“I think it’s painful, and I don’t think we’re here to make anybody happy, but we do want to have a well run city.” – Mayor Usha Reddi
Manhattan city commissioners listened to Manhattan’s Director of Finance, Bernie Hayen, present on Manhattan’s tax revenue streams and its past trends. This presentation provided background information and projected outcomes of potential mill levy increases. Hayen’s biggest take-away was this:
“What we don’t like to see happen at any given mill levy are the ups and downs year to year.” Hayden stressed these fluctuations make it difficult to commissioners to react to various situations.
The majority agreed to consider a 1 mill tax levy. Commissioner Wynn Butler was against, and called for more scrutiny when considering allocations of funds; specifically a $60,000 increase to the Friends of the Peace Memorial Auditorium.
Commissioner Karen McCulloh attempted to redirect the conversation towards programs and/or services the city needs. “We need to figure out exactly what level we think we should support the city and the city expenses, and kinda back off where the mill is. What do we have to do to make things work here. . . .and that’s the price tag.”
Commissioners approved the consideration of the 2017 city budget and 2017-2022 capital improvement program with a vote of 4 to 1.
Commissions also approved, after much debate, the consent agenda which included the amendment of the existing discrimination ordinance by including sexual orientation and gender.