Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Budget Session Fails

Tuesday’s City Council budget meeting to cover Public Works & Urban Development as well as Economic Development fell through when only two of seven council members showed up.

After 15 minutes from the scheduled time, the meeting was considered failed for lack of a quorum. But in an informal session, council members Cory Storch and Linda Carter, administrators and members of the public heard from Public Works Superintendent John Louise and acting Inspections Division Director Oscar Turk on their respective budget requests.

Louise had few quibbles with the budget allocations, though he noted his division is “weather-driven” and thus subject to unexpected budget demands.

Turk voiced more concerns, ranging from dwindling staff to lack of software to modernize the division’s work.

“It is as if we are still in the stone age,” Turk said in requesting a software upgrade.

Turk also called for more manpower to carry out the division’s charge of maintaining upkeep of the city’s housing stock and educating property owners in the city, including those in its nine historic districts.

Because the meeting failed and the discussion was only informal, the budget talks on the Department of Public Works & Urban Development will be continued at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in City Hall Library.

--Bernice Paglia


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