Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2009

Council to take another look at 2009 budget

The Baldwin City Council tabled its discussion of vehicle purchases on Tuesday night's meeting.

The Baldwin City Council tabled its discussion of vehicle purchases on Tuesday night's meeting.

January 22, 2009

After new Baldwin City Council Member Mike Magers took the oath of office, the council decided in light of the tough economic times ahead to take a look at the budget again and delay major purchases.

Magers was sworn in to replace Tony Brown, who resigned in December. Brown’s now serving as 10th District State Representative in Topeka.

The council moved into the remainder of the agenda that included the purchase of a new patrol car and animal control vehicle for the police department. It didn’t make it very far.

“Based on discussions I’ve had with Amy (Cleavinger, council president), the finance committee might review the budget before making these purchases,” said City Administrator Jeff Dingman.

Both Dingman and Cleavinger assured the council that there weren’t any pressing concerns, but just felt a review was warranted.

“In light of everything, including what the county is facing, we just thought it was a good time to look at it (the budget) again,” said Cleavinger. “We were conservative, but I think it’s a good idea to look at this again before making any purchases.”

The low bids on the vehicles totaled around $34,000. The entire council agreed to table the items.

“Without a doubt, it’s not a crystal ball, but we’re heading down a rough road,” said Mayor Gary Walbridge. “It’s going to get rough. It’s time to get smart, real smart.”

Cleavinger said the finance committee was aware of that when drawing up this year’s budget.

“I think we all had a real understanding of what was going on, so I don’t think we went overboard,” she said. “I think we need to review it, but we were conservative.”

Council Member Ken Wagner agreed that caution was in order.

“I don’t think we need to panic, but I think we need to take another look,” said Wagner. “We all read the same newspapers and when you see Lawrence, Douglas County and Johnson County cutting back, it gets your attention.”

As for the appointment of Magers to fill Brown’s council seat, Walbridge had left it to Brown to make the selection, but it was the mayor’s appointment to make.

“Congratulations, Mike,” said Walbridge. “It’s been a historical day for a lot of people. Welcome aboard.”

The mayor’s historical reference was to President Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday. Magers, owner of the Salt Mine, who ran for council in 2000, didn’t think his appointment was in the same league.

“I think this will be overshadowed by that,” said Magers after taking the oath of office from City Clerk Darcy Higgins.

Comments

123456 5 years, 6 months ago

You would think that out of respect of the position on the city council that Doyle could remove his hat.

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NanCrisp 5 years, 6 months ago

He wasn't really wearing a hat. I was photoshopped in to keep Ken & Ted out of the picture.

It sure is a good thing that there are deep-thinking, savvy lawmakers in Lawrence, Douglas County and Johnson County, so our more clueless council can at least figure out to follow their lead. I guess that having your neighbors go into foreclosure and many of your buddies heading into bankruptcy isn't enough to clue you in that tax revenues (i.e. city coffers) will be taking a dramatic downward turn.

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kermit 5 years, 6 months ago

Nan Being the profoundly wise and wordly woman you are why don't you make a stab at running for city council? you are always full of so much sage advice that perhaps your skills could be used for the betterment of our local citizenry.

did you not read the article? the council is re-evaluating the budget and has tabled a major purchase exactly because they are aware of what is happening in the economy. what else do you suggest?

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123456 5 years, 6 months ago

They need to table all major purchases until after the election, maby we can get someone in there with some common sense. We don't need a fifteen thousand dollar vehicle for a part time dog catcher. Why do we have so many police officers, why din they lay off a police officer and sell a car, if they need a extra car use the chiefs, it has lights and a siren, it sits all day long, get out there and write some tickets and make it pay for itself. If we had better officers we wouldn't need so many but the chief won't hire aqnyone that knows anything and will question any of his actions.

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123456 5 years, 6 months ago

They need to table all major purchases until after the election, maby we can get someone in there with some common sense. We don't need a fifteen thousand dollar vehicle for a part time dog catcher. Why do we have so many police officers, why dont they lay off a police officer and sell a car, if they need a extra car use the chiefs, it has lights and a siren, it sits all day long, get out there and write some tickets and make it pay for itself. If we had better officers we wouldn't need so many but the chief won't hire anyone that knows anything and will question any of his actions.

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middleground 5 years, 5 months ago

Nan, you would make a great city council member. You have what this city's council and committees need: a broad perspective of the economic situation at hand. Apparently someone, until now, forgot to inform our councilpersons that the economy is in turmoil, and that Baldwin City is no exception. Apparently, some of these individuals have somehow overlooked the front pages of our nation's major newspapers, the hundreds of glaring headlines of our nation's largest news stations, and that thing those people in Washington like to call the "Stimulus Bill." Surely our council wouldn't make the dangerous mistake of considering Baldwin an exception, would they?

Thank goodness the council "might review the budget before making" thousand dollar purchases on things like new police cruisers, since the Police Department in Baldwin City is obviously in desperate need of such a vehicle. I can't help but wonder, though, whether there are issues that could be addressed with $18,000 that might somehow benefit the citizens of our city more directly. Hm..

I think I may have finally understood the main idea of the article after reading for the seventh time that the council should "take a look at the budget again." Much appreciated.

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