By Sheyanne Romero
lindsay – After a year of turmoil the City of Lindsay is looking forward. Under the guidance of new administrators including interim city manager Bill Zigler and finance director Justin Poore, the City has been diligently working to craft its 2016-17 budget.
On Tuesday, April 12 Poore gave council their first look at 2016-17 budget. The focus of the study session was centered around the appointment of the City’s top seat. During his presentation Poore pressed on the importance of moving forward in the budget process with a clear picture of employee salaries.
Poore presented three options:
•City manager no planner
•City planner no manager
•Combination of city planner and city manager
According to Poore there is a $75,000 difference between a budget which reflects a combined city planner and city manager and one with a just a city manager. Because funding levels will drastically change depending on whether or not the council decides to combine the position of city manager and city planner or opt to forgo hiring a city planner, Poore stressed the importance of a unified decision.
“I need to know what this council is thinking.” requested Poore.
Mayor Ramona Padilla instructed Poore to remove option two, as the possibility of no city manager was out of the question. Council member Pam Kimball was in favor of option 3 which would combined both city manager and city planner.
“Our charter allows us to combined positions, we should do that” said Kimball.
However, Poore did warn council to be mindful when considering combining key administration positions.
“If we have too many overlapping positions we loose that system of checks and balances.”
The candidate being considered as Lindsay’s next city manager is current interim, Bill Zigler. Hired as director of planning and economic development Bill Zigler serves as both interim city manager and city planner. He began serving in the capacity of interim city manager in July 2015. Since he was named interim Zigler has worked toward creating transparency between the City and the community.
He is a retired Navy man who began his career in Lindsay at an intern making $9 an hour.
Poore did report that, “All of our debts are being paid on time,” with payments of $1.3 million being made each year on the $3.79 million annual debt. Furthermore, the finance director brought to council’s attention the need to update finance software, which would require the City to borrow additional funds in the upcoming year.
“Debt is not a scary thing to me. We have to make updates on certain things within the City. We’re not looking to borrow much to take of these issues.” said Poore.