As for his vote, Rowland said constraints on the city like lost lawsuits, “mind-boggling” expenses, airtight personnel expenses, have forced the council’s hand into making this decision.
“I can assure you that we know what we’re doing,” he said. “Sometimes if you just dig a little further, and look into the facts, you’ll find there’s more to the story than what people come flying up here with.”
City leaders, he said, deserved praise for their work.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Julie Alessee compared this year’s process to past budget-making decisions. While she has only been through one other workshop, Alessee said the sessions this year were open.
“(Before) we had no money,” she said. “We’re just trying to come to some grips. It’s a balance. We talked out a lot of things (this year) that we hadn’t talked about before. I think we’re moving forward.”
She reiterated the bind placed upon the council by previous city leaders, and she agreed that losing services is not the route Clinton wants to take.
To the public, Alessee said, “bear with us.”
“We’re in a cash position where we’ve got to stop, get our budget righted, get our bonds in order so that we have payments that we can make,” she said. “So that in the long-term, we can move forward with improving the quality of life.”
Like Alessee, others on the council are looking to move forward.