City leaves tax director job vacant, saves $72,000

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(Posted Jan. 14, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The city of London is moving forward without a tax director.

Randy Courter resigned from the position effective Jan. 3. New mayor Patrick Closser decided not to fill the vacancy.

“A challenge I accepted from the previous city council was to shrink the deficit budget, so I started looking into the spending by each department. When looking over some of the departments and speaking with employees, I felt we were overstaffed in one area—the tax department,” Closser said at the Jan. 7 city council meeting.

Closser said he met with the two remaining employees in the department, Amy Marsh, the assistant tax director, and Tina Boggs, both of whom are full-time. After discussions with them and new safety-service director Joe Mosier, he decided not to appoint a new tax director.

“I have the utmost confidence in those two ladies and feel that with their skills and work ethic, they will be able to run that department to my high standards without a tax director,” Closser said. “This was not an easy decision for me but after all of the facts were laid out, I felt that this is the right move for the city.”

The move will save $72,172 in salary and benefits expenses, reducing the city’s deficit budget from $333,000 to under $261,000.

“I appreciate you coming in on Day One and lowering that, and I look forward to lowering it even more,” said councilman Trint Hatt.

Courter served as London’s tax director for over 11 years. He submitted his resignation letter to former mayor David Eades on Dec. 7. In it, he wrote the following about the job and his decision to leave: “It has been a challenge that I readily accepted and feel that during this time we have improved the services provided to the community by the income tax department. As you conclude your service to London, I will do likewise.”

Other goals

Closser also talked about his goals to open the lines of communication with employees, government officials, businesses and citizens, as well as to curb the drug problem in town, strengthen the workforce and pursue new businesses.

“I’ve taken meetings on all these issues…and I’m putting together a game plan to accomplish these goals,” he said.

Councilman Rex Castle said he had “anxiously awaited this day for the new administration to come in.” He challenged Closser and Mosier to make progress on two particular issues. One is to enforce the city’s new law against unmanned donation bins. The other is to put all city offices into the former primary school building on Walnut Street.

“I look forward to having a city hall that’s a one-stop shop for citizens,” Castle said.

Appointments

Closser made the following appointments to various city boards and commissions:

  • Jason Schwaderer—Board of Zoning Appeals, term expiring Dec. 31, 2020;
  • Phil Taylor—Historic District Review Board, term expiring Dec. 31, 2018;
  • Bryan Shoemaker—Recreation Commission, term expiring Dec. 31, 2018;
  • Bill Beathard—Civil Service Com-mission, term expiring Dec. 31, 2021;
  • Bill Long—Tree Commission, term expiring Dec. 31, 2019; and
  • Bryan Howard—Tree Commission, term expiring Dec. 31, 2019.

Jennifer Hitt, newly elected council president, also made council committee appointments as follows:

  • Personnel and finance—Chairman Rex Castle, Trint Hatt and Brenda Russell;
  • Public safety—Chairman Trint Hatt, Dick Minner and Megan Douglas; and
  • Public services, parks and recreation, and streets—Chairman Josh Peters, Lora Long and Brenda Russell.

The next regular meeting of London city council will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 in city council chambers, 6 E. Second St., London. For more information about coun-cil or city services, call the administration offices at (740) 852-3243.

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