San Marcos City Councilmembers could be voting on close $3 million of expenditures in the next three years when they decide whether to accept collectively bargained agreements with their police and firefighters Tuesday night.
The police agreement hit a snag last month when the council asked for a provision to re-open the deal if the city is unable to make the funding provisions. The funding provision at the end of the contract said the agreement is “null and void in its entirety” if the city fails to appropriate the funds “sufficient to meet city obligations hereunder.”
The agreement going before the city council night includes the following language:
“In making funding determinations in the second and subsequent fiscal years of this Agreement following ratification, the City Council may consider operational and administrative costs including its debt service obligations, the increases in other employee personnel costs, and the obligations arising under this Agreement. If at any time it is determined by the City that it would not be able to meet its financial obligations hereunder after considering the above factors, the Association and the City may mutually agree to renegotiate the financial provisions of this Agreement. If sixty (60) calendar days after these negotiations begin, no agreement has been reached; this Agreement shall terminate and be null and void in its entirety. In the event the City Council fails to appropriate funds in any fiscal year of this Agreement in an amount sufficient to meet the City obligations hereunder, this agreement shall terminate and shall be null and void in its entirety on the first date that such funding is not met pursuant to this Agreement.”
The same language is contained in a proposed agreement with the city firefighters, which will go before the council for the first time Tuesday night.
The police negotiated with the city through the San Marcos Police Officers Association (SMPOA). The firefighters negotiated through the San Marcos Professional Fire Fighters Association (SMPFFA).
The two deals include many of the same features, including step and “soft pay” increases in the first year, with those increases and scale increases included in the second and third years. Each contract also calls for longevity incentives and leave pools so members can do association work.
Each contract is for three years.
However, unlike the police contract, for which councilmembers were provided detailed information showing that the deal would cost $1.8 million over three years, the fire fighters agreement has no such information attached. Thus, the true cost of the deal is unknown to councilmembers as they approach the vote.
The city staff information for the council said the police contract would call for $209,000 in the first year of the contract, while the firefighters contract would call for $118,000 in the first year.
Among other matters, the council also will look at a development agreement with Craddock Area Partners, LLC, for about 150 acres along the Craddock Road extension at the Wonder World Drive extension.
The developers wish to build a mixed use project over the land, some of which is in the city limits and much of which is over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.
According to a proposed resolution, “The proposed agreement permits more dense development along the Craddock Avenue extension in exchange for much less density in those areas of the property that lie over sensitive environmental features.”
The item is on the consent agenda, which means it may pass without a council discussion. The matter has not gone before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z).