September 15, 2014

Gardner City Council members clash over 2013 budget concerns

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
The Gardner City Council has two weeks to hash out its differences over the city budget before voting to publish it.
Council members debated the budget for nearly three hours on July 2 before agreeing to disagree and to submit recommended spending changes to city staff before the council’s July 16 meeting.
The meeting became tense at times with Councilman Larry Fotovich arguing for spending cuts with city staff and council members.
Fotovich said he wanted to cut spending for travel expenditures as well as tuition reimbursement for city employees.
“I propose cutting expenses,” Fotovich said. “You already tax the citizens too much.”
The council discussed at length the city’s mill levy and a proposed pay increase for city employees.
The 3 percent pay increase would cost the city about $150,000.
The city’s budget so far proposes holding the tax levy steady at 31 mills.
One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.
That equals about $18 per mill for each taxpayer, and brings in about $130,000 per year for the city.
Council members Heath Freeman, Randy Gregorcyk and Kristy Harrison each expressed concern about budgeting for future infrastructure maintenance.
Fotovich disputed the 3 percent pay increase for city employees.
He said that money would be better spent paying down the city’s debt in the current economy.
The exchange between Fotovich, council members and city staff became heated at times.
At one point, Mike Press, interim city administrator, asked Fotovich, “Would you like to manage this city or would you rather govern it?”
Harrison said she believed the city would be “missing the boat” if it did not put more money into maintaining sewer, water and streets.
Later in the meeting, Mayor Dave Drovetta proposed directing sales tax revenue growth beyond 5 percent toward paying down the city’s expenses.
The council will meet next at 7 p.m. on July 16 at city hall.
An approved 2013 city budget must be filed with the state no later than Aug. 25.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    99% of the City Hall gang want to continue to spend more than what money is coming in the door and will even hit our reserves to do so and don’t have a hard time either of putting the citizens more in debt as the takers are enabled and supported. Nothing new in 2012 – been going on for a long, long time due to politicians and bureaucrats who just can’t get it together nor are they leaders, they continue to be followers, connivers, manipulators, etc. which is certainly not good for the average citizen but the citizens certainly aren’t doing their jobs either since we continue to see the same ole games played and the same type of players involved, year after year after year…………

  2. I am absolutely shocked that the conversation over the budget would sound like this:

    “Council members debated the budget for nearly three hours…..”

    “The meeting became tense at times with Councilman Larry Fotovich arguing….”

    “Fotovich said he wanted….”

    “Fotovich disputed…..”

    “The exchange between Fotovich, council members and city staff became heated at times…..”

    Shocked!

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Citizens should be even more shocked and doing something about this huge problem and financial rape of the average citizen……………but few citizens will do their jobs and hold the worthless, slimy politicians and bureaucrats accountable who enable and support the thieves who are involved in fraudulent “farm” appraisals of property and more. When you turn your head from wrongdoing and not demand a change of Kansas law, then YOU are the reason for problems facing many, many citizens of the state of Kansas. Just like citizens who aren’t paying attention to what City Hall and the worthless politicians are doing to them right here in their backyard. Putting your head in the sand or wearing a smile while you adjust your rose colored glasses will cost you a pretty penny or dollars along with other adverse affects. CNN is even running national articles on how corrupt Kansas is and has been for years in my opinion. But here in Kansas the dingbats are passing laws about not allowing people to do something based on religous beliefs which all citizens may not believe in.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/07/04/oleary-fake-farms-tax-breaks.cnn

    Rotten politics bring about sleazy politicians like Donohue out of Wichita as shown in this video and Topeka is filled with jerks like him and we have them right here in our area – that is my opinion. And the people elect these jerks into office and send them to Topeka to connive and manipulate just like they did from whereever they come from. The people have themselves to blame for the lowlifes they are enabling and supporting and the slimy government they are providing.

    Cronyism government continues to thrive and the stench gets worse by the day.

  4. nonamers says:

    “Financial rape?” Really, Judith? It must by Overexaggerated Hyperbole day.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    And Nonamer and Ryan are on here with their usual Facebook drivel…………..

  6. nonamers says:

    Drivel, Judith? You clearly don’t read your own posts, do you?

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