|THURSDAY, October 7, 2010
PUPLIC HEARING & SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Pro Tem Castro called the City of Hilshire Village Special
Council Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. at 8301 Westview, Houston, Texas 77055.
1.1 Invocation: was given by Council Member Whiting.
1.2 Present: Mayor Pro Tem Connie Castro and Council Members Shannon Whiting,
Stephanie Post, Edward Davis and Bill Bristow were present. Mayor Robin Border was
2. COMMENTS BY COUNCIL: Mayor Pro Tem Castro stated the meeting was a public
hearing on the proposed tax rate increase. She stated the City’s emergency reserves
were unacceptably low and a lot of factors converged to bring the City to this point.
Mayor Pro Tem Castro stated the cost of police and fire protection was $470,000 while
property revenue before any increase was only $495,000. The City’s other revenues
have remained flat or decreased over the last years. She stated the City needs to have
a reserve of three (3) months expenses (approximately $195,000) and the question was
how quickly the City needs to recover this reserve. Mayor Pro Tem Castro stated the
option of doing nothing and leaving the City with no reserves for the next year would be
irresponsible. She stated Council started the discussion with a rollback rate of
$0.450475 plus $0.15 to obtain the three (3) month reserve in one year. On September
27th Council made cuts and decided a two (2) month reserve would be adequate so the
rate was reduced to $0.450475 plus $0.08. On September 28th after more discussion
from Council and input from residents a $0.05 increase was decided on. Mayor Pro Tem
Castro stated the City Office had prepared a frequently asked question sheet to help
with the residents questions.
3. CITIZENS COMMENTS: No citizens came to the microphone to be recorded.
Comments from the audience were positive and appreciative for the time and effort that
Council had spent.
OUT OF ORDER:
4.2 The City’s proposed FYE 2011 Budget: Mayor Pro Tem Castro went over the
changes in the proposed budget from the last meeting. She said the property taxes
reflect the current proposed tax rate and the police department had reduced their
estimated proposed contract from $334,000 to $319,822. Mayor Pro Tem Castro said
that on page 3 of the budget the generator expense had been reduced because the City
had already expended $4,950 of the cost. She asked Council if they wanted to leave the
$3,500 expense to cover a generator or if they wanted it removed. Council agreed to
leave the generator in the budget but Council Member Bristow wanted to make sure the
cost for maintenance was carefully watched.
2 Public Hearing & Special Council Meeting, October 7, 2010
4.1 The City’s Proposed 2010 Total Rate: Mayor Pro Tem Castro asked Council if
they wanted to discuss the proposed tax rate increase of $0.05 over the City’s 2010 roll
back rate or had they agreed on the number. City Secretary Blevins brought to the
attention of Council that actual numbers from FYE 2010 were still an estimated number
and would change when all expenditures had been recorded. She also said that she
had not yet received a written contract from the Police Department and the contract
numbers were verbal only. Mayor Pro Tem Castro said she was comfortable with the
proposed tax increase. Council Member Whiting and Post agreed.
5: ADDITIONAL CITIZENS COMMENTS:
Paul Maddock, 8 Hilshire Oaks Court, asked if there was money to replace the
Council stated there were restricted funds from Metro and the Utility Funds that were
available for replacement of the infrastructure. The tax increase was for the operating
funds not capital expenses for the infrastructure. The City has applied for grant money
for planned projects. Council Member Whiting said one of the reasons Council raised
the water rates was to develop funds for replacement of the 50 year old infrastructure.
It was brought to Council’s attention by Nancy Freeman that a sectarian prayer should
not be given at the Council Meetings.
6. ADJOURNMENT: Council Member Davis moved to adjourn, seconded by Council
Member Whiting. The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 P.M.
Mayor Pro Tem Castro
Susan Blevins, City Secretary