Englewood Mayor Creates Finance and Budget Commission

19 October 2010 33 views No Comment

From: The Record, October 18, 2010 by Giovanna Fabiano, Staff Writer

ENGLEWOOD — Mayor Frank Huttle has created a finance and budget commission to help the city weather tough financial times, he said Monday.

The commission — a task force of elected officials and local finance experts — will examine the city’s budget, help stabilize property taxes and create a three-year financial plan, Huttle said.

The mayor’s announcement — in a three-page letter to city officials — comes a day before the city is set to introduce an ordinance establishing a citizens committee on finance, made up of five to seven residents who would review the budget and serve as advisors to the mayor and council.

The council’s ordinance was supposed to be introduced at a meeting earlier this month, but Council President Scott Reddin said he removed it from the agenda after Huttle complained that the advisory committee would report only to the council, and not the mayor.

The ordinance on tonight’s agenda now reads “mayor and council.”

But despite the timing, Huttle insisted Monday: “I don’t see these as dueling committees.”

He added that the finance commission is something he has planned on creating since taking office last year.

“As you know it has been my firm stance since being sworn in as mayor to bring private sector budgetary practices to the city government, to impose discipline in spending and a focus on long term planning,” Huttle states in his letter.

The major difference between Huttle’s commission and the council’s proposed committee, is that the mayor’s is not made up solely of residents, he said.

“This is not an advisory committee,” Huttle said. “It’s a task force made up of elected officials and residents rolling up their sleeves and accomplishing goals.”

Under the city charter, the mayor has the authority to create ad hoc committees.

Huttle’s commission consists of nine members — three elected officials, five community members with finance and budget experience and a professional accounting expert.

The elected officials are Huttle, Fourth Ward Councilman Jack Drakeford and Councilwoman-at-large Lynne Algrant.

The community members appointed were Douglas Duchak, president and CEO of Englewood Hospital; Gabriel Bousbib of Gottex Fund Management; Mark Forman, a Certified Public Accountant; and Adam Brown of Adam Brown Associates. The professional accounting expert is Joseph Kelly of Suplee, Clooney and Company, who worked with the mayor and city council on reducing the failed school budget earlier this year. Kelly will serve the commission on a pro bono basis, Huttle said.

Reddin said Monday he would have preferred one committee, but added that he did not object to Huttle’s commission.

“I would have liked to have seen just one, but I never discourage input from anybody in the community, especially those who have knowledge of budgets and financial matters who can help us in these financial times,” Reddin said.

The council’s ordinance will be introduced tonight and likely voted on in November, Reddin said.

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