Council to consider 2A ordinance – Mon and Tues

This week, the council will consider an ordinance proposed by Billy Carlisle and Rod Farney which aims to revise restrictions on city spending.

Proponents argue that the ordinance is necessary to ensure that the bulk of 2A money goes to streets and street-related infrastructure.

Critics argue that the ordinance will require dramatic cuts in city staff and services in order to increase capital expenditures, which are already large when compared to other city budgets.

You can read past letters on this issue here and here.

The council work session packet, which includes the text of the initiative, is here.

This may be one of the more important decisions the city council makes this year. The topic will be discussed in a work session at 6pm on Monday, November 17. Council will consider the issue during the regular council meeting on Tuesday, November 17.

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.

One Response to “Council to consider 2A ordinance – Mon and Tues”

  1. Jeff Auxier

    At last night's (17 Nov 2014) 2A work session, Finance Director Schmidt raised many "problems" with the Farney-Carlisle initiative. They included:

    - use of the phrase "capital expenditures" would cause confusion for Ms. Schmidt;
    - the concept of putting unspent funds "in trust" was unclear, but the City Attorney was reviewing it;
    - the City would need to license another municipal finance software module before Ms. Schmidt could state what part of a street project's cost went to sidewalks, or to paving, or to drainage systems, or to sewer pipe.

    I'll let others judge what these concerns suggest about staff's sincerity (or in the alternative, competency) and leave it at that.

    Two other points, however. First, Finance Director Schmidt and Councilman Yerkey strongly insisted last night that the City's 2015 budget shows the City's staffing organization in meaningful detail. I respectfully disagree. At the following link, interested persons can compare the organizational information provided by Salida's 2015 Budget to that provided by Chaffee County's and Gunnison's 2014 budgets and make up their own minds:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bbnr8xdkhbzil0m/COMPARISON%20OF%20CITIES%E2%80%99%20BUDGET%20INFO%20copy.pdf?dl=0

    Second, while the City's Administration has created the bogeyman of job cuts, it hasn't proven the creature's existence with the limited information it provides. After creating this bogeyman, Administrator MacDonald, Councilman Baker and others then insist that Councilman Brown and Bowers identify what if any positions might need cut. It's impossible given the limited information provided. It's also not their job.

    Ms. MacDonald is the Administrator. She makes the big bucks. Section II, subsections B, C, D, E and H of her contract require her to prepare the City's budget and make recommendations about staffing, departmental structure, etc. and to discharge and hire employees.

    It may be hard for her to embrace thrift and economy. She has certainly helped burden Salida with capital expenditure-consuming white elephants and has seemingly mushroomed the size of staff, and she unfortunately seems to let two particular council members set questionable goals and tasks for her. Nonetheless, it is her job paying close to $100,000 per year to prepare a budget and administer, not Councilman Bowers' job at $150 per month.

    The above cited provisions of her contract can be viewed at the 4th .pdf page of the document at the following link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xy5ybbvk3z2gai7/12.0515%20MacDonald%20contract.pdf?dl=0

    Thank you for considering this comment.

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