REPUBLIC - As a follow-up to the community meeting in Republic last week regarding additional fees and taxes to be imposed on residents, Councilwoman Carissa Boeser said at Monday's meeting there are several things the village might consider as cost-cutting measures.
In her report Boeser suggested a change of village staff hours and questioned employee insurance coverage, as she said she wondered why a stipend is paid to an employee covered under a spousal policy. She said perhaps a cut in administrative staff pay and holiday time should be looked at, along with ending a clothing allowance or even paying for the office to be cleaned.
Councilwoman Rea Spotts proposed that instead of warnings given to residents who do not clean their sidewalks in the winter or mow in the summer to be fined after only one warning. She said she would like to see police officers using the bicycle more frequently to save on fuel.
Police Chief Randy Marfia said much training is necessary for bike patrol.
Boeser suggested council members take a cut in pay. Solicitor Rick Palau said it is too late for the present council to take action on pay issues this year. The deadline was before candidates filed petitions.
In his report, Marfia set forth some of the goals he and Village Administrator Ronnie Trott have tried to accomplish. He said they wanted to improve customer approval and satisfaction, create a better relationship with council and more open government, update and improve infrastructure and facilities and reduce costs.
He said they have obtained more than $200,000 worth of equipment free and have been doing their own vehicle maintenance.
In order to reduce workers' compensation and insurance premium costs, they have taken risk liability training, he said. In addition, the village has new software and a new Derrick Digger truck. Marfia and Trott said they hope to reduce the fleet and maintenance costs.
Marfia said updating the water system plus mapping the water, sewer and electric systems and creating standard policies and procedures are needed to become more efficient and operate effectively.
Marfia said he and Trott are interested in obtaining more certifications to accomplish village tasks.
Concerning the additional general fund revenue issue, Marfia recommended the video service provider fee and license plate fee be approved but reduce the imposed income tax to 0.50 percent and allow the public to vote on the other 0.50 percent tax.
Council voted to table the third reading of the imposed 1 percent income tax for further discussion. The finance committee is to discuss the topic again.
Also Monday, Marfia announced the resignation of Officer Tony Travagliante, effective Monday. Council approved Zach Stumpf for hire as a part-time officer.
Trott reported his staff has been trimming trees around power lines and cutting down infected ash trees. He said the Maple Street tile is to be replaced next week and the old digger truck sold for $1,300.
Fiscal Officer Tammy Harer presented council with the mayor's court report and the monthly cash summary.
The meeting moved into executive session for discussion of possible litigation.
In other matters, council:
Adopted an ordinance establishing a video service provider fee of 3 percent to be paid by any video service in the village and authorizing the mayor to give notice to the video service provider of the fee.
Adopted an ordinance to accept fees and charges regarding administrative fees, court fees and fines, police department, utilities and equipment and personal use/rental and includes the water rate increases.
Heard the first reading of a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor regarding the 2012 budget.
Heard the Village Association meeting is to be Sept. 29. New Riegel is to host.
Set a finance committee meeting for 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Heard several council candidates and a mayoral candidate present for the meeting.
Resident Bruce Lambert made another records request from Harer.
Council is to meet next at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6.