At the April 9 Chatfield City Council meeting, a vote on the second consideration of Ordinance 433-Charter Amendment failed. The first consideration had passed three to two. This time in order for the recommendation from the Charter Commission for the establishment of a “city manager” position to become a reality, there would need to be a unanimous positive vote. The vote was two for (Broadwater and McBroom) and three against (Novotny, Urban, and Bluhm).
Councilor Paul Novotny voted “no” this time after speaking with a number of citizens. Some people are concerned. They elect the council to “keep an eye on the city.” He maintained that they will still need to have a new process as the current system needs to be updated.
During the last council meeting there was a concern raised about a city manager having the power to hire and fire city employees. Councilor Mike Urban said he likes 80-85% of the Charter Commission’s recommendation. Councilor Josh Broadwater admitted he didn’t think the recommendation was perfect, but you are never going to get perfect. Councilor John McBroom said the committee worked hard on this and this is their recommendation.
City Attorney Fred Suhler explained the recommendation is dead without five yea votes.
The Charter Commission may look at this again.
Jason Boynton, of Smith, Schafer and Associates, summarized the 2017 financial summary. The city received an unmodified or clean opinion. The city’s tax capacity increased about $100,000 from 2016 to 2017. Local government aid (LGA) was increased slightly from 2016.
Chatfield’s unassigned general fund balance is 54% of next year’s general fund property tax levy and LGA.
All debt payments are being made in a timely manner. Fund balance for Capital Goods as of the end of 2017 totaled $932,342. In 2017, $461,171 was spent on capital goods.
The city’s largest expenditure (over $1 million) is for public safety including police, fire, and ambulance.
Other business in brief
• Brian Burkholder, public works, asked for and received approval to bring back two summer employees, Steve Horsman and Austin Hines, to fill summer helper positions. Burkholder will advertise to fill a third position.
• Mayor Russ Smith proclaimed April 27 as Arbor Day and the month of May 2018 as Arbor Month.
• Lanny Haukom had requested permission to combine his two parcels along River St. The parcels (2.56 acres together) are in the R-1 zoning district. Combining the two lots allows for additional options for a house location. The land conveyance was approved.
• A quote from Visu Sewer in the amount of $5,500 was approved to grout and clean up a water problem near the football field/track.
• Smith asked dog owners to use the bags provided in Groen Park to clean up after their dogs.