The city of Waupaca’s 2011 budget proposal includes filling two vacant full-time positions and hiring a part-time employee in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The Waupaca Common Council voted 7-1 at a special meeting Oct. 6 to bring forward this latest draft as the proposed 2011 city budget.
Voting yes were Jim Boyer, Steve Hackett, Paul Hagen, Paul Lehman, Paul Mayou, Eric Olson and Dave Shambeau. Scott Purchatzke voted no. Deb Fenske was absent.
There will be a public hearing on the city’s proposed 2011 budget at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the council chambers at City Hall.
At that time, the public can comment on the budget. The council is scheduled to then vote on the budget proposal during a special council meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on that same day.
Under the latest draft of the budget, the vacant positions of economic development director and administrative assistant in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department would be filled. Both are full-time positions.
In addition, a part-time employee would be hired in the Parks and Recreation Department to help as needed with programming and to help elsewhere in the city when city employees are out sick or on vacation.
There was some confusion among city staff, following the council’s Sept. 28 meeting, as to which vacant positions were being recommended to be filled in 2011.
As a result, during last week’s council meeting, City Administrator Henry Veleker said that those two full-time positions and the one part-time position are the ones proposed to be filled next year.
Director of Public Works John Edlebeck asked the council if it is comfortable not filling the maintenance custodian position – a position that has been vacant in the city for a year.
In an Oct. 5 memo to city department heads, which was handed out during the Oct. 6 meeting, Edlebeck said, “As you are all aware, as part of the 2011 city budget discussions, the Public Works Department has been requesting the Common Council to fill the position of facility management superintendent, replacing the maintenance custodian position that has been unfilled for over a year.
“Over that past year our department has provided direct support of the Planning/Zoning/Econ Development/Building Department, provided most of the citywide facility maintenance needs along with help from the Park/Rec Department, and since June helped support the Park/Rec Department as well.
“The support that has been provided to all other city departments has substantially affected the delivery of the services that are expected of our department. The continuation of this level of support is not possible and cannot be sustained by our department.”
Lehman said it is a temporary situation and that compromises have to be made during the present economic times.
“I’m going to start calling you Chicken Little,” he said to Edlebeck.
Edlebeck replied, “I have stepped up to the plate twice now. This isn’t a Chicken Little issue. When we don’t have tires that are safe, I’m giving you facts. I’m offended by the Chicken Little comment.”
Edlebeck was referring to the Sept. 28 council meeting when he told the council that new loader tires were needed for a vehicle. The $10,000 capital item was added.
Police Chief Tim Goke and library director Peg Burington both said they do not know how long the city can go without a maintenance custodian.
Mayou said, “In my opinion, the situation with the facility superintendent is temporary. I think that is something we can strongly consider for the next budget.”
Edlebeck said that if that is the case, someone should be hired by the end of 2011.
Mayor Brian Smith said it is a difficult situation.
“It’s a need we have to look at,” he said. “I’m thinking Personnel (Committee) could look at it in early 2011 and bring a recommendation forward.”