2014 Jefferson City budget moved to Council

Art Gerhard of JCTV films segments of a video for Fall Prevention Week activities. Gerhard has worked for JCTV for several years. The Budget Committee approved $55,000 funding for JCTV in the 2014 budget, which now moves to the full City Council.

Art Gerhard of JCTV films segments of a video for Fall Prevention Week activities. Gerhard has worked for JCTV for several years. The Budget Committee approved $55,000 funding for JCTV in the 2014 budget, which now moves to the full City Council. Photo by Julie Smith.

Amid continuing concerns about the tight finances, the Jefferson City Budget Committee approved moving the 2014 budget to the City Council level by a 6-4 vote.

At the final Budget Committee meeting Thursday, council members made a few last adjustments before moving the budget forward, including approving partial funding for JCTV.

Fifth Ward Councilman Larry Henry made a motion to take $55,000 from the city’s fund balance to fund JCTV, which he said roughly equates to a third of the station’s original city funding. Henry specified his motion was contingent upon Lincoln University and the station’s willingness to renegotiate their contract.

The motion was approved 8-1, with 2nd Ward Councilman Shawn Schulte casting the sole opposing vote and 4th Ward Councilman Carlos Graham recusing himself because he is employed by Lincoln University.

In a related motion, 3rd Ward Councilman Ken Hussey made a motion to eliminate the $5,000 line item for a part-time employee to run the cameras in the council chambers to allow the city to continue to stream meetings in the station’s absence. The motion received unanimous approval and the funds will be moved to the city’s fund balance.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll made a motion to remove $7,500 from the fund balance to allow for two floating holidays for city employees, pending council approval of a related bill Tuesday night at the regular City Council meeting. Several council members have expressed disbelief at the estimated cost of the floating holidays and the motion failed 8-2, with Carroll and Hussey casting the only affirmative votes.

“I think there is still a doubt that the cost will, in fact, be $7,500,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner.

The committee voted 6-4 to approve the budget and move it to the council. Carroll, Henry, Hussey and 2nd Ward Councilman J. Rick Mihalevich cast the opposing votes.

Mihalevich and others expressed concerns about how tight the budget is, and Scrivner noted he was uncomfortable with some of the funding choices in the budget. Council members indicated some additional changes may be made at the full council level before final approval of the 2014 budget is given.

The bill to approve the budget is already on the informal calendar of the City Council, which means it could get final approval as soon as Tuesday night.

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