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February 12, 2012Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 1:43 PM
I think I mentioned recently that this was the winter without winter. Once again I have been shown the error of my beliefs. Good people, it is cold outside! However, it is the middle of February, and spring can't be too far off. If I have interpreted the weather forecast correctly, this current cold snap will not last long. We live in Malden, Missouri and not International Falls, Minnesota, and unless you are a dedicated winter sports fan, that's a blessing.
I attended a memorial service in Sikeston this past Saturday for Rae Higgs. I was honored that her daughters asked me to say a few words at Rae's service. She passed away at too young an age. Rae was only fifty-eight. She and I became acquainted a number of years ago, and I can echo the sentiments of her minister who said, "Every church needs ten workers like Rae Higgs." She was a worker for her church, her family, and her community. I heard her say many times, "Get up and do something!" I sometimes say that Malden needs volunteers and Rae was a good one. She served on the Malden Housing Authority and was the first African-American woman to serve on the Malden City Council. As was said over and over at her service, "She worked!"
I had the exit interview with the city's auditor last week. The audit was done by the firm of Cook & Hamlin, LLC from Jackson, Missouri. The audit must still be accepted by the Malden City Council. I think it will be. There were no harsh criticisms of the city's finances. If anyone wants to see the audit or annual financial report as it is styled, there are copies available at the Malden City Hall. The audit covers the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.
Our community can, I think, be proud and hopefully happy that we ended the fiscal year with $788,889.00 in surplus. Eight years ago we had about half that much in the bank and it was not surplus. We are not supposed to run a savings and loan operation with your tax dollars. Our job is to collect the taxes and other revenue and spend it for the public good. Personally, I think you have to have a reserve. The reserve, by general opinion, should be about one-fourth of your budget. If the money we have spent on this year's budget is deducted, then Malden has about $680,000 in surplus. That number is very close to the one-fourth of the budget target.
There will be a special called meeting of the Malden Board of Public Works this Tuesday, February 14. The primary topic will be the possible sale or restructuring of our current wholesale power contracts. The cost of wholesale electricity is what drives the price of electricity on your utility bill every month. Please attend the meetings or ask questions of your board members and elected officials. In this case the truth may not make you (it) free, but it could lower your monthly utility bill or at least make it more comprehensible.
The Malden City Council will meet in its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on February 21 at 7:00 P.M. That is a Tuesday and not the normal Monday meeting. Monday, the 20th, is Presidents' Day, and the city will be closed for the legal holiday. Mr. Washington and Mr. Obama and those in between will be pleased. Mr. Truman might say, "Show up and work."
The financial report is as follows:
February 3, 2012
February 10, 2012
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From the desk of Mayor Ray Santie