(Posted Dec. 27, 2018)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
Just in the nick of time, after a series of special meetings and work sessions, Mount Sterling village council approved the budget for 2019.
“It is very important we get this done before Dec. 31,” said Mayor Billy Martin. “If this doesn’t get passed, after Dec. 31, we can’t pay any bills.”
After three readings, council unanimously approved the budget without any concerns or further discussion.
Also, during the special meetings, council passed several other pieces of legislation aimed at improving internal operations. Among them was a measure allowing employees to carry over vacation time and sick time.
“We are going to remove a section of a resolution previously passed saying employees can’t carry over vacation or sick time within a calendar year,” said Courtney Brickner, fiscal officer and clerk of council. “We are asking for approval to remove the section saying they can’t carry over time.”
Council unanimously approved vacation and sick time carryovers.
“I know the employees sincerely appreciate what you have done for them in the last few minutes,” Martin added. “That was a concern with our employees.”
Martin added that after the first of the year, village leaders will review the employee handbook and make updates and revisions as needed.
Council discussed legislation that would allow blanket purchase orders for reoccurring bills in 2019. The Ohio State Auditor’s Office recommended setting a $3,000 threshold on these purchase orders.
While most of council supported the proposal, council member Lowell Anderson said the legislation was not necessary.
“In years past, no such recommendation was given by the auditor to do this,” Anderson said. “Many years ago, we did not have to have a resolution to create blanket purchase orders. Townships, libraries and other entities can create blanket purchase orders without a resolution. It was already established by Ohio Revised Code.”
Other council members liked the idea and said it protected the village.
“I know personally I (would) like to see a record and that the controls are in place,” said council member Rebecca Burns. “If there were new council members coming on, it is good for them to see what restrictions and controls are in place for finance. I (also) like seeing a limit for the reoccurring type payments and this establishes our policy pretty clearly.”
Brickner reiterated that the auditor suggested the village put the legislation in place. After no further discussion, council unanimously approved the measure.
For more information about the village of Mount Sterling, to watch video recordings of council meetings, and for special events information, visit www.mtsterling.org.