Council’s Directive to City Manager

Organizational Values

Three fundamental values continue to underlie our work together on behalf of the citizens of and visitors to the City of Ypsilanti.

 

  1. Open, transparent and accessible decision-making

We are committed to openness and transparency in our decision-making, doing whatever we can to insure that information is available to the public in a timely fashion and in a manner that is easily understood, and providing opportunities for public engagement and participation in decision-making.

 

  1. Fiscal solvency and sustainability

We are committed to ensuring the long-term financial stability of the city. Our budget decisions must reflect a balance between short and long term considerations, and we will work to reduce the costs of city services to the extent we can while maintaining effective city services and a sound infrastructure.

 

  1. Customer Friendly Service

We are committed to providing services to residents and visitors in a customer friendly fashion, insuring that service processes are effective and understandable, being responsive to requests for service to the extent we can consistent with procedures and resources, and insuring that people recognize the limits of our ability to respond.

 

Goals and Action Strategies for Fiscal Year 2008-2009

 

In the past Council has been provided a list of goals associated action strategies. However, due to the City’s fiscal condition there is one underlying goal:

 

Reduce General Fund Expenses to Balance the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010

 

The following action strategies have been established utilizing the information provided by City Council during the four goal setting sessions that occurred on December 8 & 15, 2007 and January 12 & January 26, 2008:

 

 

Action Strategies:

 

  1. Police Department reductions through various opportunities including but not limited to the following:

·        Reduce police staffing to no less than four officers per shift instead of five officers

·        Reduce hours open to the public to allow more time for more road patrol or reduce office staff

·        Facilitate and begin the process of moving toward a Regional Police Authority

·        Analyze ways to reorganize the administrative functions of the police department to create cost savings

 

***Please note that  staffing levels in the Police Department were discussed and to ensure they do not fall below a level that would jeopardize the ability to participate in the Regional Policing Authority.

 

  1. Fire Department reductions through various opportunities including but not limited to the following:
    • Maintain a level of service that maintains the safety standards set by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Act) which includes four firefighters per shift and one incident commander
    • Do not fill the three current firefighter positions until further evaluation
    • Explore the option of contracting out Fire Marshal duties
    • Explore the option of billing for services by the Fire Department
    • Facilitate and actively participate in the process of a Functional Fire District
    • Examine scheduling changes that may allow for a reduction of force without compromising officer safety

 

***Please note that staffing levels in the Fire Department were discussed and to ensure they do not fall below a level that would jeopardize the ability to participate in the Functional Fire District.

 

  1. Public Works reductions through various opportunities, including, but not limited to the following:

·        Eliminate the Parks Department and reduce park maintenance costs to reflect the elimination

·        Identify, preserve and maintain a small number of core parks

·        Identify and sell small parks or create an Adopt-a-Park Program that allows local residents to address maintenance needs

·        Formalize a new maintenance schedule for the parks for mowing and snow removal that will reduce the number of staff and equipment hours

·        Freeze current vacant positions

 

  1. Planning and Community Development reductions through various opportunities, including, but not limited to the following:

·        Reduce planning staff by one full-time employee

·        Consolidate the Planning Director and Building Director into one position

·        Examine ways which allow city commissions to function with less staff support

·        Consider contracting out major planning and zoning tasks such as the update of the master plan

·        Focus ordinance enforcement efforts only on those deemed most important to maintaining healthy neighborhoods or in response to complaints

·        Analyze the costs associated with contracting out building official and inspection services

·        Reduce the services provided to the Historic District Commission, but do not eliminate entirely by continuing to fund a part-time intern to assist the Commission

·        Complete an analysis of the residential parking permit program to determine whether additional fees should be added to maintain program

 

 

  1. Administration reductions through various opportunities, including, but not limited to the following:

·        Re-bid auditing, legal, environmental and other professional services in hopes to reduce costs or to confirm our current costs

·        Examine the possibility of consolidating positions in the finance department  and remain consistent with internal controls

·        Explore cost savings from contracting for assessing services, either through another government or a private vendor, or shifting to part-time employees to address peak-load needs

·        Renegotiate lobbying services and examine the possibility of re-bidding services for lower costs.

·        Rutherford Pool:

a.      Continue to fund the Rutherford Pool with the current commitment of paying for one-half of the utilities

b.     Explore partnerships among other governmental agencies and any grant opportunities

c.      Repair the roof on the Pool Building

d.     Re-evaluate the plan to keep the pool open after a recommendation has been made by a contractor on the status of the drainage system

 

·        Maintain memberships to Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Michigan Municipal League, National League of Cities and other organizations assisting local municipalities

·        Continue reduced Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA) funding at 2007-08 levels:

a.      Explore a fare increase or a dedicated millage

b.     Explore regional cooperation for transportation

c.      Continue to work with AATA to find alternatives to reduce costs through areas such as route reductions and explore other reductions

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