Working Together to Improve Our Village Because HSVPOA Matters

HSVPOA Finance and Planning Committee Meeting 9-22-20

Police Chief Middleton discusses need for two critical police department infrastructure upgrades; Planning Workgroup updates; Corporate Treasurer change

The Hot Springs Village Finance and Planning Committee met on September 22, 2020. There was not a quorum. Committee members present were: Chairman, Tom Heau; and Cathie Moeller.

Board Member in attendance: Board Chairman, Lloyd Sherman.

HSVPOA staff in attendance: Controller, Coreena Fetterhoff; and Police Chief, Ricky Middleton.

Guest in attendance: Rolland White.

The police recording system needs updating

Chief Middleton gave a presentation on the importance of having an adequate and updated police recording system in place.

HSVPOA PSAP system stopped working

Middleton said the POA has a system that records incoming calls to the police station including 911 and regular telephone calls. The system also records the police radios and fire bands. In December of 2019, the system stopped working. Middleton was able to obtain a temporary loaner recorder from Revcord.

Hot Springs Village is a registered 911 Public Safety Answering Point.(PSAP). The Village has two 911 lines; one line is for cell phones and one is for landlines. Arkansas law mandates recording these calls.

When you dial 911 from a cell phone, the signal goes to the cell phone tower that is closest to your location. The Chief said these calls are then transferred to the Village.

For hardwired telephones (landlines), the calls come directly to the 911 PSAP inside the Village.

Both the Hot Springs Village Police Department and Fire Department updated to a digital radio system a while back. (Middleton did not specify a date.) This update was due to multiple problems with the analog system. The loaner recorder does not record digital, therefore the Police Department has not been using the updated digital system.

The proposed recorder is capable of recording both digital and analog.

Arkansas law mandates the recording of 911 calls

Arkansas law requires that all of the incoming 911 calls must be recorded. These recordings must be saved for a minimum of 180 days.

The recording system is useful for sorting out complaints against officers

The recording system allows for instant playback. This is a useful tool for dispatchers.

Middleton said he uses the instant playback a lot for citizen complaints against the officers. With the playback, he can listen and see if an employee is rude. Often the complaint is unfounded and when played back, the Villager can also see this.

Recordings are necessary for court proceedings

Playback is also necessary for court proceedings because radio recordings are subpoenaed. Liability-wise these recordings are very critical.

New recorder software is listed on the capital spread sheet

Sherman said, “As I think you mentioned to me, it was in the… [Capital Spread Sheet]”

Fetterhoff: “Yes. It’s the two, both things that he’s brought forward are the two bolded line items on the Capital Spread Sheet…. It’s the bolded ones. The one he is talking about now is “Replace phone recording software for police department (required) for $15,000.”

Sherman: “This hasn’t come before the board before now?”

Middleton: “No, this was tabled early on for some reason. We’ve had the money. It’s been in the budget.”

Sherman: “Just because it is in the budget doesn’t mean the money is there.”

Moeller: “It is greenlined.”

Sherman: “Was it tabled with the new board or was it tabled with the old board?”

Middleton: “Prior, in the early days it was put on hold and it’s been on hold.”

Fetterhoff: “But being a requirement and if you’re loaning [sic] it, did they have an expected date back? That they want it back?”

Middleton: “It is not (indecipherable) to keep using their loaner. This is proprietary information. I did go out to other vendors and talk about other systems but if I go to a different vendor, I lose all the information that is on this recording because it is proprietary. The price is pretty much the same.”

Sherman: “I assume our cash flow is still adequate?”

Fetterhoff: “Yep. And this came in at $10,729 with a budget of $15,000.”

Middleton: “So we are under budget.”

Moeller: “And $3,000 for the software. Is that still…?

Fetterhoff: “That is the next item that we have.”

Middleton: “That is a separate issue.”

Sherman: “I just want to make sure there are no previous motions or anything that were made on this by the board that we need to go back and look at. Because if it’s already been approved, then we need to know that.”

Middleton: “No sir. This has not been brought to the board at any time.”

Sherman: “Okay. Thank you.”

Heau has questions

Heau: “A couple of routine questions. How old was the current system?”

Middleton: “It has been replaced once and I’m not sure what year 911 was put in. The first system we had was a used system that was provided by the county. We bought the second system and it lasted until December of last year…It was quite old.”

Heau: “What kind of performance guarantee is there?”

Middleton: “There is a maintenance agreement that we will take with this and additional yearly cost that will be budgeted.”

Moeller: “Do you know what this costs?”

Fetterhoff: “The first year is $279 for the maintenance. With the 24/7 Helpdesk Remote Monitoring Updates, Next Day on Site Report for the term of it is $1,398.17 per year.”

Sherman said they need five committee members to vote so a vote was not taken at this meeting.

Middleton discusses PTS Mobile upgrade

PTS Mobile is an in-Car Dispatch & Reporting Solution.

Middleton said we were audited by the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). These organizations compile driver’s license information, printable history information, etc. This protected information is proprietary and cannot be shared with civilians.

ACIC works with PTS Mobile supplying critical law enforcement information to them.

PTS Mobile keeps track of logins to our system. Only certified people should be able to have access to this private information. Our present system does not safeguard this information.

HSV is in violation of ACIC requirements

We are legally required to protect ACIC and NCIC information and prevent access by unauthorized individuals. Our current system does not meet the ACIC and NCIC requirements in order for us to use their information.

Sherman asked what the penalties from ACIC would be if we are not in compliance.

Middleton said, “ACIC will pull our ability to use their information.” This means we will no longer have the ability to run license plates, or criminal history checks. The chief explained, “It pretty much puts us out of the police business. Everything we do revolves around using ACIC. Information obtained from this system includes data on license plates, criminal history, stolen property, guns, drivers’ licenses, wanted persons, and officers’ safety notices.”

Middleton said the audit stated this violation should have been immediately corrected on January 1, 2020.

Sherman asked if the urgency of this means it needs to be approved before the next board meeting. Lloyd prefers to handle this issue at the October board meeting, if possible.

Middleton stated he would prefer the issue to be resolved as quickly as possible and that he greatly appreciated it if it could be fast-tracked. He did not know how long it would take to receive the product and or when installation could happen due to COVID-19 delays.

Sherman said they would need to make a recommendation to the whole committee. After receiving a recommendation from the Finance and Planning Committee, the board of directors would need to vote.

Middleton said, “these two items are very critical for our infrastructure of our P.D.”

Moeller asked, “Why did you wait this long?”

Middleton replied, “It’s been a process. Let’s leave it at that.”

Heau added, “You just have to look to embrace bureaucracy.”

Planning workgroup

Financial

Heau said, “One of the topics we are investigating is addressing what we call the “Maintenance Backlog. Right now we are using the 2020 Operations and Maintenace Tables [O and M].” Heau said they hope it will be updated as part of the 2021 budget package.

Fetterhoff said she has given the General Manager everything and asked him to consult with the Board to determine modifications for the three-year O and M.

Technology

Chair Heau said they met September 21to discuss internet and excellent progress was made. The technology experts the workgroup is meeting with are Keith Keck, Dennis Simpson, Bob Lemay and Greg Jones. The workgroup will be working on determining the technology goals. One of the recommendations during the meeting was to possibly hire an employee to lead internet initiatives.

Heau stated that Keith Keck said a good project manager was needed.

Marketing

Also, the work group met with Paul Sage, Marketing Manager, Kevin Sexton, Director of Tourism and Community Affairs; and Ray Lehman, Chair of the Marketing Committee.

Heau said, “one of the next steps is to meet with the real estate community.”

Sherman said they need to contact David Taylor of Taylor Realty. “He is the current president of the Board of Realtors. Linette Galbraith is the incoming president.”

Moeller asked if it would be “advantageous to include the Chamber of Commerce head? [John McBrien}” Lloyd thought this was a good idea.

Budget update

Fetterhoff: “We have set up the meetings for division reviews with accounting.” The next step is to meet with the Finance and Planning Committee and then after revising the budget, presenting it to the Board.

Fetterhoff: “The fee schedule needs to be approved before the budget is approved.”

Corporate Treasurer position reverted back to staff

Sherman: “We might as well talk about the elephant in the room – the changeover. The Treasurer is now in Coreena’s lap {Fetterhoff}.”

Sherman: “We changed the charter of this group so that the chair is now elected by the members of the group. Not knowing the status of Wayne, who is still on the committee as far as I am concerned anyway. We need to get that determination made.*

We need a new chair. I think everybody is aware of that. Additionally, and has been explained to a few people, anyway, none of these changes that were made were intended…they were intended to be interim changes to start with. And so there is a move back to get the POA employees more involved in the decision-making process again, in concert with the board and with this committee.”

Sherman: “We will have a new policy coming forward on approval processes – dollar amounts.” [Sherman is talking about raising the spending limits for General Manager Charles King and Controller Coreena Fetterhoff.] This item should be on the October 14, 2020 board meeting. Sherman encouraged public input and comment before the next board meeting.

Adjournment and next meeting date/time

Heau: “If there are no other comments, then…”

Sherman jokingly finished: “The nonmeeting is adjourned.”

Heau: “I don’t even know if we do motions or not.”

Sherman: “No, we don’t have a meeting.”

Heau: “We are morphing away from Robert’s Rules of order to…”

Sherman: “Chaos.”

Heau: “Democratic…”

Moeller: “It is still the best place in the world to live.”

Tentatively, the budget will be presented to the Finance and Planning Committee on October 13, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

*This reporter (Cheryl) reached out to the former Chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee, Wayne Foltz, who stated he is no longer a member of the committee.

Finance & Planning Mtg (9-22-20) Video

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By Cheryl Dowden, October 8, 2020

Thank you for reading. I apologize for the lateness of this report, as we have taken a couple of weeks off from reporting. Thank you for your patience as I attempt to catch up.

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