July 12, 2021 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2021 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2021 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

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Special Commission Meeting

July 12, 2021                                                                                                                                   5:00 P.M.

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

Also present from the City were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Police Chief, Brian James – Fire Chief, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Sami Windle – Museum Director, LeAnn Taylor – Municipal Court Clerk/Judge, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Cherise Tieben – Interim City Manager. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance


  1. FY 2022 Budget – Cherise stated, I would like to commend department heads for work on budget.  With changes in State Law it is going to be difficult for the Commission.  I do not know how the State felt this was a workable solution for municipalities with everything that has been cut.  Mayor Garcia asked, how does Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) work?  Cherise stated, basically it looks what you have for valuation last year and this year and the increment valuation goes to reduce your mill levy.  So for any growth you have comes with increased expenses, but no revenue source unless you increase fees.  Cherise discussed majority of budget cuts in general fund alone to attempt to keep mill levy flat.  We removed retirement payouts in general fund.  The auditors will present as unfunded liability but Dodge City always held position vacant for time period to make up expense.  There have been conversations to reduce health insurance benefit to compare to private market.  If that is your concern, I recommend you do a salary survey to ensure salaries are in place. I feel the survey should be done before changes are made to health insurance.  In the budget we funded stop loss at expected levels and estimated an 8% increase.

Levy in the Airport fund was reduced because of ARPA money with FAA grants.  These are not permanent funding sources so will need to bring back in near future.  We also asked library to maintain a flat mill.  Looking at the budget summary, the major change is in Employee Benefits fund because we changed revenue source.  Staff was able to maintain mill rate in proposed budget.  If Commission wants to hit RNR you have to cut additional $50,000 since you are working with estimate valuation numbers.  Mayor Garcia asked, has staff looked at recommendations to make cuts?  Cherise stated, it depends what are the Commission’s intentions.  If you want to maintain RNR, which I do not recommend we will find cuts, but it will not be easy.  If you want a flat mill we have you there.  Biggest question, do you want to comply with RNR.  Commissioner Thompson asked, if we do not comply what is process?  Cherise stated, you have to notify the county by July 20th with the rate you are requesting and dates RNR and budget hearings will be held.  My recommendation is you do not comply with RNR and justify reason in public hearing. Staff has you extremely close to flat mill.  Staff did what they could to get the 5% reduction Commission recommended.  The RNR means you will have to cut programs.  If you continue this route, any growth in valuation will be a cut in budget.  I recommend you work through non-compliance issue and educate public. 

Cherise discussed information from the utility budgets with Commission.  In sewer utility they are requesting consideration to update the plant with a belt press.  You have been approved by the State Revolving Loan Fund for $1,500,000 with interest rate of 1.33% over 20 years.  The water utility is planning for the water tower maintenance program.  The electric utility budget is very generic. 

Commissioner Thompson asked, why are police vehicles not budgeted using reserves like other vehicles.  I know you are harder on vehicles.  Frank stated, the last vehicle was purchased in 2018.  By the time the vehicle arrives, existing vehicle mileage will exceed 100,000.  The vehicles have more starts and stops, the dips take a toll on them and they get a lot of wear and tear.  Cherise stated, you need to look at whether there are maintenance issues on vehicles.  Frank stated, yes there is on the pickups.  Commissioner Thompson stated, it is tough with all cuts but I do not see anything I am unhappy with in budget.  Moving forward I would like to put funding away for police vehicles.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, what makes vehicle pursuit ready.  Frank stated, it is different equipment, upgraded breaks, the alternator and cooling system are all made for long idle.  Existing pickups were basically bought off the lot and a light bar added.  Commission reviewed revenue and expenditures by fund. 

Mayor Garcia stated, I do not feel we should cut the $50,000 and educate the public.  It will be a domino effect.  You have three options cut employees, services or equipment.  I feel we need to maintain business and if we cut we will be in a mess.  Cherise stated, with RNR you will continue to cut.  A flat mill is not growing, but a better option.  If you treat your business with RNR like the State is asking, profit is reduced, which is not how a business operates.  Commissioner Howard stated, I agree to flat mill as proposed as it is hard to take more from departments.  Cherise stated, if you want to maintain the flat mill proposed, it gives us the ability to let the County know what we plan.  You can change how spend money in budget, but cannot levy more money.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, is there anything important we are leaving off?  Cherise stated, I have not heard of anything. 

Consensus of Commission is to remain with flat mill as proposed.  Cherise stated, if you want changes you need to get them to me by Monday because it takes time to make changes.  Mayor Garcia stated, we need to be transparent and make sure we have had all discussions.  Cherise stated, we will come back on 19th


  1. Executive Session: Under authority of KSA 75-4319(b) (1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel – Mayor Garcia made a motion at 6:17 p.m. to recess into Executive Session under authority of K.S.A.75-4319 (b) (1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel not to exceed twenty minutes.   I request the Commission and Cherise be present. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:37 p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Farris.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 6:37 p.m.


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk