By BRIAN SMITH
HUDSON OAKS — Interim City Administrator Patrick Lawler had the interim taken off his title after an executive session Thursday night.
Lawler began his career with the city in November 2007 as assistant to the city administrator. He then became director of operations before being named assistant city administrator in 2010. after the departure of former City Administrator Sheri Campbell-Husband, Lawler was moved into the interim city administrator position.
In other activity, the council received its first look at the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget. According to a staff report, the city is planning on $2.12 million in general fund revenue in the 2013-14 budget, which begins in October, and having expenditures of just under $2.1 million. The extra monies will go into the city’s fund balance.
Lawler said the city will be offering small cost of living allowances for all employees as well as merit increases of up to an additional two percent. Lawler said the merit increases have averaged around 1.5 percent in recent years.
The city is also looking to purchase two new police vehicles to replace a pair of Crown Vics that have between 130,000 and 140,000 miles on them. Lawler said the city was thinking of buying just one new car this year but with the high mileage on both vehicles, determined purchasing two was better.
Lawler asked the council for direction on whether to buy the cars outright or do a lease-purchase. Doing a lease-purchase, with the low interest rates right now, would allow the city to have more flexibility in cash flow, Lawler said.
The states requires cities to keep 30 percent of their budget in a fund balance, or “rainy day” fund. Hudson Oaks has around 34 percent in its fund balance at the present time. By the end of the fiscal year in September 2013, Lawler said about 36 percent would be in the fund.
Having a higher fund balance than is required, akkows the city to have more flexibility when it comes to purchasing items.
For the first time ever, the city will be offering a vacation buyback program. City employees get 240 hours of vacation every year, many of them trying to use it around the holidays. Lawler said the previous “use it or lose it” policy would cause for a lot of overtime late in the year, with people being brought in to work extra shifts.
The city is looking at having its revenues stay flat for the coming fiscal year. An expected three percent rise in sales tax is expected to be negated by a drop in building permits.
Lawler said the final budget will be submitted to council at the July 25 meeting. If there are no changes, council members can then approve the budget at their Aug. 22 or Sept. 26 meetings. Council members also held a workshop to address the city’s new tagline. Four proposals were given to help the city in its marketing and branding.
the four proposals, each which came with corresponding artwork, included “Plant Your Flag,” “Branch Out,” “Deeply Rooted” and “Home Grown.”
Lawler said city staff liked deeply rooted the best. Lawler said taglines can be changed more easily than a logo and the council should consider what it would like for the next five years or so.
Council members were split between Deeply Rooted and Branch Out. After some discussion, Mayor Pat Deen asked to bring the items back next month to gather some sort of consensus.
The council’s next meeting is July 25.
By BRIAN SMITH
- Aledo ExtrA
A Purple Heart County
County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse.
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
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