FLATWOODS, Ky. — Frustration was illustrated by Flatwoods council members, Lowell Gullett and Samantha Salyers when Mayor of Flatwoods Ron Fields requested an additional $518,000 to the city budget at the meeting on Tuesday. Fields said that without the funds he would be forced to shut the city down.
All members of Flatwoods City Council were present at the meeting, Kent Picklesimer, Samantha Salyers, Lowell Gullett, Carl Wheeler and Ray Sloan.
Fields asked the council to approve the $518,000 addition to sustain the city through the month of June. Five Flatwoods city departments would be receiving funds from the $518,000 request by fields would consist of the following:
Water and sewer – $253,000, Flatwoods Police Department $130,000, the general fund $87,000, the fire department $25,000, and parks and recreation $15,000.
When asked by Salyers why he was just now making the request for the large amount of monies, Fields told the council that he’d intended on doing so before, but was delayed by personal family problems.
Salyers and Gullet, fired a series of questions at Fields about how the above mentioned department expenses had been paid earlier in the year. Both Gullet and Salyers stated that it would not have been possible to have paid the department expenses, for April or May, and demanded to know the source utilized for payment of those bills. Input was rendered by Heather McKenzie, the city treasurer said the funds came from city accounts.
Extensive discussion came concerning money being spent in city accounts without council amending the budget. Gullett and Salyers said that Fields is required to first confer with council in order to make any amendments to the city budget.
The truth of the two council member’s statements regarding the amendment of the budget was confirmed by City Attorney Stephen McGinnis, who stated that the council would have to amend the budget before any spending is possible. Repeatedly, Gullet and Salyers said they sent numerous emails with questions on spending, overall checks and balances in which their concerns were never pacified. Fields said the easier thing to do is for members of council to come into the office for disclosure of any and all records and information, which would be difficult through email.
The city budget additions will be voted upon at the next meeting to be held next month.
Other matters addressed at the meeting was a motion to accept the resignation received from council member, Gray Tomblyn, who resigned May 24, due to family health issues. Bob Greene was sworn in as the newest councilman by city attorney Stephen McGinnis.
Additionally, Bobby Hall, PVA, shared a Pictometry program presentation, which is a mapping system that would benefit public safety, city a with the Mayor and council. Hall was seeking an annual contribution of $2,500 contribution from the council. The total cost of the program is $37,700, which is being divided among the other seven municipalities, as well as the fiscal court.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.