Wednesday, January 19, 2022

1.18.22 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council discussed several significant items:
  • We updated the city's purchasing policy to increase the threshold for when Council approval is necessary.  In the last two years we have updated the purchasing policy to allow us to utilize competitive bids conducted by other public agencies which reduced the administrative burden for similar services being sought, and adopted new rules related to public works projects further reducing administrative burden while retaining competitive bidding when appropriate.  With tonight's action, we increased the discretionary spending authority of the city manager from $20K to $60K, for everything except professional services.

  • The $20K limit has not been increased since 2004. The original intent of this threshold was to facilitate smooth operations of the city and not require Council approval for routine matters that would typically be approved via consent calendar anyways.  With rising costs over time, the $20K limit would sometimes be a barrier to that purpose.  Originally the proposal was to include all spend, however I questioned the need to include professional services which is typically consultant spend.  While the city does not often engage consultants, we have several times in the last few years.  In some cases, as with the group assisting us in preparing the housing element, or the group assisting in preparing the ARPA funds spending plan, this seemed entirely appropriate.  In others, I thought it warranted more discussion.  I suggested we limit the spending authority for professional services to $30K.  This would allow regular operations, while also ensuring larger engagements come to the Council for approval.

  • We approved one time premium pay for the City's essential workers in the amount of $10K each for full time employees.  Our police and city staff have worked diligently throughout the changing circumstances of the pandemic.  Our police especially has always been public facing.  As the ARPA dollars we received are federally funded, use it or lose it, and premium pay falls within eligible uses, I am grateful that we had this opportunity to recognize the work that our city staff does, and hope that this premium pay helps mitigate or offset some of the impacts that the pandemic has had on our police and city staff.

  • We expanded the eligibility criteria for the Clayton Cares program.  With updated guidance from the U.S. Treasury, we determined we could expand the scope of those eligible.  Originally businesses in Clayton could apply for forgivable loans up to $5K.  We increased that amount to $10K (those that already applied do not need to take action).  We also increased the amount households were eligible for, from $1,500, to $10,000.  The income threshold for households was also increased in hopes of capturing more homes in the eligibility pool.  We also extended the deadlines to apply for these amounts - through 1.31.22 for businesses, and 2.28.22 for households.  If you, your business, or a non profit think you may be eligible, please apply here:

  • We also updated both the City Manager compensation package as a result of the annual review, and updated the city salary schedule accordingly.