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HomeMy Public PortalAbout03-March 18, 2021 VWCITY OF OPA-LOCKA "The Great City" CLERK'S ACTION SUMMARY MINUTES Virtual Workshop Thursday, March 18, 2021 5:30 p.m. 1. WELCOME/OPENING REMARKS: Mayor Matthew Pigatt called the Virtual Workshop to order at 5:30 PM on Thursday, March 18, 2021. In his opening remarks, Mayor Pigatt stated that the workshop was scheduled to discuss Opa- locka's events policy. 2. ROLL CALL: The following members of the City Commission were virtually present: Commissioner Alvin E. Burke, Commissioner Chris Davis, Commissioner John H. Taylor Jr., Vice Mayor Veronica J. Williams and Mayor Matthew A. Pigatt. Also virtually in attendance were: City Manager John E. Pate, Assistant City Attorney Candice Cobb, and City Clerk Joanna Flores. Assistant City Attorney Candice Cobb announced the agenda protocols for virtual workshop meetings pursuant to Resolution No. 21-9835 passed by the City Commission on November 12, 2020. 3. INVOCATION: The invocation was delivered by Commissioner Taylor. 4. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Davis. 5. PUBLIC COMMENTS: City Clerk Flores announced the protocol for public participation at City Commission meetings. Clerk Flores stated that there were no public comments. 6. DISCUSSION ITEMS: a) City of Opa-locka Special Events Policy 1 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Mayor Pigatt asked City Manager Pate to introduce the events policy. City Manager Pate stated that he had Budget Director Robert Anathan prepare a Powerpoint presentation on the events policy. Budget Director Anathan reported that he assisted Parks & Recreation Director Delven Patterson in pulling the policy together, and he briefly reviewed the proposed policy for the Commission. Vice Mayor Williams thanked Mr. Anathan for his presentation of the events policy and for breaking it down for the Commission to see the larger policy in chunks. The Vice Mayor asked if the Special Events Coordinator is a new position or if it will be someone who is already an employee of the City, and whether the Coordinator will be over the Special Events Committee or if they are two separate entities. Parks & Recreation Director Patterson explained that for now, he will be the Special Events Coordinator as he will primarily oversee the coordination of events through his department, and the Coordinator is part of the Committee which will be made up of different City department heads. Budget Director Anathan added that in the absence of the Parks & Recreation Director, the Special Events Coordinator will be the Chairman of the Special Events Committee. Vice Mayor Williams expressed that she is still unclear from the last meeting about the special events policy, in terms of the role of the Special Events Coordinator and Special Events Committee when it comes to Commission events. Budget Director Anathan explained that he differentiates between when resources are required and when they are not. Director Anathan offered as an example tomorrow's luncheon and stated that after being informed through the City Manager, the only role that the Special Events Coordinator will play is to confirm that it doesn't conflict with anything else going on in the City, and takes a look at the promotion plan to make sure that it's being properly floated just to make sure that all of the Commissioner and department heads are aware that the event is going to take place. He asserted that for this type of event, the Special Events Coordinator will have a very minimal role. Vice Mayor Williams asked what the policy is referring to when it states that the Special Events Coordinator will verify proper promotion, and specifically if they will give Commissioners a hand with promotions, if they do not properly promote events. Budget Director Anathan stated that the Special Events Coordinator will take a look at who has been made aware that an event is going to occur, and if the word has not gotten out sufficiently with the people who the event is intended for, they will make recommendations on what can be done to further promote the event through the City website or some other means. 2 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Vice Mayor Williams stated that her understanding of the proposed policy is that each Commission member will get an equal amount of money budgeted to organize events, and if she runs out of money, then she would have to go to the Commission and ask for approval to borrow money from the other Commissioners' money. Budget Director Anathan explained that in Vice Mayor Williams' example, a budget amendment would be proposed which can have the funding sourced from anywhere, and that she would not be dependent on money from the other Commissioners. Vice Mayor Williams noted that she has been on the Commission for approximately four months, and has not seen every Commissioner organize events. The Vice Mayor expressed concerns about having to get Commission approval for events, from Commissioners who don't have the same zeal that she has for organizing events. Budget Director Anathan pointed out that this process does not exist at the moment and has been borrowed from a couple of other Cities. Director Anathan explained that the policy just says that if a Commissioner surpasses their allocation, because the funding is not budgeted, it has to go back to the Commission for approval. Vice Mayor Williams asserted that the policy gives her trepidation because when she brought forth an item, other members of the Commission suggested that the funding she needed for her item should go somewhere else. The Vice Mayor asked to hear from the other Commissioners. Commissioner Taylor indicated his support for Vice Mayor Williams' position, but wanted to ensure he understood the policy correctly. The Commissioner asked if all the events organized by a member of the Commission that falls within the budget allocated to each Commissioner does not need to have additional permission from the Commission, but once that budget runs out and more money is needed, then the event will have to be brought before the Commission. Budget Director Anathan confirmed that Commissioner Taylor is correct because once a Commissioner runs out of their budget, the only way for a budget to be available is for the Commission to agree to a budget amendment and by de facto, agree to the project itself. Commissioner Taylor asked if the reference to City resources in the policy includes staff, expressing concern that staff is going to eat up the budget. The Commissioner offered several examples such as the Vice Mayor's luncheon which if it was after hours may have had a cost for the staff in attendance, or police presence at a barbeque, or support staff like IT Director Nelson Rodriguez who was at the talk show event. Budget Director Anathan recommended that in the short-term for at least the next year, the City should define cost as an external purchase of goods and services. The Budget Director acknowledged that using the term City resources can be confusing, and stated that it should be 3 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 changed to City expenses. He added that once the Finance Department is settled, Opa-locka should follow the example of more sophisticated cities that pick up all of the in-house expenses as well. Commissioner Burke expressed that he felt the Commission was right back where it started. The Commissioner asked how it was determined that the Commission would use Miramar's event policy and try to revamp it to fit Opa-locka. He stated that he thought they were going to look at the event policies of a number of cities, and he asked if the event policies of cities that are closer to Opa-locka like North Miami and North Miami Beach had been looked at. Budget Director Anathan explained that the only two things that were taken from the Miramar events policy were all of the things done for external events which he presumend will probably be used approximately 5% of the time, as well as the proposal to allocate some money to each member of the Commission for events they have an interest in. The Budget Director stated that the rest of the events policy was developed trying to be responsive to the operational audit, and he felt it is a reasonably firm structure to give the Commission control over special events. Mr. Anathan asserted that the proposed events policy should not be thought of as having the entire Miramar events policy just grafted onto the City of Opa-locka. Commissioner Burke asked if it was Budget Director Anathan who developed the special events policy and not the Parks & Recreation Director Delven Patterson, because he is hearing everything from Mr. Anathan and nothing from Mr. Patterson. Budget Director Anathan assured Commissioner Burke that he worked on the events policy together with Parks & Recreation Director Patterson, and shared that the roots of the policy were in place before Director Patterson was put in place last November. The Budget Director stated that while he provided some assistance in pulling the package together, that he believes Mr. Patterson is fully vested, unless he chooses to indicate otherwise. Parks & Recreation Director Patterson asserted that he is fully vested on the events policy. Vice Mayor Williams echoed Commissioner Burke's sentiments and expressed that she thinks the commission should look at the events policies in other cities instead of just one city. The Vice Mayor suggested taking the good policies from different cities. She noted that comparing Opa- locka to Miramar is like comparing apples to oranges because Opa-locka doesn't have Miramar's budget, in addition to Miramar having a much larger population and territory. Stating that she doesn't even know how many Commissioners Miramar has or if they have council boundary lines like in Miami Gardens, the Vice Mayor suggested looking at the events policy of smaller municipalities like West Park. She also said that she would like to amend the policy on Commission approval of budget amendments because it gives her trepidation, suggesting instead that if she is the Commissioner that likes to plan a lot of events and her pot or kitty is gone, that the Commission could vote to remove the events budget of a Commissioner that has not totally invested their pot. The Vice Mayor asserted that she would like to remove that from the policy 4 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 until she personally sees more events from the entire board, and then she will be ok with putting it back in everyone's lap. She added that right now, she would like for the events budget allocation to come from the City Manager's office, to allow them to make the determination if the Commissioners' budget needs to be amended. City Attorney Norris -Weeks reported that Miramar has a similar government structure to Opa- locka with five members of their Commission. Budget Director Anathan explained that the only thing from Miramar in the policy is the concept of allocating each Commissioner a dedicated small budget for their own special events. As stated by the Budget Director, the policies on the City Commission's control of special events were not based on Miramar's policy but instead were designed to allow the Commission to identify the special events they want for the year and to get those into the budget. He asserted that he believes it is a very well thought out set of procedures to make sure that the City does not have any exposure from conducting the event program. Director Anathan also explained that if a Commissioner uses up a budget that is put together and wants to plan another event that requires a budget, a budget amendment will be necessary, but may require nothing more than a contribution from another Commissioner. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she is getting confused and recalled that Budget Director Anathan said that the majority of the policy didn't come from Miramar, but as she looks at it, she noted that almost 25 pages of the policy came directly from Miramar's policy. Budget Director Anathan explained that he obviously miscommunicated. Mayor Pigatt asked for the Commission to hold off on the back and forth about the policies that are used, and in an attempt to bring some clarity to the conversation, asked if there was anything in particular about the sections of the events policy from Miramar, that any of the Commissioners think need to be changed. The Mayor also noted that the members of the Commission have the ability to do research and propose things to staff, and asked if there are any sections from the events policies of other cities that any of the members of the Commission believe would be better suited for the City of Opa-locka. He proposed that those be forwarded to the City Manager's Office and Mr. Anathan, to put whatever the Commission would like to be included into the events policy, and he added that the Commission can have another meeting to discuss those. Explaining that many times these policies are standardized, he explained that what the Commission is trying to do is get to a policy that works for the City of Opa-locka and encouraged the Commissioners to figure out the parts of the policy that don't fit the City and propose their removal. Commissioner Taylor recalled receiving the events policy along with backup documentation from Miramar. The Commissioner expressed that because it looked like that was etched in stone when comparing this situation to a discussion that was had prior to this new Commission being sworn - in, he didn't know that he had the option to look at other municipalities. 5 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Mayor Pigatt thanked Commissioner Taylor for his clarification and recalled that when the Commission first started, one of the things he advocated for on the agenda was for a public workshop to go over things like the development of the City's policies. The Mayor stated that sharing context and background would be very beneficial, and said that his involvement with events began when he was an employee of the City. He reported that one of the challenges he heard quite a bit which resonated with him, was employees having to show up to events without notice, not being compensated and taking away from their family lives. As a resident, he shared that when he tried to organize a mentoring program event in the City of Opa-locka, he was told by the Parks & Recreation department that certain facilities couldn't be used because they were being reserved just in case the Commission wanted to organize an event. As a Commissioner, he stated that his colleagues at the time would have multiple events at the same time, offering the example of multiple backpack giveaways and toy drives, and that he wanted to organize events as well but that there weren't any regulations. He added that as a big change agent, he was the lone wolf being denied a lot of resources. The Mayor expressed he was glad the Commission was having this conversation and is happy with the policy that has been put together, because it is trying to provide some guidance. As Mayor, he stated he is the ceremonial leader of the City, and that there is an expectation from residents that he and his colleagues attend events; but he described the situation as very confusing, stating that the Commission would at times not know about events that were happening, or when to show up or what the agenda was. Recalling that a few months after he became Mayor, after learning that the operational audit defined City events as a big source of mismanagement, he decided to personally refrain from organizing events until the events policy was put in place. With the new City Manager and City Attorney coming on board, he said that he asked them to help develop the events policy with the Legislative Aide. Reporting that through the research process that set out to look for best practices, legislation from a few cities was submitted, including Miramar, Miami Gardens along with a cursory review of others. The Mayor stated that those who were tasked with researching the events policy of other cities, had the goal of addressing how Opa-locka utilizes resources including facilities and staff time, the fiscal impact of the policy and the proper promotion of events. Commissioner Taylor asked if the events policy was written by Budget Director Anathan or the Mayor, because he said it sounds like the policy is based on what the Mayor deemed as a negative experience when he was first elected. The Commissioner asserted that he does not want for it to look like the Commission is being punished because of past experiences that the Mayor thinks were negative. Recognizing that the Mayor reported that he and Legislative Aide Randy Grice had a hand in creating the events policy, the Commissioner said that the rest of the Commission was never informed they could have a hand in it and expressed that he doesn't think it looks right. Commissioner Burke pointed out that he has been in the City for several years and based on his knowledge as someone who was close to the Commission, he stated that there's never been a time when an employee had to work at an event that they didn't want to work. The Commissioner acknowledged that there were times when the Commission has had back-to-back events, but he 6 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 said that from the time Mayor Pigatt became a Commissioner and since he became Mayor, he never attended any events in the City and the Commissioner added that every event the Mayor organized was located in Miami Gardens or some other place. He stated that he was appalled at some of the things the Mayor was saying about the events policy in the City, including that the Parks & Recreation Department wasn't doing anything and making employees work when they didn't want to. Agreeing that an events policy is needed, he asked the Mayor to not make it look like the Parks & Recreation Department had no plans. Recalling that when Commissioners had events, they got donations and the events were posted ahead of time, so there was nothing impromptu for the times that staff would be used. Offering the examples of Arabian Nights, the Fourth of July extravaganza, and the toy giveaway at Ingram Park, the Commissioner pointed out that they were mostly privately funded and that the only cost the City had to incur was the cost of employees cleaning up. The Commissioner urged Mayor Pigatt not to make it look like the City didn't know what they were doing all of these years, because it is a slap in the face to the previous Commission and he stated that he will not sit there and do that because he knows better. Budget Director Anathan apologized to the Commission for letting the conversation jump the rails and become strictly a discussion about Miramar's event policy, when it has nothing to do with 90% of the policy which was intended to give the Commission the ability to control special events. Director Anathan urged the Commission to think about what was presented in two pieces: with the first three pages addressing City -produced events and pages 4-30 addressing external events. Director Anathan acknowledged that pages 4-30 of the proposed events policy for the City of Opa- locka were taken from Miramar's events policy, but asserted that Miramar's policy did not enter as a factor into the first three pages. He added that the first three pages were put together with the understanding that the Commission wanted to play an active role in setting up a schedule of events to get into the budget early, so that there are no questions and nothing gets lost in the review process. Mr. Anathan explained that those first three pages were also designed to make sure that there is an organization in place that will make sure all of the bases are covered for an event, so that it is successful and achieves the Commission's objectives. Asserting once again that the Miramar events policy did not play a role in those first three pages of the Opa-locka events policy, he did acknowledge that they took inspiration from the Miramar policy on the ability to have each Commissioner and the Mayor organize individual events that may be of interest to them. Mayor Pigatt also apologized to the Commission if using his personal experience as examples of the implications for the events policy, may have derailed the conversation. The Mayor committed to trying his best to limit those types of comments. He recalled that during the Commission's last conversation about the events policy, it was asked where the policies were coming from, which is why all of the information about the policy was provided to everyone. The Mayor also pointed out that the Commission has the ability to propose ideas on every single legislation, and this workshop is the place for them to bring those ideas together. He asked Commissioner Taylor if that answered his question and clarified everything for him. 7 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Commissioner Taylor indicated that for the most part, his questions had been answered. Mayor Pigatt inquired about the use of the term resources, and whether it should be expenditures. The Mayor explained that he thinks of expenditures as something that is paid and sees resources as facilities, Zoom platforms and things of that nature. Budget Director Anathan stated that he has learned his lesson on that and said he should not have used the term resources, but rather should have said City expenditures. Mayor Pigatt asked Budget Director Anathan to clarify what he meant when he stated that he did not suggest calculating staff time as part of the cost for events, because the Finance Department is overwhelmed due to the City's financial crisis. Budget Director Anathan asserted that it is a level of sophistication that does not need to be taken into account, considering that the City's budget has never included anything beyond third party expenditures. Director Anathan stated that it is a convenient way to get through another year, without calculating the full cost of City resources including rent, staff time, electricity, and water, which he said is a little bit challenging. Mayor Pigatt stated that he only sees a reference to not calculating the cost of staff in the events policy, which he said seems to be in opposition to the operational audit, which specifically asked for the Commission to account for the impact of events. The Mayor asked why something would be proposed that is not in alignment with what the audit stated the City wasn't doing right. Budget Director Anathan explained that most cities usually go the easier route by just looking at the bills they are going to have to pay for goods and services. Director Anathan stated that if the Commission wants to put in place the discipline of calculating the cost of City resources, it will require the Parks & Recreation Director to make an extremely thorough analysis of the proposed events for the coming year, to figure out how many people are going to be involved and how much electricity and water will be used. He expressed that while it is doable, it is not an easy thing to do and he recommended that the Commission walk before it runs. Mayor Pigatt proposed that the language in the events policy be edited to put in a time limit or to include language specifying that any events that are not budgeted or approved, will require the level of detail specified by Budget Director Anathan, for the impact on City resources. Budget Director Anathan asked Mayor Pigatt if he would include events organized by the Mayor or the Commissioners as budgeted or unbudgeted. Mayor Pigatt offered the example of the Commission deciding to organize a large-scale event that requires five police officers, which would incur overtime costs. The Mayor asserted that he thinks there needs to be some language in the policy that accounts for staff time because it is usually the largest cost, and said he understands that calculating electricity and water costs is going very deep. 8 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Vice Mayor Williams stated that it sounds like two different budgets are being talked about. The Vice Mayor recalled that the first time the events policy was presented by Budget Director Anathan and Parks & Recreation Director Patterson, it included a budget for large-scale events. She asked if Mayor Pigatt is proposing that the cost of staff be calculated for those large-scale events or for the events organized by the Commission. Mayor Pigatt clarified that he is proposing that the cost of staff be calculated for all events. The Mayor explained that when the Commission plans events, he thinks they should account for how staff will be utilized. He pointed out that the Parks & Recreation staff has programs and activities they will be running as part of their standard operations, and any event organized is added on top of those daily duties they are already responsible for. Offering the example of a barbeque which Commissioner Taylor had previously mentioned, the Mayor stated that they should take into account that somebody from the Public Works Department will probably have to prepare and clean up the facility, and depending on how large the event is, there may need to be a certain number of police. With respect to the budget, he reminded the Commission that one of the first things the financial oversight board did was to remove the budget for special events. The Mayor asserted that when they start to have events, they need to have a fiscal analysis and each event must fit within the budget. Commissioner Burke stated that he thinks the Commission started to get ahead of itself and proposed that they decide what yearly events they would like to plan to get a better understanding for what they are trying to do. As examples, the Commissioner suggested that the Commission should discuss whether or not they want to bring back Arabian Nights, or organize Easter, Christmas or back -to -school events, and then he thinks the Commision will be able to handle the events policy much better. Budget Director Anathan addressed Vice Mayor Williams' question, explaining that anything that the public is invited to would qualify as a special event. Director Aanthan offered as an example a Christmas tree lighting, and stated that the Parks & Recreation Director will provide the Commission with a list of events he thinks are appropriate in May, to provide the Commission an opportunity to respond. He explained that those events will eventually end up in the Parks & Recreation Department budget and that events organized by the Commission might be either in the Parks & Recreation Department budget as a lump sum or in the Commission budget. Asserting that an event doesn't have to be large in scale to qualify as a special event, he added that the example of the circus coming to town would qualify as a third party event and is not at the heart of what is addressed in the first three pages of the events policy. Mayor Pigatt re -affirmed what was stated by Budget Director Anathan, explaining to Commissioner Burke that once the events policy is in place, the Commission will come together with the Parks & Recreation Director to decide which events they want to organize in consideration of the fiscal impact. The Mayor reminded the Commission that the impetus for creating the events 9 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 policy is because Opa-locka is under financial oversight. He reported that he just had a call last week with Management and the operational auditors who informed them that they are going to be in the City over the next five to seven months, looking at how the City has done getting the events policy in place. Commissioner Taylor asked for clarification from Budget Director Anathan about his proposal to not get into the details about the cost of staff payroll, light and water for the first year of the implementation of the events policy. Budget Director Anathan offered an example of him getting involved in special events, explaining that his participation does not cost the City anything because he gets paid the same amount, though he did acknowledge that something else may not get done during the time he is participating in the event. Director Anathan added that you can apply the same concept to police who support an event during their regular scheduled time, asserting that there is no real direct additional cost to the City. Commissioner Taylor stated that his understanding is that there will be two events policies, with the one for the first year not including the cost of staffing, lighting and water and then the second policy being implemented after that first year to include those costs.. The Commissioner asked if those extra costs will be taken out of his budget. Budget Director Anathan offered as an example a budget allocation of four thousand dollars per Commissioner for events, and said that after the first year of the implementation of the events policy, that budget allocation could be ten thousand dollars, but that it wouldn't impact the City's bottom line with no additional expenses, and funds just coming out of one budget and into another. Director Anathan asserted that if staff incurs overtime to participate in an event, that would represent an additional cost to the City and truly needs to be taken into account at some point. Commissioner Taylor asked if the only way that staff should be utilized for events, is if they are actually on the clock at the time of the event. Budget Director Anathan confirmed that the preferred treatment for usage of City staff at all times is to minimize overtime. Commissioner Taylor noted that like Commissioner Burke, he is a year ahead of time, and he wanted to know if the cost of electricity and water for events that he organizes, will come out of his budget. Budget Director Anathan acknowledged that Mayor Pigatt's point was accurate, and stated that the focus should really be on labor costs because the cost of electricity and water is probably a third order. Commissioner Taylor proposed that Budget Director Anathan reword the policy for now, because he understood that the wording was going to change in the future. 10 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Budget Director Anathan assured Commissioner Taylor that the policy will reflect that it is designed to be a way for the City to organize events initially, but pointed out that realistically everything in the policy can change a year from now. Mayor Pigatt asked Budget Director Anathan what the language change would be, because he wants to make sure the Commission is clear on it. The Mayor suggested that if the full cost of City resources is not going to be calculated for the next year, that the policy should state that for the next 365 days, the policy will only cover City expenditures and then after that period will cover full cost allocation. He asserted that he wants to make sure that the language within the operational audit findings is used, to include a fiscal accounting for the City's special events. Budget Director Anathan stated that very simply all the language in the events policy would say is that the cost methodology for FY 22 will only calculate City expenditures, and then FY 23 will have the City move to a full cost allocation basis. Commissioner Taylor asked to clarify if the language shared by Budget Director Anathan would replace the paragraph about special events cost on page 2 of the events policy. Mayor Pigatt stated that he thinks that is what Budget Director Anathan is saying. Commissioner Burke indicated that he now understands what the Commission is trying to do, and stated that his understanding is that they are trying to get an events policy in place for the oversight committee. Mayor Pigatt confirmed that is the main focus for the conversation, specifically in response to the findings of the operational audit. Commissioner Burke said that is all he has. Mayor Pigatt inquired about the section of the events policy that addresses City produced special events that are unbudgeted and do not require City resources. The Mayor said that he sees every event requiring City resources, with the exception of events like the Clerk's Office Halloween events for staff and the luncheon that is occurring on Friday, which he characterized as events organized by staff to honor their fellow colleagues. Commissioner Burke asked if an event that benefits City employees would be considered a City event. Mayor Pigatt asserted that Commissioner Bruke's question is what he is trying to get clarification on, stating that he loves the event initiatives of the Clerk's office, and asked Budget Director Anathan if those are considered City events. 11 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Budget Director Anathan stated that he's learned his lesson and that he was too sloppy with the language in the policy. Mr. Anathan encouraged the Commission to take a look at the word resources in the policy, because they will never see that word again and he promised to replace it with external City expenditures. Adding that the policy addresses Commission events which may be in the budget and may be Commission initiated, he stated that an event organized by the City department is totally outside of anything the policy addresses. Mayor Pigatt asked if a City department is able to organize events without having to abide by the events policy, can the City Commission do it too. The Mayor offered the example of the Commission celebrating parks employees by giving them some food during lunch time, and stated that he does not see that as being a City event per se, and asked for clarification on how the events policy addresses those events. Budget Director Anathan explained that for events that are initiated by the Mayor or a Commissioner they are special events, and if they have almost no overhead in the example provided by the Mayor, all that is asked is to let the City Manager know the intention. Mr. Anathan suggested that perhaps that part of the policy is asking too much, but stated that the only steps that occur in that process is that the special events coordinator will confirm there are no schedule conflicts, they may make recommendations about promoting the event in a way that has not been done and will make sure that all City officials are equally aware about the planned event. Mayor Pigatt stated that he does not like the idea of taking out the term resources from the policy and replacing it with external expenditures, because the operational audit specifically addresses a full cost analysis that takes into consideration the City's internal resources. The Mayor suggested that the events policy should just define what City resources are, as other policies define terms to clarify and make them simple. He asserted that all that matters to him is that the events policy fits the findings of the operational audit. Budget Director Anathan stated that it would be helpful to have some guidance from the Commission, because he got the sense that there is some discomfort particularly with the portion of the events policy that addresses Commission initiated events. Mayor Pigatt asked Vice Mayor Williams if she has specific edits for the events policy. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she thinks she gave her suggestion earlier. The Vice Mayor said that she is looking at two different events policies, noting that the Commission spent almost three hours editing, revising and giving information to Parks & Recreation Director Patterson, and expressed concern that at this workshop the events policy that is being presented includes 25 pages from another city that is totally different. Noting that she keeps talking about being one body, she said that if the Commissioners had been asked to provide research either at the last meeting or through an email sent by the Clerk's office, she would have been more than happy to do the research. She said that what was proffered was that the Parks Department was creating an events 12 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 policy, and while she knows that the Commission has the right to do research, it is not what they were asked to do. The Vice Mayor reported that at the last workshop she gave the City Manager an idea on how to move forward with strategic planning. Asserting that she won't lie, Vice Mayor Williams expressed that it bothered her that a simple email wasn't sent, asking the Commission to do research. She also stated that she is not in favor of requiring Commission approval for events, including budget amendments and suggested instead that the budget for events be approved through the City Manager's office. The Vice Mayor added that she does not want to be pigeonholed asking for approval of her proposed events. She said that approval of the budget for events through the City Manager's office would satisfy the audit findings because she is not suggesting not to have a budget, but she does not agree with the requirements for the budget in the proposed events policy. Commissioner Davis stated he wanted to clear up a few things because he heard a couple of comments that he felt were directed at some of the actions he has taken on the dais. The Commissioner reminded his colleagues that approving the budget every fiscal year including budget amendments, is a chartered responsibility of the Commission and is not under the purview of the City Manager or the Finance Director. He added that he doesn't understand the statements that were made about one Commissioner pigeonholing another Commissioner when they want to organize an event. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she didn't say another Commissioner. Commissioner Davis asked Mayor Pigatt if he had the floor. Mayor Pigatt confirmed that Commissioner Davis has the floor. Commissioner Davis asserted that he will not support any individual on the Commission making arbitrary budget decisions. The Commissioner recognized that all of the members of the Commission feel passionate about different issues. He recalled that six months ago, in response to residents struggling from COVID-19 and the troubles they were facing because of the pandemic, he proposed an item before the Commission to provide $50,000 of rental, mortgage and food assistance to residents. Commissioner Davis stated that he didn't cry or point fingers at another Commissioner when his proposal didn't happen, even though the money was allocated in the budget. Instead, he explained that he fought with Miami -Dade County for the needed resources and got five times what he asked the Commission for. Commissioner Davis stressed that when he hears comments like the ones that were made, he has to clear it up because he is going to fight unapologetically for the community and is not going to pigeonhole anybody else that does the same. Mayor Pigatt stated that to provide context and an understanding of how the Commission works for Vice Mayor Williams and addressing her discomfort with how the events policy legislation was developed, he explained that the members of the Commission have the right without anyone 13 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 telling them anything, to speak with the City Attorney, City Clerk and City Manager to propose ideas on every single legislative item that comes before them. The Mayor said he wants the Vice Mayor to understand that because it is part of her power as an elected official. He also addressed the Vice Mayor's hesitancy about Commission approval of events, stating that he understood her feelings about somebody else telling her whether or not she can do something, but pointed out that it literally comes from the finding of the operational audit which stated that events have to get Commission approval. The Mayor stated that the Commission can be against the audit findings, as it has a tradition of doing, because the Commission establishes the law in Opa-locka. He added that commission approval of events is standard in most municipalities, and that elected officials have gotten around that with budget allocations for events, and that is what the events policy calls for, giving the Commission the freedom to organize events within their budget, but requiring the need to obtain Commission approval if the event requires additional budget. The Mayor also offered assurances that the budget for an event won't necessarily have to come from the budget of another Commission member, and can come from anywhere as Mr. Anathan had stated. He said that he hopes that clarified everything for the Vice Mayor. Vice Mayor Williams said that the statement she made was to the entire Commission and that her concern is with events requiring Commission approval. The Vice Mayor said that she noticed that no Commissioner except one had a problem with her statement. She asserted that her problem is that she has not seen events and asked if the City Manager's office is responsible for managing and administering the budget. Mayor Pigatt asked the City Attorney if she wanted to answer Vice Mayor William's question about the City Manager being responsible for managing and administering the budget. Commissioner Davis said that he can answer the Vice Mayor's question, stating that it is the City Manager's responsibility to manage and administer the budget but not to vote on it. Vice Mayor Williams asserted that she was not talking about voting on a budget, but was talking about approval of events. Mayor Pigatt asked the Commissioners to maintain decorum and reminded them that everything needs to be addressed to the Chair. The Mayor stated that the Commission is trying to make modifications to the language for the events policy that was proposed by Management, and acknowledged that the topic of concern is Commission approval of events and whether or not the City Manager has the right to make modifications to the budget without Commission approval. Vice Mayor Williams asked if the events policy is stating that Commission approval is required for their events whether they are budgeted or not budgeted. Assuring the Commission that she is very astute, she noted that the policy states that Commission approval is required, including a budget amendment, and asked for clarification on the portion about Commission approval being required. 14 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Mayor Pigatt asked the City Attorney, the City Manager and the Budget Director if any of them could provide the clarification that Vice Mayor Williams was seeking. City Manager Pate clarified that his office cannot make any modification to the budget if a dollar amount exceeds a certain number, which would need to be done through a budget amendment. The Manager stated that if there is a specific line item in the budget for a pot of money and there is money left over after the Commission's events, he thinks he has the discretion to speak to the Commissioners to determine if they are going to use the remaining funds and make internal adjustments. He added that if the funding is going to be allocated through separate line items for each Commissioner with individual account codes, that would require a budget amendment. Explaining that the budgetary responsibilities for the City Manager are not the same in every city, Mr. Pate asserted that like Commissioner Davis said, in Opa-locka his job is to manage and administer the budget that is approved by the Commission. Mayor Pigatt reminded the Commission that finding number 19 of the operational audit expressly states that the City had not established policies regarding special events, and that effective policies should prescribe methods for determining the feasibility of such events and require City Commission approval of each event. He also pointed out that the recommendation literally says the City should establish policies and procedures to require City Commission approval for each special event. The Mayor explained to the Vice Mayor that the Commission can be completely against the audit finding and recommendation because it is their prerogative as elected officials. The Mayor outlined the proposed events policy, by explaining that Management suggested that everyone including the Commission and the Parks & Recreation Director would have some time to discuss the events for the year, and additionally allocated funds for each member of the Commission to have their own events, and also provided for the ability to propose another event that would be presented with a fiscal analysis to the Commission for approval if everybody believes it is an important event. The Mayor stated that what Management is trying to figure out is how to address the concern about Commission approval of events. Commissioner Taylor asked if once a Commissioner zeroes out their events budget, if then and only then will they have to come to the Commission for approval to organize another event. Mayor Pigatt stated that Commissioners will have to obtain approval for events only if the event is not part of the annual events and have also zeroed out the Commission's budget for their individual events. The Mayor asked Management to correct him if he is wrong. Budget Director Anathan confirmed that Mayor Pigatt was spot on. Commissioner Taylor asked if the Commission will be glued to the annual events, and offered as an example that he may not want to have a bookbag giveaway this year, wondering if he is stuck with that event as something that the City does every year. 15 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Mayor Pigatt explained that what is being proposed is that the Commission discuss as a group whether they want to do events like a bookbag giveaway as part of the City' s annual events, and if a majority including the Parks & Recreation Department decide to approve the event, then it is what the City will do. Commissioner Taylor asked if the annual events and the budgeted Commission events will be two different things. Mayor Pigatt asked for someone else to explain. Commissioner Taylor added that if he doesn't want to do the events that the Commission is going to organize every year, he wanted to know can do something else. Budget Director Anathan explained that the annual events are the schedule of events that the Commission hopefully agrees to in the May or June time period, which would get embedded into the budget and become the basic statement of priority events that are going to be organized in the City during the year. Mr. Anathan added that if a particular Commissioner does not obtain a consensus from the Commission to support an event they suggest while putting together the schedule for the annual events, the proposal subject to the Commission's approval is that each Commissioner will have their own budget to spend on their own events. Commissioner Taylor asked if there were two proposals, one which would provide an annual budget for events that the Commission is married to every year, and the other proposal for each Commissioner to have a certain amount of money attached to them to do their own events. Budget Director Anathan stated that Commissioner Taylor was correct, but explained that the annual budget for events does not mean that the City will have the same events year after year. Mr. Anathan said that the annual review in May would provide Commissioners the opportunity to raise ideas about events that the City has never done, and if the Commission says it is a good idea, it would become a part of the annual budget. He summarized stating that it is just a schedule that is put together in the May time period with Commission consensus on the right events to offer the City. Commissioner Taylor said that he hopes he is not beating a dead horse, but wanted to know that if the Commission approves the first proposal for the fixed calendar of events, if he would have to get Commission approval if he wanted to veer off from that. Mayor Pigatt clarified that there are not two separate proposals, and that the proposal is to approve both an annual calendar of events and a budget for individual Commission events. The Mayor added that on top of that, if a Commissioner personally expends their budget and wants to organize more events, they can propose it to the Commission and have it funded. 16 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Commissioner Taylor said that is not what was conveyed, and is why he was a little shaky but that he understood now. Vice Mayor Williams summarized her understanding, that the Parks Department will put together a list of annual events, and that if her event doesn't make the list of annual events then she would have to go out of her pocket to subsidize it, and if she is unable to do that then she would have to get Commission approval to organize an event and amend the budget. The Vice Mayor asked why every Commissioner wouldn't approve of each other's events. Mayor Pigatt stated that the approval of annual events will be a discussion that all of the members of the Commission will have. The Mayor assured Vice Mayor Williams that she will have a say in that discussion about the calendar of annual events. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she understood that she will be part of the conversation on the City's annual events. Mayor Pigatt asserted that the majority of the time, events that are proposed are going to be approved and he doubted there would be events that members of the Commission would be completely against. The Mayor pointed out that during the budget process, the City manager would put together a budget that would come before each member of the Commission to determine their priorities, and any priority event can be spoken about with the City Manager and any other appropriate City staff. He explained that the Commission then would decide whether or not to approve the list of events for the year proposed by each Commissioner. Additionally he said that if outside of those events for the year, a member of the Commission wants to organize another event, it will come out of the proposed budget that will be available later on because the events budget has been completely taken out due to the City's financial oversight. The Mayor asserted that the only way a Commissioner would not be able to have an event is if after consideration, it wasn't part of the conversation of the events for the year, then the Commissioner organized other events and still hadn't organized the event they wanted to get done, and then the Commission votes to not approve the event. He pointed out that it would take quite a bit to stop a Commissioner from organizing an event. Vice Mayor Williams offered the example of the virtual COVID-19 panel discussion event that Commissioner Taylor organized this past week, and she asked if an event like that would have to be approved by the Commission because staff was utilized during the event. Mayor Pigatt offered to break it down for the Commission and asked to be corrected if he was wrong. The Mayor offered the example of Commissioner Taylor proposing to organize four panel discussions as part of the City's events for the year and his events can be included in that plan as one way he can make sure they happen. He then stated that if the Commission doesn't want to include Commissioner Taylor's panels as part of the events for the year, he will have the ability to use his budget to do those events. Additionally, the Mayor said that if the Commissioner already 17 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 expended his budget, then the event proposal would have to come before the Commission for approval. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she doesn't think Mayor Pigatt answered her question. Mayor Pigatt asked Budget Director Anathan to answer Vice Mayor Williams' question. Budget Director Anathan again stated that he created the problem by using the term resources rather than external expenses. Pointing out that he believed the panel discussion event organized by Commissioner Taylor had no external expenses that the City had to pay for, and thus it is an event that he could do anytime he wants and would just need to notify the City Manager so that the special events coordinator can make sure there are no conflicts with anything else. Directly answering Vice Mayor William's question, Mr. Anathan stated that Commissioner Taylor would not have to obtain Commission approval or obtain budget authority for his panel discussion event because he wasn't going to spend any money on the event. Mayor Pigatt stated that he is confused about that part, pointing out that staff and the auditorium represented a cost of resources. Budget Director Anathan stated that full cost allocation would not be calculated until FY 23. Mayor Pigatt asserted that because the Commission is talking about policy, the Budget Director can't say that the calculation of the cost of resources is not going to happen, when in reality it will, even if not during the next 365 days. The Mayor asked if the events policy states that events would have to be part of the annual budget, and if it is not, he stated that he thinks the Vice Mayor is right in pointing out whether or not an event like the panel discussions will be a part of a fiscal evaluation of events. Budget Director Anathan stated that he would argue that there is no value in charging a member of the Commission for use of a particular room, because it didn't cost the City anything. Mr. Anathan added that if a trailer had to be rented, then he would definitely agree with Mayor Pigatt about the need to include that in the calculation of the cost for the event, but he doesn't think electricity and water costs are part of the definition of the cost of resources. He said that with respect to labor, the calculation of the cost should be overtime. Mayor Pigatt pointed out that Commissioner Taylor's panel discussion event was held after working hours and he asked if staff was used to set up the event, if they were used during the event, and if they helped break down the event, and if that triggered overtime or comp hours for those members of the staff. Budget Director Anthan stated that he did not know if overtime was triggered for the staff that was used during Commissioner Taylor's panel discussion event. 18 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Parks & Recreation Director Delven Patterson clarified that Commissioner Taylor's panel discussion event required a simple setup that was completed during working hours, and that his department had one staff member who did accrue overtime because they assisted during the event and broke down the setup afterwards. Mayor Pigatt asked if the other staff members who participated in Commissioner Taylor's panel discussion event, were calculated as part of the cost. IT Director Nelson Rodriguez reminded the Commission that both of the staff members of his department are salaried employees, so there is no overtime cost to be calculated for them. Commissioner Taylor added that there were no police outside the panel discussion event that he organized. Mayor Pigatt recalled that the Assistant Chief of Police and the Human Resources Director were part of the panel discussion event organized by Commissioner Taylor. City Manager Pate reminded the Commission that the Assistant Chief of Police and the Human Resources Director are salaried employees as well. Assistant Chief of Police Nikeya Jenkins confirmed that she is a salaried employee and that she volunteered to be at the panel discussion organized by Commissioner Taylor. Mayor Pigatt called for the Commission to be clear on this because he thinks this is the sticking point that everyone is trying to figure out, and is the point being made by the oversight board. The Mayor asked Vice Mayor Williams and Commissioner Taylor to correct him if he is wrong, stating that he thinks the question is whether or not events that are after working hours that may use silly resources, are a part of the City's annual events, the Commissioner's budgeted events, or if they are completely outside of fiscal accountability. He asked the Vice Mayor and Commissioner Taylor if he got the question right. Vice Mayor Williams asked Mayor Pigatt to repeat the question. Mayor Pigatt re -stated that he believes the question at hand is whether the panel discussion event that Commissioner Taylor organized would have to be included as one of the City's events for the year, or one of the Commissioner's individual events, or if it is completely outside of those discussions and can just be done at any point in time. Vice Mayor Williams stated this is the sticky part of the policy for her. Using the example of tomorrow's women's luncheon, the Vice Mayor recalled that nothing was said on the Commission for two months that the City does an annual women's event and thus she stepped in the gap to organize the event that she had not seen or heard was being done. She also shared the example of the COVID-19 panel discussion, pointing out that it is not something that is going to be put on a 19 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 calendar every year, and noted that it has over 800 views on YouTube because Commissioner Taylor thought it needed to happen for the residents of Opa-locka. The Vice Mayor asserted that there are going to be times when the Commission is going to need to organize events that pertain to the issues that are happening right then and there and can't necessarily go on a calendar ahead of time. She offered assurances that she wholeheartedly agrees with the need for an event calendar, noting that the women's event she is organizing with Commissioner Burke for tomorrow, would have already been planned if it was on a calendar. The Vice Mayor also added that she believed Assistant Chief of Police Jenkins would have said she didn't even want the overtime because she would have thought that the panel discussion event was needed for the community. Asking why Commissioner Taylor would be pigeonholed to not be able to quickly organize his event because it didn't make the calendar, she pointed out that the Commission would have had to pivot to vote on it and amend the budget to make sure staff like IT Director Rodriguez is being paid overtime, even though he is a salaried employee. Expressing that she is confused, she asserted that she thinks the audit findings are addressing making sure the City has a budget and sticking to those budgetary constraints, and she said that everything else is getting a little convoluted for her. Mayor Pigatt stated that he can understand where Vice Mayor Williams is coming from. The Mayor said that one of the challenges for newly elected folk is not knowing the process, and one of the problems in Opa-locka is that there is no process. He acknowledged that the Vice Mayor is pointing out that an event was just held and is being told that it was wrong, but the Mayor explained that what the Commission is doing now is setting a vision for the future. He stated that the proposed events policy will make sure that events like the women's luncheon and Commissioner Taylor's COVID-19 panel discussion are property organized. Explaining that the only way that events like those would not happen under the new events policy, is if at least three of the members of the Commission say no in a public setting multiple times, which he offered assurances is highly unlikely. Commissioner Taylor stated that he thinks that the issue Vice Mayor Williams has is why a Commissioner's proposed event even has to be approved by the Commission, and he asked if the Commission has to determine what the other Commissioners can and cannot do. Mayor Pigatt asserted that the Commission is the law in the City of Opa-locka. Commissioner Taylor stated that he understands the logistics of the legislative process, but he asked if he wants to have a breakfast event tomorrow, if he would have to get permission from the Commission. The Commissioner summarized his understanding, stating that what is being proposed is that there will be a calendar of events for the year and also a budget for each Commissioner. He asked if after the calendar of events for the year has been established, if the funding for the COVID-19 panel discussion would come out of his personal allowance as a Commissioner and not from the funding for the events on the yearly calendar. Additionally, he 20 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 said he wanted to make sure that his understanding was correct based on what Mr. Bob stated; that overtime costs do not matter right now, and will start to matter in FY 23. Mayor Pigatt said that as far as he understands, Commissioner Taylor was correct. The Mayor pointed out that if panel discussions were not part of the events for the year, which he thinks the City should have. He pointed out that if the Commission agrees to plan a certain number of panel discussions, they can be part of the annual budget and don't have to come out of a Commissioner's budget. Commissioner Taylor asked if he plans to do a separate panel discussion event from the ones in the event schedule for the year, if the funding for that event will come out of the Commissioner's allowance or not. Mayor Pigatt stated that his understanding is that what Commissioner Taylor stated is what the new events policy allows for. Budget Director Anathan confirmed that both Commissioner Taylor and Mayor Pigatt's understanding of the new events policy are exactly correct. Commissioner Taylor asked if the only thing he would have to do is communicate with the events coordinator to ensure that there is no conflict in time or date for the events he wants to organize individually. Budget Director Anathan clarified that the only thing that a Commissioner has to do is communicate with the events coordinator, if there are no external expenditures for the event they are planning. Mr. Anathan explained that when the budget is put together including the funding for the year's events, it will also include funding for each Commissioner and the Mayor. He stated that if a Commissioner spends their funding and needs to spend an additional amount to fund an event they are planning, it will require Commission approval because it is outside of the approved budget. He noted that if all of the Commission members' funding is lumped together into a single account as City Manager Pate suggested, then there is a little bit of fluidity to the approval of additional funding. Mr. Anathan asked if his explanation helped or confused the Commissioner. Commissioner Taylor said that he is not confused and is just trying to bring clarity to the fact that the new events policy includes events for the year and an allowance per Commissioner. The Commissioner stated that his understanding is that the only time that an event requires Commission approval is if a Commissioner exhausts all of their allowance. Budget Director Anathan confirmed that Commissioner Taylor was correct. Commissioner Taylor stated that what was being proposed in the new events policy got lost in translation and delivery. The Commissioner said that it looked like it was necessary to get permission from the Commission for everything, and that it was never explained correctly. 21 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Budget Director Anathan said that he accepts that the new events policy was never explained correctly. Commissioner Taylor suggested that the events policy should have been broken down and it should have been explained that there were two different things. The Commissioner said that Vice Mayor Williams and he brought up being pigeonholed because it almost sounded like Budget Director Anathan was trying to have control. He added that if Mr. Anathan had told the Commission that they were going to be given a budget to organize their own events, he thinks they would have been a little more receptive to it in the beginning and wouldn't have been discussing the policy for two hours. Budget Director Anathan said that he understood exactly what Commissioner Taylor was saying and apologized that he didn't make it clear the first time. Commissioner Davis thanked Commissioner Taylor for his point of clarity, and stated that he heard and understood the point the first time that Budget Director Anathan brought it up. The Commissioner expressed that he had a problem with the event expenditures not going through the democratic process or having consensus from the Commission, because as he pointed out earlier, it is a chartered responsibility. Reviewing his understanding of the new events policy, the Commissioner pointed out that it includes provisions for Commission sponsored events that are voted on by the entire Commission, in addition to events sponsored by individual Commissioners which allocates the same amount of budget to each member of the Commission, and then he said that he was hearing that there is a third tier for events that have no financial burden or cost to the City. As the Commissioner stated he understood, the third tier includes events for which Commissioners partner with outside entities or fundraise to have its own budget. He said that to his understanding no additional line of approval is needed for the Commission sponsored events as well as for events that have no financial burden on the City and thus bypass the whole City process. As an example, he stated that he organized a Women's Day event in addition to the one organized by Vice Mayor Williams and Commissioner Burke, reporting that he put resources together with some business owners and didn't use any money from the City because he didn't market the event through the City and did not use the staffs employee time. The Commissioner's question was whether an event like that required Commission approval. Budget Director Anathan stated that an event that has no financial burden on the City would only require notifying the City Manager so that the special events coordinator can ensure that all of the other Commissioners and department heads are aware of the event, but would require no approvals. Commissioner Davis stated that Budget Director Anathan confirmed his impression of the new events policy. The Commissioner also affirmed Mayor Pigatt's statement that the situation was not one in which the Commission didn't want to have events, but the fact is that events were not being organized because of the limited budget due to the City' s financial oversight, in addition to the state of Florida stating that the City needed an events policy in place and that the previous 22 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 practices being used to organize events were not proper. Noting that the audit finding about the City's events policy is not new, and that previous Commissions didn't agree to put an events policy in place, the Commissioner shared that he feels the need to get it done. Mayor Pigatt suggested that the conversation be wrapped up. The Mayor shared with all of the staff and everyone watching that it is very difficult to come to terms when the Commission can only talk during these meetings, and he thanked the Commission for sharing their thoughts so that they can all understand where each other is coming from. He stated that he recognizes that there is a lack of information about how the Commission does what it does and that it needs to be addressed. The Mayor asked Clerk Flores if everyone on the Commission had been signed up for the elected officials training. Clerk Flores confirmed that every member of the Commission has been provided the dates that are available for the League of Cities training and will be signed up for that. Mayor Pigatt stated that while events often look like they are done by one person, every single event organized by the elected officials, represents the whole City as a body. The Mayor said that he is hearing from his colleagues that the large majority of the new events policy is pretty on point and there were not many challenges with what was presented. He summarized the points he believed needed clarification and asked the Commission to correct him if he was wrong, pointing out that language needed to be added providing the timeline for including fiscal accountability in the cost of special events, in addition to providing clarity on the definition of City resources. Vice Mayor Williams stated that she would like to do her own research on the events policies from other cities. Mayor Pigatt asked Vice Mayor Williams if she was in agreement with the points that needed clarification. Vice Mayor Williams confirmed that she is in agreement with the points that Mayor Pigatt stated needed clarification. Mayor Pigatt stated that staff will bring the policy back to the Commission with the requested clarifications. The Mayor asked Vice Mayor Williams if she wanted to have another workshop session to present additional information before the events policy goes into final legislation. Vice Mayor Williams asserted that she would like to do her research. The Vice Mayor cited her sessions with the Florida League of Cities, stating that she has completed the required hours and then some. She once again stressed that she would like to do her research for the events policy, since it has changed to a different policy. Mayor Pigatt asked if the Commission was in agreement to have another workshop to discuss the events policy and bring up some more ideas. 23 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Commissioner Burke asked when the Commission has to have the events policy in place, before the auditor general comes to town. Mayor Pigatt informed the Commission that the auditor general is in town, has started their work and will be in the City for the next five to seven months. The Mayor stated that there is no way to know exactly when they'll get to the point to talk about the events policy, which is why the Commission wants to address it now, so that when they do inquire about it, the policy will be done. He explained that the policy being done would mean that it has passed through a Commission meeting and asked Budget Director Anathan if he had any other thoughts. Budget Director Anathan stated that as long as the Commission can demonstrate that the events policy is moving forward and still being deliberated, the auditor general will be perfectly fine with it. Mr. Anathan said that it would be nice to have the events policy fully adopted, but he thinks the Commission will get pretty much full credit for presenting a rather aggressive document that is moving in the right direction. He added that he doesn't think the events policy has to be adopted tomorrow, and noted that as Mayor Pigatt pointed out, because they are already working in the City, information is being provided right now and thus the policy could be asked for tomorrow. Mayor Pigatt reminded his colleagues that he was on the Commission during the last audit and thus has personal insight. The Mayor asserted that it will be in the best interest of the City to address as many of the operational audit findings as possible and have them completely responded to as quickly as possible. Pointing out that the letter from the auditor general was directed to the Mayor and the Commission, he stressed that the buck stops with them and that it is up to them to decide whether or not to delay things and have not so good of a report. Commissioner Burke asked if it was possible to work with the proposed events policy, and amend it after the review of the auditor general, to give Vice Mayor Williams the time to do more research. Mayor Pigatt confirmed that the Commission has the power to amend the events policy after the review of the auditor general. Commissioner Burke proposed that the Commission move ahead and have an events policy in place, just in case the auditor general asks for it. The Commissioner added that he wanted to do research as well, and if the Commission comes up with something that they can all agree on, then they can amend the events policy that has already been passed. Mayor Pigatt asked Commissioner Burke if he was proposing to move on the events policy now, then do research and come back to it later. Commissioner Burke stated that if it is going to hinder the City with the auditor general, he is suggesting to go ahead with the new events policy, and then after the Commission does its research, they can come back and amend the parts that they feel they can all agree on. 24 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 Mayor Pigatt pointed out that Vice Mayor Williams wants to do research and Commissioner Burke wants to move on the events policy and continue to do research afterwards. The Mayor asked for the opinions of Commissioners Taylor and Davis. Commissioner Davis asserted that he is ready to put this finding to bed and has been ready to move, yielding to the sentiments of his colleagues. The Commissioner acknowledged that the Commission was trying to work through a few issues with the policy, but at this point he stated that he is frankly in favor of moving on the events policy, offering no challenges to the legislation. Commissioner Taylor stated that while he would like to do more research, he acknowledged that the Commission has been beating this dead horse for a while now. The Commissioner said he would like to move forward with the new events policy, so long as Mr. Anathan changes the language that he promised he would change. Mayor Pigatt noted that it is March 18th and that the new events policy will most likely not be on the upcoming Commission meeting agenda and thus will most likely be on the April 14th agenda. The Mayor pointed out that they have at least three meetings on the books right now during which the events policy can be addressed and any changes or thoughts can be presented before the Commission votes on it, including at the March 24th Commission meeting during the Mayor or Commission reports, or some time may be able to be allocated on March 31st, or another workshop could be scheduled. He said that during the first Commission meeting in April on the 14th, Budget Director Anathan can present the changes to the events policy that were discussed including the timeline for including special events costs and defining City resources. The Mayor asked the Commission if that sounded reasonable. Commissioner Burke and his colleagues concurred that the Mayor's proposal to consider changes and thoughts for the events policy before the first Commission meeting in April was reasonable. Mayor Pigatt stated that one thing he didn't get to was the selection of hosts for events, which he proposed that the Commission discuss later. The Mayor stressed that it is important for the events scheduled for the year, that it be considered that some members of the Commission really like certain events and will want to host them; thus the Commission will need to have a policy to figure out how to decide who will host events like the women's lunch and the toy giveaway. He urged the Commission as they do their research, to think about the policy on choosing the host for each event. Noting that the Commission was in a pretty good place with the events policy, the Mayor asked if there were any other last remarks from Management or the Commission. City Manager Pate stated that there were no comments from Management. Mayor Pigatt noted that it sounded like the Commission is good. The Mayor expressed that working in the sunshine is challenging but it is what the Commission has to do. He added that because it is very difficult to set policy for the future and get five people and an entire Management 25 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021 team all on the same page, sometimes conversations take this amount of time and it is what elected officials and government workers have to do. The Mayor thanked everybody for their time and asked if there was a motion to adjourn. 7. ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to come before the City Commission, it was moved by Commissioner Burke, seconded by Commissioner Taylor to adjourn the meeting at 8:07 p.m. Matthew A. Pigatt Mayor ATTEST: Joa 1 a Flores, CMC City Clerk 26 Virtual Workshop Meeting Minutes — March 18, 2021