Salt Lake City

COUNCIL: May 25, 2021 Meetings

At their May 25, 2021, meetings:

  • The Council received a series of briefings about the proposed Salt Lake City budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July. The second public hearing on the Citywide budget proposal is Tuesday, June 1, at 7 p.m. More on the budget:
  • The meeting agenda also included a follow-up presentation of the Council-sponsored audit of the Police Department’s budget. Council Members reviewed various audit recommendations, which are still in draft form.
  • Council Members lauded the retiring Sustainability Department Director Vicki Bennett.

Council Work Session items
The Council:

  • received a follow-up briefing about the Council-sponsored audit of the Police Department (PD). The audit is split into two parts: financial items and operational findings. The audit is still in draft form. The audit team responded to Council requests for information from the last presentation. Some highlights:
    • the auditors discussed budget development practices for PD, including attrition preparation, budget monitoring, and service level metrics.
    • other items included a look at mental health calls and their most prolific hours, and how PD might expand the existing co-response model.
    • auditors gave more details on the idea of an addition of a civilian response team for non-emergency calls. Other items reviewed included possible Internal Affairs changes, the discipline process, employee wellness, and body camera footage review.
    • discussion among the Council included the impact of the audit recommendations on personnel, a more detailed look at the types of calls the auditors outlined, mental health call response options, and possible hours of service when expanding the social work program.
    • the findings and key recommendations from the auditors may inform the Council’s annual budget deliberations in May and June. A zero-based budgeting exercise for PD is planned by the Council for later this summer. More on the report: 

  • received an informational update by the Mayor on recent efforts on various projects related to racial equity and policing in the City. City elected officials and staff at all levels of government are working to learn more about and dismantle the processes that perpetuate inequity in Salt Lake City. The Mayor also noted the efforts on this front that are part of the City’s Recommended Budget being reviewed by the Council for FY 2021-22. More:
  • was updated on the Salt Lake City Racial Equity in Policing (REP) Commission, which usually meets weekly. The REP held another public listening session on May 19 and it can be seen at the REP website. More on the Commission
  • received an informational update on relieving the condition of people experiencing homelessness. The Mayor reported camp abatements at several locations, including 700 South. Another abatement is scheduled for June 16. People in the encampments are offered assistance from community partners through the Community Commitment Program.
    Also: an experimental program called “Kayak Court” made its first outing last week as Justice Court officials kayaked on the Jordan River to offer court services to people experiencing homelessness who were camped riverside.

Other Agenda items
The Council:

  • received a series of briefings about the proposed Citywide budget for the next fiscal year. A second public hearing on the Citywide budget proposal is Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. A vote on the annual budget will be in mid-June.
    Today’s budget briefings included:
    • a briefing about the proposed Compensation budget at $216 million, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Discussion among Council Members included police pay, health benefits, the City hiring philosophy, and other topics.
    • a briefing about the proposed 911 Department budget. The Department provides both Police and Fire Dispatch services for the City. Eight more employees have been requested and the proposal includes a pilot program for a new work schedule. Discussion among Members included mental health provisions and other topics.
    • a briefing about the proposed Sustainability Department budget and Refuse Fund, which funds the City’s trash collection and environmental programs. The budget for trash collection includes a proposed rate increase, and new trucks among the possible expenses.
    • a briefing about the proposed Human Resources Department budget, including the request for additional employees and other changes.
    • a briefing about the proposed Non-Departmental Fund budget, which accounts for transfers to other funds, grants, and other special revenue funds that do not belong to particular City departments. Discussion included money to be used for Fairpark, Funding Our Future dollars for particular road projects, micro-transit options, bonding capacity for additional projects, especially capital projects funding (CIP), and other topics.
    • a briefing about the proposed Department of Public Services budget and its nine divisions, including the proposed Department of Public Lands. New employees are proposed for various divisions. The new department would be part of a large shift among the existing divisions. Discussion among Council Members included how the new department would be beneficial to the challenges of managing Public Lands, how new employees would be deployed in the split, how existing projects or future projects might change in the restructuring, questions if the split would silo the department from intra-city cooperation, future funding, and other topics.
    • a briefing about the proposed Fleet Fund budget, which provides vehicles, fuel, and vehicle maintenance and repair services for all City departments. Discussion among the Members included preventative maintenance costs, new versus old vehicle and their replacement schedule, and other topics.
    • a briefing about the proposed Golf Fund budget. With six courses, the proposed budget continues with General Fund support, and proposes investment in several smaller upgrades. Play increased in 2020. Discussion among Council Members included watering issues, community benefits and other topics.
    • a written briefing about the proposed budget for the Department of Economic Development.

Note: This meeting was a regularly scheduled Work Session that did not have a Formal Meeting and a public comment section.  An additional Work Session is scheduled for Thursday, June 3.

All agenda-related comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the Council public meeting record.

Visit the Council’s agenda page for meeting documents and video or view an archive of prior meeting recaps.

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