Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Budget Public Hearing/Council 6/5/13

The city council meeting tonight was packed with approximately 90 people in attendance. Most of them were here for the budget public hearing. 

The "Best of Taylorsville" award was given to Dieter and Elaine Waegner. See a photo of their home and a description of why they won this award.

Katrina Thatcher was appointed to the Arts Council.

The March 2013 UPD Officer of the Month was awarded to Officer Jonathan Bushnell. During March Officer Bushnell's actions led to several self-initiated felony arrests. These felony arrests include the arrest of an individual for child abuse of a 4 month old baby, the arrests of two individuals that were in possession of drugs, a DUI arrest and an arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle.

The April 2013 UPD Officer of the Month was awarded to Detective Brett Miller. Det. Miller tenaciously pursues career criminals who victimize citizens. He develops cases that involve drug dealing, vehicle theft, and other felony crimes. Many of the perpetrators committing these types of crimes are violent and armed felons. In April he assisted when an auto dealer was burglarized and located a suspect. His work helped garner an arrest and almost all of the $75K in property was returned to the rightful owners.

The May 2013 UPD Officer of the Month was awarded to Detective Denise Ikemiyashiro. She assisted patrol officers on an incident where a violent gang member, in a stolen vehicle, began ramming police cars in an effort to avoid apprehension. Despite the fact that the perpetrator had reacted violently, Det. Ikemiyashiro developed a rapport with the individual which ultimately led to the corroboration of additional felony investigations.

Financial matters were the hot topic of the night. The Mayor gave his Mayor's report. He spoke about how he came up with the proposed budget after including suggestions from residents, city council members, and staffers. These additions included funds to better the city and with these additions the budget had a $2.3 million shortfall. He introduced some changes that were made to help reduce the shortfall. They include eliminating three full time positions and two part time positions. It also includes changing a full time position to part time. These changes brought the tax increase from 47 percent to 39 percent.

The council then opened the public hearing and heard from dozens of residents. Most of them felt like the budget should be cut. Some ideas included: getting rid of streetscape and park beautification, deleting compensation increases for employees, and cutting non-essential staff. Some also suggested not investing in economic development and getting rid of the volunteer committees.

Some items were cut out of the budget, but then the council asked the administration to cut things down to 26-29 percent tax increase and bring a proposal back next week.

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