City Council to Brainstorm Budget?, The Sentinel Newspaper

by Hilarie Orman, Wed Feb 2, 2011

"I'd like to a contributor, not a reactionary," said Woodland Hills City Council member Wendy Pray at the city's monthly financial meeting on Wednesday. She was referring to the city's annual budgeting process. Pray was leading the meeting in the absence of the mayor. "We've never had a budget brainstorming session," mentioned Councilman Jerry Johnson. City financial director Chris Helvey told the council that he and the mayor would present the budget draft in late May.

Council member Bob Fisher said that other cities would begin their budget discussions soon, and he would like Woodland Hills to do the same. "That's up to the mayor," commented Helvey.

Fisher also said he was concerned about the tax rate and its effect on development, a point also raised by Helvey. Johnson said that his tax bill was slightly lower than last year, and that in any case, the city taxes would not be a "deal breaker" for potential residents.

In pouring over the summaries of the city's finances, council members had several questions for Helvey about the meaning of the numbers, and Fisher said that he hoped that their questions would help future reports so that it would be possible to understand the picture "at a glance." Helvey expressed confidence that general items would be clear, but that the water system would always be complicated.

Johnson said, "A resident told me that the "Yeti" race would be held in March." It is a race from Salem up to Woodland Hills and up a trail behind the city for some distance, and then back down. The upper part of the run will require snowshoes. Last year was the inaugural running of the Yeti.

At the end of the meeting resident and reporter Vern Gillmore mentioned that the Spanish Fork Press was being eliminated from publication, but that he would continue reporting for the Daily Herald.

All material copyright The Sentinel Newspaper, 2011