CLINTON — At-Large Councilman Mark Vulich questioned the need to increase city spending through the creation of new administrative and human resource positions at the Clinton City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

In the end, the measure was tabled by the council until early next year.

Vulich said when the city was in the process of hiring a new city administrator, one comment frequently circulated was that the city’s general fund was in bad shape and the bond rating was in jeopardy. He said that in February, city leaders were told the same thing and that it was necessary to move money into the general fund. Vulich said that funds were pumped into the general fund, including $350,000 from the docks, $43,000 from the hotel/motel tax fund, $281,000 from riverboat excursion money, in addition to $200,000 from the $0.27 per $1,000 emergency tax levy and $250,000 from the ADM park sale. He said that more than $1 million was pumped into the general fund, to keep the reserves from being too low.

Vulich said that one part he is concerned with after reflecting on the issue is that the $33,360 slated as the salary for one position would come from the Water Pollution Control Department budget. He noted that citizens are concerned with recurring issues such as poor roads, high taxes and high sewer rates, and “all of a sudden” the city is about to take money out of the budget for a new employee. Vulich said he is not sure now is the right time to create new city positions, even though when he came to the council in 2005 he was one of the people who said the city needed a human resource person.

Vulich quoted City Administrator Gary Boden from a Clinton Herald article published earlier this year in which Boden stated that the city’s general fund was so low, the city would have to live within a tight budget for at least two years. Vulich said that the city doesn’t know yet how much money will be coming from ADM and although it was to be a “good chunk of money,” he said the city has $1 million to make up in money that was “robbed from other funds just to make ends meet.”

Vulich said he wasn’t sure creating new expenditures was an “economically correct” thing to be doing six weeks into the budget. He said he would be making a motion to table the decisions regarding the creation of a human resource division and hiring a HR director and administrative assistant until a new council could make that decision in February when the council would have a better “handle” on the city’s finances.

At-Large Councilman Ron Mallicoat seconded the motion and in three separate votes on each resolution, the council voted 5 to 1 to table the resolutions until February, with Ward 1 Councilman Bob Soesbe voting against tabling the issues.

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