by Terry Rogers
On Monday, January 27, Milford City Council approved several administrative issues, one of which had been tabled several times. Councilman Jason James, who also serves as the Finance Committee Chairman, presented the final City audit for approval by council.
“We have finally had a chance to review the audit and find that there are some minor issues the City must address but that, overall, the City is in good financial shape,” Councilman James said. “We wanted to give it a thorough review before we presented it to Council for approval. Tonight, we feel we are ready.” Council approved the results of the audit unanimously.
The Milford Baptist Church requested that the City consider annexing the church property. Council voted unanimously to send the request to the Annexation Committee for review.
In other action, Council approved city payment for spouses to attend special meetings that Council members are required to attend.
“These meetings are important,” Mayor Archie Campbell said. “When I first took over as Mayor, I had no idea what I was doing. Attending these meetings helped me learn my role. They also gave me a network of people I could reach out to when I had a question.”
Councilman Todd Culotta agreed, stating that because council members and the Mayor spend so much time away from home, attending meetings or events, having a spouse attend some of them helps alleviate some of the time lost with family.
“We used to do it this way,” Councilman Owen Brooks said. “Used to be the City paid for both me and my wife to attend these meetings. I am not sure when it changed but it was something we used to do in the past.”
Councilman Mike Boyle expressed concerns about passing such a measure considering the City was in the process of raising utility rates.
“I am not sure what type of message this sends to our constituents,” Councilman Boyle said. “We are asking them to pay more for their water and sewer in the next few months. We will probably need to increase electric rates once that study is completed. I just don’t know that it will sit well for taxpayers to pay for spouses to attend meetings with us.”
A roll call vote was taken with Councilwoman Lisa Peel the only no vote. Councilman Boyle and James both abstained from the vote. Councilmen Dan Mirabello, Doug Morrow, Owen Brooks and Culotta voted yes.
“I no longer attend any of these meetings,” Councilwoman Katrina Wilson, who also voted yes, said. “However, when I did attend years ago, my husband went with me and the City paid for his meal. So, basically, we are just returning this to how it used to be.”
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