Aragon to hold special meeting over finances on Tuesday
The Aragon City Council does care about both citizens of the city and employees who have kept it operating according to the latest comments from Mayor Pro Tem Debbie Pittman this morning.
In a follow-up from the latest report on the City of Aragon’s finances and discussions held over the issue during the city council’s work session on Jan. 17, Pittman said the council does not agree with a statement made by Mayor Garry Baldwin during that work session.
“Council members took an oath to protect both the taxpayers and the city employees,” Pittman said in a phone interview on Tuesday morning, Jan. 22. “We do not want citizens or our employees to think that we don’t care about them. We care about both.”
She also added that questions over city finances raised during the January work session and in previous meetings aren’t being fully addressed, especially when it comes to ensuring that Financial Consultant Rick Hartley is giving full approval for paying out on bills and spending items before it is approved by the council.
“Nothing was supposed to be paid or spent without the approval of Rick (Hartley),” Pittman said. “The things that we put in place aren’t being followed.”
Pittman did defend some of the city’s past expenditures, but for the most part remained concerned about how much money is coming in and going out from the city coffers.
She said that details of a work session requested by the council specifically with Hartley are still
in the planning processes.
“We’re working on it now,” she said.
Her comments come after a meeting where council members sought more specifics about how the city was going to continue operating when more expenditures are being recorded than revenue coming in.
Baldwin said during the council’s January work session that the financial situation wasn’t as dire as the council members thought since revenue was constantly coming in to cover bills, and additionally pointed toward past spending from previous and the current council approved from the Special Assets
Account for SPLOST purchases being paid back. He also told council members that they “didn’t take an oath to protect employees. You took an oath of office to protect the people of the City of Aragon.”
Additional conversation and potential action will be coming up for subscribers who get the paper early on Tuesday in a 7 p.m. session that was called late in the week on Friday afternoon, Jan. 25.
The agenda centered completely around the city’s finances when submitted before press time.
Items for discussion and potential vote include the finances, a discussion with the city’s financial consultant Rick Hartley, a potential discussion of asset sales, the creation of a promised emergency fund and limitations on how it can be used, and additionally of the city’s use of Waste Industries to undertake trash collection services.
They also plan to have a discussion of the city’s vacation policy, and time is also set aside for comments from the council and mayor.
Check online at Polkstandardjournal.com for more about what happened during the meeting after press time this week, and to also hear audio of that session.