City budget approved

Clarkston News Editor
City Manager Jonathan Smith prepared a proposal for the June 11 City Council meeting, specifying how $18,000 for administration included in this year’s budget would be spent.
It would include merit-based raises for employees; six more hours for the city manager, raising him from 30 to 36 hours per week; and making the department’s unpaid intern into a paid, part-time employee. After discussion, city attorney Thomas Ryan recommended the city approve the budget plan as presented and determine specific appropriations later.
City Council accepted this recommendation, and voted unanimously, June 11, to approve the General Appropriations Act for its 2018-2019 budget. Earmarked projects in the $984,531 budget include the $18,000 for added administrative personnel; $10,000 to complete the city Master Plan; $20,000 for repair of the Village Hall building; $75,000 for road paving; $15,000 for sidewalk repair and replacement; $7,000 for health insurance for the city’s full-time DPW worker; and $18,000 for engineering and planning work, crosswalk tape, and tree removal.
General property tax was set at 11.8792 mills for city operations, which equals the city’s maximum allowable millage, 12.5702, minus a 0.691 library millage reduction.
The $984,531 budget is up from the 2017-2018 budget of $955,917.
The fund balance is set to decrease from $278,990 as of June 30, 2018, to $190,097 by June 30, 2019.
The fund balance was increased from 2017 to 2018 because of postponed capital-improvement projects, said Budget Committee member Chet Pardee at the June 11 City Council meeting.
“We had things in the budget we didn’t get done – projects we budgeted for,” Pardee said. “We couldn’t get all the work done with the hours available (in city administration) to spend what was budgeted. We need more hours.”

One Response to "City budget approved"

  1. Cory Johnston   June 21, 2018 at 9:33 am

    The pay increase for some city employees was not presented or mentioned at the public hearing on May 29 or in the information provided for the budget approval meeting on June 11. It was introduced only 30 minutes before the vote on the budget and copies had to be made during the meeting which means the public and Council had no opportunity to see and review the information beforehand. This is not how a government is open and transparent with the use of public funds. I give credit to the city attorney for telling them to only vote on what had been previously provided.
    I also question what the intent is to raise the City Manager’s hours from 30 to 36 hours when it has been stated numerous times that he already works 50 to 60 hours, which I’m sure he does. It was not that long ago that the city was administered by one full time and one part time employee. The size of the city has not changed nor has there been a significant change in population. Why has the cost and number of employees increased so much and why the constant desire and expense of planning for a larger City Hall?


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