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City Council, December 6

Budget for 2012 passed
Some Council members look to aid businesses
Marc Knapp

Yesterday’s meeting was short with an uncontentious agenda.

The 2012 budget was passed without comment on Council. As the draft had been available for some weeks with plenty of time for review, the lack of discussion was understandable. Viewers should note that we prepared and posted a detailed review of the budget some days.

I spoke in Citizens Participation about the proposed bonuses to staff and workers. They may be deserving but times continue to be tough and the future uncertain. The City should look to build back its fund balances to cushion for future shocks. The payment of bonuses has not been a common practice of the city in my memory. The payment this year will build expectations for the continuation of the practice. City employees may well have been denied COLA for some years, but really, in these times, shouldn’t they, and indeed all that have retained their jobs in the private and public sectors be thankful for their good fortune? Nobody will refuse a bonus but who will argue its necessity?

Council members Alexander and White caused a few eyebrows to be raised when they suggested the City do more to further economic development. They had some criticism of the administration of business licenses and thought that waiving or reducing fees, particularly for the first year, could encourage enterprise. The Mayor did not look very impressed by the suggestions and they went nowhere.

The budget for the 2012 Accommodation Tax was also passed and that for the current year amended. Both budgets have the usual names. Press Download file to see 2011 and Download file for 2012.

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