Spending disagreements faced the Clintonville Common Council at its Aug. 21 meeting.
City Administrator Lisa Kuss asked the council to approve $13,000 to be taken out of the capital fund to cover recent improvements at City Hall.
She explained this money was leftover from the 2011 Street Department budget because the Seventh Street project came in less than anticipated. She noted the council had previously decided to use this money to finish the City Hall improvement project.
“We purposely saved because we knew we might need the money,” Kuss said.
Council person Jeanne Schley objected to using this money for the project. She noted the council has made other budget cuts that directly affect citizens, yet they use money for these improvements at City Hall.
“Our citizens always end up holding the short end of the stick,” she said. “What did they give up for us to have this surplus?”
“While I respect that citizens suffered, the things that we do to improve the police department, City Hall and the fire department are making our city better,” Kuss said.
“Everything we do here is for the benefit of providing services for our citizens,” she added.
“These were very functional changes that increased efficiency and public access,” Councilman Mark Doornink agreed.
Kuss reported that the money was used to upgrade City Hall by expanding into space vacated by the Clintonville Police Department. This included giving the mayor a private office, moving the municipal court to the old evidence room, and improving lighting and electrical wiring throughout the building.
According to Kuss, the $13,000 included $6,000 for labor, $5,000 for electrical and $2,000 for a required audit.
The motion to approve the expenditure was approved 8-2.
The council asked if this concludes the project. Kuss replied that there are still some projects remaining, like painting at the police department.
Mayor Judith Magee commended Kuss for a recent article submitted to the Public Management newsletter. The article was entitled, “Don’t let yourself get rattled; instead, communicate, communicate, communicate.”
“We had a real chance to have our community seen in a good light both nationally and worldwide,” Magee said.
She noted the newsletter is distributed to almost 10,000 city administrators around the world.
“We should not underestimate good publicity,” council person Mike Hankins agreed.
In other business, the council denied an operator’s license for Jamie R. Kelnhofer.
Operator’s licenses were approved for Kayla M. Boelter, Tiffany A. Maddix, Debora E. Retzlaff, Justin A. Tappa and Mary J. Thurk.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a resolution to increase the liquor license publication fee to $11.
• Approved a resolution to keep open records photo copy fees to 25 cents per page and 20 cents per electronic copy, plus charge $1 for a CD instead of allowing direct access to city computers.
• Agreed to a sponsorship of $500 for J&H Game Farm Regional Shoot.
• Approved a total write-off of $190 for grass cutting at 157 N. Main St. because the city is taking over the property for potential parking.
Mandy Kriesel received a commendation from the Clintonville Common Council.
The award stated: “In appreciation for your significant finance and office management skills. Your creative processes, policies and procedures have increased efficiency and improved Clintonville utilities customer service.”