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No budget, no president, no administrator: Goodrich council starts over



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May 11, 2011 - Goodrich-Not only does the village council lack a 2011-12 budget, but it now lacks someone to actually compile the document.

The village council deliberated Monday night the direction necessary to file the budget due in about 45 days.

The problems for the village are compounded due to the termination of Village Administrator Jacki Sidge—who in the past had drafted the document. In addition, on May 3 Council President Patricia Wartella was recalled by village voters.

By law, a balanced budget is required by July 1, which includes data reflecting costs of operations, spending priorities and revenues.

Councilmember Pete Morey made a motion to contract Sidge for $500 per week to compose the budget.

"If we don't have a budget in place we can't write a check after July 1," said Morey. "No one can do the job as fast as Jacki. We need it done the right way."

Councilmember Richard Horton agreed.

"I realize Sidge agreed to the terms of the severance, but she's doing a service to the community. If we hired an accountant they would not have a clue—prior knowledge is key. It would be a disservice to the community. Let's do it correctly."

Councilmember Doug McAbee did not see it that way.

"I disagree—to possibly entangle us in another lawsuit with Sidge is not right. We should not be placed in that situation," he said.

McAbee argued that due to the severance package signed by Sidge, a contract to return to the village would not be in their best interest.

Allen Robb, village attorney filling in for Jack Belzer, agreed with McAbee.

Councilman Phil Jackson said other qualified individuals expressed an interest in assisting the village with the budget.

Former Grand Blanc Township Supervisor William Delaney was in the crowd of about 50 at the village meeting. Delaney, who served for 18 years as supervisor, was prepared to discuss a proposal to do the budget, but was not allowed to speak at the meeting since he was not on the village agenda.

Morey remained adamant regarding the assistance of Sidge, who was also at the Monday meeting.

"The zoning has not been done—we have businesses waiting to come in here. There also needs to be a truth-in-taxation public hearing. You're not being reasonable," said Morey.

However, the rest of the council did not see it that way.

By a 3-1 vote, the council agreed to request resumes of qualified individuals by May 23 who would be interested in compiling the village budget. Morey voted no. McAbee, Jackson and Horton supported the request.

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