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City debates need for website meeting
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McMinnville officials are moving forward with a website presentation by Civic Plus on August 6 at 6 p.m., despite taking the funds from the budget for fiscal year 2013-14.
The board is divided on the need for the meeting.
“Is there a point to meeting with these guys,” said Vice Mayor Ben Newman during the last board meeting. “How can we come up with the money. I’m just curious.”
Officials invited two companies that specialize in website design to give presentations to the board. However, the invitations were made prior to the budget being set and the funds removed.
Alderman Mike Neal added, “What’s the point, if it’s not in the budget?”
“Right,” said Newman. “We got an education on the last one. Are we wasting their time and our time by meeting with them? We voted the budget in and there’s no money for it. I don’t see any reason for this.”
Alderman Ken Smith says additional funds could be made available later in the year.
“In talking with (city administrator David) Rutherford last week, we both agreed that the budget is nothing more than a guesstimate,” Smith said. “He stated that, in last year’s budget, more money came in than was expected. Of course, he also said that more expenses came in than were expected.”
Smith adds, “Everyone of us has to do budgets. How many of your budgets have turned out 100 percent correct one percent of the time? If there is a possibility of getting more income coming in, then this board has the ability of using that money where they feel is the best.”
A budget is “not rocket science” says Smith.
“My thought process would be that we should go ahead and have this meeting. If the state gives us more money in some area that is not restricted for streets or paving or something of that nature, then you have the money and you can go ahead and do that. Also, if you wanted to, you could do a one-year capital outlay note for the funds. People, this is not rocket science. A budget is a guesstimate.”
Alderman Mike Neal believes the board should set a good example for its departments and stick to the budget.
“Ken, I appreciate those comments,” said Neal. “My opinion on how a budget ought be is we should plan on abiding by what we voted on and not go into it already planning on changing it. We expect our department heads to work within their budgets and I think this board needs to set the example and stay within the guidelines of this budget.”
When Smith questioned what happens if the city’s expenses exceed the guesstimated revenue, Neal added, “We will cross that when we get to it. We are talking about right now. We are already planning to not go by the budget. I don’t think we should make plans like that. We have taken this item out of the budget and it needs to stay out of the budget.”
This is the second website firm to give a presentation to the city. Prior to the budget being set and the funds removed, officials listened to a presentation by Revized.