Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still no 2011 budget, police and fire contracts rejected

During last night’s City Council meeting, the Republican majority of 4 members rejected the 2-year police and fire contracts containing approximately $1 million in savings that are reflected in the proposed 2011 budget. The motions they passed called for rejecting each contract and asking the mayor to continue negotiating with both unions. Councilperson Donna Laake implored the mayor to allow a negotiating team in future discussions with the 2 unions. Mayor Williams seemed somewhat disinclined to do that when he responded by saying he thought he already done all he can do. He stated once again that he believed if council accepted the 2-year contracts, both unions were committed to continue negotiating throughout the year as needed to keep the City operating financially.

A motion to have all 3 readings of the 2011 budget failed, but a motion to have the 1st reading did pass. Until a budget is passed, the City Auditor cannot legally pay employees for days worked after March 31, 2011. Democratic Councilperson Mumper explained that he had come prepared to vote for the budget but only if council first approved the 2-year police and fire contracts containing approximately $1 million in savings that is reflected in the budget. He stated he thinks without that approval the two unions will withdraw their offers and file grievances to fill staffing positions they have voluntarily allowed to go unfilled until now.

Also failing to get a vote for 3 readings was a motion to allow the City Auditor to pay the overdue Duke energy bill from the $750,000 in the Development Impact Fund 28. The 2011 budget proposes using most of that special fund to pay expenses like utilities instead of using the general fund. A motion for the 1st reading only was passed.

The 1st of 7 scheduled Special Council Meetings to discuss 2011 Appropriations is tonight at 7:30 p.m. Council President Jane Grote said she will schedule as many Special Meetings on consecutive days as are needed to pass the budget.

Click here for the Enquirer’s coverage of last night’s meeting, and click here for Channel 12’s report.