01/23/2012 & 01/26/2012 Study Session & Town Council Meeting

Council approved a Compensation Philosophy and Strategy for Gilbert’s Classification and Compensation Study, contingent on “approval” of the “stakeholders.”

Councilmember Petersen, who has done significant research and fielded many questions from the community, noted certain changes. One of those clarified that compensation may be adjusted down as well as up depending on market conditions. Others addressed consistency issues.

Councilmember Sentz voiced concerns that the stakeholders who had worked on the document hadn’t approved the changes.

The Council ended up approving the policy, contingent upon review of the stakeholders group for approval.

GW Note: Stakeholder approval for Councilmember Petersen’s minor changes? Did we elect the “stakeholders” to make these decisions, or did we elect Councilmembers?

Monthly Budget Report for November 2011.

Once again, Gilbert leads the way in managing its revenues/expenses. Budget Administrator Dawn Irvine reviewed the year-to-date budget. Local and state-shared sales tax revenues are slightly above expectations, bringing the total General Fund revenues to $2.5 million over budget. Also single family residential permits are up considerably from the originally budgeted average of 100 permits per month, resulting in higher than expected collections of system development fees. Gilbert continues to lead the valley in single family residential permit activity.

Gilbert also continues carefully managing expenditures.

According to Ms. Irvine, staff is in the process of implementing a new budget model and process for the upcoming fiscal year to accommodate the changing fiscal environment and community needs. Thorough analysis of base budgets and detailed revenue assumptions will provide the Town with a solid foundation and framework for establishing a 5-year balanced financial plan, and will position the Town to responsibly address a fiscally sustainable future.

Council Approves a new Intergovernmental Relations Assistant.

Several Council members, including Councilmember Cooper, Cook, Petersen, and Sentz questioned the need for this position, and whether it should be considered a higher priority than other needs. In response, Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator Hubbard explained that most people think that the Coordinator only spends time tracking State legislation, of which there are 900 bills being presented, 200 of which could have a direct impact on Gilbert.

But the Coordinator is also responsible for working with the federal government, Maricopa County, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA), the East Valley Partnership, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), and several Gilbert organizations, as well as the school district, leadership organizations, Chamber issues, MAG, Valley Metro, AMWAR, and neighboring cities.

The job of the coordinator is to educate the Council on legislative issues before legislation becomes law, to minimize impacts of proposed legislation and to advance the Town’s priorities.

Vice Mayor Daniels noted that there have been times when she needed Ms. Hubbard’s services, but she was already committed to assisting another council member. She also pointed out that Gilbert is the 7th largest community in Arizona, and ensuring Gilbert representation will allow Gilbert to have a larger voice in discussions of regional and statewide issues. Mayor Lewis and Town Manager Patrick Banger both support the position as a priority.

Council approved adoption of an Ordinance amending the Gilbert Land Development Code relating to allowing temporary storage containers in certain Residential, Commercial, and Employment districts.

Councilmember Petersen questioned if there could be an amendment which would allow permanent structures in certain SF-35 and SF-45 lots. Senior Planner Milillo advised that staff favors a case by case review. Councilmember Petersen voiced concerns that there are cases where permanent storage is appropriate for larger lots. Attorney Schwab advised that a separate Ordinance could be brought to Council at a later time in which guidelines are clearly specified with regard to the use of permanent storage containers on larger lots.

Minutes for January 2012 Meetings:

Channel 11 Videotape of Meetings