Thursday, June 7, 2012

BUDGET AGAIN

The proposed budget with amendments approve Wednesday night is to be sent to the State Division of Municipalities for final approval before it can be adopted at the June18 meeting.
If the State disapproves of any part of the Budget than a Temporary Budget will have to be passed monthly until this one is approved for an adoption vote.
One problem lays in the City Council other expenses line in which the amount was increased from the Mayors budget $8,950.00 to $ 58,950.00. Supposedly the extra $50,000.00 was to fund a study about the possibility of dissolving the PMUA and absorbing it into the Dep. Of Public Works. Although in Resolution 144-12 which was a temporary budget the sum was included any action has laid dormant in the Mayor’s office which has to initiate the study.
All budget Resolutions need a super majority vote of 5 for before they can be enacted. The original vote was 4:3. I do not need to identify who voted what. Councilor Reid when informed that if the Resolution was not passed the city would have no funds to operate that month so on reconsideration he voted yes giving the needed Supermajority.
When the line came up Wednesday he voted against the increase with needed the 5 yes votes. Council President Mapp stated that once something had been placed in the Temporary Budget it was fact and had to be included in the final budget. Therefore this vote was to correct an error and needed only a simple majority. The City Solicitor again sitting in place of the Corporation Council gave an ambiguous opinion.
Reid kept complaining that he had voted against the $50,000.00 and reluctantly admitted that he had changed his vote with objection to make sure the City could continue to function.
After recess while the record of the Council meeting was unsuccessfully being researched, a vote was taken and passed: 4:3. It was then left open for a legal determination if Resolution 144-12 was binding or not. If not that meant that the $:3 votes resulted in failure of the increase. Only in OZ1 Don’t worry if you are confused that seems the norm.
Rivers and Reid voted against a decrease in the Information Technology salary and OE lines perhaps not understanding that most of it was due to the separation of the Media budget from the original combined group. T his did pass by a 5:2 vote and the new Media line was accepted 7:0.
The Recreation budget was approved with the transposing of funds from seasonal employees to outside programs and the reverse to properly allocate the monies. (A1 t o B2, B1 to A2). There had been a lack of complete response to some questions about the seasonal employees and when the City Administrator went to contact the Recreation Supervisor he was unable to do so.
Changes in the Corporation Counsel’s budget which reduced the salary line by considering the Corporation Counsels position to be part-time After Williamson departs on June 30, and eliminating one part time prosecutor; passed after an explanation and adjustment of figure lines b y a 6:1 vote with Rivers objecting.
There were a few typo corrections that had to be approved but if all goes well with the help of Miracle worker Kochel the City will have a balanced budget of $72,348,195.70 instead of the proposed $ 70,770,746.96 which missed nearly 2 million in surplus and revenues.

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