Audit, Finance, and Administration for March 24, 2014 [Replay]

Council voted to crack down on businesses operating without proper licensing or zoning during the Audit, Finance, and Administration meeting.

Full Replay


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Audit, Finance, and Administration AGENDA
Full Agenda on City WebsiteCONSENT ITEMS
5.1 Various Advisory Committee Minutes
a) Committee Against Racism Minutes, November 26, 2013
b) Aboriginal Advisory Committee Minutes, December 5, 2013
c) LGBTQ Advisory Committee, September 19, 2013
d) Status of Women Committee, October 24, 2013

5.2 2013 Fourth Quarter Emergency and Non-Competitive Procurements Report
5.3 2013 Fourth Quarter Non-compliance with the Procurement Policy Report
5.4 Status Report of Tenders and Requests for Proposals for November 2, 2013 to December 31, 2013
5.5 Reserve/Revenue Fund Investment Performance Report – December 31, 2013
5.6 Hamilton Future Fund Investment Performance Report – December 31, 2013
5.7 Cemetery Accounts Investment Performance Report – December 31, 2013
5.8 Report of the 2013 Remuneration and Expenses as Required under Section 284 of the Municipal Act
5.9 Freedom of Information Quarterly Report (October 1 to December 31, 2013)
5.10 Tax Appeals under Sections 357 and 358 of the Municipal Act (2001)
5.11 Treasurer’s Apportionment of Land Taxes
5.12 Follow Up of Audit Report 2011-10 – Human Resources – Grievance Processes
5.13 Follow Up of Audit Report 2012-05 – Long Term Contract Review – Recycling Collection Services (Blue Box Collection
5.14 Follow Up of Audit Report 2012-02 – Public Works – Bridge Maintenance Program
5.15 Follow Up of Audit Report 2012-10 – Public Health Services – Tobacco Control Program

PUBLIC HEARINGS / DELEGATIONS
6.1 Gerald Asa, of The Effort Trust Company, respecting the Water and Wastewater / Storm Arrears Policy
6.2 Written Submission from Martin Wray, Vice President of Operations for Cadillac Fairview, respecting the Proposed Amendments to the Water and Wastewater / Storm Arrears Policy

DEBATE ITEMS
8.1 Amended Water and Wastewater/Storm Arrears Policy
8.2 Aboriginal Advisory Committee – Draft Terms of Reference
8.3 Reserve/Revenue Funds and Trust Accounts Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures Review
8.4 Audit Report 2013-16 – Community and Emergency Services – Homes for the Aged – Accommodation Fees and Trust Funds
8.5 Performance Audit Report 2013-14 – Unlicensed Businesses (Value for Money Audit)
8.6 Authority to Negotiate and Place a Debenture Issue(s)
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Consent Items

Item 5.1 – Advisory Committee Minutes

Four advisory committees are submitting minutes – for information only – to this meeting of AF&A.

Item 5.2 – 2013 Fourth Quarter Emergency and Non-Competitive Procurements Report

The City made 67 purchases totalling $3,221,714 using it’s approved non-competitive and emergency purchasing policies.

Many of the contracts are for very specialized services or services that were unexpectedly needed.

Item 5.3 – 2013 Fourth Quarter Non-compliance with Procurement Policy

In the fourth quarter of 2013, there were 33 instances of non-compliance with procurement policy. The total value of these was $208,825.

More than half this total was for a single non-complaint purchase. $120,000 was paid by Public Works to Deso Construction Ltd.

Item 5.4 – Status of Tenders and Requests for Proposals for November 2, 2013 to December 31, 2013

A housekeeping update on the results of the City’s tendering processes. Of note, the City had two bidders where the lowest bidder was above budget, one where there was no qualified bids, and another cancelled bid as the work was deemed unnecessary at the present time.

Items 5.5 to 5.7 – Investment Returns on Reserves, Trusts, and Future Fund accounts

The Future Fund’s portfolio earned 2.8% in 2013. The fund – which is being used to build the new Pan Am Stadium – dropped in 2013 to $51,760,198 from $67,053,422. A portion of the fund remains in shorter-term maturities “due to the upcoming need to further finance the Tim Hortons Field and West Harbour Lands)

The City’s Reserve and Revenue Funds earned 2.81% in 2013.

The Cemetery Accounts’ 2013 earning rates were:
3.44% for the Cemetery Care & Maintenance Trust
3.64% for the Cemetery Monument Care Trust
3.59% for the Cemetery Pre-Need Assurance Trust

Item 5.8 – 2013 Council Remuneration and Expenses

Councillor’s 2013 expense report is now public, showing Councillors charging between $30 (the late Bernie Morelli is listed at $0) to $10,896.99 in expenses last year.

Councillors are paid $71,255.01 yearly by the City. The Mayor is paid $118,517.62. The salary is one-third tax-free, giving an equivalent salary of $88,601 for Councillors and $158,279 for the Mayor.

In addition, the report states Mayor Bob Bratina received $13,500 for sitting on the Hamilton Utilities Corporation and expensed $3,600 for this role.

Councillor Russ Powers added $15,781 to his remuneration with $3,781 for sitting on the Niagara Escarpment Commission and $12,000 as president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. He expensed $2,560.17 in his AMO role.

Ward 7 Councillor Scott Duvall had the highest expenses in 2013 at $10,896.99. As the City’s representative to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities travel costs accounted for all but $50 of his expense claims.

The highest non-travel expenses were claimed by the two Councillor’s with the largest wards and most mileage. Ward 11 Councillor Brenda Johnson claimed $5,520.48 in mileage for 2013, and $289.50 in expenses. Ward 14 Councillor Rob Pasuta claimed $4,064.16 in mileage and $609.27 in expenses.

The Mayor’s non-travel expenses of $2,446.76 include attendance at numerous community events.

The expense totals are solely for the cost of the Council members attendance, and does not include expenses charged to their office budgets for others to attend a function or cost of fun for meetings. Those expenses are disclosed, but not part of the total.

The Mayor’s expense report includes the City paying for $2,486.00 for a 120 guest event at Mt. Pleasant’s (Ontario) Devlin’s Country Bistro. The Mayor’s expense total of $2,446.76 reflects $20.72 of that event. The event was related to Clara’s Climb. A luncheon for the CANUSA games cost $1,013.61 for 12 attendees, the Mayor’s expense total reflects $84.47.

The late Ward 3 Councillor Bernie Morelli, who died on January 14, 2014, had no expense claims in 2013.

Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge only filed $30 in expenses. Her office purchased two tickets to the Environment Hamilton Environmentalist of the Year Dinner at $30 each. The $60 total is reflected as $30 in the City’s disclosure.

Item 5.9 – Quarterly FIPPA report

Freedom of Information requests are being processed more quickly by the City, with many no longer taking the 30 days maximum allowed by law. Some are being processed in the same week they are filed.

Items 5.10 & 5.11 – taxation housekeeping measures

Among the housekeeping of taxation files are tax appeals and a apportionment of taxes to a condominium that had been sent one tax bill instead of seventy-nine bills, one for each unit.

The tax appeals are primarily changes in building use for worship, demolition of home features such as pools, and homes which were damaged by fire.

The largest tax appeal sees a decrease of $46,656.66 in taxes at 726 Strathearne Avenue where a warehouse was demolished. The address houses Westray Terminals’ Hamilton operations.

Items 5.12 to 5.15 – 2013 Audit Follow-ups

Internal auditors follow up their audits of four program areas from last year stating that, for the most part, recommendations of the audit are implemented or being implemented.

The four areas audited were: Tobacco Control Program, Bridge Maintenance, Long-Term Recycling Contract, and Grievance Processes.

Public Delegations

Joey Coleman on Agendas (again)

Joey Coleman is once again in front of Council on the matter of public accessibility to Council agendas and meetings.

Coleman will be asking for Council to request the new Hamilton Engagement Committee to prioritize a new Charter for citizen access and engagement with public meetings.

Council does not meet at City Hall for three months during the election period, creating an opportunity to upgrade Council Chambers and other meeting rooms to ensure public access to meetings. Currently, Council Chambers do not have accessible doors, among other issues.

Delegations on Item 8.1 – Water and Wastewater/Storm Arrears Policy

The Effort Trust Company is planning to speak against proposed changes to the Water and Wastewater/Storm Arrears Policy that clarifies arrears are ultimately the responsibility of the property owner and can be billed onto property taxes.

Cadillac Fairview submitted a letter in support of Effort Trusts position and delegation.

Debate Items

Item 8.1 – Water and Wastewater/Storm Arrears Policy

Property owner’s ultimate responsibility for water bill arrears is being clarified in an amended policy for collection of arrears. If the tenant fails to pay, the City reserves the option to add the arrears to the property tax bill for the address.
There is one delegation and one written submission on this item. (See above)

Item 8.2 – Aboriginal Affairs Committee Terms of Reference

The City’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee is asking City Council to add a member of Council to their committee to ensure communication between the committee and Council.

At present, the Mayor’s office liaisons between the Committee and Council.

Item 8.3 – Reserve/Revenue Funds and Trust Accounts Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures

The annual review of the City’s policies and procedures for reserve/revenue funds and trust accounts statement of investment is being presented to committee.

Housekeeping changes are being made, as there are no changes to legislation to be implemented.

One bigger change, the review will now be done at least once a Council term instead of yearly.

Item 8.4 – Performance Audit: Trust Funds at City Senior’s Lodges

City auditors looked at cash-handling and operations related to resident trust funds at the City’s two senior’s lodges. The trust funds operate similar to a banking account for residents to be able to securely deposit and withdrawal their own funds for daily spending.

Auditors found no severe shortcomings and made a series of recommendations that the lodges are adopting. Many have been already implemented.

Item 8.5 – Performance Audit: Unlicensed Businesses

City auditors compared version City databases to find potential unlicensed businesses in the four most common licensed business types in the City: public garages, personal aesthetic services, eating establishments and food
shops and cigarette and tobacco retailers.

The search found 684 potential unlicensed businesses, which if licensed would generate $130,000 per year in fees for the City.

The report notes there may be reasons the businesses cannot be licensed such as zoning, building permits, or corporate paper requirements.

Auditors recommend combining databases, initiating licensing of identified businesses, and an annual comparison of databases.

Item 8.6 – New Debentures for City debts

The City’s looking to raise $89-million in a new debenture issue to cover City debts already approved by Council. $80-mil of the new debt will be retired over 15 years. $9-mil of the new debt, towards the new Pan Am stadium, will be retired over 20 years.

The Lister Block rehabilitation is the largest cost item among debts being covered at $22,100,000.

$9-million per year will be used to cover the expenses of servicing and repaying the debt, the City will spend $84-million per year on debt after this issue.

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