Mayor Russell Felter made appointments, CFO Bill Eagen presented the Best Practices report, and Firefighter Menuel C. Leeper-Tilghman took the oath of office for Fire Company #1 at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, October 6.
The Best Practices report that CFO Eagen presented is a test given by the state that requires a certain score to receive state funding. The town did as good as expected, answering most of the questions correctly. The only practice they did not meet was providing elected officials with health benefits. They use this test as a way to evaluate themselves and make a routine out of the best practices.
Mayor Felter appointed Kathleen Hammond to the Tax Collector position and Jim Smalls to the Recreation Advisory Board. Councilwoman Kim Finnegan noted that there are a lot of exciting events hosted by the Recreation Department coming up soon, and she can’t wait for the entire community to see what’s in store.
Councilman Robert Birmingham explored options for alleviating debt. Believing that they don’t do that much work separately, he argued that the Board of Adjustment and the Planning Board Committee should merge, especially since the voters supported this years ago. Other towns around Jefferson Township have done it, proving that it works. However, Mayor Felter disagreed with Councilman Birmingham, arguing that both committees do a lot of work, and even if they merged the two committees, this would have a minimal effect on the debt because the professionals aren’t even paid that much for the work they’re doing.
Council Vice President Jay Dunham reported on the Finance Committee’s efforts to cut unnecessary spending. They found that their 0-base budgeting strategy has saved them less money than they expected. Administrator James Leach believed this was because the town produced a detailed budget a few years ago that all budgets have been based on since.
The Town Council finally passed an ordinance for licensing fees, however, there was some miscommunication between the Health Department and the Council, and Mayor Felter will veto it and ask them to reconsider it. On the other hand, an ordinance prohibiting engine braking did pass and will likely be signed into law by Mayor Felter.
Council President Debi Merz mentioned that they will be looking into an ordinance that will prohibit parking at dead ends. This has been reported as an issue by the police, and the Council will look into addressing it as quickly as they can.