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The City Council of the City of Taylor met on September 7, 2006, at City Hall, 400 Porter St., Taylor, Texas.  Mayor Bernabe Gonzales declared a quorum and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following present:

 

Mayor Pro Tem Donald Hill                                Frank Salvato, City Manager

Council Member Rod Hortenstine                      Assistant City Manager, Jim Dunaway

Council Member Ella Jez                                     City Attorney, Ted Hejl

Council Member John McDonald                       City Clerk, Susan Brock

                                                                                   

INVOCATION

Council Member Hortenstine led the group in prayer.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

CITIZENS COMMUNICATION

No citizens came forward during this time.

CONSENT AGENDA

1.      ORDINANCE 2006-21 ASSIGNMENT PAY FOR POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
Council Member McDonald moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented and Council Member Hortenstine seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

REGULAR AGENDA – REVIEW/DISCUSS & CONSIDER/ACTION:

  1. CONSIDER APPROVING AD VALOREM TAX RATE; ORDINANCE 2006-18 FIXING AND LEVYING AD VALOREM TAX RATE FOR TAX YEAR 2006-2007.
    Mayor Gonzales opened the floor for discussion on Ordinance 2006-18; with no further comment, Council Member Hill expressed his appreciation to staff for their efforts to keep the tax rate below the maximum rate allowed and moved to adopt Ordinance 2006-18 and that property taxes be increased by the adoption of a tax rate of $0.79500”.  Council Member Jez seconded the motion.  Mayor Gonzales called for a Record Vote:

                Ella Jez                                                AYE
                Rod Hortenstine                                 AYE
                Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill                    AYE
                John McDonald                                  AYE
                Mayor Bernabe Gonzales                    AYE

    VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

  2. CONSIDER APPROVING ORDINANCE 2006-19 ADOPTING THE 2006-2007 ANNUAL BUDGET EXCLUDING “CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVIC PROGRAMS.”
    Mayor Gonzales opened the floor for discussion on Ordinance 2006-19.  Mr. Salvato reminded Council that staff was recommending to eliminate on call or stand by pay for public works employees.  This change would also allow for a 2.5% increase in pay for these employees to ensure the change would compensate them for lack of on call or stand by pay during the year.  With no further comment or discussion Council Member Jez moved to adopt Ordinance 2006-19 and to approve a 2.5% increase for public works employees currently receiving on call or stand by pay effective October 1, 2006.  Council Member McDonald seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

  3. CONSIDER APPROVING “CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVIC PROGRAMS” INCLUDED IN THE ORDINANCE 2006-19.
    Mayor Pro Tem Hill recused himself from the discussion and vote on this item.  Mayor Gonzales asked for any additional comment or discussion.  Council member Hortenstine asked for further clarification for the CAMPO Work Program which is an ongoing planning program funded annually by participating municipalities.  With no further discussion, Council Member Jez moved to approve the Contributions to Civic Programs as presented and Council Member Hortenstine seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Four voted AYE.  Motion passed.

    (Mayor Pro Tem Hill rejoined the Council.)

  4. CONSIDER INTRODUCING ORDINANCE 2006-25 REGARDING TMRS.
    Ms. Starla Hall, Director of Human Resources, addressed the Council on the issue of increasing city employee retirement benefits.  During a recent workshop, Council discussed the possibility of increasing the contribution rate for employees from 6 to 7% at a 1.5 to 1 employer match effective January 1, 2007.  This added benefit became available with the elimination of a $50/month allowance to staff to offset the increased costs of health care premiums in the past.  However, with no increases scheduled for the upcoming year staff and Council agreed this would be an ideal time to increase benefits in the retirement package.  Mr. Hejl read the caption to Ordinance 2006-25 and Mayor Gonzales declared it officially introduced.

  5. CONSIDER CONTRACT AGREEMENT WITH ASSURANT FOR A LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN.
    At the request of City Council, Ms. Hall presented a proposal for a Long Term Disability Plan for City employees that would go into effect after 90 days paying employees a monthly benefit based on a percentage of their wages.  The BeneTex Group was asked to seek and review proposals and to provide a recommendation based on Council and staff provided criteria.  Assurant provides a three year rate guarantee and have an excellent performance history with BeneTex.  The total cost to fund this benefit for 2006/07 is $20,012.36 which includes taxes. If approved, this benefit would be effective October 1 and be funded with the deletion of the $50.00 monthly insurance allowance previously allotted to each employee to cover increased health insurance costs.

    Council Member Hortenstine moved to approve the contract agreement with Assurant and Council Member McDonald seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

  6. CONSIDER RENEWING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT WITH BENETEX.
    Ms. Hall presented a proposal to renew the contract with the BeneTex Group who provides negotiating and planning information on City benefit programs.  Staff believes this Group has been instrumental in keeping City employee insurance rates down and continually assists staff in coordinating enrollment meetings, the annual health fair and creating employee benefit statements.  The original contract was signed in 2003 and they do not anticipate any rate increases for their services to the City for the next two years.  

    Council Member McDonald moved to approve the contract with BeneTex for $10,000 and to include a two year guaranteed rate at this amount.  Council Member Jez seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

  7. CONSIDER CHANGES IN HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR CITY EMPLOYEES.
    As a result of discussions during the Budget Workshops, Ms. Hall was asked to seek additional health insurance options for City employees.  Scott & White proposed a 0% rate increase for the current custom plan or a -1.9% decrease if the City would switch to the Standard Plan 20.  By switching to the Standard Plan 20 the City will be saving $11,959.08 for the upcoming fiscal year. 
     
    Council Member Jez moved to approve the changes in health insurance benefits for City Employees as presented effective October 1, 2006 and Mayor Pro Tem Hill seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.
     

ADJOURN
With no further business, Mayor Gonzales adjourned the meeting at 6:30 pm.



                                                                                                     

                                                                                                      ___________________________

                                                                                                      Bernabe Gonzales, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

___________________________

Susan Brock, City Clerk