimmings and
food wastes.

This will be experimental.

We have a lot of questions
about quantity, size of
routes, the type of
diversion that would be

So this would be our first
pilot to gain some

>> Riley: So that pilot
will be moving forward this
year, but you don't expect
any citywide movement
towards organics this fiscal

Assuming that the pilot goes
well, then when do you
expect you might be able to
move forward citywide.

>> Currently the plans are
8,000 single-family
households in this fiscal
year, 16 additional --
16,000 additional in the
following year and then
citywide the following year.

So we're three fiscal years
away from full

>> Riley: We probably
don't know the full
budgetary impact until

>> I think the pilot will
tell us a lot of details.

For instance, we're
collecting yard trimmings
with a year loader.

We'll be converting to a
side loader with this cart.

The question is is it a one
for one trade of vehicles or
is there a need for
additional vehicles when we
service citywide.

We'll know the answer to
that after this 8,000 pilot
is up and running for two,
three, four months.

>> Riley: Okay.

I appreciate your efforts on
that and I'll look forward
to seeing it progress.

>> Mayor, I do have an
answer to your question.

's, we don't
ha a breakdown of five and
five, but of the 10
's, the financial
impact $792,000.

That's for all 10.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

While I'm at that time i
want to ask you one more
question brought up by
councilmember riley's

Organics, yard waste.

We currently pick that up
once a week, correct?

>> Yes.

And we would continue once a

>> And other recyclables
once every two weeks.

>> That's correct.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
would there be any hindrance
or cost savings -- you have
thought about yard waste
once every two weeks along
with recyclables?

>> We've looked in that and
we've also had some
discussions with the public
on the master plan and the
difficulty in going to every
other week on yard trimmings
is the addition of food

Food waste is 12% of the
waste stream.

We want to capture it and
divert it --

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Future plans.

>> Yes, for future plans.

We can't really move that
third cart to an every other
week format because of the
food waste.

The current program on yard
trimmings could move to a
once every two week format,
but given that we'll be
converting in the next three
years slowly over to a
citywide organics cart, we
have not considered going to
biweekly this year, given
the conversion that might
happen in the next two to
three years.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Otherwise you would if it
were not -- it seems to me
that that would be a
considerable savings,
roughly cut your costs in
half by doing that.

>> And given the
participation rate of the
residents, it is a lower
participation rate per week
that could justify every
other week collection.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Yeah, I know in my own case
I have yard waste maybe once
every three weeks or so.

Certainly not every week.

That doesn't say anything
about the condition of my


>> It's go hot summer.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Yes.

Any other questions?


Thank you very much.

>> Thank you.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
council, we're closing in on
noon here.

We have three more
departments, two of them
likely to be somewhat time
consuming, austin energy and
the water utility.

And we also have code

So we can either go on lunch
break now or try to cover
code enforcement.

Any thoughts?

Code enforcement it is.

>> With me today is dan
cardenas, assistant director
of code clients and keith
leach, new assistant
director of code compliance.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Questions for --
councilmember morrison?

>> Morrison: Thank you.


And thanks for your work.

I know you guys have had --
you've been in the front
page of the newspaper over
the past few months.

Congratulations on that.

Or not.

I know that you're working
on programs to be proactive.

We've talked about it at
public health and human
services to be working with
our multi-family -- aging
multi-family housing stock,
and that's a significant
program that you're putting
into place.

I appreciate that.

Do you have a sense of what
the cost of that is.

to cover that or just
shifting some work around?

>> Presently, councilmember,
we're looking at adding four
additional code officers to
start an inspection program
for multi-family.

And the cost of that --
personnel cost is about
$305,000 for those four

They would actually survey
the city and look at those
buildings that are old,
buildings built 40, 50 years
ago, and also look at
problem properties.

We can identify those and
then start a proactive
program of inspecting,
particularly the exterior of
those buildings that are
deteriorating and try and
help prevent problems like
we've seen happen recently
in some of the multi-family

That would be a start.

The cost doesn't end there.

The program doesn't end

We've got to look at some
other issues and we're
forming a taskforce to look
at that.

One is relocation policy and
funding for relocation of
residents if we have to
vacate an apartment complex.

How do we relocate those
persons and how is that
funding if the city has to
step in and do it?

It is and will remain the
owner's responsibility to
take care of those problems,
but some owners, we've
found, don't step up as they

The other part of that is
the issue of -- and it came
out in the public health and
human services committee was

And so that's another issue.

We've started working with
neighborhood housing to look
at that issue.

And how do you help maintain
affordable housing with
apartment complexes that are
aging like that and they
need special maintenance and

Are there any rehab funds,
incentives to help the
property owners to take care
of those problems?

That issue is going to take
us a little bit more work.

And looking at the cost of

And I understand that there
may be some funds associated
with the bond issuance.

That will certainly help and
we'll look for other sources
of funding also.

>> Morrison: Thank you.

I think that as a policy
issue we need to understand
that affordability is one of
our highest priorities and
biggest challenges, and this
is a key element in being
able to do that.

To do that work and achieve

And preservation of existing
affordable housing is
thought to be one of the
cheapest or the least
expensive way to preserve
affordable housing.

So I think it's really
terrific that we are
marrying all that and it's a
very worthwhile investment.

Does the fees for licenses
cover the cost of that

Are we looking at a neutral
impact to our budget there?

>> Yes, absolutely.

The fees collected and
intended to cover the
complete cost of the

>> Morrison: Great.

I'm glad to hear that.

Let's see.

I also noticed in terms of
investigations, the
methodology, we're going to
be moving from a generalized
inspector methodology to a
specialized inspector focus,
which is on 545.

And I guess I'd like to see
that over the years I've
seen it go from specialized
to generalize and now we're
going back to specialized, i

Because I remember in the
olden days there were folks
that inspected that
inspected certain kinds of
compliance issues.

Then it became more aligned
areas, the
neighborhood areas so that
folks could get familiar
with particular areas of the

And in fact some areas of
the city did have more of
certain compliance issues so
there was a focus.

Could you talk about the
move back now to specialized

appreciate that question
because really we're not
moving totally back to

It's sort of a hybrid if you

We want to maintain the
neighborhood code
enforcement focus so that
we've got neighborhood code
officers that work in
collaboration with the
with other departments on a
neighborhood level.

And so that that will still
be the base, the foundation
of our code compliance

Certain specialties would be
built on top of that kind of
lake overlays, if you will.

And those specialties might
include may of the fee-based
programs, the billboard, the
mobile homes, the
hotel-motel inspections,
those kinds of things.

And even the multi-family

A lot of times you would
bring in a specialist and
the multi-family inspection
person that would assist, if
you will.

The neighborhood code
officer would still be
involved, but having the
assistance of a specialized
inspector to help get the
work done.

But yeah, it's sort of a
hybrid model.

We'll keep the district rep,
neighborhood code officer
concept and just build on
top of that.

>> Morrison: Great.

That sounds like a good

And one thing I wanted to
mention with regard to the
multi-family effort, I'm not
sure, but probably connected
with the cdc in that regard,
and I know that there's been
some really good work by
classes and one of our
faculty members up there in
terms of surveying and
looking at aging

So collaborating with them
would be great.

>> At the next meeting
they're presenting a study,
a relocation policy study,
and we're very much
interested in that.

So we'll work with that
committee too.

>> And I know other issues
have come up in the past.

For instance, when folks are
going to have to relocate
for one reason or another,
even making sure we smooth
away for changing their
utility accounts and things
like that can be --

>> austin energy was very
helpful when we had to do
the orders to vacate
recently at a complex.

They actually did waive
those -- the deposits and
allowed the -- it helped the
residents to be able to move
smoothly into alternative

We appreciate their
collaboration, their help.

>> Morrison: And a last
comment, on slide 48 you
have a presentation of the
city of austin citizen
survey and it shows that
satisfaction with
enforcement of kids and
ordinances -- codes and
ordinances were above the
city benchmark,
which is 42.

We're at 46%.

So that means that
presumably every -- four and
a half people out of the 10
that I meet on the street
are happy with it.

It sounds more like 10 out
of 10 are unhappy because
that's who we hear from.

Why are these numbers so

Why is it so hard for a
community -- I see we're
above the average, which is

Why is it so hard for a
community to be able to be
satisfied with enforcement?

>> Yeah.

That's a good question.


>> I guess one area I can
probably lend to is my
experience in writing

It's just one of those
things that when you don't
come in contact with it that
much, you're just not as

But in many cases when
you're having to do that
sort of enforcement it's not
something that's really

And then some of the
complexity of some of the
issues they have to deal
with too, we try to reach a
compromise and try to get
compliance and in some cases
the people that are
complaining about it feel
like you should be tougher.

And because a lot of times
they're at their wit's end
because they've been dealing
with the issue a long time
and really want us to come
down with a hammer on
people, and that's just not
the approach we've taken.

We want to try to get

So I make fun, but it's not
one of those areas that is
really popular, but it's
certainly very necessary.

>> Morrison: My
inclination would be to
assume that the vast
majority of people are not
being -- are not having to
have anything enforced
against them.

Most people are law-abiding.

The vast majority of people

So this number is really
more the general reaction is
more a response to whether
folks feel like we are
enforcing codes
appropriately on other

>> Right, right.

>> We're pleased that we're
above the national average,
above the benchmark, but
we're not satisfied with
where we are.

46% Is not what we want.

We want better than that.

And I think the answer is
the focus on getting --
giving good quality service.

Whenever they call that
we'll have as quick a
response as we can.

Our response is not where we
want it now, but I think
we're working toward
improving that response

And how we do more with the
especially indication.

Letting someone know what
the folks are, having
someone complain the codes.

Educating as much as

And not just what the
violations are, but how do
you remedy, how do you
correct the violation?

What do you do?

It will keep good customer
skills in mind as we provide
that service.

We're writing that ticket,
but it's the way we do it,
with respect and courtesy,
that kind of thing.

I think if we do that those
percentages with increase.

You'll see even better
numbers from this

>> Morrison: I look
forward to that.

Thank you, mayor.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
wanted to ask you a real
couple of budget questions.


>> Correct.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
want to focus on that
because here we are at a
year where in order to
balance the budget, the
proposal is a significant
property tax increase.

So we've got to look very

I think especially at new

The waste hauler licensing
program has nine new
's and that's
transferred from resource

>> Yes, sir.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I've
been here long enough to
remember when this entire
department was a part of
resource recovery, as it's
called now.

So how many total employees
do you have that focus on
this aspect of your
inspection process, which is
illegal dumping?

that are doing that.

One permitted employee and
one temporary employee.

Handling illegal dumping.

And they would be folded
into that nine.

They would become a part of
that nine.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: You
have 1.5 and they have nine.

It's nine existing employees
that are being transferred
to you?

>> No, sir.

Well, the nine employees
don't exist.

We don't have any of those
nine and arr doesn't have

They have a program set up
for registration and
licensing, but really don't
have an enforcement

So with this program
actually creating an
enforcement component, and
the nine positions would
handle that.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I
would have a real question
I'm going to be
looking at that because
obviously when you add
positions in your department
that affects property tax.

When you add those positions
and resource recovery, that
does not affect property

>> Our department is moving
to an enterprise fund and
moving away from general
fund totally.

And this -- this position,
the solid waste hauler
licensing program, would be
completely funded by the fee
that come in from the
program itself.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: All

Well, that's -- that's very

I appreciate knowing that.

's in
resolution of compliance
cases and four which have
already been discussed in

>> Yes, sir.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

That's all I have.

>> Cole: Mayor, I have a
quick question.

You talked about moving to
an enterprise operation.

When do you contemplate that

It's obviously not this
budget year.

>> No.

This budget year.

This budget is adopted.

We would move to an
enterprise fund.

The clean community fee
would cover the cost of the
department with the
exception of the fee-based
programs that are already
covered by fees.

And we would move -- we
would have no -- there would
be no transfer dollars from
general fund.

>> Cole: No transfer

Thank you.

>> I just want to clarify
that the code compliance has
predominantly been funded by
the anti-litter fee.

Historically we're proposing
to change the name of that
fee to the clean community

The general fund transfer to
support code compliance has
been in neighborhood about
$800,000 and is part of this
budget process.

We would be -- we're
proposing to eliminate that
general fund support for the

That's part of why you're
seeing a proposed increase
to the clean community fee,
and then we're also -- we're
setting the department up or
I guess they've already been
set up as a separate stand
alone department from austin
resource recovery.

That's why we're not
recovering to them as an
enterprise operation.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
none of these additional
employees have any impact on
the general fund?

>> No impact whatsoever.

>> Cole: Thank you, ed.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

I think we're done, so we'll
break for lunch and be back
here at -- councilmember

>> Riley: In light of the
significance of both of the
budgets, water utility and
electric utility, I think it
would be helpful to instead
of going straight to
questions to ask the
directors to touch on the
highlights of the
presentations that they
would provide since we are
in a very critical time for
both those departments.

I think hearing a
presentation with both those
utilities would be helpful.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Without objection we'll
stand in recess and
reconvene at 12:55.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

We're out of recess.

We'll begin with the water

And our format has been to
go directly to q and a.

We'll maintain that format,
but I want to ask you a
question to start with,
which is going to involve a
long answer, maybe as long
as three minutes or so.


That has to do with the new
plan we have implemented for
the stability fee.

So if you can just brief us
on that.

>> Greg ma star as, director
of austin water.

We also have david andrews
here, chief football

Yes, this budget includes a
retooling of our fixed fee,
what we used to call our
revenue recovery fee.

You might recall from the
current budget we had
implemented a flat across
the board fixed three of
10 for residential

And part of the budget
discussions last year, set
us on a course for what we
call our joint financial
subcommittee process.

They concluded back a couple
of months ago.

Council may recall a
briefing we had.

As a part of that we are
restructuring that fee.

It's going to be instead of
a flat fee, it's going to be
a tiered fee based on water

So each month will determine
your water use, and the
lower your water use the
lower the flat fee.

As a matter of fact, you can
see it up on the screen,
slide 58.

40 per
month flat fee to a fee that
will vary based on your
water use each month.

So it's still a fixed fee
each month that if you're in
a certain water class that's
what you pay, but it will
vary based on what we call
ourters based on how much
water you use.

So mayor, is that what you
were asking?

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

It's kind of hard to follow
all the way across there
because there's no line.

But are you saying it's from
zero to 2000 it's two

>> Right.

If in any one month you use
zero to 2000 you will pay a
two dollar fixed fee.

If it's 2000 to 6,000 you
will pay a $4.50 fixed fee.

So it will be tiered based
on your water usage.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: But
if you're a low income
customer, if you certify
that you don't have to pay
anything, right?

>> Right.

The cap customers don't pay
the fixed fees for this at

>> Mayor Leffingwell: So
this two dollar -- reduction
of I guess 50% reduction
goes to anybody regardless
of income.

>> That's correct.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: If
you've got a condominium on
top of the austonian, you
get that 50% reduction too.

>> That's correct.

>> Martinez: Mayor?

>> Mayor Leffingwell: I'll
just say I realize this is
part of it.

I don't think it's good

I don't support it.

But it is what it is.

I'll turn it over to
councilmember martinez.

>> Martinez: I just wanted
to ask, following up on your
questions, can you give us a a
breakdown of the percentage
of customers in each one of
those blocks so that we can
have a better understanding
of the impact on the

>> Yes.

I think if you move to the
next slide and -- and the
slide after, --

>> Martinez: I see.

>> This is a graphic form of
that slide.

Let me even skip to the
tabular form as something a
little more straightforward,
the slide following.

53% Of our customers use
less than 6,000 gallons, so
53% of the residential
customers would see actually
a decrease in their water
bill under this

And then as you get above
6,000 gallons -- we picked
6,000 gallons because that's
about the winter average.

So you might think about
that as your essential

And then as you get above
6,000 you start getting more
and more into irrigation
water and then you see a
more steeply climbing impact
of this restructuring

And maybe while I'm at it
too I'll just throw in one
other thing that we talked
about the cap customers and
I think it's important to
understand -- let me skip
ahead a little bit.

We were concerned about the
impact on the customer
assistance program customers
with this restructuring
because we're changing our
block rates too as a part of

And particularly when you
use about 9 to
15,000 gallons it can hit
that customer class fairly

So we also recommended in
this budget process and we
just took this to our boards
and commissions, an
additional discount for cap

Historically we've only
discounted their fixed fees.

We're now recommending that
we apply a small discount or
a discount across their
water variable fees, which
would result in all cap
customers seeing a water
rate discount for the 2013

So I think that's something
we would recommend to the
council at this time also.

I went through that pretty

Maybe if you have questions
on that --

>> Mayor Leffingwell: Any
other questions?

Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: Greg, I know
the joint subcommittee and
staff went through a lot of
analysis and what they were
trying to balance in terms
of coming up with the tiered
fixed fee.

And I wonder if you could
just address the different
pluses and minuses of it.

I think the issue was if
it's just a flat fee are we
discouraging conservation
because the lower users pay

Could you run through the
logic of that?

Because I think it's
important for all of us to
understand why we went for

>> Yes.

The joint financial
subcommittee process working
closely with utility staff,
they were really balancing
several variables.

And at sometimes competing

One, we wanted to reduce the
long-term risk of votesty in
our -- volatility in our
revenue stream.

We want add higher fixed

We were at 10 percent and
our revenue recovery was in
fixed fees where 80% of the
costs are fixed.

We're on a pathway to try to
fix that.

Ultimately wednesdayed up at

Ultimately we ended up at

We tried to recover a few
more fixed fees in a way
that didn't run counter to

That you still wanted to
send conservation pricing
signals and I think our flat
fixed fee structure brought
up concerns about that not
being a pricing signal.

So that's what a kind of led
us toward a more fixed fee.

We hadn't really in well
over 10 or 15 years looked
at our intervals, where we
cut off the water block

So we received a lot of
testimony about that and now
have updated our intervals
for the block rates on more
of a rational system of the
lower 10%, the top 10%, the
wastewater averaging.

We took a more scientific
approach to where we cut off
the various intervals, again
to help with volume activity
and pricing signals and
other kinds of issues.

So it was really a holistic
look at that.

We had developed a model
that we ran up towards of
almost 50 different
scenarios that helped
balance these competing

I don't know, david, if you
want to jump in on other
thoughts too.

But they really were looking
at all of that together to
try to harmonize that and
come out with a
recommendation here that
wasn't perfect because there
isn't a perfect solution,
but one that tried to
balance all of those

>> Morrison: And then the
fixed fee basically is what
drives the decrease in

And -- but I know you all
looked at sort of the
measures of volatility.

And making the fixed fee a
tiered structure, does
that -- is that going to
address to a significant
degree our need for reduced

>> What we found through the
process is we really can't
fix volatility in our water

That we can stabilize it and
see that it not get worse
over time because we're on a
pattern every year our risk
of volatility was getting
agents worse and a little

So I think this
restructuring starts us on a
pathway where we don't see
volatility getting worse in
the future.

It probably gets a little
bit better than where we

And going from 10% fixed
fees to 20% fixed fees is a
part of that solution.

I think the other part of
this budget process and the
recommendation that came out
of that group that gets out
at the other risk of
volatility or management
volatility is mitigating it.

Since you know periodically
you will have highly
volatile revenue years,
we've also recommended and
it's in this budget is the
beefing up of our cash
reserves, the establishment
of a new reserve fund that
would just be for managing
volatility and a small

I think it's forecast at 12
cents per thousand gallons,
to help start funding that
increased cash reserve.

And it would be built up
over a period of five years.

And then there's a whole
series of new financial
policies that we would put
in place with this budget to
manage how and when those
cash reserves would be used
in years that we see
significant revenue loss.

>> Morrison: So really,
what came out of the
committee and it was a
unanimous recommendation
with the committee and
staff, really appears to go
at all these competing
interests, basically, and
the financial stability and
provision of water in many
different ways.

You mentioned, for instance,
the reserve fund.

And that is to build the
reserve fund so that when we
do have the volatility if it
goes beyond that we're ready
to exam, we'll have the
reserve there and then we'll
build them back up.

And I appreciate that
already it looks like you're
sort of working according to
be sort of evolved and more
sophisticated financial
policies and that is the
joint subcommittee
recommended 18 cents as the
reserve fund surcharge and
you saw that there's an
ending balance this year so
we don't need to even charge
18, it's going to be 12.

>> That's right.

We had enough cash balances
at the end of the year to
transfer a bid in to start
this fund out, which helped
reduce the user fee element
of it.

That was one of their
recommendations to is to
look at fund balances in
terms of helping establish
this new reserve.

So yes.

>> Morrison: In sum, i
think that what we have in
front of us here takes us to
a much more sophisticated
and refined and approach to
rates and managing it for
the water utility.

>> Cole: Councilmember

>> Tovo: I wanted to ask a
question that is about a
specific council resolution,
but I think it has potential
budgetary impacts because it
relates to the customer
assistance program and it
was a resolution that we
forward with regard looking
at ways for the financial
assistance program for
customers who live in
multi-family apartments.

I wondered if you had a
sense of the progress.

I understand there are some
challenges in doing that and
I didn't know if you had an
update in where we were in
navigating those challenges.

>> We're working closely
with ae on that change where
we would partner a with ae
to reach those customers
that are multi-family, just
as you described.

There are some technical
issues on how we would ream
the utility for that
kind of program.

I think there's probably
some legal related matters
to sort through too, david,
you may have more specifics
than I on that.

>> I think that's basically
where we are.

We are working with austin

We have in our proposed
budget for 2013 included the
increase of our cap
customers starting in
february of next year, which
is when we would implement
the water rates.

So we are assuming that that
program would include those
tactical additional cap
customers and we're also
including an amount that the
expansion of that program as
continues to market that,
then we factored in some
increases in the cap program
as well.

>> Tovo: Can you point me
to where I might find those
in the proposed budget?

>> I don't think there's any
specifics within the
proposed budget documents,
but we could definitely
provide you some specifics.

I believe just off the top
of my head we're around 4500
customers today.

We are planning that that
would go up to almost 10,000
in february, which is about
the amount that currently
austin energy has.

And then I believe by the
end of the fiscal year we're
assuming that it would go up
to about 18,000 customers in

So we have factored in some
of that additional customers
being signed up.

>> Tovo: That's very help.

And those increases are
estimated to result from
the -- sorry, what a
tortured sentence.

Those increases are a result
of moving toward an
automatic enrollment system.

Is that right?

>> Yes.

>> Tovo: Do you have a
sense of how many -- if you
were able to capture some of
the multi-family customers,
if you were able to navigate
through the technical
challenges, how many
additional ones we might

>> I think right now that
that would be about 4500
customers that are -- we're
at 4500 and basically it
would be almost nine to
10,000 is what currently
austin energy.

So at least those would
be -- we would be even with
austin energy at that time.

And then as new customers
come on through automatic
enrollment, if they are
multi-family, then it would
increase us as well.

>> Tovo: So you estimate
there are about 4500
multi-family customers who

>> that are currently on
austin energy that are not
in austin.

That's the difference right

>> Tovo: Thank you.

That's helpfulful.

>> Cole: Councilmember

>> Riley: Picking up on
the questions about the cap
program, we had a lengthy
discussion yesterday at the
health and human services
committee with austin energy
representatives and folks
from the home repair
coalition to talk about how
they could coordinate their
efforts to -- on home
repairs so that
weatherization can take
place jointly between the
coordinated efforts of
austin energy and the home
repair folks.

And that's something that we
tried to get going during
the time when we had
stimulus funding, but never
really got in place.

Now that we're looking at a
long-term program funded
through the cap program
there's a heightened
awareness of the need to

I'm very pleased that we're
working diligently towards
effective coordination
between those folks.

But one thing that came up
was the need to also engage
the water utility because
the whole understand is
you're getting in there to
do certain repairs and in
that process you can
identify opportunities to
make improvements on things
that you might not have
expected, including, for
instance, water

And so you might identify
leaky pipes or other things
that could actually promote
water conservation.

I just wanted to ask to what
extent y'all are tuned in to
those efforts and available
to help with that
coordination effort to
promote water conservation
efforts as we go forward
with stepped up efforts to
coordinate home repairs and
weatherization efforts.

>> We closely coordinate on
those programs, work with ae
and others, but I'll make
sure we're plugged into that
and as much as we can
participate on conservation,
education and improvements,
we would want to be a part
of that.

That's a group of customers
we really want to reach.

And I'll make sure that that

>> Riley: It seems like
that may printouts to
educate people about -- may
present opportunities to
educate people about looking
for water efficient
compliances and other

>> Yes, absolutely.

>> Riley: Okay.

I wanted to shift now to the
staffing proposal for 2013.

I see on slide 73 for the
coming fiscal year you do
expect to add one full time
employee devoted to wild
land management.

And this morning we talked
with the fire department
about establishing a wild
land division within the
fire department.

And one thing that has come
up in the course of those
conversations is the fact
that we have people within
the water utility who are
doing some of that work

So I just need to ask you,
as we go forward with --
assuming that council does
decide to go forward with
the establishment of a wild
land division within the
fire department, does that
affect your vision for
maintaining staffing
positions for wildlife
management within the water

Or is this something that we
could just ask the fire
department to cover?

>> These are really two
separate issues.

First, I did hear a lot of
discussion with fire and i
think chief evans indicated
this too.

We work hand in glove with
wild land particularly as it
comes to fire, coordinating
and educating.

We have some expertise with
wild land certifications for
fight fires.

We've been teaming with fire
and vice versa.

But our core wild land
issues are not so much water
protection or fire response.

We're not a fire department.

We don't do that part of it.

Really this is about
managing the wild lands for
ecology purposes to make
sure they're accomplishing
their missions to protect
endangered species.

To make sure that we're
maintaining facilities,
upgrading our fences.

We're always acquiring new

Making sure that properties
that have been acquired or
have conservation easements
are meeting their
requirements for
conservation easements.

There's increasing activity
associated with trespassing
on the wild lands and things
like that that we're always
trying to manage those kind
of facilities.

It's really not as much
about fire response issues
if that's what you're asking
with regards to this kind of
a position that we would

>> Riley: So you're saying
there's really no fire
protection activities going
on within the water utility
at this point?

No need for training of
employees on fire issues?

>> We do prescribe burns
within the wild lands to
manage for both ecology
related purposes to make
sure the wild lands are
accomplishing their goals
for water quality protection
in barton springs, make sure
that the wild lands are
accomplishing their goals
for habitat protection or
creation for veerios or
golden cheek warblers and

And we work closely not only
on that, but
other fire divisions.

The wild lands span four
counties, so the wild lands
we manage.

So we have to coordinate a
lot with other

Also all of our prescribed
burn staff are fully
certified in wild lands
training and all the various
certifications you have to
have in order to do
prescribed burns.

>> Riley: So the water
utility has staff doing
prescribed burns and getting
training on prescribed
burns, but you're saying
that the establishment of a
wild lands division within
the fire department would
have no impact on the -- on
how the water utility
carries out these prescribed

>> We would work

We do now.

review our
prescribed burn plans.

They are often on site
assisting us in our
prescribed burns.

Not only them, but other
fire departments because
we're in other jurisdictions

It's a very collaborative
effort now and would
continue to be in the

>> Riley: But you'll
need -- it won't reduce by
one penny the amount that
you have to devote -- the
would have
a wild land management
division devoted to fire
protection wouldn't reduce
the water utility's
budgetary needs for related
to prescribed burns and
things like that by one

>> No.

We wouldn't be asking the
fire department to do --
they're not ecologists.

They would not be able to
plan a prescribed burn to
accomplish the goals of
protecting endangered
species habitat.

That's an effort that's done
by biologists that
specialize in that working
with other staff that we

Again, we always are
collaborating with a.f.d.

And other jurisdictions as
we actually execute a
prescribed burn.

But the process of planning
those for ecology purposes
is not planned to transfer
that to the fire department.

>> Riley: Okay.

I expect we may need to have
continued conversations
about exactly how that
coordination may or may not
be affected by the
establishment of

>> I want to emphasize again
that the percentage of time
and activity that our wild
lands division does related
to prescribed burns is very

That that is a minor part of
the overall objectives of
our wild lands division.

Again, it's much more
wrapped around compliance
with the bcp permits, all
that goes along with that,
as well as making sure that
we accomplish all the goals
when we acquired the water
quality protection planneds
and we had a commitment to
manage those lands in a way
that enhanced the quality of
barton creek and barton

And that's the core mission
of our wild lands that the
prescribed burn element of
that is very minor.

In any one year we don't
have more than one or two
prescribed burns.

Sometimes none.

you're proposing to add this
coming fiscal year for wild
lands management really
would have no involvement in
prescribed burns?

>> That's correct.

In the end everybody may
support prescribed burns in
the sense that they may be
on the site.

We tap all of our staff.

We pay overtime and things
like that.

This is not an f.t.e.

Dedicated just to prescribed

>> Riley: It is wild lands
management, but not burns.

Got it.


that is being
added, that you're proposing
to add would be devoted to
reclaim water.

So I just wanted to get a
general update on where we
are on that program.

I see that reclaimed water
is getting the steepest fee
increase of any of the

rate increase.

One thing I didn't really
understand was that if we're
-- when i
look at the requirements set
out on page 69 under
reclaimed water service, the
budget for 2013 is the same
as it has been for 2012 at

If we're adding an f.t.e.

Devoted to reclaim water
then wouldn't we expect to
have -- wouldn't we expect
that to have some impact on
the budget for reclaimed

Reclaimed water program?

>> Is that the transfer
amount, david, for the

>> [Inaudible - no mic].

>> You're correct.

would be
included in the budget, but
I think on this particular
line item, it's not being
shown in that like it should

It's probably in the other
requirements at a lower

It would have an impact.

I believe that's an engineer
c, if I recall, and it's
probably in the 80 to 90,000
change with the impact of
the salary and fringe

>> Riley: Okay.

There will be some impact on
that line item.

It won't actually be the

It will actually go up a

>> That's correct.

It's probably categorized in
the wrong spot.

And our rate increase, some
put the reclaimed rate
increase in perspective a
little bit.


One of our goals is to get
the reclaimed water utility
over time to be more

Right now it's a -- it's
still a significantly
subsidized part of our
utility that is water and
wasterwater, surprise that

The reclaimed water rate is
very low compared to the
potable rate.

12 per

30 Per thousand

Where the lowest commercial
reclaim rate we would have
on potable would be well
above four.

So what we're trying to do
is over time accelerate
reclaim uses so that it
becomes a higher percentage
of potable and one day in
the future becomes a self
sufficient third utility.

So when you see a 10% rate
increase it seems big, but
it's 10 percent on $1.30.

It's not big in terms of --

>> sure.

Of course the principal
expense involved with the
reclaimed water program does
not -- is not the
operations, it's the capital
expense of actually getting
the lines in place.

And those are set out on
page 75.

We see it from 2013 to 2017.

It indicates that there will
be something of a dip in 20
four, but then the program,
we'll grow a bit the next
couple of years and drop a
bit in 2017.

What this doesn't tell us is
how these numbers compare to
what we've seen in years

It's hard to get a sense of
how these numbers -- is the
program growing?

Is it contracting in
relation to where we've

>> If you -- this would be
about what our pattern has
been, roughly 40 to
$50 million of reclaimed
investment every five years.

That's been about the kind
of arc that we've been on.

It will be up a little bit
one year, down occasionally,
but the overall average is
right between 40 and
$50 million.

I think, councilmember, some
shifting focus of reclaimed
or refocusing of reclaimed,
one of the things we want to
start to do is we would look
into the five-year plan is
we're getting a fairly large
asset base on the ground

I think one of our key
fourth quarter in the future
is leveraging those assets
so we get more customers to
connect on the existing
infrastructure that we have.

That there's I think some
work that we need to do to
market those lines so people
know, hey, you are very
close to reclaim line.

You may want to think about
hook up.

As well as we've made a
commitment and you're
probably familiar with this
through some of the gray

As a matter of fact, it's an
rca bound towards council in
a few weeks where we'll take
a comprehensive review of
all of our auxiliary water
related standards and codes
and where there's overlaps
and where the state code
comes in and how it touches
other departments from code
and austin water and try to
optimize that or streamline
that in a way that helps
peopled in how to connect or
how to use auxiliary water.

While still being very
assertive on protecting the
public water supply.

That that's the balance that
you have between those two.

So in the future you will
see us emphasizing more not
only the creation of new
assets, but we've got a very
large asset base now making
sure we're getting the most
mileage out of those assets
that we have.

Because connecting reclaimed
customers, what the
challenge is is it's not
that these lines are going
to new customers that are
building fresh.

Occasionally that occurs,
like at mueller.

But a lot of this is
converting existing
customers, and that's a very
complicate the process as
you're working through
changing plumbing and the
back flow prevention and

We were just chatting with
this week about some of
the challenges of dealing
with 100 years' worth of
plumbing on the campus and
how you connect it to
reclaim in a way that helps
them out, but also balances
the risk to the public water

>> And that's one thing i
wanted to get to.

When one of the significant
milestones we've achieved in
recent years is the
extension of the reclaimed
water system to u.t.

When was it that the line
actually reached the

>> I think it was about
probably in the end of 2010,
I would say.

>> Riley: End of 2010.

And at this point as we sit
using reclaimed water from
that system?

>> Just a few months ago we
approved their first permit
to hook their first grilling
tower to reclaim and they
have taken -- they're in the
process of taking bids to do
their plumbing changes to
hook that first cooling
tower at san jacinto and
26th street to that.

So they're not drawing
reclaimed water now, but
they're in the process of
taking their first capital
improvement bid to hook that
cooling tower.

We'll be working on the ones
after that.

>> So we're talking a full
two years after the line
gets there, at least two
years before the water
actually flows.

And why has it taken so long
to actually get that problem
solved, actually get the
water flowing?

>> You're working through
compliance issues.

There is appropriately so an
important focus in our
utility and in code
compliance and others that
there not be a risk of
reclaimed water babble
flowing into the public
drinking water supply.

That is a risk we will not

And so it's a judgment of
how you update your codes to
facilitate using reclaimed
water, but in a way that you
don't in any way jeopardize
the public drinking water

So as I talked about, that's
one of the processes
underway to take a look at
all of our codes related to
reclaimed water and also
look at best practices from
other states, arizona,
florida, california, who
have -- are farther down the
road on reclaimed water as
well as san antonio and
others that are using
reclaimed water.

I happen to be the president
of the reuse association of
texas this year, so I have
more resources to reach out
and get that kind of input
back to austin.

When you look at something
like university of texas, as
I mentioned again, they have
100 years of plumbing on the
campus that goes in all
kinds of different

We need to make sure that
that plumbing is back flow
prevented from flowing back
into our system because when
you hook it up on reclaimed,
if the reclaimed system is
somehow connected back into
the drinking water system or
in the future could be
connected back.

Because if some janitor goes
out and gets mixed up on a
line or two and connects
them, you will be pumping
treated wastewater effluent
back into the drinking water

Nobody wants that to happen.

>> Riley: Sure.

>> So I think the challenge
is some capital improvements
's side to help back
flow prevent a little bit
more those things.

And it takes some time.

>> Riley: So the permit is
in process now.

When do you expect that
water will actually be

>> As soon as they construct
those improvements to that
first cooling tower.

I'd have to refer to them on
their schedule for that.

And we'll be tackling and
have been he willing other
applications of additional
cooling towers as well as
irrigation issues in the
future for them.

As we meet and talk about
new buildings or plans we
have for the campus, we'll
be incorporating reclaimed
planning into that.

I think those are the easier
applications because they'll
be from scratch, per se, so
you can build reclaim more
easily into that.

I would expect certainly
this year that they would be
drawing water for that fresh
cooling tower.

>> Riley: I appreciate all
your efforts on that.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Councilmember morrison.

>> Morrison: Two brief

One, I know that there was a
recommendation from the
joint committee, also on
impact fees.

Could you talk a little bit
about where we are on
changing those?

>> Yes, the state
subcommittee made a
recommendation and on the
fees that you pay at the
time of connection.

It's not part of the budget

We're estimating that later
this year or the first
quarter of next year we'll
be back to council to talk
about an update to our
reclaim -- our impact fees.

And we're working through
the impact advisory fee
committee process now.

There will be additional
stakeholder input that will
be going through additional
boards and commissions and
ultimately coming back to

The recommendation from the
joint financial subcommittee
was we should reduce the
amount of discounts that are
given to impact fees.

Basically there's -- it's
more of a local practice.

It's not a state law
requirement that the city
council's policy for many
years has been to do some
discounting of impact fees.

I think to incentivize
investment in the desired
development zone and the
downtown areas back 10 and
15 years ago.

And I think that's something
that we're looking very
closely at, working with the
impact advisory fee, getting
stakeholder input, and would
be making final
recommendations to the
council later this year or
early next.

In addition, a closely
related or related part of
that is there was a
recommendation to update our
service extension request
policy where we provide --
once infrastructure reaches
a certain size we provide
100% reimbursement for that
approach infrastructure.

The recommendation was to
revise those policies and go
to a cost participation on
all projects, not 100%
reimbursement on certain

And we're in the process.

We've already crafted land
use code revisions to that

We're in the process of
going through the land use
code revision update
process, boards and
commissions for that.

We're trying to time this in
a way and also coordinate
stakeholder outreach so that
this comes to the council
about the same time -- since
they're not exam exactly the
same, but they're connected
and impact the same

Developers, home builders,
those kind of groups.

And so again we're
anticipating that being late
this year -- late this
calendar year or early first
quarter of 2013.

>> Morrison: I guess I'm
looking at the service
request reimbursement, slide
77, with a cost funding of
18 and a half million

So that's how much service
extension requests are
costing us right now.

If we were to go to the cost
participation that would
reduce it, correct?

>> Yes or no.

It wouldn'ting an extension

Any approvals that were made
for cost reimbursements
prior to the new land use
code going into effect,
whatever ends up being
approved, would apply going
forward in the future.

>> Morrison: Sure.

5, does this
envision any change to the
service extension request

>> I want to make sure what
we're doing.

What slide are you on?

>> Morrison: Slide number

There's a line item service
extension request
$18.5 million.

>> Those are all approved

>> Morrison: Oh, okay.

>> They were in our capital
program from prior

I think what you would see
is in the future, future
five-year cip's, the amount
of service extension
requests dollars would be
lower as we would eliminate
a 100% reimbursement.

>> Morrison: Okay.

And I think I'm glad they're
coming forward in the future
because they're part of an
important discussion about
the cost impacts of growth
on the people that already
live here, and that's the
way to deal with them.

And then speaking of the
future, one other question.

Is there anything in this
budget that is reflective of
imagine austin in our
comprehensive plan.

I'm just asking because I'm
wondering about like how are
we going to start
integrating imagine austin
and the guidance and
policies there into the
everyday work that we do.

And certainly water and
five-year plans for water
and all are going to be
affected by that.

>> Yes.

First imagine austin
emphasizes forward looking
management of your water
supply and ordinance of

And all of those issues.

That's the heart and soul
part of what the utility

And it's making very
significant progress in
those areas.

So that part of it is
embedded in our budget.

I would say the other
overlap would be in our
capital improvement
planning, we worked very
closely with the city's
overall cip planning group
and my staff has
participated very richly in
the comprehensive plan

My systems planning group,
bryan long does our cip
planning and they've been
deeply embedded in those
teams and all of our capital
improvements are aligned and
harmonized with the
comprehensive plan.

We're not planning to extend
infrastructure into areas
that the comprehensive plan
would not support, where the
comprehensive plan indicates
higher densities in the

That's where we looked at up
sizing infrastructure to try
to manage those at nodes
that they've identified.

I mean, just one example is
that the downtown area,
we're just completing things
like our downtown tunnel,
which is going to emphasize
more investment and
urbanization densification
in the area, so yes.

>> Morrison: So the answer
is yes.

>> Every year we update our
five-year plan.

That's part of our review is
compliance with the
comprehensive plan and
imagine austin.

>> Morrison: I know one of
the things we hear about a
lot is the central city
infrastructure and the
impact on the infrastructure
from increasing density.

So it's important to keep an
eye on it.

>> [Inaudible - no mic].

>> Morrison: I think the
city manager had a comment.

Am I right about that?

>> Just to say that the math
that he's talking about --
the method that he's talking
about, looking at imagine
austin, relative to how
they're conducting business,
is an approach that will be
applied enterprise-wide.

The only thing I would add
to that, and we haven't side
decided yet, but
periodically we will pause
enterprise-wide to assess
how we're doing and what
we're doing in regard to
imagine austin and report
back to council

>> Morrison: Thanks.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:
Mayor pro tem.

>> Cole: A couple more



>> That's correct.

>> Cole: And you had on
the slide that the idea that
that was largely because of

And I'm trying to
understand, I think this is
showing growth between 1995
to 2012-13.

And it shows a big gap
between projected growth and
the number of customers.

Can you explain what this
slide is trying to show us
and why it's over such a
long period of time?

>> It's slide 72, is that
the page?

>> Cole: Yes.

>> What we provide with this
slide is an historical
perspective of austin
relative to the growth of
customers and associated
with that pipeline mileage.

And other facilities.

And I think what we tried to
demonstrate with this -- and
this came up in the forecast
too is austin water's f.t.e.

Count is not much higher
today than it was 20 years

And so the number of pipes
per employee, the number of
customers per employee has
climbed significantly over
the last 20 years.

It shows a good use of
innovative technologies and
productivity of our
employees, but as i
communicated at the
forecast, we don't see that
trend continuing
indefinitely into the future
that we're reaching a stage
where we have to start to
as we continue to see our
systems expand as well as
the increased demand of
aging infrastructure,
implementing council
policies such as we just
talked reclaimed water,
conservation, wild lands
that we absorbed those
's, and
that we're probably
forecasting or we are
forecasting a trend as we
look into the five and 10
increasing as opposed to
staying flat as they have
over the last 20 years.

>> Cole: You have managed
with relatively few f.t.e.


I noticed also that one of
the proposed increases for
personnel and contractual
costs was security at

And that surprised me.

What type of security issues
are we having and is that

>> We made a decision
approximately a year ago to
increase our security
activities at our major
water and wasterwater

So we would have
particularly off shift,
weekend and nights, more
full coverage of security
patrolling the grounds,
checking the gauge, checking
cars as they enter, looking
for people loitering.

It's awwa best practice.

I consulted with the chief
of police on some security
issues, also homeland

And just --

>> Cole: So people
potentially damaging the
water supply?

>> Or trying to get into our

We had some incidents
that -- I don't want to go
into too much detail --

>> Cole: I was just trying
to figure out what was the
risk, and I guess that's one
of them.

>> Yes.

>> Cole: Okay.

I notice that the new debt
service was $9.3 million.

And I thought that was
rather high because the
existing debt service was
five million dollars.

And can you explain where
that's coming from?

>> I think a couple of
pieces of that.

When we say existing debt
service going up, there's
some restructuring of our
debt in the 1990's that
pushed some principal
payments into the future and
we've been working through
those and will continue for
the next few years.

So in any one year we see
existing debt increasing our
debt service from five to
10 million.

New debt is our debt for
capital improvement projects
that we've done more

And things like our everyday
, sewer
rehab work, plant four,
downtown tunnel.

That that's just the debt
service that's been added on
to address past expenditures
in the capital improvement

As we look into the future
we do see a brighter picture

We've been working very hard
to reduce our long-term cip,
just as an example, five
years ago our five-year cip
averaged 1 point five
billion dollars and this
year's five-year cip is one
billion dollars.

So it's come down
considerably and we're
forecasting that to continue
for the next few years.

We'll be below a billion
dollars next year.

Then in 2018, it seems a
ways off, but it's not too
far away, we see a major
drop in our debt service is
forecasted as we clear some
of this debt from the

We would see our debt
service actually dropping in
2018 as opposed to

So we're kind of in the peak
of it now with some of our
existing capital and old
debt restructurings, but
that will ultimately start
to come down as we look into
the 2018 and beyond.

Did I answer your --

>> Cole: Yes.

Thank you.

Thank you, mayor.

>> Mayor Leffingwell:

That's it.

Austin energy.

>> Morrison: I would like
to second councilmember
riley's suggestion that we
work through the slide,
especially austin energy.

We went through such an
extensive analysis with the
new rates and there's 20

And I must confess we got
these slides yesterday and i
did not have time to start
and memorize each one of
them yet.

>> Cole: You're the only
one who hasn't done that.


>> Morrison: I don't know
how my colleagues feel.

>> Mayor Leffingwell: We
don't have to follow with
the q and a, but anyone


Go through your

>> Good afternoon.

We'll go ahead and get right
into it.

I'm larry weiss, general
manager of austin energy.

And mayor and council,
we're -- with me today is
anne little.

And we'll go right through
our presentation.

Page 87 I think is where
we're starting, correct?

We had another slide that's
not in here.

The major impacts,
significant changes this
year is about $51 million of
changes to our budget over
last year.

Citywide we have salary
adjustments, administrative
support on that list and
then departmentally we have
coal and nuclear operating
expense of

And those increases, because
you will probably ask, are
due to stp's, about
18.4 million.

And fayette is about 5.5.

Those are remedial actions
at stp project for outages,
reacting to the nuclear
disaster incidents and
legacy system improvements.

And we had outage expenses
delayed for stp.

So that's large cash drivers

And transition, ercot and
texas and the others are
maintenance at decker and
chill water plant approvals.

We have a system average
seven percent increase that
will kick in the first of

The redesign of our rates.

Line item assistance -- line
item funding for a variety
of activities, but customer
assistance program and
energy efficiency in solar
and street lighting.

And then the regulatory

Also a large change, we are
now on a four-month summer
rates and eight months of
winter, where that used to
be six and six.

So that's a substantial

And increased revenue allows
us to move forward with our
carbon reduction, our
necessity are youable goals
and to remain in the
affordability targets
established by council.

On page 89 this is average
for 12 months, we're
projecting this next year,
this is what it averaged, a
thousand kilowatt average
per month consumer will see
80% of the bills fall in
this range.

85% Of our customers' bills
are below that range.

So that gives a sense for
our increase.

Page 90 is a slide that
demonstrates that if you
take advantage of our energy
efficiency programs which
are among the best in the
country that you will
substantially reduce our
energy use and maybe even
mitigate the increases that
you will see with our rate

And that's what that slide

Changes to tariffs.

At the time we proposed
rates in the documents.

These were not included.

There are -- I'll take
questions on them, but
there's some time of use
issues that we have to
adjust for.

Power supply adjustment
issues and some regulatory

On page 92 in addition there
are some other changes that
we have to do that are as
simple as some typing
errors, all the way to just
helping to find what we
intended with our power
factor program, an example,
we need to make sure we
straightened up some things
on that.

I'll be happy to take any
questions on any detail of

But that's what those two
pages are principally about.

Cost control efforts.

On page 93 we have gone
through -- I go through with
the financial staff way
prior to this budget

We went through all the
different pieces of the
company to make sure i
understand what we're
projecting to do.

And some strong drivers of
course for us is no new

This will be the fifth year
or fourth year.

This will be the fourth year
where we have not added

That doesn't mean certain
parts of austin energy
aren't getting more people
and certain parts are not

That means that we're
managing the workforce and
moving them to the places in
the organization on an
basis that we need to
get the jobs done.

We have a number of
deferrals and reduction in
scope and capital projects.

That's been a large driver
of it.

We have some -- at the top
it talks about some projects
that we could defer.

The general fund transfer,
you're very familiar with.

We maintain that at
105 million.

And funding more projects
with capital, looking
forward is -- with debt
going forward is part of our

We have a 1 point -- and
1 billion
five-year capital spending

In the distribution area
this is probably in my
opinion a conservative
forecast based on what we're
seeing in customer growth
and the numbers of new
buildings, the numbers of
just growth within our
service area.

I expect some of these
numbers to maybe go up over
time, but this is our
current forecast.

We have distribution
substations which are a
direct reflection of that
growth in that forecast and
transmission upgrades.

Some of these transmission
upgrade such as the dunlap
substation that's before us
right now we'll also include
additional revenue down the

Not all of these capital
spending items come without
some additional revenue.

Our electric service
delivery in total of
482 million over these five

Our power production in 2015
out there we're looking
senate additions to our sand
hill generating fleet.

And customer billing we have
some ongoing maintenance.

And in 2015-16 we're looking
at additional upgrades to
that and we have facilities
and technology support.

>> Larry, can I ask a

>> Cole: Councilmember

>> Martinez: Thank you.

So obviously this five-year
spending plan doesn't
include what potentially
could be in the study that's
to come this fall?

>> That's correct.

>> Martinez: About

>> It's what we know today.

>> Martinez: This could
change substantially
depending on council action
of that that study is given
to us.

>> That's correct.

>> Some projects we have in
progress right now.

I'll highlight a few of

You can read them all.

We have the street lighting

We have a 300 kw system
going on at decker.

A lot of the solar systems
that we put in that are
austin energy systems, all
of this counts to renewable

We have several new
customers being hooke up t
the chiller system downtown.

That's the good news for
that business.

And in addition to the
library we have also our
system control center is a
major capital improvement.

And that will be operational
this fall late.

Some photos of some of these
capital improvements are on
page 96.

The carver library, good,
beautiful solar installation
put up there.

On page 97 some
developmental highlights
that will be reflected.

And we'll put this in place,
hopefully going into 14 and

One is the line extension
policy, new service fees.

This was asked as a part of
our rate work and it is
business that we do really
need to take a long look at.

We've -- austin energy
drifted away from line
extension policies that it
had in place in the light
80's and 90's and made other

And that is substantially --
it may substantially have
reduced some of the revenue
we have for new took hooking
up and dealing with the
growth in our system.

Additional renewable energy,
congress is legislated to
renew the tax credits for
wind projects this fall.

I believe with the politics
going on at the national
level, everything we hear is
that these will be approved.

That will put us in a
position to acquire some new
wind facilities next year,
new wind contracts.

Our energy efficiency and
our solar incentives are not
restrained by budget.

This is an important issue.

I won't belabor it too long,
but as you know we have the
public benefits charge now
and we have the ability to
collect revenue to run our
incentive program for solar,
consumer solar and for
consumer energy efficiency
using those funds.

So the budget has been under
pressure, as you know, by a
number of groups saying we
need to spend more or less.

Not less, but more.

And I think that this
funding mechanism gives us
the ability to not tie it to
the budget.

It's really tied to the
performance of the
customers, how much the
customers want our programs
and our incentives and how
they're delivered and so
we're really looking forward
to this because it will take
a lot of discussion points
off the table about how big
those budgets should be.

The way it would work is
that this year we have --
when we put our rates in a
place we'll have a charge.

We'll collect so much

If our programs are really
successful and we spend too
much money, we'll set the
charge accordingly in the
next fiscal year and we'll
rebalance it and then we'll
do that going forward,
either up or down.

And so -- anne assures me
that we'll be able to keep
track of that and make sure
it works.

We're going to enhance our
green choice programs.

They are number one in the

We're going to continue to
hold that mark with
improvements that we make.

And our continued support of
the pecan street project.

Behind the scenes at the
pecan street project is
austin energy.

Austin energy is involved in
development of it and it is
our r and d lab.

So we work very closely with
the pecan street project on
everything they do.

And our technical people are
engaged with theirs and all
of the different test

So as we go to test a rate,
for example, or some concept
of how electric cars might
work into the grid or all
these other concepts that
are out there, this is a
place we'll test it first.

You've been handed out a
slide that has more history
on the funding of our
rebates for incentives for
solar energy efficiency.

I want to point out that in
2001 that combined budget
was about six million or
about $7.2 million.

And in fy 13 we're proposing
3, but that is a proposal
that's really tied to
customer engagement.

And if you'll look in the
last few years over nine,
10, 11, that's really the

That's really the customers.

Our programs haven't been
selling as well as lately
because the economy has been
driving back customers and
how much cash they have to
participate in the programs.

The fund summary on page 99
is where our beginning
balance is in millions of
revenue and amended
transfers and where we
predict the fuel to be in
the budget.

And at the end of a year,
and I don't know if you have
any questions, but I wasn't
going to go through it in
detail unless you do.

We have an ending balance
which starts to climb and
our strategic reserves will
go down as you know during
the near term year or two,
and then we'll start to pull
out as we have that
additional revenue in from

>> Page 100 is often not
frankly bragged about
statistic of austin energy
enough, and that is the
credible statistics this
utility has with
interruption frequency and
duration of outages.

There have been times it's
been really high.

You can probably look back
and some of the years and
recognize those are some
very difficult weather years
where there was significant
amounts of outages.

But we established as a goal
starting out the budget year
80 and of
our sade index of 60

And that's the goal we tried
to do.

The last two years have done
very well.

Last three years, frankly.

[One moment, please, for
change in captioners]

>> we have missed you, I'm
going to delve right into
the part of your
presentation that directly
relates to our rate

One of the things that we
ask for is that we begin the
process of I think we called
it a budget, and so I wanted
to talk to you about your
cost control efforts.

One of the things you
mentioned is that you were
deferring projects including
technology projects.

Can you give us an idea of
what that is.

>> We're looking at all of
our contracts is one of the
ways that we're starting, we
will continue to do this
every time a contract
expires, or we need to renew
it, on the it contracts that
you mentioned, we're looking
at trying to reduce the
maintenance that we have in
place and look at other ways
to reduce those on going
costs in it section.

>> So is that a significant
amount or is it of the
budget or what type of cost
containment are we expecting

>> We are looking at
reducing it five to
$7 million if we can.

>> Very significant.

When you talk about your
comprehensive pole
inventory, tells me how that
fits into your cost
containment effort.

I'm looking at the
project -- cost containment
eff -- deferring

>> I think that cost as much
as $2 million, we've
deferred that again.

We need to do that in order
to make sure our pole
contacts are correct.

Which is an infrastructure
rental revenue that we get,
and also just to know where
the poles are and make sure
that our gps and gis systems
are correct.

>> So just better tracking
and delaying upkeep and
maintenance, I guess, is
that right.

>> Yes.

>> Can you just highlight
some of those for me?

>> One of the largest ones
that we've had is the sand
hill, additional generating
units at sand hill,
depending on how we come out
of our generation plan this
fall, that one of us
discussed earlier, that --
that place holder right now
for that generation piece,
and that is an example of
several that we have.

As I've gone through the
budget with the various
executives at austin energy
on their very budget, that's
been really the theme, is
that how long can we put off
some of these capital
projects, or do we really
need them, I guess is the
first point, and we've
scrubbed that very first,
but then we get into the
plan, making sure that
between -- in the whole
organization that we don't
have a coincidental need for
lots of capital that these
programs are stretched out
as far as we can, which
saves a lot of rate

>> Okay.

And now, I might have
misunderstood you, but
earlier I thought you were
pointing out some potential
upgrades also.

>> Right.

That's the one I'm talking

That is the additional
combined cycle term at the
sand hill.

>> You're going to see some
reductions in sand hill, but
you're going to see some
upgrade cost increases or --

>> you talked about

That is an example of a
project that has been
deferred already two years.

>> I see.

>> And we may defer it
again, depending on what our
strategy comes out being.

The other capital that's in
there, in that capital
forecast, is frankly to deal
with the tremendous growth
we're seeing in the austin
area, in our service area in

>> Okay.

>> From formula one to the
new hospital lakeway, to all
the stuff downtown, I think
I counted the other day six
cranes in the air, and we
all have to -- we have to
build facilities to serve.

>> And we're always dealing
with the question of how can
we accommodate that growth
and yet have it pay for

Can you give us a little
insight on that delay?

>> Well, in this business,
it's always building
capital, putting the
infrastructure in place, and
then you recover your costs
over time, so if you sit
down and look at an
individual customer, as an
example, we have potentially
a very large new customer
addition in our service
area, you may have read
about, but that impacts us
to a about -- the tune of
about $10 million over time,
and a year, and the capital
cost of build what we need
to build there is higher
than that over time, we do
see a payoff where we can
bring that down cost of
service and that customer is
actually building into our
revenues and costing us
money at first, it's
different for every kind of
customer that you have, from
a residential customer to
commercial customer,
industrial customer, they
all have a different cost to
hook up, they all have a
different return on the
energy that we sell, and all
the characters are
different, so it's really
difficult to do that.

>> But do you try to do that
within customer categories
so you have some sense --

>> that's what we do a cost
of service study for.

When we've gone through that
exercise, we look back at a
cost of service study, are
we -- those classes of
customers, the commercial
class, are we adequately
cover ago revenue necessary
to operate that commercial
class, and that includes the
initial growth of some
customers that went in and
the cost do hook them up and
the new sub stations and

So it gets down to really
the sub station costs
factored in.

>> Okay.

And last on this topic, we
spent a considerable amount
of time talking about
changing the debt ratio, and
I've noticed that you've
included it as a means of
cost containment.

Have you been able to figure
out what that is going to
mean to the bottom line this

>> It will really be what it
means to the bottom line
going forward.

Let me give you an example.

So as we go forward, and
let's say we buy -- or beld
a new generating facility,
and other capital decisions
that we make, as we move
into that borrowing, we're
going to use less cash and
more of the borrowing.

We walk into -- as we
demonstrated, we'll walk
into that slowly.

It will take us, what, five
years to --

>> yes, at least three
years, we can defer the
principal payment three
years, so we will be paying
interest only for the first
three years, so it helps
more in the first three-year
period of each large
investment like that.

>> Okay.

Well, I appreciate y'all
having identified your
specific cost control
efforts, and we'll continue
to work on this.

Questions, colleagues?

Councilmember tovo?

>> Tovo: Thanks, thanks
very much, it's good to
revisit some of these

I have a few specific
questions about your

Small ones.

On page 87, well, and
actually in the budget
detail in our bigger book,
you talk about the increase
for salaries -- for salary
increases associated with
wage adjustments, and I just
wanted some clarification
about whether that was --
those are wage adjustments
that have come as a result
of the market study or -- or

>> That's the 3% citywide?

>> Okay.

So those were -- was that
also -- so that was the
increase that we approved in
the budget as well as the
market study adjustment?

>> It includes the market

For us, the market study
adjustment was very small.

I can't remember the dollar
amount, but it was very

>> Okay.

But those are -- those have
been folded together?

Were there any other salary
adjustments or were those
the primary ones --

>> the market study was only
looking at some of the
employees of austin energy,
not all.

>> Which employees were
included within austin

>> For us, it was mainly the
warehouse and administrative
assistants, so it was -- it
was small dollars for austin
energy this year.

>> Tovo: Okay.


And then I guess on that
you talked about -- and i
appreciate you anticipating
our questions on that, the
9 million associated with
the cole and nuclear plant
operating expenses, I think
I heard you say that that
figure represents both
outages and upgrades, and i
wondered if you could just
say what you said again, so
you I could note it -- note

>> Sure.

2 Million is response for
the japan -- the nuclear
disaster in japan.

Specifically, there are a
lot of actions that the
nuclear regulatory
commission is taking with
respect to nuclear
operators, on spent fuel
storage, namely, and a
number of other actions, so
our share is 16% is austin
energy's share of stp, so
this represents 16% of the
total cost of that, that all
the partners, our partners
will share in.

We anticipate that depending
on what the nuclear
regulatory commission does,
that the impacts may reach
deeper into what we do with
spent fuel, primarily.

Today spent fuel is left on
site and water, and if the
industry is moving, has to
move to move that spent fuel
offsite, then there's some
significant costs relative
to the cost of our project,
not a real big impact to
austin energy, but relative
to the industry that has
significant impacts.

and I guess you could say
those are upgrades, more or

>> Right, whether
anticipating this next
fiscal year, yes.

>> Could you just track us
through the rest of that
23.9, so that was 6.2?

>> Yeah, there was
9 million for one
additional outage in fy13.

The unit will be brought
down in october, and there's
an outage relative to that.

There's $2 million for a
legacy system replacement.

I do not specifically know
what that system replacement
is, but it is typically it
controls system for a
operating part of their
operational backbone inside
of the stp.

>> Tovo: And you said --
okay, so that is stp.

Okay, thanks.

>> Pardon me?

>> Yeah.

>> Yeah, this is all stp.

All stp.


And then there was
3 million of stp for
nonlabor items.

We had a large outage, one
of the generators at stp,
and those are deferral
items, I guess, that move
into the next fiscal year.

At the fayette powerplant we
5 million due outage
expense delayed if fiscal
year-12, there were some
outages and that is our

>> Great.

Thank you for taking us
through those details.

And then, on page 91, you
talk about thermal energy

Surprisingly, this didn't
come up, and if it did, it
didn't come up in great
detail, could you describe
what this is all about,

>> Let me describe it as a
higher level, and ann can
jump in and fill in

The -- oh, this is on the
time of use rates.

I'll let you answer that.


>> Okay.

As you know, we moved
through the rates pretty
quickly, and at the last we
had to submit the tariff
with the ordinance, and as
we started implementing
those, we felt -- we found
several things, just kind of
housekeeping things that we
needed to address and change
some of the wording in the
tariff, and one of the
things that we found were we
closed the long-term
contract customer tariff,
and one of them we closed
was this thermal energy

We found out that we needed
to leave that open, because
they're still long-term
contract customers that are
putting in thermal energy

In fact I believe a rebate
was approved for one just
last month.

So we needed to reopen
this -- this tariff.

So this is an existing
tariff that we closed in
error in june.

And so we just want to make
it available so that we --
the long-term contract
customers can continue to
add thermal energy storage.

It's a good thing for austin
energy, because it helps us
meet our demand side
management goals, so we
closed it in error, so we
want to make sure that it's
open for the long-term
contract customers.

>> Okay.

But this is not the
long-term -- this is not the
large primary special
contract rider.

We had closed it, I think, a
meeting or two in advance of
the -- of the wrap-up of the
austin energy case.

That's not what we're
talking about here.

This is just another one
that closed when we approved
the rate proposal.

As you said it was closed in

>> That's correct.

>> Okay.

I guess I have some more
questions on what exactly
that is, but we can -- we
can talk about it offsite,
it's not directly related
necessarily to the budget.

And then a couple of
questions about the budget
detail that's in this big

On page 419 it talks about
an overtime increase, and
also an increase in
temporary employees and
temporary contractual
57600no carrierringconnect 57600
.. that is doing work
around the rate approval,
around the rate design,
which was never anticipated
when the ccmb was put in.

It was anticipated that
rates would happen some day,
the exact design was not.

This contractor has come in
to make sure we meet our

Do you have any comments
about any specific

>> Yes, I don't think those
cost also continue in the

Those consults were for
staff augmentation, because
you may remember we moved
from 24 customer classes
down to 9, and from 91 rates
down to approximately 30.

So in order to implement all
of those, we needed a little
bit of help to get it done
in the 09 day period, so
this is just to help our
staff get through this, and
then we may need them a
little bit further on when
we start changing the water
rate structure, because
their structural changes are
pretty significant as well.

After that, I don't think
that we will need any
consulting help.

>> So that was -- and that
was the question, more or
less, that I submitted for
this week's agenda, whether
some of those costs were
contemplated at the outset,
and I guess maybe that is an
issue for tomorrow rather
than today.

Is it all right to continue
on that path?

I think I -- well, I think
you've given me the part
that relates to the budget
which is that they're not
contemplated to continue
throughout this fiscal year,
and then we'll talk about
the other piece tomorrow.

But I guess -- I guess i
would like to know are there
costs in this year's budget
that were not contemplated
that have had to be added,
some budget lines that
you've had to add in here
because of some of the
challenges with regard to
the budget, the billing

>> I would say only from the
perspective that we have new
rates that we have to put in
place, and when the original
system replacement was
being -- there was no
knowledge of the timing or
the complexity or when we
were going 0 do that, and
and so for example, should
we, a year from now, add --
want to add some kind of
rate structure or something
to our existing rates or do
something different, and
it's beyond the capabilities
of our austin energy it
folks to do.

We might be back to revisit
the small contractors help
us again.

So a lot of that is work
going forward that we're
going to have to manage, but
right now we don't
anticipate that.

We anticipate this.

>> Okay.


I think -- I think that
covers all of the questions
I have at this point.

Thank you very much.

>> Councilmember riley?

>> Riley: Larry, last
night the electric utility
commission passed resolution
on a subject that just is
becoming a fairly routine
for them.

We hear from them every year
on this issue.

In fact every year since
2007 they have passed
resolution recommending
that -- that rate payers not
be required to fund the
economic growth of the
involvement services office.

There's been a lot of
discussion about that, as
you know, including during
the rate case.

We've also recently heard
from data foundary, I guess
that was yesterday in fact
we heard from data foundary,
who -- who raised this same
issue about the allegation
for tgrso.

So in light of all of that
history, can you compare
this year's budget for --
within the -- within austin
energy, this year's budget
for ego -- egrso compared
with last year's?

What is the change compared
with last year.

>> I probably have to have
someone in from like elaine
to come up and answer that,
unless you have the answers

>> It's -- it's only about a
million dollars higher than
last year, and that million
dollars is part of the
administrative support
that's related to the
economic development group.

>> So after all of these
years of talking about
weaning egrso off of austin
energy, including
discussions during the rate
case, this year we're
actually spending a million
dollars more, spending a
million dollars more on
egrso than last year.

>> It is really not a
million dollars more.

It was in our administrative
support trants -- transfer,
it was moved from our
support transfer to their

So their costs were actually
pretty flat.

>> Okay, so it's -- with
respect to austin energy's

>> Yeah.

>> In terms of austin --

>> we're holding steady on
the egrso's support for --
austin energy's support for

So I have to ask, are we
just announcing that that --
can we just acknowledge that
that is our long-term
vision, that we will
continue maintaining -- we
will continue the policy in
depth forever in terms of
the support for -- is
that -- I mean every time
we've raised this issue for
years we've been told we'll
work on that, for years it
was we'll get into that in
the rate case.

Still no change.

So I mean could we at
least -- could we just get a
straight answer as to what
we expect to be doing with

>> As I -- I probably have
to turn it over to my boss
here in a second, but I --
but I think -- I think
that -- here is the way i
explained it to the euc more
than once.

>> And we've got somebody
here waiting to help you
whenever you get ready.

>> Okay.

I'll be quick

You know, it is very normal
for a utility, particularly
the size of austin energy to
work very closely with
economic development
organizations to help grow
our business, that's --
that's -- that's normal.

If ae was a stand-alone
public system here in texas,
we would definitely be
spending some money on
economic development.

Now, is the answer
$11 million?

I don't know the answer to
that, but there definitely
is -- it's very important to
the utility and its growth,
and so we have discussed it,
and I -- I've -- I've let
the euc know that it's
really not -- directly an
austin energy matter, that i
would really have to work to
talk to mark and see how we
want to handle it so --

>> I want to be clear that i
-- I'm not suggesting that
austin energy should provide
no support for economic

That is a standard practice
among utilities, and I think
it's entirely appropriate.

I am once again raising the
question about whether we
have fairly allocated the
costs of our economic and
development -- economic
growth and redevelopment
services, given that -- that
austin energy is not the
only fund that -- enterprise
fund that or utility or
operation that benefits from
economic growth.

I mean there are other --
other folks that benefit
from economic growth, too,
who are contributing far
less than the egrso, and
that really has been the
principal concern.

Have we fairly allocated the
cost of the economic growth
and services.

It doesn't make sent
conceptually to put the
entire burden on our
electric utility, and that's
the question we've been
raising and I'm still
waiting for some indication
that there's some
acknowledgement that maybe
the costs should be --
should be shared -- should
be share by other folks,
folks other than austin

>> Let me -- first, let me
support chris on that.

I thought this is exactly
what we had discussed, but i
stand ready to be corrected
here and there -- here and

>> It's -- in light of --
it's not that it was
untalk -- not talked about
in the course of the budget
development rosas.

We talk about it, and in
fact we talked about various
scenarios, some that were --
I don't know the right
adjective to use, I guess

But it is, in our view,
complicated by the prospect
of the rate case, and it's
hard for me to really talk
about it beyond that, our
decision in that regard was
complicated by that issue.

I'm feeling really compelled
to stop there, unless i
compromise that set of

>> Mayor, can I ask legal a

>> Let me --

>> oh, go ahead.

>> Did you want to add

>> I was simply going to ask
to go into executive
session --

>> thank you.


>> I'm perfectly good with

Maybe I'll try to clarify a
few things, and hit on some
of it, deputy cfo for the

To the extent there are
increases in egrso's budget
this year, I really do want
to clarify it's a movement
of funds.

You heard me talk earlier
about how we had some

We used to budget at the
fund level.

We used to budget the
administrative support
dollar for egrso directly
into ae's budget, and we
thought it would be more
accurate to reflect those
dollars in the egrso budget.

1 million shift,
and then the other increases
are all related to -- almost
all related to wage
increases, entire increases,
health insurance increases,
so egrso for the most part
has a status quo budget
going from fiscal year '12
to '13.

In regards to looking at
egrso's funding model, we
talked about that at one of
the many ae rate
discussions, I remember
having a long discussion
about the egrso on
transferring the fact that
ae supports it all.

And there are some
complications as the city
manager mentioned beyond the
rate case just in defining
those other enterprise
operations that may
contribute to it.

There's restrictions,
hotel/motel, even at the
convention center, seems
like an entity that
benefits, from economic
growth music activities, et

There's limitations on what
we can do with legal
considerations, there's
considerations what we can
do with the use of the hotel
we talked
about aviation again, they
probably benefit from some
of the tourism aspect and
economic development, but
that is pretty much a hard
set --

>> talk about legal

>> No.

>> There you go.

>> That's not going to

>> One of the things I would
mention, and I talked about
it back at that work session
is staff or at least myself
felt that, you know, as
we're looking at alternative
funding models for egrso,
it's important to look at it
in light of the history and
what we do with our
sustainability fund which
came up at our monday --
monday discussion that, you
know, going back about ten
years when ae started
funding egrso, some of these
other enterprise operations
started contributing funds
to the sustainability funds,
so staff recommendation was
to try to look at that
holistically before we start
shifting costs around under
ae under other enterprise
operations to fund egrso, we
need to look at it
holistically, and that
holistic looked, bringing it
all together, staff
recommendation was to start
Carrierringno carrierringconnect 57600
.. I think we've got
some very solid, very solid
research to look to for that
kind of support so --

>> mayor, I think it's

And I do have one last
question, but on a different
subject, but did you want to
move on?

>> No, I wanted to make a
comment on this subject.

>> Councilmember morrison?

>> Thank you.

Just to chime in, i
engle has mentioned to us,
now I'm a little bit
surprised, because we had
brought up the issues and
questions about the
sustainability fund, it's
the first time I'm hearing
actually if it's part of a
larger plan, I too would
very much like to see what
the larger plan is before we
start moving down the road
to the larger plan, and
that -- all to say that it's
part of the larger policy
discussion, so it just
raises concerns more for me
about moving away from the
sustainability fund this
year until we can understand
the whole plan and have an
adoption of that plan by the

>> Before we go to a new
subject, councilmember, i
just want to say that none
of this detracts in the
least the importance of
economic -- the economic
growth department, because i
think that department is in
large part responsible for
the city's success, the
dollars invested there have
come back to us many times
over, and enabled us to get
through a very difficult
time, so from my perspective
at least, I want to make
sure we can do it.

The question is how we go
about it.

>> Councilman tovo.

>> I asked a lot of
questions before.

I apologize, I missed one.

With regard to the line
extension policy, I know
we've talked about this
during the rate case, I know
that you embarked, or at
least there was discussion
about it last fall.

Can you tell us when it was
going to tell us about the
line extension policy.

>> Actually the analysis
started about 8 months ago
or longer, prior to the rate
work getting engaged
certainly with council, i
had already discovered it

It's really a policy issue,
not necessarily
fundamentally business, but
utilities, if you're a new
home, you move into our
service area, utilities have
different rates and
different philosophies about
how much of a cost of
hooking you up should we

We've done the research in

We've found out what is

What ae used to do, and
we're working on a plan.

We've been working on it for

What I'm hopeful to do is
bring that up to the budget
process for 14.

That's the goal.

So we have a lot of work to

So it's -- internal work
underway between our
electric service groups, and
financial eventually, and
then we'll figure out where
we want to go, and then i
will talk to mark and show
him what we're going to be
doing, and rolling that out
I'm anticipating before the
budget next year.

>> Have I a keen interest in
this and I'm glad you've
been focused on it for
awhile, I would ask that
perhaps we could schedule
some time in audit and
finance to hear results of
some of that initial
research long in advance of
next year's budget cycle if
that seems appropriate given
the days that the staff are
at in terms of their work.

>> Absolutely.

>> Uh-huh.

>> Mayor?

>> Ann, let me make a quick
comment with reference to

I know a lot more -- a lot
more items are going to the
audit and finance committee,
and I would like to remind
you that that is a council
committee in that not
everybody on the council
including myself is on it,.

>> If I might suggest, we
could do this as part of our
quarterly raters.

I think that is a better

>> Or work session.

>> You said the magic words.

>> I'm always looking for
something to fill that
.. that
will be good.

>> I would like to turn to
slide 8, which sets out the
rebates, solar energy
efficiency from 2009 to

This -- and you've got the
new one.

I do have the new and
improved version.

>> It's got more years.

>> Same number.

>> Present as somewhat
different picture than we
see in slide 98, and
whichever version we use, i
would like to get some more
information, in particular
starting with solar, we've
talked a lot about the --
the extent of our commitment
to supporting solar.

There's a lot of interest
locally, and in maintaining
austin's role as a national
leader in -- in -- in the
cultivation of a solar

We talked about getting back
to the 2009 expenditure 11.

The local solar advisory
committee has recently
passed resolution
recommending a budget for
this year that increases the
solar budget to ten million
dollars, from this graph i
can't tell exactly where we
are, where we're proposed to
be in 2013 with respect to
the solar incentives.

Can you shed any light on

>> Well, before -- before i
turn it over to ann, she can
shed a little bit of light
on to it.

We're in a little bit of
a -- what I would say a
transition between how we
pay for the -- how we
budget, and our new programs
going forward, an example of
that, you'll be seeing --
you've already seen as our
commercial solar incentive
program, it is performance

We have increased the limit
of that up of 200kw.

You have approval on
tomorrow for 197.9 kw.

You're going to see some
folks throttle it right up
to that 200, that's going
to, in my opinion, turn the
solar program into a grass

I mean we're going to have a
problem the other way, we're
going to have so many
systems that want to come
in, we're going to have to
say, well, just how fast can
we go, and how many can we
put in, because the
commercial sector, and this
is a big change going to
200, from the old way that
we did it, but going into
this commercial sector is
where the real opportunities
are to really grow our

For example, we have
3-megawatts in our system,
we're showing I think four
next year, four megawatts,
we're taking a substantial
jump in the numbers of
consumer-owned solar systems
that we're going to be
putting in our system, so
having said all that, I also
want you to know that coming
up in the next quarterly
report, I'm anticipating a
lot of questions around this
area, so I've got our staff,
and I've been working with
them directly to develop
what exactly are we doing,
what is our transition, how
do we answer those questions
about those budget issues
and should it be ten, and
should it be 8 or what just
should it be.

>> I'm glad you mentioned
the commercial programming.

You had something that local
solar adviser committee has
called our attention to.

They have specifically asked
that the budget accurately
reflect current demand and
historical spending, and
this is a challenge with
respect to the commercial
program, given that it's a
commercial based production,
when we make commitments
this year that has impacts
on budgets in future years,
and we're not sure exactly
how to capture that in this
year's budget numbers.

Have we landed on --

>> we're working on that
now, I anticipate that we'll
go into that, the questions
came up from the duc, they
come up with my personally
how we forecast that, and i
want to have some of our
finance team at ae generate
a lot of the analysis on
that, and ann and I are
working on that, as we speak
about how we do that.

Frankly, right now, with the
way our solar programs
going, it's going to start
out stripping our staffing
at ae, and our ability to
keep up with the demand, and
so that's also a balance
that we have to strike.

We have to strike a balance
with that.

I think also the local solar
community is very
interested, we're very
interested in supporting it.

Local jobs, green jobs, all
of that, we get the program
too big, then the question
is how many out of region
contractors come in and
start doing larger solar
jobs too, there's a lot of
variables at play here,
we're monitoring them very

I've had more meetings on
solar energy in the last
three or four months than i
have since I've come here.

>> One of those meetings was
right in this room, when the
council committee on
emerging technology was
getting a report from the
local solar advisory
committee, and they
presented the recommendation
that included a ten million
dollars suggestion for the
fy-'13 budget, and they
emphasized, as you recall,
that that number was
intended to be directional,
they wanted us to be pointed
upwards in terms of
expanding our solar program,
and that would certainly be
going upwards, because we
are still -- we've been on a
downward trend since the
2009 expenditure level of
7, and they wanted us to
get it pointed upwards, so i
realize it's hard -- there
are outstanding issues about
exactly how to account for
the budgetary commitments on
the commercial side, but is
there anything that you can
convey about this budget,
with respect to that basic
question about which
direction are we headed in
in terms of our budget for
solar incentives.

>> I think it's up.

6 as
you recall this year, came
back with a budget amendment
6 in, because what
had been done in the past is
if we went over budget, we
took the money from some
place else, and -- and it is
sort of my style to that is
that's not the right thing
to do.

If we're going to have
consumer demand that is
going to be that high for
our programs, we need to
accurately reflect the
budget to support that, and
so with our new rate
structure, the ability to --
I guess notwithstanding
there being some limit to
how much we can do, it's
really now up to the
consumer and the free
enterprise out in the
industry to determine how
much they can do.

And we've seen an up tick in
the economy, and we've seen
an uptick in the amount of
individuals interested in
solar projects for their
homes, particularly because
we changed to a value of
solar computation.

It is a pretty good pay back
for customers right now, and
we're monitoring just what
that is.

And over time, as we get
toward our megawatt goal, we
anticipate that some of
those incentives may go
down, and the industry knows
that, and so it's -- it,
like I say, it's really on
fire right now, they're
really putting a lot of
systems in.

But you had a question that
ann was going to answer.

>> I think you answered it.

There's $4 million in the
chart for 2013 for solar
rebates, and that is about
the same that it was last
6 million
budget amendment.

>> Okay.

So we may have a tough time
making the case that that --
that that is -- that's
positive -- that's a
positive direction from
7 that we
had in 2009.

>> Depends on when you want
to look at dollars or

>> Okay.

>> So your argument would be
that if you measure in terms
of megawatts, we're still
stepping up the program.

>> That's the goal I'm
operating under.

If the megawatts cost
nothing, that would be

>> Right.


Some of the discussion
around solar has related to
community solar, and -- and
as you know, there's been a
lot of work on exactly how
we can legally establish a
program to support community
solar, and there's various
ways you could do it.

Once -- a couple of
suggestions have involved
the rate tariff adjustment,
and I know the utility has
come up with some ideas
about how we can do a rate
tariff adjustment how we can
support community solar.

Where are we on that, and is
it part of the fees that are
on the table for this year's

>> The answer to the last
part is yes.

It is part of the budget
going into this next year
that we are in the throes of
the final design of what i
would call a community solar

It will not be called
community solar.

It will have a familiar ring
to it.

When we announce it.

But we are not yet ready to
do it.

It is basically -- let me
describe it as a way a
consumer can participate
with solar energy and
helping them mitigate their
bills and participate as you
would if you put it on your
own home without you having
to make the, you know,
the -- the investment in it,

These are programs that are
similar to others that are
across the country.

There's another program
where -- that has been
pitched to us by a private
developer, a private idea,
an are looking at doing
a test pilot project for
that, and I have staff
assigned directly to work
with that idea to see if
that is going forward.

I have been pretty open in
saying that I have not seen
that idea anywhere in the
utility industry and I'm
always reluctant to be the
first to do some things, but
we're looking at that one
but back to
community solar, this is an
application that has been
done around the country,
we're developing a new twist
to it, and I hope that by
the -- again, the quarterly
report in october that we
can be read did I to
announce what we would like
to do with it.

>> We won't actually be
approve ago tariff to
support community solar in
connection with this budget?

It's something that we'll
hear about --

>> correct.

That's correct.

>> Okay.

>> I will say, though, it
has the same values.

We're still working off the
value of solar calculation,
we're still working off the
same basic economic drivers
that we do in any solar
calculation, but it's just
the form of ownership, and
how the incentives work,
and, you know, basically the
business model behind it.

>> And there's no reason why
a tariff adjustment has to
be tied to the same budget
cycle that we're -- we can
do a tariff adjustment
after --

>> that's correct.

We have the ability to
change those incentives and
that funding without --

>> right.




Making me turn briefly to
energy efficiency.

>> That guy that we have
from the utility on that was
in a memo sent from
december 2011, and that --
that memo said that the
current goal of
800-megawatts, utility
estimates that funding for
energy efficiency, rebates
and incentives, purchases
and other costs need to be
increased about 5 to 8% each
year through 2020.

So as we look at the budget
that's before us now, are
we -- are we -- are we
adhering to that guidance?

Are we stepping up our
funding for energy
efficiency rebates and other
costs to support energy
efficiency programs from
last year?

>> The answer is yes, but
the most important aspect,
the most important variable
to achieve the goal we're
talking about is to get
customers interested in our

So when we talk about door
hanger programs, when we
talk about other ways to
stimulate market to our
customers, in my opinion,
looking at our programs now
having been here two years
and understanding the --
the -- the business makeup
of them, we have to market
these hard to our customers,
and we are getting customer
interest in these programs
is something the contractors
want, it's something that
austin energy want, but it's
vital to the business.

So frankly, I worry about
that more than I do the

If we have that much
consumer demand that comes
in and says I get a call
from fred in this case, our
vice-president of des.

He says we're going to run
out of money, I'm running
out of resources to do it,
that's a problem I want to
have, and right now we don't
have it, and we just need to
get consumer demand up for

Changing the money, making
it more lucrative, I'm not
sure that does it, it's just
that we're coming out of a
time in the economy where
people making different
choices are with their

>> Of course, the hope has
been with the adoption of a
new rate structure that we
would be in position to
make -- to step up our
progress, because that way
they increase the incentive
for progress.

>> Consumers that are
interested in making that
investment, had they sat on
the fence about that in the
last year or two, they
should rerun their numbers
and they will find their
cost effective pay back on
that is better.

>> And that is something
that is particularly
important to keep in mind
when we consider the
progress we've been making
in recent years.

The last four years,
frankly, have not been very
encouraging with respect to
our progress on energy

We've gone from 65-megawatts
in '07, down to 52, to 41,
we've been moving in a
negative direction in terms
of the progress we've been
making annually, on -- on --
on savings through energy

I realize when we look at
the slide on 102, it looks
like we're moving in the
right direction, but I have
to point out that that
slide, and I've made this
point before, that slide is
somewhat misleading, because
that -- the only reason we
see that positive upward
trend is because those
numbers are cumulative,
isn't that correct?

(One moment, please, for

>> feel like every time we have
this discussion, to remember

>> Mayor, page 88.

And the goal.

I needed to make sure that was
in there.

>> We may see diminishing
marginal return as we go
forward, it is cheaper than

I suppose I will need to submit
a budget question for this,
because I don't see it here.

I would like to see a breakout
of our energy efficiency

To make sure we are sensitive
with both the solar programs and
energy efficiency programs and i
think we're going to need to get
a little further into the
numbers on each of those
programs to really bring that


>> Going questions,
councilmember morrison.

I heard you say the
local solar environment is on
fire, that there is a lot of

>> In the commercial sector,

We have had a lot of interest.

We had the community benefits to
pay for that.

we have the
opportunity and the demand at
the potential funding.

>> When we start out the new
rates in october, we will have
this line item that helps fund
what we call the conservation
renewal, the crest, as the fund
is called.

The conservation renewal fund.

And what we're planning to do, i
mean, we could put that number
up higher than what we
anticipate and collect, but we
feel like we would probably be
overcollecting from consumers
what we really need.

So the idea would be, despite
what number we end up with at
the end of the fiscal year, we
will set the new number for
fiscal year '14 to refund the
difference or make up the
difference, either way, for the
previous fiscal year.

>> .

the fact it is at
four million this year, we can
go ahead and fund $5 million?

>> Right.

Getting this million from the
next year.

and look ahead to
getting it from the next year?


So that is helpful, I didn't
quite grasp that.

It might be set at one amount,
we're not limited by that?

>> Right.

We have been trying to explain
that to every stakeholder group
that comes in, it is not tied to
a hard budget, it is the program
demand, as long as it is within
the parameters of everything,
that we would let it go to where
it needs to be, and collect it,
looking back.

>> So we need to make sure we
have the infrastructure
internally to handle the demand?

>> Right.

and maybe you could
keep us apprised, if you end up
bumping up against the
boundaries of what you can do
because of that, because that
would be a reason that we would
be constraining it?

>> Right.

I'm not sure I want any more
problems over there, but that
would be a nice one to have.

The restraint of our program is
that we simply need to have more
people on the ground to keep up
with demand.

That is a great problem to have.

Consumer demand --
so you won't turn
people away because they don't
have the budget?

>> That is exactly right.

>>Morrison: ok.

I want to mention on the line
extension study, it was a year
ago that I understood from you
that it was underway.

It feels a little bit like
searching for the break-even
point in fusion where every year
you do more research in
achieving that goal is farther

I hope we can make progress on

I think a lot of people are
interested in it.

If it --

>> a year ago, we were working
on it.

We're still working on it.

And I got a number of things the
staff's got on their plate.

So my anticipation is there is a
lot of elements to this, for
example, outside of what we
might recommend for pricing

We have to figure out how to
deliver it, because we don't
currently have people that
deliver that product.

There isn't any system to do it.

A lot of those things have to be
worked through.


>>Morrison: ok.

Thank you.

>>Cole: ok.

Thank you, larry.

Thank you, everybody.

Next we'll have the city

If you could come up.

As you do that.

Let me explain -- you're passing
out --

>>tovo: mayor pro tem?

were we scheduled to --

>>Cole: it was on the agenda.

the three who don't have
the experience might want to be
here for the presentation.

I want to raise that as an

let's discuss that

Let me give you background and
context because we can make that
discussion while ken is here.

Normally it comes to the audit
committee and we make a
presentation to the full council
about that, without much
difference that recommendation
is ordinarily adopted.

This year, we wanted to have
that discussion in connection
with the overall budget to be
more comprehensive, and also
that recommendation wasn't that
the auditor wanted was not
immediately paired with the city
council -- I mean the city
manager's request.

So I wanted to hear that.

So I scheduled it to actually
come to a budget work session to
have that presentation.

So all of council can hear it.

We know councilmember spelman is

I would as soon go forward with
councilmember riley and you and
laura and city manager here so
we can hash out because we are
getting down to the wire with
the budget.

So does anybody else want to
comment or weigh-in on that?

>> I had planned on being here
so I don't mind.

But I do agree [indiscernible]
I'm not sure how much we'll get
in the presentation.

I don't think the
dollars are significant, but
because there was a difference
between what management was
originally proposing and what
the auditor was proposing and
because no one in audit finance
wanted to make a solid decision
about it.

I thought we could do it.

I plan to be here until

I don't think it will
00 because it
didn't take an hour in finance.

Go ahead.

>> We have about three slides to
talk about.

Then get into questions to get
us up to speed.

Good afternoon.

Thank you for the opportunity to
provide this additional

While the city auditor's budget
is rolling to the final
approval, approved city budget,
as you know, the city code
states we're supposed to have a
discreet budget, some confusion
about what that exactly means.

We normally present it and it
rolled into the city manager's
budget as well.

Mayor cole when I arrived in
austin, I was asked if I need
any additional resources to
perform the city auditor's job.

I indicated at that time if i
could increase the productivity
of the office.

We did increase that
productivity by about 67% over
the last two years.

However, I have come to the
realization at this point, it
would be difficult to sustain
the level of output provided
without additional resources.

Our goal is to deliver timely

To achieve this, we need to
address the following gaps.

First, I gap in personnel
resources necessary to address
the audit demands facing now and
into the future.

Second a gap in training
resources to achieve the
necessary competency needed to
do that.

The next slide which is hard to
read, apparently -- do you have
copies of this.

>>Cole: yes.

>> It includes 31,000 for
reclassifications, that was the
portion adopted into the city
manager's budget.

We are requesting the following
additional items.

The addition of one assistant
city auditor position, an
auditor 2 position, part-time
administrative assistant
position, which replaces a
similar temporary position we
now have and an increase in the
training budget.

Total amount is approximately
over the proposed budget.

Ready for any questions you may
have at this point.

I hope that was quick enough.

We removed that as a request,
the conference room.

We think we can do that with
savings this year, without
having to ask for it.

Also the gate for the future on
that as well.

first of all, I'm
noticing that this is different
than the one we talked about in
audit in the finance a little

Um, can you -- is this -- the
total additional amount that you
are asking for is that $273,419.

>> Yes.

>> The city manager's budget
gave you over $2 million.

>> I'm having --
it says --

>> I'm putting on my glasses to
see that.

we gave the request
[inaudible] to the assistant
city auditor; is that correct?

>>Cole: ok.

So what we don't have on this
sheet is the actual city
manager's recommendations.

>> Well, that would be the 2772
at the very top.

That would include the citywide
adjustments to the budget we
have plus the two
reclassifications in the unit.

so do you --
that is what we have in
the proposed budget for total
departmental budget.

>> So for your total
departmental budget you have
that amount?

>> Yes.

the amount that you are
asking them to add to the budget
is the $273,419.

>> That's correct.

that is the additional
funds that you laid out?

>> That's correct.

>>Cole: questions?

Are you good?


I think it's -- did you have any
comments about that?

>> I don't.

let me say that we put
increased demands on the
auditor, without a doubt, within
the past two years, especially
and especially within the past

I know with austin energy in
particular and water treatment
plant and so on.

So into the future, I can see us
doing that even more so with
specialized audits, so I do not
have any reservations about
recommending that this
additional sum be added to the
city manager's budget.

But of course, I do not have
anywhere to direct where that
funding would come from.

So I would like your thoughts on

>> Well, right off, you know, it
would -- we'd have to go back,
evaluate it, come back with
recommendations to the council.

Just off the top of my head, i
don't know at this point.

but you can handle that

Councilmember morrison.

I would like to
second what you had to say,
mayor pro tem, because I think
that the value that the auditor
has been bringing to the council
and to the community has been

I also see increasing demand.

The bottom line is, what this
does is increase your capacity
with the additional higher level

And so to be able to do that is
very important.

I would also like to highlight
the staff training item, which
is a small part of it, but i
think that is absolutely
critical for the staff that we
do have, that they're able to
stay up to speed to be able to
maximize what they can offer to
the city.

So I'm also supportive.

>> Just so it doesn't go

It is total request.

We did fund $31,000 of it.

To help with this capacity

And I know that he's been called
upon -- he and his staff do a
lot of extra work.

Some of work, though, frankly
was extraordinary, you know,
related to austin energy and
some of the other things that
we're not likely to see again.


I appreciate you working

Any further comments?

Without any further items, this
session of the austin city
council budget session is

-- Adjourned.