Englewood Mayor Sends Stern Message In New Role
From: The Record, Tuesday, January 11, 2011 by Melissa M. Hayes, Staff Writer
ENGLEWOOD — Mayor Frank Huttle kicked off his first workshop meeting as City Council president by pledging to improve the city.
“We need to do a better job,” Huttle told council members Tuesday. “We are not a small town. This is a city and I wholeheartedly believe the city can be managed better. The efficiencies need to be better. We need to look at cost in a totality and we need to look at service.”
Huttle is the first mayor to also serve as council president, an appointment that the council unanimously approved at the Jan. 4 reorganization meeting.
Although he is serving as president, the city charter prohibits him as mayor from voting on ordinances or resolutions. But he now has the power to set the agenda, which gives him more authority than previous mayors.
One of his first acts as council president was to hold the workshop and action meetings on separate nights.
The mayor and council members called on City Manager Dan Fitzpatrick to produce a flat budget, with hiring and salary freezes.
Council members asked that Fitzpatrick consider sharing services with the city’s school district as a way to cut spending.
Fitzpatrick said he had a hiring freeze last year and did not give raises to any non-union employees. Fitzpatrick will introduce a budget Jan. 18.
Huttle said he wants the council to adopt it by the end of March.
Huttle also called on city officials to enforce the snow removal ordinance, which requires all sidewalks to be cleared within 24 hours. He asked that the law be posted on the city’s website and said if residents don’t comply, the city should remove the snow and bill the property owner.
The mayor also asked Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe to compile a list of all street lights in the city that are out, which would be sent to the Public Service Electric and Gas Co. O’Keefe said at least 100 street lights are out across the city.
“This is a persistent issue with respect to public safety,” he said.
O’Keefe said he is also working with a company that is donating small solar-powered lights, which he plans to install in the street near Congregation Ahvath, where a resident was killed in a hit and run accident on Broad Avenue last month.