Wednesday, September 20, 2023

My 9.19.23 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council met and discussed a few significant items:

- We had a discussion regarding outsourcing our process and administration for business licenses.  Currently this process is handled internally.  With approximately 1100 business licenses in the city, maintaining records, taking payment, processing renewals, and even pursing compliance is a time consuming task.  HdL is a company that specializes in these activities and has done this at scale at many other jurisdictions.  While we have 1100 active business licenses in Clayton, based on some preliminary analysis HdL believes that figure could increase to near 2000 after compliance efforts are undertaken.

In addition, outsourcing this function will free up significant amounts of staff time allowing them to focus on other duties.  The Council approved this agreement and expect a launch of this product in approximately two months.

- We reviewed a draft of a City Sponsored Special Events policy.  The draft described an approximate budget and potential criteria for which events could be included.  The Council discussed the proposal and agreed that the Concerts in the Grove, Clayton Classic Car Show, and the 4th of July Parade should remain city sponsored events.  We were also interested in having a 60th anniversary event next year as well.  There were open items regarding the Memorial Day event traditionally held by the VFW, and the Pride Parade.  In order to resolve those open questions, and make edits to the draft, we formed an Ad Hoc Special Events Policy Committee consisting of Councilmember Trupiano and myself.  We will have discussions and make appropriate updates to bring back to the full Council for adoption.

- We discussed the need to develop a strategic plan.  Staff had prepared a proposal that included hiring a consultant to conduct public outreach, and an all day working session with Council and individually at a cost of $20-25K.  The Council was divided on whether the cost was worthwhile, and discussed other aspects including methods of community outreach and the length of time that is truly needed.  The Council directed staff to take a second pass at a proposal that would be less costly and explore different ideas to reduce the amount of time needed, as well as identify specific deliverables or objectives that would be achieved.

As a reminder, I will be having a townhall on September 27 at 6:30 pm at Hoyer Hall.