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Village Vision News

Forsyth Fast Facts

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Items of interest from Village staff and the March 19 Board meeting

BOARD DECISIONS

Trustees accepted a staff recommendation for the Village to implement a reserve fund policy in which a fund balance will be reserved in the general fund sufficient to maintain Village operations for a six-month period. The Board also agreed to reserve a fund balance in the water and sewer fund sufficient to cover a three-month operations period. The policy is expected to be effective April 30, 2012, and follows a recommendation made by Village auditors.

At the previous Board meeting held March 5, trustees allocated a portion of the Village’s hotel/motel tax revenue to eight special interest groups which previously had presented petitions. Since that time, four new special interest groups came forward to request funding for their events. During the March 19 Board meeting, trustees denied all four requests.

Before a vote was taken, and in the absence of trustees Steve Hubbard and Eric Morr, Mayor Hap Gilbert suggested that the Board defer a vote until the April Board 2 meeting, when all trustees were expected to be present. Trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg objected to the proposed delay, citing a need to bring greater certainty to the budget prior to the planned April 2 public hearing on the same. After a brief discussion, the majority of trustees present then made the decision to move forward with the voting.

Trustees Marilyn Johnson, Bob Rasho and Kerstin Trachtenberg voted “no” four times to deny petitions submitted by Millikin University, Bass Master Tournament, Shoreline Classic and MidState Soccer. Trustee Larry Reed voted “yes” to support funding for each of these groups.

When the time arrived to consider post prom funding from the Village’s general fund for the private schools of St. Teresa, Lutheran School Association (LSA) and Decatur Christian School, trustees offered no motions and a vote was not taken. Mayor Hap Gilbert had earlier suggested that funding be offered to these three private institutions, consistent with what had been done for other schools where Forsyth youth attended. LSA was the only one of the three groups which had made an in-person request. In a separate motion advanced by trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg, trustees voted unanimously to terminate further consideration of non-presented event funding requests for fiscal year 2012-13.

OTHER NEWS

Forsyth Park restrooms are open, and playground equipment has been inspected, with the ball diamonds being prepared and batting cages ready for use, according to a report from Public Works Director Larry Coloni.

Public Works Department crews have completed overseeding and repaired the right-of-way along Elwood Street in completion of the storm sewer project. Crews now are busy landscaping the right-of-ways from the 2011 street improvements project.

Forsyth Public Library Director Rachel Miller announced that the library’s annual magazine and materials sale will be Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. In other library news, several computers and related equipment were replaced in March.

No action was taken by trustees following a discussion on a potential conduct and/or standards ordinance or policy for elected officials. Village Administrator Heather Kimmons said it would be helpful to define what constitutes a potential conflict of interest for elected officials and offered that she had been researching model ordinances and policies. Both she and trustees Marilyn Johnson and Bob Rasho reacted with surprise when Village Clerk Kathy Mizer said the Village currently has a conflict of interest and an ethics policy in place. Kimmons said she would work with Village Attorney Jeff Jurgens to compile information on this topic for trustees to consider at a later date.

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