Hopewell City Council Unanimously Passes Budget
By Caitlin Davis
Jun 14, 2012, 12:11
HOPEWELL - City Council approved the $112 million proposed FY 2012/2013 budget at the City Council meeting on Tuesday night. Council voted unanimously to pass the budget, but not after a few discussions were held.
The first amendment to the budget came from Councilor Gerald Stokes to restore $10,000 to the registrar’s budget. Stokes said the Voter Registrar’s office will be facing a busy election year. In the proposed budget, the electoral board/registrar’s proposed budget was $128,615.
City Manager Edwin Daley was in agreement with Stokes, saying not only will it be a presidential election in November, but there are four ward elections in November as well.
“I recommend you approve the amendment,” Daley said.
Daley said the budget will be increased by $10,000 and the money will be listed as surplus. He said that $10,000 will be made up during the next fiscal year.
Council voted unanimously to pass this amendment.
Vice-Mayor Wayne Walton presented another amendment to remove the lobbyist from the budget. The lobbyist is paid a salary of $60,000, and up to $5,000 in travel expenses, for a total of $65,000 a year.
Mayor Christina Luman-Bailey suggested to council to wait to make that decision until the lobbyist has met with council and met with the industries in Hopewell; most importantly she said, the Waste Water Treatment Facility.
Councilor Michael Bujakowski said in the two years he has been on council, the lobbyist had not produced much. Bujakowski suggested only keeping the lobbyist until the election in November.
Stokes made another suggestion to keep the lobbyist for one more year and if nothing is produced then “get rid of him.”
It was at this point, Daley made the motion to go into closed session to further discuss the lobbyist’s contract.
After a brief time in closed session, an amendment was made by Walton to keep the lobbyist until the end of the year. All council members agreed on this amendment.
Councilor Roosevelt Edwards made the next motion to remove $1,000 from the $10,000 appropriated to the John Randolph Foundation to give to the Crater Meals on Wheels. This amendment was also passed unanimously.
After all the proposed and passed amendments to the FY 2013 budget, the budget was passed unanimously by council.
Once the budget was passed, the council moved on to unanimously appoint Dr. William Henry to the School Board. Henry is currently serving as Chairman of the Hopewell School Board and will remain in that position until June 30, 2015. At the end of his term, Henry will have served on the school board for 13 years.