Salted with Sharks

December Council Meeting Report

In Politics on December 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Chipping Away
By Emily Votruba

December 12, 2011—Art Melendez brought cookies.

Frankfort mayor Bob Johnson asked for volunteers to serve on the subcommittee of the Frankfort Tree Board dealing with the new nursery on the BLUA property. Meetings are every third Tuesday, 1 pm, at City Hall.

Marcia Stobie reported that the Commission on Aging is considering a millage increase proposal, looking at types of services provided by the Council on Aging. Rolland Halliday made a motion to sell
the Maples community, seconded by Commissioner Kelly, citing ongoing allegations of mismanagement. The Commission is working on an alternative energy resolution that will attempt to give due consideration to all side of the windpower issue.

Financials for the month of November were: Receipts, $21,659.16. Expenditures: Accounting/monthly bills, $24,527.92; Payroll, $8,845.72; Parks & Rec: $1,201.03. Total expenditures: $34,574.67.

Our water use is up about 8,000 or 9,000 gallons over normal for the past six months, said Ken Holmes, and he’s not sure why. The pumping is the same.

Meg Louwsma will continue as market master this year and has presented a job description and budget. Aubrey Ann Parker visited the Park and Rec meeting and asked for the Village’s involvement in the April Water Festival. The Solstice committee will present its budget to Council at the January
meeting. Smitty’s donated their time to put up the Village’s holiday decorations.

Treasurer Laura Manville spoke with Frederick Heiden, a state official, concerning our deficit elimination plan, explaining that there’s no way we can become debt free in five years. He said that our plan failure simply means we can’t borrow money, and that our situation would be reevaluated at the end of fiscal year 2012, when we would have to resubmit a revised 5-year plan. He acknowledged we have made progress and are doing our best. Reg said Council should consider selling off assets or doing other fundraising in addition to chipping away as we have been doing. Laura said there are five criteria for emergency manager intervention and that even before we cut a big chunk of our deficit last year we only met three, so we are on our way out of the watch status. Laura has a list of cost-cutting ideas, including switching to quarterly water bills. Laura pointed out that in three years Village employees have voluntarily saved the Village $25,057 in health costs by adopting a different insurance plan.

Ken Holmes pointed out that we can’t discuss employee issues in an open meeting. Sharyn Bower said that was true but that all decisions must be made in a public meeting.

Ken Holmes said the Fire Department hasn’t had a community meeting in six months.

Committee appointments: Reg will take over the position of Park and Rec liaison from Linda, with vague reference to bad relations within the commission. Bill Soper and Linda agreed there’s a conflict of interest with Reg being on the Employee Relations Committee because his wife, Laura, is an employee. The Employee Relations Committee appointment will be revisited at the next meeting.Ψ

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