Loading...
03-05-2019 City Council Strategic Planning Meeting11 L41 CITY COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING 300 WEST CROWELL STREET MONROE, NORTH CAROLINA 28112 MARCH 5, 2019 — 4:00 P.M. AGENDA www.monroenc.org Wayfinding Plan 2. Tourism and Communications Restructure 3. Travel Policy for Elected Officials (Tabled from October 2, 2018, December 4, 2018 and February S, 2019 Strategic Planning Meetings) 4. Request to Consider Moving Location of Public Comment Period on City Council Regular Meeting Agenda City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 105 CITY OF MONROE CITY COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING MARCH 5, 2019 MINUTES The City Council of the City of Monroe, North Carolina, met in a Strategic Planning Meeting in the City Hall Conference Room located at 300 West Crowell Street in Monroe, North Carolina at 4:00 p.m. on March 5, 2019 with Mayor Bobby Kilgore presiding. Present: Mayor Bobby Kilgore, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Anderson, Council Member Surluta Anthony, Council Member Marion Holloway, Council Member Billy Jordan, Council Member Lynn Keziah, Council Member Franco McGee, Assistant City Manager Brian Borne, City Attorney S. Mujeeb Shah -Khan and City Clerk Bridgette Robinson. Absent: None. Visitors: Buzz Bizzell, Lisa Stiwinter, Bruce Bounds, Brian Borne, Jim Loyd, David Lucore, Sandra Silfer, Pete Hovanec, Doug Britt, Tonya Edwards, Debra C. Reed, Sheri Laney, Chris Plate, Holly Morgan, Peter Cevallos, Lisa Strickland, Ron Fowler, Ashley Britt, and others. Mayor Kilgore called the City Council Strategic Planning Meeting of March 5, 2019 to order at 4:00 p.m. A quorum was present. Item No. 1. Wayfinding Plan. Assistant City Manager/Downtown Director Brian Borne stated that Staff began a pilot program for wayfinding with the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Signage Program. He advised that Bizzell Design helped the City expand that program to include a larger City-wide wayfinding signage system that detailed working drawings, installation specifications, and location maps based on guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Mr. Borne advised that plans were developed to implement a City-wide sign location plan for the signage designating the exact sign type for each location, NCDOT permitting. He stated that Downtown and surrounding Monroe areas needed a comprehensive consistent wayfinding signage plan due to the lack of signage to aid citizen and visitor wayfinding, reinforce a defined character, recognizable brand, and add to the beautification efforts City-wide. Mr. Borne stated that City facilities, Greenway, Downtown shopping, dining areas, hotels, etc. would all benefit from a comprehensive unified signage system. Mr. Buzz Bizzell of Bizzell Design explained that the science of wayfinding logic was about maps, location, placement and messages. He noted that the City of Monroe had done a fantastic job of creating beautiful parking spaces which were no longer old fashioned parking lots, but instead beautiful places with landscaping, fountains, and brick walls. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 106 Mr. Bizzell advised that in the Downtown and City economic development business, parking was the number one destination because people had to park in order to get out of their car to go shopping or to the museum and it gave everyone a chance to get out of their car, walk up to an information kiosk, and orient themselves as to where they were. Mr. Bizzell stated that the design phase was complete and his company developed designs and working drawings for the entire signage project in advance and produced maps that identified all of the approximate 40 locations that were pin pointed and had GIS locations coordinated. Mr. Bizzell stated that the larger signs would be on Highway 74, Highway 601 and the Bypass Connector. He noted that in their initial workshops with the Parks and Recreation Department, it was desired for Monroe to have a high tech look especially on Highway 74 where most of the visitors come through. Mr. Bizzell noted that part of the design showed a lot of detail that would taw be in an airplane (i.e. silver, aeronautical design). Mr. Bizzell stated that the Downtown signs would be a little bit more historic in nature, but the message was very clear with the City's new branding colors put into place. Mr. Bizzell explained the installation process using an earth drill with a five-foot drill bit that was put into the ground and stayed there and the sign was then bolted to it. He stated that it only took one truck, one trip and it was up. He advised that the sign was wind tested and engineered in a very unique way. Mr. Bizzell noted that if a sign needed to be moved, no concrete was ever broken and the giant drill bit just came out of the ground. (40w, Mr. Bizzell reviewed the gateways or entry ways and advised that with approximately 22,000 cars per day passing the sign, that was about 7,000,000 impressions in a year's time. He advised that multiplied by 40 signs helped every business develop visibility and would direct the path to many destinations in and through town. Mr. Bizzell stated that Phase One was parking and would cost approximately $30,000. He explained that the process was best done in phases, because when working with the Downtown area first, then the second phase or outer area of Monroe would direct people to an area and it all connected and made sense. Mr. Bizzell explained that the Phase Two was the Downtown Wayfinding signs and would cost approximately $90,000. He stated that these signs connected people from the parking lot to everything along the Downtown streets. With there being a few one-way streets and a few little places that were difficult to navigate, he stated that this would help a visitor navigate those streets. Mr. Bizzell stated that Phase Three was the Boulevard Wayfinding and would cost approximately $114,000 including 22 signs. He advised that anyone who drove through and past Monroe and was part of those 22,000 trips a day would direct people and help motorists become oriented to where they were. He stated that as part of their study, they selected the best routes into Downtown because usually NCDOT put their green signs to the most direct route to Downtown and were only directing people to the town limit, not the town center and these signs would direct a motorist to City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 107 the town center to a parking space. Mr. Bizzell advised that the total package over a full three years was $235,000. Mr. Borne noted that excluded the four monument Gateway signs because they were individually priced and over and above the $235,776. Council Member McGee asked the location of the Gateway signs. Mr. Borne stated that currently there were two signs at both ends of Highway 74 and these would probably be of similar location. Council Member Anthony questioned the cost of the Gateway signs. \r Mr. Borne stated that the small Gateway sign was $33,400 and the larger one was $48,960. Mayor Kilgore questioned if the price included landscaping as well as installation or did the City have to do all of the preparation before the signs were installed. Mr. Bizzell stated that it included all of the land preparation, foundation and stone work; however, it did not include the landscaping as far as flowers and bushes. Council Member Anthony questioned what the signs were made of. Mr. Bizzell stated that it was all aluminum and about 24 inches thick with three or four different (4w"' layers. Council Member Holloway asked how it would be illuminated. Mr. Bizzell stated that there were two ways if there was electricity on the site: either ground mounted illuminated up to the sign or the individual letters could be illuminated. He noted that the budget included illumination if there was a connection on the site now. Mr. Borne stated that he thought the two locations on Highway 74 did have electricity. Mayor Pro Tem Anderson stated that two high schools and an elementary school had theaters with several performances and a lot of people could not find them. Mr. Bizzell stated that was a very good point and he was not aware of the school theaters; however, there was still time to add any additional locations and they would even do a second or a third round to add any locations if needed as long as they were NCDOT approved. Council Member Holloway questioned the interaction with Union County Courthouse and the Judicial Center. Mr. Bizzell stated that they were directing people here whether it was a City or County location. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 108 Council Member Holloway questioned how the names of the businesses would be changed on the Downtown signs. Mr. Bizzell explained that it was a unique feature with a magnet and a magnetic print that simply pulled off and then the new magnet went right back on. Mr. Borne stated that Staff was trying to work out the mapping and the number system which would be standard and would stay; however, the business listing was what would change so they would only be changing the listing because the footprint of the building was the same. Council Member McGee asked if there was something on the parking maps that would be mobile friendly or code related so that someone could scan it and get the full directory of the Downtown. 4 Mr. Bizzell stated that was a very easy option from the physical standpoint of a kiosk and the second part of that option would be everyone updating their QR code. Council Member Anthony questioned if every Downtown business would be listed. Mr. Bizzell stated that every business would be listed and realistically there would be a map on two sides and then the business listings on the other two sides. Mr. Borne stated that Staff was requesting Council approve the Wayfinding Plan, allow Staff to coordinate the bid process and include the $235,777 in the Fiscal Year Budget to fund the fabrication and installation of the Wayfinding Signage System. Council Member Keziah moved to approve the Wayfinding Plan, allow Staff to coordinate the bid process and include the $235,777 in the Fiscal Year Budget to fund the fabrication and installation of the Wayfinding Signage System. Council Member Anthony seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Anthony, Holloway, Jordan, Keziah, McGee, Mayor Pro Tem Anderson and Mayor Kilgore NAYS: None Item No. 2. Tourism and Communications Restructure. Communications and Tourism Director Pete Hovanec provided background information on the Tourism office: Council began collecting the Hotel Occupancy Tax in October 2004 with an initial plan of constructing a Civic Center; hired a Tourism Director and the City determined the Civic Center would not move forward; City had a separate Public Information Officer position; City consolidated the Tourism Director and Public Information Officer in June 2008 and hired Communications and Tourism Officer; and, Tourism functioned as a support for current City events as well as outside events while identifying potential destinations. Mr. Hovanec noted that Tourism explored various projects including an aviation museum, sports complex, amphitheater, horse arena and others. He advised that the Public Information functioned as a media clearing house as well as a departmental support. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 109 Mr. Hovanec stated that in 2008, Communications and Tourism was under Economic Development and moved to a direct report Division under the City Manager in 2010 — 2011 and (6W had basically operated as a department since 2011. He explained that Tourism had been very active working on the Science Center and Center Theatre projects for the past three years with both scheduled to open in the next budget year. Mr. Hovanec stated that Communications and Tourism would oversee the operations of these facilities with direct report to the City Manager as well as collaboration with the Downtown Director. Mr. Hovanec stated that Staff was proposing the Communications and Tourism Officer move into a Department Director position. He advised that the position had been functioning in that role since 2008 as part of the Management Team. He stated that the department would change names and absorb the operational oversite of the two new facilities and the anticipated staff. (W Mr. Hovanec explained that the department would also continue to serve as the Public Information clearing house, City Website Webmaster and City social media overseer. He noted that the department would continue to co -facilitate the Monroe Youth Council and conduct Tourism business such as the Air Show, Tinker Belle and other tourism related support activities. Mr. Hovanec stated that in addition to Staff at the Science Center and Theatre, the department was requesting an entry level public information support person to help communicate City messages with the public and news media. Council Member Jordan asked who currently worked in his department. Mr. Hovanec stated that currently it was himself and a part-time assistant. Council Member Jordan asked if the assistant would remain part-time in addition to hiring another part-time individual to do what he was requesting. Mr. Hovanec stated that was correct and the assistant's role was more administrative. He noted that the assistant along with himself and about four members of different departments were social media administrators within the City's social media purview with access to the City's social media, but those individuals were not combatting social media issues. Council Member Jordan asked how many hours the new position would work. Mr. Hovanec recommended a full-time position; however, he noted that it was completely at Council's discretion. Mr. Hovanec explained that the City's relationship with residents could be better by getting information to them on a regular basis. He felt that typically, only the negative information was heard and Staff wanted to be more proactive and put out perhaps two minute blurbs if Staff was doing roadwork, water work, or onsite filming. He suggested that the individual could attend Homeowner Association meetings and/or community meetings and share snippets of what was going on in the City and answer questions. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 110 Council Member Jordan asked if there was a possibility of cost sharing this individual with Downtown and/or the Monroe Tourism Development Authority so that the total cost was not being borne by the tax payers. Mr. Hovanec stated that he was open to any options and Staff was bringing this to Council in order to be more proactive instead of reactive in getting the City's information effectively to the citizens. Council Member Anthony stated that she liked the idea of the individual actually going to the different locations and talking face to face with people. Mayor Kilgore stated that he did not have a problem with the position; however, he questioned if the position was needed now and he did not know the timeframe to hire them. Council Member Anthony asked if the additional position was for this year's budget. Mr. Hovanec stated that it was for this coming year's budget with a Grade 13 and a mid-range salary of about $40,000. Mayor Kilgore stated that they had a few months if it was in the next year's budget. Council Member Keziah stated that if the Center Theatre opened in December, there was at least two or three months to get everything lined up and put into place. Mr. Hovanec stated that this position would support that as well, but it was a City-wide position (40w, and not a Center Theatre position. Mr. Hovanec advised that regarding the Center Theatre, Staff had prepared the job descriptions, salary grades and proposed budget for both the Science Center and the Center Theatre. He noted that the following positions would be hired: Theatre Supervisor, Theatre Technical Specialist and part-time Administrative Assistant in this upcoming budget and within the Science Center: Science Center Supervisor, Marketing and Lead Position and were paid out of Tourism. Mr. Hovanec explained that this was being brought to Council as information more as shifting from a division to a department and the current division had been functioning that way since 2008. City Manager Faison recommended giving Mr. Hovanec substantial additional responsibilities to manage the two new functions (Center Theatre and Science Center Museum) creating evolution and growth opportunities in that position currently labeled as Director of Communications and Tourism. Item No. 3. Travel Policy for Elected Officials (Tabled from October 2, 2018, December 4, 2018 and February 5, 2019 Strategic Planning Meetings). City Manager Larry Faison stated that at the February 5, 2019 Strategic Planning Meeting, Council directed him to formalize the proposed revisions to the Travel Policy for Elected Officials. Council Member Keziah recommended that Council Members including Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem each receive $4,000. He stated that this was very lenient as compared to other cities of City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 111 Monroe's size. He also felt that there should not be no Spousal/Companion travel (none of the other cities allowed). Council Member Keziah stated that if a Council Member did not spend all of their travel money, it should be returned to the General Fund. He felt like that was being honest and respectful to the taxpayers; however, other than that, he felt that the Travel Policy was fine. City Manager Faison reviewed the Purpose stating that travel at the City's expense shall be for a designated public purpose, in support of official City business and not for the purpose of campaigning for an office or position with any elected organization, professional or otherwise, position or person, or for a partisan political purpose. Council Member Jordan questioned who City Manager Faison was referring to and requested an example of what he might be referring to for a partisan or political purpose. IL City Manager Faison explained that if a Council Member was campaigning or traveling to campaign then that would not be permitted. Council Member Jordan stated that he was not sure why that needed to be changed because he was not aware of any time that had been done. City Manager Faison stated that it was merely just a statement of policy which was typically in the beginning stating the essence of the policy's purpose. Council Member Anthony stated that she was confused regarding "not public purpose of campaigning for any elected organization." City Manager Faison explained that if the travel was for something other than professional development such as a campaign purpose, then it would not be permitted or at the City's expense. City Attorney Shah -Khan explained that City Manager Faison's intent was to make it clear that for example, if a Council Member were seeking a position on either the Democratic or Republic National Committee, seeking appointment for a position to the National League of Cities (NLC) or the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM), City funds could not be used; however, it would not prevent anyone from going to the meeting where their name might be put in the nominations, but it would not allow a Council Member to do the formal elected organization that was a political organization or seek out votes for any organization. City Manager Faison stated that a good example might be traveling to the Republic or Democratic National Convention and that would not be permitted at the City's expense. City Manager Faison advised that there were no material changes to the section pertaining to Applicability of Travel Policy, General Policy or Definitions. City Manager Faison reviewed the General Guidelines section and proposed to increase the travel 4 allowances as follows: Council Member from $4,000 to $5,250; Mayor Pro Tem from $5,000 to $5,750 and Mayor from $6,000 to $6,750. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 112 City Manager Faison proposed adding some definition with regard to unused travel money that a Council Member wanted to make available. He suggested that the unused funds would be distributed equally amongst the remaining Council Members that had indicated their interest to travel. City Manager Faison stated that currently a Council Member contacted one or more Council Member(s) soliciting funds and it could create an awkward situation and recommended this as an alternate means. Council Member McGee questioned if that meant at the end of the year, the unused funds could be used to plan for the next fiscal year. City Manager Faison stated that he proposed throughout the year, quarterly or whatever. For example, he stated that if a Council Member advised in September that they were not going to travel anymore that fiscal year and wanted to make their funds available to other Council Members, those that either had declared that they would be interested in additional funds or at that time shared that with the Mayor, and then Staff would distribute their remaining funds equally amongst other Council Members. City Manager Faison stated that part of this already was adopted in October 2018 allowing the transfer of money and was suggesting an approach to how that could happen. City Attorney Shah -Khan stated that it also did not appear to create any appearance of and not intended and some could raise a concern if a Council Member asked another this way. He stated that those Council Members who had indicated to the Mayor that they would like funds if they become available, and if they become available, then the funds could be transferred. City Manager Faison stated that there were no proposed material changes for the section regarding (400, Travel Advances. City Manager Faison reviewed the section on Specific Guidelines Relating to Transportation, Common Carrier, Subsistence, and Other Costs. With regard to Transportation and Commons Carrier, City Manager Faison recommended that "reimbursement for travel by air, rail, bus or other common carrier shall not exceed the cost of coach fare or the economy rate in the chosen method of travel." He explained that he was not aware of anyone traveling first class, but this stated it more clearly. City Manager Faison recommended that "The elected official shall be personally liable for any charges assessed due to his/her failure to cancel their reservations within the time limit specified by carriers, unless the failure was due to circumstances beyond his/her control or if the change was made at the convenience of the City or in the event of accidents, serious illness or death within the individual's immediate family." Concerning the subsection Personal Vehicle, City Manager Faison recommended that "an Elected Official may be reimbursed for the use of a privately owned vehicle at the federal government rate then in effect." Reimbursement for the use of a privately owned automobile shall not exceed the round trip coach air fare of all persons traveling in the car or the mileage allowance, which was the lesser. City Manager Faison explained that for example, there was a NLC conference in Los Angeles, California this past year and a flight cost between $315 and $730 and not that anyone City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 113 would necessarily choose to drive out there, but at the then current rate of .545 cents per mile it could get steep. Regarding the subsection on Mileage, City Manager Faison recommended that this was payable to only one of two or more persons traveling on the same trip in the same vehicle. The names of all persons traveling on the same trip and in the same vehicle must be listed in the designated section of the travel and expense report. On the subsection regarding Rental Vehicles, City Manager Faison advised that proposed changes were that rental vehicles are not to be used unless extenuating circumstance exist, has been substantiated, and use approved in advance by the Mayor. City Manager Faison noted that expenses claimed under this section must be supported by original receipts. On the section regarding Lodging, City Manager Faison explained that it was rewritten to discourage use of lodging accommodations that were within sixty miles or sixty minutes unless there was an extenuating circumstance or demonstrated hardship that was brought to the Mayor's attention to grant an exception and an example of what might be considered extenuating circumstance, City Manager Faison advised there were no changes to the section regarding Subsistence. Regarding the subsection for Spousal/Companion Travel Costs to Meetings, Seminars and Conferences, City Manager Faison recommended that spouse or companion travel not be paid for by the City, and not be eligible as a reimbursable expense. He noted that was the most significant change to that section. In reviewing Telecommunications, City Manager Faison advised that "The City encourages use of the most cost effective means of telecommunication. The City provides Elected Officials with a monthly stipend for mobile phones which would normally cover most phone usage. However, there are calls of an official nature that may arise with an Elected Official on official business that requires use of a hotel or venue telephone thereby incurring charges." He noted that this was a problem, but felt it was wise to add this as a means of allowing it and how it would be handled. Under the section for Procedure for Travel Authorization, City Manager Faison reviewed changes to the subsection on City Credit Card. He advised that the use and availability of a City credit card was a convenience for charging expenses that are directly related to official City business having a valid public purpose. He explained that on the existence of two occasions that an Elected Official uses a City credit card or submits credit card charges for items that per diem was or will be paid, or, where there were prohibited items charged on a City credit card, the Elected Official's city credit card will be terminated for a twelve-month period. City Manager Faison stated that thereafter, reinstatement of the Elected Official's credit card would be at the discretion of the Mayor. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 114 City Manager Faison clarified that two occurrences would be two different travel experiences, not necessarily two incidents in one travel experience. City Manager Faison advised that a recommendation the subsection on Forms under Procedure for Travel Authorization was being made to read that an appropriate format was to be developed and may be revised as necessary and be considered a part of the Travel Policy for Elected Officials. Council Member Keziah moved to adopt the revisions to the Travel Policy for Elected Officials to be effective July 1, 2019. Mayor Pro Tem Anderson advised that he had a problem with the spousal/companion travel. He felt that the taxpayers should not incur the expense of a spouse or a companion traveling for any reason. Council Member Keziah stated that the reason he did not address the Spousal/Companion travel was because City Manager Faison already had that revision listed in there. Council Member Anthony stated that she thought the change was spouse/companion could not travel. City Attorney Shah -Khan explained that City Manager Faison's proposal stated that the only time Council could have companion travel was if there was a public purpose identified for that companion's travel so that would mean for the "convenience of a Council Member" would not be prudent. Council Member Keziah made a substitute motion to approve the Travel Policy as presented with the amendment that each Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem and the Mayor be allocated $4,000 for travel funds and if any funds in an Elected Official's allocation remain unused by June 30 of any fiscal year, those funds shall be transferred to the General Fund with an effective date of July 1, 2019. TRAVEL POLICY FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS (TO BE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2019) SECTION 1. Purpose. This policy provides City Elected Officials a comprehensive reference for eligible payments or reimbursements for travel expenses pertaining to official City travel and subsistence while conducting official City business as defined herein. Travel at the City's expense shall be for a designated public purpose, in support of official City business, and not for the purpose of campaigning for an office or position with any elected organization, professional or otherwise, position or person, or for a partisan political purpose. SECTION 2. Applicability of Travel Policy. This Policy is applicable to all Elected Officials serving the City of Monroe. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 115 SECTION 3. General Policy. 1. An Elected Official traveling on official City business representing the City should exercise the same ilr► care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business and expending personal funds. 2. Official travel expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with this Administrative Policy. Officials authorized to use City credit cards may elect to use them instead of reimbursement; all receipts for expenditures must be submitted to the City Clerk in order for the expenditures to be approved. SECTION 4. Definitions. Authorizing Party. An individual authorized by this policy to approve or disapprove requests for travel, cash advances, travel reimbursements, etc. Incidentals. Costs related to tips and telephone calls. Official City Business. Travel that has a direct benefit to the City by enhancing the Elected Official's knowledge on various issues and responsibilities of local government or where the Elected Official is representing the City in their official capacity as a City Council Member. Examples of travel that would meet this requirement include, but are not limited to seminars and conferences offered by the National League of Cities, North Carolina League of Municipalities, North Carolina Legislative Conferences, ElectriCities and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Travel and expenses related to partisan political activities or that are not directly beneficial to the City shall be paid for by the individual Elected Official without reimbursement by the City. Reimbursements. All reimbursement requests shall be filed for approval and payment within five (5) working days after the travel period ends. Requesting Party. The person who will be reimbursed for travel costs incurred while conducting City business or visiting for employment. Subsistence. Subsistence is an allowance related to meals, based on actual expenses incurred by the Elected Official. 4 SECTION 5. General Guidelines. 1. Airline tickets, lodging, and registrations for the Elected Official will be paid directly by the City. All other costs will be paid directly by the requesting party, and will not be billed to the City. The Elected Official will be reimbursed for actual costs incurred only, subject to the limitations established in this Policy. 2. Travel requests shall be coordinated through the City Clerk. Travel authorization forms are to be submitted to the Mayor prior to the travel date. Travel authorization forms that include air travel should be submitted timely so that discount rates may be obtained. 3. The City Clerk will receive a copy of each approved Travel Authorization Form. The City Clerk will work with the City's Finance Director or his or her designee to determine if an unencumbered appropriation sufficient to cover the estimated cost of the approved travel remains in the Elected Official's travel allocation. If a sufficient balance remains in the Elected Official's travel allocation, City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 116 A the estimated travel cost will be encumbered. If the remaining balance in the Elected Official's travel allocation is insufficient to cover the estimated cost of travel and other monies are not yet available, the requesting Elected Official, the Mayor and City Manager will be notified by the City Clerk. 4. Elected Officials will have an annual individual travel allocation fund assigned to them in the amount of $4,000. If any funds in an Elected Official's allocation remain unused by June 30 of any fiscal year, those funds shall be transferred to the City of Monroe's General Fund. No transfers are permitted from one Elected Official's allocation to another, except as expressly approved by City Council during a City Council meeting. 5. Elected Officials are unable to use their Council discretionary fund to pay for any travel. 6. Elected officials may make up any shortfall for travel through personal funds. SECTION 6. Travel Advances. The City of Monroe will provide advance funds if the estimated expense exceeds $100 or two night's stay. SECTION 7. Specific Guidelines Relating to Transportation, Subsistence, and Other Cost. 1. Transportation. Transportation may be through common carrier, personal vehicle, or rental vehicle pursuant to the following parameters: A. Common Carrier: 1) Reimbursement for travel by air, rail, bus, or other common carrier shall not exceed the cost of coach fare or the economy rate in the chosen method of travel. 2) The Elected Official shall be personally liable for any charges assessed due to his/her failure to cancel their reservations within the time limit specified by carriers, unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond his/her control, or the change is made at the convenience of the City or in the event of accidents, serious illness or death within the individual's immediate family. B. Personal Vehicle. An Elected Official may be reimbursed for the use of a privately owned vehicle at the federal government rate then in effect. 1) Reimbursement for use of a privately owned automobile shall not exceed the round trip coach air fare of all persons traveling in the car or the mileage allowance, whichever is the lesser. For example: air fare between Charlotte to Los Angeles: $315-$730; mileage reimbursement: $2661.78 (2,442 miles @ $0.545) flying would be the least cost for three travelers, [,flight' 3x$730: $2190, or 3x$315: $945 vs 'auto' $2,661 for the use of an automobile by three travelers] 2) Mileage is payable to only one of two or more persons traveling on the same trip in the same vehicle. The names of all persons traveling on the same trip and in the same vehicle must be listed in the designated section of the travel and expense report. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 117 3) The mileage rate is meant to cover all expenses incurred in using a privately owned vehicle, except for items such as parking fees, tolls, or storage fees which are reimbursable; receipts are required. C. Rental Vehicle. Rental vehicles are not to be used unless extenuating circumstances exist, has been substantiated, and use approved in advance by the Mayor. D. Expenses claimed under this section must be supported by an original receipt. 2. Lodaina. The Travel Authorization Form shall include the lodging accommodations as a part of the travel. A. Lodging accommodations will not be reimbursed by the City to attend conferences or meeting In all situations in which a City -issued credit card is used, a detailed receipt showing itemized purchases shall be submitted as a part of the Travel Reimbursement and Expense Report. In some situations, it may be appropriate for the City to bear the cost for a business meal for other individuals. Receipt and supporting documentation as to the purpose shall be provided for the business meal as a part of the reimbursement request or credit card voucher. In no case, shall the cost of alcohol be reimbursed or paid by the City without reimbursement to the City by the Elected Official. 4. Spousal/Companion Travel Costs to Meetings, Seminars, and Conferences. A. Spouse or companion travel will not be paid for by the City, and is not eligible as a reimbursable expense. B. Additional costs for overnight stays at a hotel/motel for a spouse/companion shall be paid for by the Elected Official or reimbursed to the City (substantiated by receipts). Telecommunication. The City encourages use of the most cost effective means of telecommunication. The City provides Elected Officials with a monthly stipend for mobile phones which would normally cover most phone usage. However, there are calls of an official nature that may arise while an Elected Official is on official business that requires use of a hotel or venue telephone thereby incurring charges. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 118 venues that are within 60 miles or 60 minutes of an individual's residence. 1) An extenuating circumstance and/or demonstrated hardship may be considered by the Mayor for the purpose of granting an exception to this provision. 2) Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not necessarily limited to: attending consecutive early morning sessions, or existence of extended periods of commuter congestion into the conference City, or having a reoccurring role as a Presenter or Panel member. 3. Subsistence. (40.0, Actual costs of meals (substantiated by receipts) or per diem allowance will be reimbursed. In no case, shall the City reimburse any meal greater than the per diem allowance as set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In all situations in which a City -issued credit card is used, a detailed receipt showing itemized purchases shall be submitted as a part of the Travel Reimbursement and Expense Report. In some situations, it may be appropriate for the City to bear the cost for a business meal for other individuals. Receipt and supporting documentation as to the purpose shall be provided for the business meal as a part of the reimbursement request or credit card voucher. In no case, shall the cost of alcohol be reimbursed or paid by the City without reimbursement to the City by the Elected Official. 4. Spousal/Companion Travel Costs to Meetings, Seminars, and Conferences. A. Spouse or companion travel will not be paid for by the City, and is not eligible as a reimbursable expense. B. Additional costs for overnight stays at a hotel/motel for a spouse/companion shall be paid for by the Elected Official or reimbursed to the City (substantiated by receipts). Telecommunication. The City encourages use of the most cost effective means of telecommunication. The City provides Elected Officials with a monthly stipend for mobile phones which would normally cover most phone usage. However, there are calls of an official nature that may arise while an Elected Official is on official business that requires use of a hotel or venue telephone thereby incurring charges. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 118 IM IM A. Reimbursement may be provided to an Elected Official choosing to use the hotel or venue phone system for official calls. To be reimbursed, include the individual phone number, whom called, purpose, and the original hotel or phone bill. B. Other calls will not be reimbursed, unless valid supporting documentation is provided. Calls to place of employment or home are reimbursed provided the calls do not exceed ten minutes and are not more frequent than once a day. 6. Not Reimbursable. There are items which are NOT reimbursable even though incurred during official City business, these items include, but are not necessarily limited to: A. Any miscellaneous expense not supported by a receipt; B. Meals included in registration fees; C. Alcoholic beverages; D. Movie rental; E. Snacks or drinks other than a meal; F. Any traffic fines; G. Clothing, equipment, supply/material purchases. SECTION 8. Procedure for Travel Authorization. Submission, approval and processing of reimbursement requests. A. A "Travel Authorization Form" will be completed by the Elected Official and/or City Clerk detailing the purpose of travel, destination, and estimated costs. This form must be signed off on by the Mayor preferably in advance of the travel, but prior to payment of registration fees, hotel reservations and reimbursement of City funds. B. The Travel Reimbursement Request and Expense Report will be prepared by the City Clerk for the Elected Official along with the necessary processing. C. The City's Finance Director or his or her designee will review so as to determine that: 1) the requesting Elected Official first has funds remaining in their travel allocation fund sufficient to permit all or a portion of the travel paid for by the City at the time the Travel Authorization Form is submitted (if the funds available are sufficient only to permit payment by the City for a portion of the requested travel, then the Elected Official will be advised of the amount available to be paid by the City, and if the Elected Official wishes to undertake the travel, he or she will be responsible for all other travel expenses in excess of the amount available from their travel allocation); 2) the Travel Reimbursement Request and Expense Report has been properly approved and that it is mathematically correct; and City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 119 L 3) that requested reimbursements agree to submitted receipts, when required, and are within the limits set by this Policy. If an error in the reimbursement request is found, the requesting party will be informed and the error will be corrected before payment is made. D. If the amount received as a travel advance exceeds the reported travel expense, settlement shall be made at the time the Travel Reimbursement Request and Expense Report is submitted. E. City Credit Card. The use and availability of a City credit card is a convenience for charging expenses that are directly related to official City business having a valid public purpose. On the existence of two occasions that an Elected Official uses a City credit card or submits credit card charges for items that per diem was or will be paid, or, where there were prohibited items charged on a City credit card, the Elected Official's City credit card will be terminated for a twelve-month period. Thereafter reinstatement of the Elected Officials credit card will be at the discretion of the Mayor. F. Forms: an appropriate format is to be developed and may be revised as necessary to accommodate the needs of the Mayor and City Council and the requirements of the Monroe Finance Department. Forms may include those to transmit Travel Authorizations, Travel Reimbursement Requests, Expense Reports, Travel Allocation Transfers, and any other category necessary to demonstrate the stewardship of public funds. Mayor Pro Tem Anderson seconded the motion, which passed with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Holloway, Keziah, Mayor Pro Tem Anderson and Mayor Kilgore NAYS: Council Members Anthony, McGee and Jordan Council Member Keziah reiterated that spousal/companion travel would not be paid for by the City. Item No. 4. Request to Consider Moving Location of Public Comment Period on Citv Council Regular Meeting Agenda. Mayor Pro Tem Anderson advised that he would like to see the Public Comment Period moved from the Regular Agenda section to the beginning of the City Council Regular Meeting Agenda. City Attorney Shah -Khan advised that a Resolution would need to be adopted at the April 2, 2019 meeting to be effective May 7, 2019. Mayor Pro Tem Anderson made a motion that the Public Comment be moved to the front of the agenda, before Consent Agenda following recognitions. Council Member Keziah seconded the motion, which passed with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Anthony, Holloway, Keziah, McGee, Mayor Pro Tem Anderson and Mayor Kilgore NAYS: Council Member Jordan There being no further business, Council Member Anthony moved to adjourn the City Council City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 120 A I Strategic Planning Meeting of March 5, 2019 at 5:14 p.m. Council Member McGee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Anthony, Holloway, Jordan, Keziah, McGee, Mayor Pro Tem Anderson and Mayor Kilgore NAYS: None t�,/Bo%by 1 re, Mayor Attest: j8yiy ee�a-P X40�iyt Y�� Bri4,WAe H. Robinson, City CIerk Minutes transcribed by Deputy City Clerk Sherry K. Hicks L•1.• City Council Strategic Planning Meeting March 5, 2019 Page 121