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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

June 26, 2011

Posted Monday, June 27, 2011, at 9:59 AM

We met as your city government last Monday night and approved a budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012. We then, much to the chagrin of Councilman Dell, who worked so hard to make the budget balance, proceeded to bust it. It doesn't even go into effect until July 1. I have said before that the budget is just a roadmap. We are required by law to produce one, and it does make you concentrate on potential revenue and expenses for the coming year. Anyway, we approved the budget and then found out that we needed to buy a vehicle. The cost of the vehicle wasn't in the proposed budget because when the budget was completed, the vehicle had not given up the ghost or in reality its engine. Thankfully, Malden does have a surplus to cover these expediencies. We also raised the salaries of three positions prior to the fiscal year but after the budget was supposedly finished.

We approve the budget by city ordinance. If the information above sounds like something from the federal city we also amended the 2010-2011 budget by ordinance to reflect all the changes we made to it in the last twelve months. We will spend your money wisely or foolishly depending on your point of view.

The meetings began at 6:30 P.M. and we left the building about 10:40 p.m. The first meeting was of the Malden Nutrition Center, Inc., and its purpose was to approve their budget. The "Inc." is not the Malden Nutrition Center. The "Inc." owns the building occupied by the nutrition center and the "Inc." receives your sales tax dollars and sends them to the USDA Rural Development Fund to pay for our new nutrition center. That's the way the feds wanted it done, and he who holds the purse strings gets to make the rules.

The second meeting was of Malden Capital Improvement, Inc. That "Inc." owns the new police station and also receives your sales tax dollars. I will refer to feds, purse strings, and rules mentioned in the above paragraph.

The Malden Municipal Golf Course was discussed at length. I proposed that the City of Malden pay off those debts that we are legally obligated to pay. The total is about $36,000, and the monthly payments are around $2,500. There were no takers for that deal. My thought was to get this golf course question in some shape for maneuver (sounds way to much like manure). The city will have to pay at least the $36,000, and if we pay it now maybe the municipal course can survive. Maybe there can be some sort of shotgun marriage between the country club and the municipal course. There are a lot of "maybes" in there, but I don't see any progress being made to solve this problem. There is some talk of a 1/8% sales tax to support the course, and there is a strong feeling to just let it close and go away.

I instructed the city treasurer by letter that I would only sign checks to pay bills for the municipal course after the first of each month. I want to know their receipts for each month, and then I will pay first the approximately $2,500 the city must pay. All other debts including payroll are secondary. It is sink, swim, or make a deal time. I believe that men and women of good will can always solve these problems. Some kind of compromise is possible. Henry Clay was the U.S. Senator known as the Great Compromiser. Senator Clay said the definition of a good compromise was when, "All the parties walk away a little unhappy." Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need."

The American Cancer Society held its Relay for Life rally this past Saturday at the Malden Community Center. The Survivors Breakfast was at 9:00 a.m. The breakfast was well attended. When the group of people all of whom were cancer survivors walked out the front door it was a very emotional moment for those of us working in the parking lot. Cancer is still a dread disease, but it is no longer the death sentence it was in my past. I witnessed the living proof.

The financial report is as follows:

June 17, 2011Balance $1,386,328.62
Revenues $217,341.93
Expenses $377,567.65
June 24, 2011Balance $1,226,102.90


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