Move to get rid of city administrator fails

A rumor of dissension in the ranks within the Buckley City Council was substantiated Nov. 24 when council members were called upon to vote on the city’s 2010 operating budget.

A three-pronged faction of the seven member council – Mark McNally, Randy Reed and James Montgomery – told the mayor that they could not in good conscience vote for the budget as it existed.

A memorandum read to the council by Montgomery explained that he was both excited and frightened by the potential for growth in the city of Buckley. Excited because this prospect brings new life to a city that desperately needs it, and frightened because, “we are nowhere near being ready to both provide for that growth, and at the same time preserve the quality of life and small-town character that makes Buckley such a great place to live.”

Montgomery issued a statement in favor of eliminating the city administrator’s salary, noting that it is not fair to ask the current city administrator to carry out three jobs and have Buckley’s citizens wonder why things sometimes fall through the cracks.

Montgomery closed by saying that he wanted to amend the budget, to not include the salary of city administrator Dave Schmidt. The city council body voted against the amendment 4-3 and the 2010 budget passed by the same slim margin.

Sandy Ramsey, who will be leaving the council after choosing not to run for re-election, did not appreaciate the timing of the budget amendment.

“Moments prior to the vote to affirm the 2010 budget was not the appropriate time to take such a stand,” she said. This entire issue should have been talked out months ago.”

The budget itself spelled out how the city expected some $20 million in revenues and expenditures of nearly $16 million for a surplus in the neighborhood of $4 million.