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
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
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 July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
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.
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