2013 has been a tough year
The citizens of Wendell should be grateful to the their elected board of commissioners for making some tough decisions with the proposed FY 13-14 operating budget. Growth has not been what we would have preferred during the past year and therefore we did not realize a tremendous increase to our tax base over the previous year. Yet we maintained all current public services to the citizens which they have been accustomed to over the years. We did not raise any property tax rates, we froze four current positions, did not give any pay increases to any town employees. We placed a hiring freeze on non-essential positions which may become vacant during the next fiscal year.
It has been one the toughest financial years for the town I have experienced in many decades. Each member of the board was committed to holding the tax rate, but not cutting municipal services to the citizens. It was one of the most thorough budget processes, both by the administration and the board of commissioners. I personally think we collectively had one goal and that was to do the best with what funds we had and not utilize the fund balance to offset the operating budget. Wendell is financially sound and this board is committed to keeping it that way. Yet we’re determined to be as progressive as possible and remain good stewards of the taxpayers dollars. It’s not easy to spread the limited available dollars in the right sources where the majority of the citizens can reap the best investment for their tax dollars. You can’t make everyone happy.
The public hearing has been held on the budget and only a few citizens spoke and shared their concerns. The budget is scheduled for adoption 7 p.m. Monday, June 20. Let your leaders know your feelings, for or against. It’s your budget, we are charged with the responsibility to put it together.
Ira C. Fuller
Editor’s note: The writer is a Wendell town commissioner and serves as mayor pro tem of that body.