(Atlantic) The Atlantic Community Promotion Commission is not happy with the manner in which the city council handled next year’s budget. Commission members claim they have always been responsible for drawing up their own budget and presenting it to the city council for approval. This wasn’t the case this year.
“Never has the city council presented us with a budget and I notice that there are quite a few items that we need to discuss that quite politely are being crammed down our throat,” stated Commission member Barbara Stensvad.
She was alluding to items such as a $5,000 entry for the labor for trimming the trees up and down main street, labor for taking down the Christmas lights, an irrigation repair bill for the center flower island that was never presented in front of the CPC for authorization or payment, in fact nobody knows who authorized the work. And finally another issue was changing the financial obligation to fund the Iowa Western Community College Design Technology program from four years to three years, which the CPC members say they had no say in.
“Those roles in terms of is that appropriate or not maybe is a discussion that needs to happen with the council or maybe difference in opinions does the council have the right to identify issues for community promotion in charge of that account and I don’t know, there is nothing that clearly lays that out,” said Harris.
Stenvad stated later on in the meeting that the purpose of the Commission as stated in a memo on June 24, 1997, the community promotion commission as an arm of city government is to create a structure to conceive and carry out an advertising campaign to aide in the growth and development of Atlantic. Stensvad says at that time it was using $25,000 or more annually earmarked by the city council from sales tax revenue.
“Pure, plain and simple, and those are the guidelines that this commission has adhered to. It says nothing about tree trimming, nothing about flushing irrigation lines, or labor costs, it is promotion,” stated Stensvad.
Those items would leave the commission with only $14,000 to spend on community promotions, not including the $42,000 they have in reserve. “And the strong feeling that I have received from the community, is that there is no money left for enhancement projects,” said Stensvad.
Doug Harris said that he would welcome the commissions input on how they would like to utilize their funds.
April 5, 2012
5:00 p.m. news