January 4, 2021 Commission Minutes

January 4, 2021 Commission Minutes

January 4, 2021 Commission Minutes

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January 4, 2021                                                                                                                     5:00 P.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call.  Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh was reported absent.

Also present were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Alan Lanning – City Manager.

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. 12/21/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2021-01, 2021-01A, and 2021-P01

ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 


  1. Welcome Center Lease Agreement – Alan stated, this is the lease for the Welcome Center under the formation of Sherman County Community Board.  One concern expressed to me was the City paying for City utilities while the Board pays for the gas.  Costs for City utilities in 2020 was just shy of $1,400.  We can always evaluate the agreement again during budget.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I visited with Gennifer House about agreement and the Board is on the same page as City.  Mayor Garcia asked, under Termination and Breach section, the lessee can terminate agreement with thirty day notice to terminate and lessor can terminate with fifteen day notice.  Why would we terminate contract?  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, if they break the contract we have the right to give them notice to terminate.  Commissioner Farris asked, why are we providing utilities when we are providing the building?  Alan stated, because we are creating a new operation and whatever we can do initially for them to be successful is important.  The costs are minimal and is really not costing City anything.  I feel we should start this way and modify as needed.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve the Welcome Center Lease Agreement seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
  2. FY22 Airport Capital Improvement Plan – Darrin stated, Airport Board met this afternoon to discuss plan.  This is our annual planning to select future projects.  Our current project in FY 21 is Reconstructing Runway 5-23.  We plan to have bids out in March; however, actual start date is when funds are released by Congress.  For Taxiway B you have a contract with Miller Construction for Phase I.  KDOT approved Phase 2 of project so we will bring a contract amendment to approve.  Next project is to Extend Runway 12-30, but it will depend if the FAA can approve because we will have to use discretionary funding.  That project is scheduled for FY24 to allow the FAA and City to build up banks.  The plan outlines projects/improvements scheduled in six to ten years and projects beyond ten years.  They are not prioritized.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, in our first meeting last year we approved the Master Plan, does this plan fall in line with the Master Plan?  Darrin stated, yes, if we want to put a project not on the Master Plan we would have to have project approved by FAA.  Mayor Garcia asked, when do we start Reconstruction of Runway 5-23? Darrin stated, we plan to have bids ready in March and have information to FAA by June 1.  However, the project cannot start until FAA receives the money from Congress.  The money is earmarked for the City of Goodland, but they decide when to fund the FAA.  Mayor Garcia asked, the Airport Board is involved and comfortable with plan?  Darrin stated, yes we met this afternoon.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve FY22 Capital Improvement Plan seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
  3. Selection of Mayor and Vice-Mayor – Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, this item was omitted from the agenda.  Our code states the selection of a Mayor and Vice-Mayor shall take place the first meeting of the year.  I know we contacted Jerry Fairbanks, acting City Attorney and he suggested the item be placed on the next meeting agenda because there is not enough time to have it publicized.  I feel we should move ahead with selection.  Consensus of Commission is to amend the agenda, adding Selection of Mayor and Vice-Mayor to agenda.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Howard to nominate Vice-Mayor Thompson as Mayor seconded by Vice-Mayor Thompson.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-2 with Mayor Garcia and Commissioner Farris casting the dissenting votes.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Farris to nominate Mayor Garcia as Mayor seconded by Mayor Garcia.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-2 with Vice-Mayor Thompson and Commissioner Howard casting the dissenting votes.   Mayor Garcia stated, the item needs to be placed on next meeting agenda. 


  1. Medical Insurance Consultant Services – Alan stated, I am sure this is not what anyone expected.  Our issue is brokerage services for next year that has been discussed for a long time.  I would like to do a more thorough examination of issue and have a comprehensive RFP process to determine if we can combine all insurance services, medical, property and casualty, unless they have to remain separate.  I am first recommending a more extensive RFP process to select a broker and second to allow our current broker, PIC, to bring back the insurance renewal for City.  I prepared a spreadsheet of employee costs which is not enumerated in budget.  There are Commission concerns with costs.  Evaluating comparatively our total personnel costs are about $3,900,000 of which $2,400,000 are for salary, or 61% of costs.  Medical insurance is 20% of budget.  Is that bad?  We cannot tell you because we need to do research with comparative data from other municipalities.  If we are 20% on medical but another municipality spends 40% or 5% on it, how does that compare to us?  Each budget is spelled out by department and costs.  Largest divisions are made up of the Electric, Police and Street Departments so they have the bulk of the costs.  In your packet are two sheets from PIC.  My recommendation for insurance is to renew current grandfather plan at expected costs.  That keeps us within the $807,000 budget for insurance.  Renewal is $775,000, which does not include an employee contribution.  I have reviewed a lot of scenarios for the renewal but in order to evaluate properly we need to put information on paper and let others respond.  My intent is to get an RFP written and get responses from providers.  That will take bulk of the year then we can evaluate budget with prospective direction.  My plan is to write an RFP and review responses.  Other issue to consider is employee contributions and what does it look like, keeping within a cost parameter the budget can handle.  The issue is costs are getting closer to revenues available so need time to get it right.  We need to do RFP for the future, knowing there will be a system in place for next budget preparation.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, is the $807,000 for sure the budget amount?  Alan stated, I believe it is actually 890,000.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, so we actually budgeted $890,000 and these are renewal numbers?  Alan stated, the budget for 2020 is $807,000 and 2021 is $890,000.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, we budgeted about 11.5 % increase for insurance.  Alan stated, my intention with information was an attempt to break down costs by category in each department.  The 2021 budget is $890,000 and there was a provision for property and casualty, with an additional amount to fund electric.  Mary stated, property and casualty is totally separate from medical.  Alan stated, I understand but was trying to include all those numbers for Commission.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, technically we are within budget for the current renewal as it is now.  We can also look at funding at expected levels up to total costs of $890,000.  It would adjust what we are putting in Self Insurance Fund.  We also have to consider we have just under $350,000 in Self Insurance Fund when funded at maximum to cover stop loss.  We need to consider to continue building the fund if we continue with self-funding.  I believe Commission wanted fund at $500,000 before we fund at expected levels.  Mayor Garcia asked, so you are asking for a consensus to have this year to evaluate the whole scope of the situation, then bring a recommendation as to what we should do moving forward on the 19th.  Alan stated, the recommendation will not be on the 19th.  I am asking for some latitude to begin a more thorough comprehensive process. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, Alan is asking us to make a decision on insurance and an RFP process for next year.  Mayor Garcia stated, I have no concerns with that.  Commissioner Farris stated, I do not either.  We are at a point we can choose the insurance for our employees.  I contacted Rhonda today to verify the numbers are correct; she confirmed these are correct.  We budgeted plenty of money to continue with good insurance for employees then give Alan time to look at the process for next year.   I think that is good and what we wanted to get done this year but did not happen.  As far as current insurance coverage for the employees I believe we have enough information to make a motion   Mayor Garcia stated, I want to clarify before you make a motion.  Your motion is to give the City Manager the consensus to evaluate scope of entire situation, but in your motion we are automatically going to give PIC the insurance contract without finding out any information that Alan was to provide to us for USI?  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, that is what my motion was going to be.  PIC already has the contract.  Mayor Garcia stated, the reason I say that is you can make that motion, but in all fairness to a missing commissioner who initiated the process last year, we have discussed and completely exposed to the employees that we would be considering to change to USI with no additional insurance cost to the employees.  At the last meeting Alan indicated he would bring back a recommendation on the information between PIC and USI.  We have to give latitude with the amount of discussion that has taken place between PIC and USI.  One of my main concerns with USI was whether the employees have the ability to go to the doctor in Denver as they do now.  He assured us they would.  Alan stated, I have a suggested motion at the bottom of the page that demonstrates what I am looking for.  In that system I am contemplating renewing our current medical policy with our current provider, knowing that 2021 is going to be an evaluation year.  In that system there are so many complicating factors.  I have had multiple conversations with multiple providers and I am not 100% sure what I understand.   The only way I can do that is to write an RFP with the understanding going forward we will work within the system we have.  An RFP will not only evaluate providers but a recommendation of the products and plans they can bring to us.   It will be a comprehensive scope so that at the end of the year we will know the path we will take.  That path could be status quo but I think my understanding from a cost perspective, we could be working with an entirely new system.  The idea is to maintain our product as best we can and reduce our costs.  There is not a magic bullet to that but it takes a lot of work to figure that out.  Again, not very popular but staff contributions will take into play money that can be used for capital projects.  That all has to be reviewed.  In that discussion there are many sources that come into play with a strategic plan and revenue sources.  Mayor Garcia stated, I have no issue with that, my only concern is we have a missing commissioner who initiated the process.  Your suggested motion is to work with PIC to renew medical insurance and further authorize the City Manager to develop a comprehensive RFP process for the evaluation of service providers for medical, property and casualty services and recommend a structure to the Commission for the future delivery of these services.  Mayor Garcia stated, that is two motions in one, which I have no issue with.  The issue I have is we are throwing USI completely out of the mix.  Alan stated, we are not throwing USI out of the equation.  I am asking to continue with current system but evaluate it on a broader basis.  For example I am not confident enough to know if we change providers we will reduce costs.  Mayor Garcia stated, I am not concerned with the reduction of costs.  The point I am trying to make is that if we pass the motion we are voting to have PIC for the rest of the year.  All we are looking at is allowing Commissioner Brumbaugh to come back and have a vote.  The employees are not concerned with what representative we bring in, whether we stay with PIC or bring in USI.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, Alan is making that recommendation right now.  A month ago he asked for a month to determine his recommendation.  A month has gone by and his recommendation is that we continue with current insurance for one year so he can take some time to evaluate everything.  Alan stated, I am recommending renewing the current insurance and provider for the coming year.  Mayor Garcia asked, in that motion USI would not have any opportunity to represent the City.  Alan stated, not in the short term.  I would not say there is no opportunity for them, this is an evaluation process.  You have to have someone there managing your system while you are evaluating the process.  Mayor Garcia stated, if we vote we cannot come back and change our minds.  I am not going to flip flop on the vote, so I want to be clear if we vote we use PIC for the year without giving consideration to USI.  I just do not think it is the proper motion without Commissioner Brumbaugh.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I think the consideration for USI has been made and considered for months now.  Commissioner Howard stated, I agree.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, we are at a point now where we need to make a decision regarding our insurance.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to renew current insurance with funding at maximum level and the City pays 100% seconded by Commissioner Howard.  Mayor Garcia stated, when I vote on this motion I am not voting that the City pay 100%.  I am voting on basis that it is not fair representation to vote on this with the commissioner that initiated the process being absent.  When he comes back we can vote and it may go same way.  Commissioner Howard asked, why is he absent, unless it is medical, we knew this was on the agenda.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-2 with Mayor Garcia and Commissioner Farris casting the dissenting votes.  Mayor Garcia stated, you can bring back to next meeting.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, what exactly is Alan supposed to bring back?  Commissioner Farris stated, it does not matter, he will be here when we vote.   Mayor Garcia stated, it has been discussed since June.  The recommendation to be brought back was which agent we want representing us.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, which he did.  Mayor Garcia stated, he did but Commissioner Brumbaugh is not here.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, do we have a quorum of Commissioners?  Mayor Garcia stated, yes and we had a motion with a second and voted.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, so you are saying you voted no because of the fact that Commissioner Brumbaugh was not here to vote?  Mayor Garcia stated, exactly.  I was voting no not because I did not want to pay 100% on insurance.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, so if Commissioner Brumbaugh was here to voice his vote, you would have voted yes?  Mayor Garcia stated, if he was here.  The recommendation was Alan was going to bring back a recommendation which he did and we followed through the democratic process.  It has been voted on and Alan will bring it back to next meeting.  Alan stated, I will bring it back on the 19th and try to garner additional information. 


A   City Manager – 1.  Next Commission meeting is January 19th due to Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  2. I would like to make Commission aware that the motion for the incentive billing for Topside Aquatics was if a meter is installed, which has not happened.  They are currently being billed according to policy.  Once a meter is installed we will credit billing back to incentive amount.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, if they do not have their own meter will we refund costs back since that is not part of the motion.  Alan stated, once they meet condition stated in motion, we will refund them.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I was under the impression the incentive would start when their meter is installed.  3.  I will be adding a section on agenda, to approve the agenda.  This will address requests to amend agenda by consensus.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, that is fine, but if we add a line on agenda the ordinance needs to be changed.  The list for agenda items is spelled out by ordinance.  Alan stated, we can do that; I interpret that ordinance as the minimum list for items on agenda.  I will get a legal opinion.

B.  City Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1.  No Report 

Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1.  Absent, No Report 

Commissioner Howard – 1.  No Report 

Commissioner Farris – 1.  No Report

C. Mayor 1.  I am looking forward to the upcoming year.  2. I had a constituent ask about the Christmas Swags on Main Street, she wanted more information.

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Farris seconded by Commissioner Howard.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for January 19th.


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk