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City Commission Workshop 04-15-2011
APRIL 15, 2011

A.  CALL TO ORDER- Mayor Randall
        1.  Invocation- Commissioner Roberts
        2.  Pledge of Allegiance- Commissioner Carlton

        1.  Budget

ICM Vause- In order to try and get this budget in order, I had to go back and look at past year budgets.  I will go line by line and explain how and why I got the projected revenue figures for the budget.

ICM Vause went through the projected 2010-2011 Budget.  The City Commission and Citizens asked questions concerning the budget.

ICM Vause- the fundamental problem is we are not covering the water and sewer funds based on what we are charging now.  Even if we cut staff and health insurance we still will not save enough to balance the budget.  We must increase the water and sewer rates to cover the debt service.  If we don’t generate the revenue we need we will not have enough money to cover our bills.

Commissioner Roberts- Increasing rates will bring out a lot of irate customers.

Ms. Cheryl Elmore- People may be willing to accept the water and sewer increase if they see staff is taking cuts also.  She is totally against the City of Hawthorne paying 100% of employee health insurance.

Vice Mayor Surrency- He suggested several months ago that the City Commission should lead by example and cut our salary as well.

ICM Vause- The City Commission must make some critical decisions.  She agrees some cuts must be made but cutting staff expenses will not fix the problem by itself.

Mr. Ray Daniel- Would like to compliment the ICM for doing a great job putting together this budget.  We got to take action and increase the water and sewer rates.

Commissioner Carter- Based on the information given by the ICM from the other cities the minimum water rate is $26.75, which is a difference of about $14.75 for what we pay now for our water rate which is a good idea.  Also we should include an annual increase of 5% each year to support the constant increase for operating the utility system.

ICM Vause- She will talk with staff and see what cuts we can make to rectify the budget.  She is recommending we do an in house rate increase then when the rate study is completed we go further.

The City Commission agreed to schedule a Special Commission Meeting on April 19, 2011 at 6:30PM.

The workshop was adjourned at 1:15PM.

These minutes are submitted for approval.

LaKesha H. McGruder, CMC                                Eleanor Randall, Mayor
City Clerk