Sunday, December 14, 2008

Special Council Meeting Monday

Budget matters will dominate a special City Council meeting Monday.

The meeting is 7 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.

City Administrator Marc Dashield will continue a presentation on the FY 2009 budget with a discussion of revenues. Dashield previously outlined budget costs and also projected cuts that would be necessary to meet the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee's call for a zero tax increase.

Officials had hoped for budget passage by the end of December, but the city has not yet received notice of any extraordinary state aid that would offset a projected tax increase of more than 9 percent. The governing body will vote Monday on emergency appropriations of $7.2 million to operate the city in January and February and will also authorize the tax collector to send out estimated tax bills.

A contract award for a pre-fabricated rest room facility at Bryant Park is also on the agenda.

Dashield once again is doing double duty as both city administrator and acting director of Administration Finance, due to the firing of Douglas Peck. Peck was named director in April but was recently dismissed by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs. Last year, Finance Director Ray Daniels left the city before the budget was finalized and Dashield had to take on his duties. The FY 2008 budget, covering July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, passed in February.

As explained by officials last week, the budget must be reviewed by the state Local Finance Board, but the state aid amount must be included and the city is still waiting to hear how much will be awarded.

--Bernice Paglia


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