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January 23, 2013

Council will call extra meetings to study budget

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

In an effort to bring Troy’s new mayor — whoever that may be — and residents up to speed on the budget process, the new city manager has asked City Council to hold six extra study sessions.

Discussion topics for the sessions are the fund balance, general-fund revenue, the Police and Fire departments, the Department of Public Works, the Recreation Department, the library, administrators, the transit center, and employee benefit costs. City Manager Brian Kischnick proposed the study sessions be held Feb. 11, 13, 20, 25 and 26, and March 11.

“I’m more interested in the process of moving forward together,” Kischnick said at the Jan. 14 City Council meeting, referring to his proposed schedule. “Let’s find out what works for everyone’s schedule. It’s a lot to go through when you lump a lot together.”

He said the study sessions are an attempt to bring all mayoral candidates up to speed on the budget. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris has ordered the city to hold a special mayoral election May 13, after the city originally planned to appoint someone to serve until the November election.

Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner said that the last day for prospective mayoral candidates to withdraw is Feb. 15.

The council usually adopts the new city budget in early May. All mayoral candidates will get the same information on items the council will consider at meetings.

Mayor Pro Tem Wade Fleming suggested combining some of the meetings with scheduled council meetings.

Mayor Dane Slater said that,  while he supports the idea of breaking the meetings up to discuss the different topics, he wanted to postpone adopting the schedule presented in order to give council members time to check their schedules.

The council unanimously voted to postpone adoption of the schedule for the additional special meetings until Jan. 28.

“We want the public to come along with us and give as much notice to the public, who are not expecting these meetings in February,” Council member Maureen McGinnis said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.