Crofton board members scrutinized the administration portion of their special tax district budget Monday -- the second-largest piece of a nearly $1 million pie -- questioning the need to extend the comptroller's hours and provide more overtime for the administrative assistant.
The Crofton Civic Association must present a balanced budget to residents in the tax district in time for the community vote in January. The meeting was the second of four on the budget.
Although the board has not recommended changes to the proposed budget, which is $36,000 more than last year's, the weekly meetings have focused on explaining budget increases and pointing out areas where the budget could be cut to make way for a possible 1-cent decrease in the tax rate of 27 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Key in the discussions Monday night was a proposal by the town manager to increase the hours for the town comptroller from 25 to 30 a week, and to pay the administrative assistant overtime to record the meetings.
The extra hours for the comptroller would cost nearly $4,500, and overtime would add $584 to the budget.
"We've had so much to do that the requirement of 25 hours per week has become inadequate," Town Manager Barbara Swann said of her recommendation for the comptroller. "Once you do the extra time on a project, you don't get the chance to take it off because of the regular work that needs to be done, and you get further and further behind. The position has clearly been taxed."
One resident questioned whether it was necessary to have the administrative assistant there for the meetings, if the board secretary could do her job, or if the board should use a recording secretary.
Swann, the board president, said the board tried using the board secretary years ago but that the move failed because it prevented the secretary from joining the discussion.
"I would like to see my administrative assistant reimbursed for her efforts," she said.
One of the areas earmarked for a significant cut was the disability insurance fund, created by the board about 20 years ago to pay workers a portion of their salaries if they were injured and unable to work more than a month.
The fund, which has never been used, has grown from an initial investment of $11,000 to more than $23,000. Swann suggested reducing it to about $18,000 and adding the money taken from it to community revenue.
"It's growing to a point where we've got more money than we can use there," she said.
At last week's meeting on public safety, committee chairman Michael Lapinski recommended that the board spend $14,000 to $17,000 for a reconditioned police car, $800 for new ballistic vests for officers, $2,266 for an officer's radio and $700 for radio rechargers in police cruisers.
Monday, the board will discuss the maintenance portion of the budget. The following Monday, members will try to balance the Civic Association budget.
Pub Date: 10/13/99