Having listened to the recording of the May 28, 2019, city council meeting and reading the article in the June 5, 2019, Clarkston News, I offer the following information to assist the council and administration in their legal obligations with regards to municipal budgets and expenditures.
After a lengthy discussion during the consent agenda portion of the last council meeting about budgetary requirements, the council voted to ignore those requirements even after they were informed of the legal necessities by a resident.
The city attorney and treasurer were in attendance but said nothing. The council later discussed significant unapproved and unbudgeted cost overruns for sidewalk repairs.
That issue was back on the agenda for the next meeting with no substantial change in the failed process.
What was not discussed is the fact there is apparently no contract for the sidewalk work, a violation of the city charter, the bid documents and review were obviously incomplete, but someone authorized the work to be done despite this.
I sent a warning email to the council prior to the July 23, 2018, meeting when the “not to exceed budget” was approved but the council and administration did not heed the warning. The work was 50 percent over budget, completed, and the explanation was you didn’t know.
Is that acceptable considering more sidewalk work is still needed, no money for it in the proposed budget, and the more substantial Village Hall project just starting?
I highly recommend everyone read the Michigan law and city charter requirements prior to incurring any more expenses to the city that may be in violation of both. I fail to see how it serves the public good to not have competitive bidding, to not have reviewed and complete bids and contracts, to not state where funds will come from, and to have no contracts for work that requires the expenditure of taxpayer funds.