IN THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN LEANDRO


RESOLUTION NO. 2006-079 (1182)


A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF SAN LEANDRO ESTABLISHING A POLICY REGARDING THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS, MEMBERS OF BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, AND CITY EMPLOYEES



WHEREAS, members of the City’s legislative bodies and City employees perform official duties that require travel; and


WHEREAS, the official duties that involve travel include training, conferences, meetings with legislators and regulators, and meetings with staff and officials of surrounding communities regarding matters of mutual importance; and


WHEREAS, the performance of such official duties facilitates the efficient and satisfactory completion of City business and promotes a good relationship between the City and surrounding communities, the state government, and the federal government; and


WHEREAS, members of the City’s legislative bodies and City employees incur expenses related to the performance of official duties, which may take place both within and outside of the City of San Leandro; and

WHEREAS, City Council members use technologies such as cellular phones and Internet service to facilitate the performance of their official duties; and


WHEREAS, the California Government Code permits the City to reimburse employees and members of the City Council for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties; and


WHEREAS, the City Council has adopted an ordinance authorizing reimbursement for the members of the boards and commissions for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties; and


WHEREAS, Assembly Bill 1234 (2005) requires the City Council to, prior to providing reimbursement to members of the City’s legislative bodies, adopt a policy regarding the reimbursement for expenses incurred by members of legislative bodies in the performance of official duties; and

WHEREAS, this Resolution is intended (a) to satisfy the pertinent requirements of AB 1234 relating to reimbursement of expenses of members of legislative bodies; (b) to set forth a reimbursement policy applicable to employees; and (c) to establish other requirements related to travel expenses paid by the City.


NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of San Leandro does RESOLVE as follows:

1. Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the reimbursement of members of legislative bodies and City employees for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties complies with the California Government Code, including the recently enacted Assembly Bill 1234, which adds Sections 53232.2 et seq. to the Government Code, to establish a reimbursement policy applicable to City employees, and to establish other requirements related to travel and educational expenses paid by the City.


2. Policy. Members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties only as provided in this Policy.


3. Definitions. The following definition shall apply to this policy:


Legislative body” means the City Council, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustments, Recreation and Parks Commission, Site Development Sub-Commission, Youth Advisory Commission, Rent Review Board, Senior Commission, Human Services Commission, Library-Historical Commission, and Personnel Relations Board.


4. Types of Occurrences that Qualify for Reimbursement. Members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties, including (a) attending conferences, (b) attending organized educational activities, (c) meeting with local, state, and federal legislators and officials regarding official city business, (d) meeting with staff and officials of surrounding communities regarding matters of mutual concern, (e) attending City events, (f) participating in regional, state, and national organizations whose activities affect the City’s interests, and (g) such other City business.


5. Travel for other Agencies. Members of a legislative body may be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses (up to the per diem daily limits) incurred when traveling on official business as ex officio members of another public agency or body to which the City is a member.


6. Government Rates. Airlines, hotels, and rental car companies often make special rates available to state, federal, and local governments. These rates are presumed to be the most economical and reasonable rates for the purposes of this Policy. Those booking travel should consult available resources, such as www.catravelsmart.com, to determine the applicable government rates or most affordable rate.


7. Travel Advances. Members of a legislative body and City employees may request a travel advance at least 14 working days in advance of the date needed. In no event shall a travel advance be issued to a member of a legislative body or City employee more than 5 days prior to the expense being incurred or paid. Travel advances shall not exceed the amount reasonably required given the duration of travel and shall be based on the guidelines set forth in this Policy. Travel advances exceeding $1,000 require prior approval of the City Manager or his or her designee. Members of a legislative body and City employees who pay expenses with a travel advance shall comply with the documentation requirements set forth in Section 17. Members of a legislative body and City employees shall make every effort to prepay travel costs through the City’s Finance Department prior to initiating a request for travel advance funds.


8. Transportation.


a. Cost Comparison to Determine Mode of Transportation. In general, members of a legislative body and City employees should choose the least expensive mode of travel. For example, in some cases, it may be less expensive for the City to reimburse members of a legislative body or an employee for mileage associated with vehicle transportation than to pay for air travel. Members of legislative bodies and City employees shall also consider cost-saving strategies such as car-pooling in the cost comparison.


b. Air Travel. When possible, members of a legislative body and City employees should arrange for air travel to be paid for in advance by the City at the most economical and reasonable round-trip fare consistent with the member or employee’s scheduling needs. If advance arrangements cannot be made due to lack of advance warning or other extenuating circumstances as approved by the City Manager or his or her designee before the expenses are incurred, members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for the expense of the airfare, so long as it is the most economical and reasonable round-trip fare consistent with the member or employee’s scheduling needs.


c. Personal Vehicle Travel. Members of a legislative body and City employees shall use City vehicles for travel in performance of official duties, when available. If a City vehicle is unavailable a member or employee may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in traveling by personal vehicle on official business at the annual Internal Revenue Service Standard Mileage Rate. The distance of travel will start from the place of work or from home, whichever is closer to the destination point of official business. Members of a legislative body and City employees shall be responsible for procuring and maintaining liability insurance for their personal vehicles.


d. Car Rental Reimbursement. Members of a legislative body and City employees should arrange for car rentals to be paid for in advance by the City at the most economical rate available. If advance arrangements cannot be made due to lack of advance warning or other extenuating circumstances as approved by the City Manager or his or her designee before the expenses are incurred, members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for the expense of car rental. Since the City is self-insured, members and employees shall not be reimbursed for optional liability insurance or other fees.


9. Meals.


a. Meals in Conjunction with Travel. Members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for expenses incurred for meals consumed in conjunction with travel on official business.


Members of a legislative body shall receive a travel per diem of $100 per full day and $50 per one-half day when traveling on official business. For purposes of this section, a full day is defined as including that period in which a member of a legislative body will be away from home for all meals. A one-half day is defined as including that period in which a member of a legislative body will be away from home for breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner or dinner only.


City employees may be reimbursed for meals in amounts that do not exceed the following, which include tax and gratuity:


Breakfast: $11

Lunch: $16

Dinner: $29

TOTAL $56


The travel per diem and meal reimbursement amounts set forth above shall be adjusted annually on October 1 to reflect any changes to the per-diem rates published by the U.S. General Services Administration (Alameda County meals rate).


Notwithstanding the per-meal amounts set forth above and those published by the U.S. General Services Administration, the employee may be reimbursed for meals in an amount that does not exceed the aggregate amount of meal allowances in a particular day for which the employee is eligible.


If a meal is provided by a conference or organized educational activity, or otherwise included in the payment of registration fees, members of legislative bodies and City employees may not be reimbursed for meals purchased in lieu of, or in addition to, the provided meal.


b. Reimbursement for Other Meals. Where authorized by Section 4 of this Policy, members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for their meals associated with the performance of official duties at rates not to exceed the amounts set forth in Section 9a. of this Policy. Meals for spouses, family members, and other third parties shall not be reimbursed.


10. Lodging.


a. Members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for lodging expenses if the destination of the conference, meeting, or other official duty is more than 50 miles from the place of work or home, whichever is closer to the destination.


b. When possible, members of a legislative body and City employees should arrange for lodging expenses to be paid in advance by the City at the most economical and reasonable rates for single occupancy lodging that is in a location that is reasonable and convenient in relation to the member or employee’s scheduling and official business needs. Members and employees may share reimbursement for a double-occupancy room if the room will be shared with a co-member or co-employee.


For lodging in connection with a conference or organized educational activity, such lodging costs shall generally not exceed the maximum group rate published by the conference or activity sponsor, provided that lodging at the group rate is available to the member of a legislative body or City employee at the time of booking.


c. If such advance arrangements cannot be made due to lack of advance warning or other extenuating circumstances as approved by the City Manager or his or her designee before the expenses are incurred, members of a legislative body or City employees may be reimbursed for lodging expenses, so long as the amount of the reimbursement does not exceed the government or group rates offered by a provider of lodging in a location that is reasonable and convenient in relation to the member or employee’s official business needs or the maximum group rate published by the event or activity sponsor, whichever is higher.


11. Incidental Expense Reimbursement. Members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for actual and necessary incidental expenses incurred in connection with a conference, organized educational activity, or other performance of official duties. Incidental expenses include reasonable gratuities for hotel and airline employees, baggage fees, parking fees, cab fares, public transportation costs, tolls, telephone calls, telegrams, faxing, and special delivery services related to the performance of official duties, telephone calls of a personal nature, hotel internet charges, and other such incidental expenses. Members of a legislative body may be reimbursed for such incidental expenses related to reasonable gratuities for which receipts are not customarily given.


Reimbursement for expenses incurred in placing telephone calls of a personal nature shall be limited to $10 per day for travel within California, and $20 per day for travel outside of California.


12. Conference Registration Fee Reimbursement. When possible, members of a legislative body and City employees should arrange for conference and organized educational activity registration fees to be paid in advance of the conference by the City. If such advance arrangements cannot be made due to lack of advance warning or other extenuating circumstances as approved by the City Manager or her or her designee, members of a legislative body and City employees may be reimbursed for the actual cost of a conference or organized educational activity registration fee.


13. Other Expenses. All other actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties that are not described in this Policy shall not be reimbursed unless approved before the expense is incurred by the City Council.


14. Prohibited Expense Reimbursements. Members of a legislative body and City employees shall not be reimbursed for non-business expenses including, but not limited to alcoholic beverages, spouse or family meals, entertainment expenses such as movie rental fees, theater tickets or sporting event fees, fines for parking citations, laundry, replacement fees for lost keys, and fees assessed for damage to lodging premises.


15. Brief Report to Legislative Body. Members of a legislative body shall provide brief reports on meetings attended at the expense of the local agency at the next regular meeting of the legislative body immediately following the event for which reimbursement is sought. Reports may be made orally or in writing. If more than one member of a legislative body attends the event, a report from one of the members that mentions the other’s presence is sufficient.


16. Technology Reimbursement. Members of the City Council shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties for Internet service, facsimile machine telephone service, cellular phone service, electronic datebook service and other technological expenses at an amount not to exceed $175 per month. Members of the City Council shall comply with the documentation requirements set forth in Section 17 when requesting technology reimbursement. Employees are encouraged to check out a City laptop for business rather than utilizing hotel internet service.


17. Documentation Requirements. Members of a legislative body and City employees shall file a Travel Expense Form with the Finance Department/Accounting Division within 5 business days of incurring the expense to request reimbursement of expenses and to document expenses paid with a travel advance. The Travel Expense Form shall be accompanied by itemized receipts documenting each expense, except that detail regarding the nature of the expense provided in the expense report shall suffice for incidental expenses for which receipts are not customarily given.


Members of the City Council shall file a Claim for Reimbursement of Expenses Related to Official Business Form with the Finance Department/Accounting Division within 5 working days of receiving the bill or receipt. The Claim for Reimbursement Form shall be accompanied by bills or itemized receipts documenting each expense.


All documents related to reimbursable expenditures shall be considered public records subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.


18. Effective Date. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.


19. Severability Clause. The provisions of this Resolution are severable and if any provision, clause, sentence, word or part thereof is held illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, or inapplicable to any person or circumstances, such illegality, invalidity, unconstitutionality, or inapplicability shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, clauses, sentences, sections, words or parts thereof of the ordinance or their applicability to other persons or circumstances.

Introduced by Councilmember Starosciak and passed and adopted this 10th day of July, 2006, by the following vote:


Members of the Council:

AYES: Councilmembers Badger, Grant, Nardine, Santos, Starosciak, Stephens (6)


NOES: None (0)


ABSENT: Mayor Young (1)



ATTEST:

Marian Handa, City Clerk




809279-4