CITY OF HOUSTONMUNICIPAL COURTS DEPARTMENT Presentation to City Council: DECEMBER 15, 2010 Cost Saving Measures and Revenue-Generating Initiatives “Doing More With Less” Presented by: Judge Barbara E. Hartle Director and Presiding Judge
Overview: Today’s presentation delineates the Department’s efforts to implement cost-saving measures to assist with meeting the City’s overall efforts to reduce the current budget deficit. Also, a revised organizational structure for the consolidated Municipal Courts Department is included. The principal objective for the remainder of FY11 is to meet budget reduction targets, seek additional cost-saving measures without negatively affecting services, and implement revenue-generating initiatives. It should be noted that the Municipal Courts Department has consistently come in under budget each fiscal year. This has been accomplished by creatively seeking cost-savings in all budget areas. Several of the cost saving measures discussed herein will be carried over into FY12.
Cost-Saving Measures: MEASURE 1:VOLUNTARY STAFF FURLOUGHS MEASURE 2:REDUCTION OF PART-TIME STAFF MEASURE 3:CANCELLATION OF INCENTIVE PAY MEASURE 4:JUDGES VOLUNTEER FOR WEEKEND DOCKETS MEASURE 5:CONSOLIDATION OF WEEKDAY DOCKET MEASURE 6:TRANSFER OF PERSONNEL COSTS TO CSMART
Expansion of Court Services: Despite budget cuts and reduction in staff, the Department has effectively and efficiently expanded court services by implementing the following initiatives: • Kingwood Expanded of Hours of Operation and Renovation • Expansion of Jail Arraignments and Trials • Westside Jury Dockets
Potential Cost-Savings for Houston Police Department: Although the following initiatives do not directly benefit the Municipal Courts Department’s budget, they may assist in achieving cost savings for HPD overtime budget, and may make more efficient use of officer time. • Westside Jury Dockets • Adjusted Officer Subpoena Time • Collaboration with Harris County on Jail Arraignments
Revenue-Generating Initiatives: The Department is currently in the planning/evaluation stage for the following initiatives, which are anticipated to be revenue-generating for the City of Houston: • Expansion of Parking Adjudication Hours of Operation • Implementation of the Civil Adjudication Process • Proposed Legislation • Realignment of Personnel to the One-Call Solution Center • Motorola Hand-Held Device Implementation • Enhanced Arraignment Noticing