Mayor: Finances continue to improve
by Rachel Davis
Apr 21, 2013 | 1799 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Dennis Welch
Mayor Dennis Welch
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OAKMAN — The Oakman City Council heard an update on the city’s once-embattled finances on Thursday night.

Although the council spent more than it brought in last month, it was able to cut the city’s debt by two-thirds.

“After all that, we are still operating in the black,” Mayor Dennis Welch told the council.

Welch said the city also paid more than $20,000 to the city’s insurance providers.

“For the first time in a long time, we are caught up on our insurance,” Welch said.

At the last financial report, the city owed more than $21,000 to various sources.

The city currently owes $7,647.99 total, and much of that debt is old lawyer fees from 2010. Removing the lawyer debt, the city currently owes just $581.23, according to Welch.

“Over the next six months, all I ask is that we are careful with the finances,” Welch said.

In other business:

•The council appointed Herbie Brewer as the city’s prosecutor. This leaves only the city’s magistrate still standing as a temporary appointment. The magistrate’s position was the subject of an executive session, but no action was taken.

•Mayor Dennis Welch addressed the town members who are circulating a petition for an alcohol referendum in the city. State law dictates that only municipalities with at least 1,000 citizens can vote to sell alcohol in the city limits. Welch said Oakman falls far short of that requirement and would need to increase the population by more than 25 percent to come close.

•The council swore in new council member Rhonda Milwood, who was appointed to replace an elected council member who resigned due to health reasons.

•The council voted to not renew the contract with RDS to collect the city’s business license fees and taxes.

•Because of issues with the city’s existing fleet of police cars, the city will be exploring other options for police vehicles. Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harvey and Welch have been in touch with Hoover Police Department, which will be selling surplus vehicles next month.

•The council voted to restart the city’s uniform allowance for full time police officers in November.

•The police department has also been in touch with the Fraternal Order of Police, which will hopefully be able to get bulletproof vests for the officers without cost to the city.

•The council also voted to pay the magistrate and police officers for time spent appearing in court and the city clerk to appear at council meetings.

•The council also voted to reinstitute the city’s time clock, rather than using written time cards. All employees are now required to clock in and out every shift.