Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Budget Amendment Requests of $318,765 To Be Considered by Council March 24

At the March 24 legislative session of the Salisbury City Council, the council will be asked to amend the budget to allow for another $318,675 in expenditures (the total as of March 18, subject to change). As of the night of March 19, the briefing book for the meeting is available for download from the city’s website at: Briefing Book

However, no information on the budget amendment ordinance is included in the online briefing packet as of the March 19 posting. Below is a list of the changes to the budget requested by the draft ordinance:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SALISBURY, MARYLAND that the City’s Fiscal Year 2008 General Fund, Water Fund, Sewer Fund, Marina Fund and Parking Authority Fund budgets be and are hereby, amended as follows:

1) Increase the current surplus account for the General Fund (01000-469810) by $257,267
2) Increase the other miscellaneous account for the General Fund (01000-456911) by $7,350
3) Increase Internal Services by $44,962
4) Increase City Attorney by $88,750
5) Increase Municipal Buildings by $58,125
6) Increase Fire by $5,300
7) Increase Public Works – Recreation & Culture by $16,600
8) Increase Debt Service & Other Uses by $50,880
9) Increase the current surplus account for the Water Fund (60100-469810) by $22,248
10) Increase the Water Fund expenses by $22,248
11) Increase the current surplus account for the Sewer Fund (60100-469810) by $29,762
12) Increase the Sewer Fund expenses by $29,762
13) Increase the Transfer from General Fund for the Marina Fund (60300-469110) by $3,330
14) Increase the Marina Fund expenses by $3,330
15) Increase the current surplus for the Parking Authority Fund (10100-469810) by $2,138
16) Increase the Parking Authority Fund expenses by $2,138

The budget amendment is scheduled last in the agenda before public comments (but is subject to change). Citizens are encouraged to attend the meeting, to be held at 6 p.m., in Council Chambers, Room 301, on the third floor of the Government Office Building, N. Division St., in downtown Salisbury. Those who cannot attend can watch it on cable television’s PAC14 channel. Those without cable but with computers can watch it on PAC14’s streaming video at
Pac 14

Councilwomen Debbie Campbell and Terry Cohen will continue to inquire about issues concerning these budget requests and fiscal process as a whole. At the March 17, 2008, work session, the council majority (Louise Smith, Gary Comegys and Shanie Shields) declined to advance Campbell’s charter change recommendation to tighten language concerning the transfer of public monies, which was similar to that of state law.

Also declined by the council majority was Cohen’s request for the council to review and approve minutes of work sessions and other non-legislative meetings for which the Open Meetings Act requires (OMA) minutes to be taken. However, the OMA does not require these minutes to be approved by the public body. Cohen noted that since minutes of these meetings are open to public inspection, approving them would be a “best practice” to ensure that information available for public inspection would accurately reflect the representations and actions of council members. She said she also spoke with a member of the Maryland Attorney General’s office who said they should be approved by the public body.

Cohen also requested, in accordance with the City Council Rules of Order, that an item be added for to the March 24 agenda for the council to have the city clerk’s office add work session and other non-legislative meetings’ minutes to the city website. Cohen’s requested item was not added to the agenda.


Council President Louise Smith responded today (March 20) to Cohen's request for an agenda item March 24 to add work session and non-legislative meeting minutes to city website. Smith said she'd move the request to the pending list for available future work sessions.