Oregon City Council last Monday unanimously approved the city’s 2012 budget.
Administrator Mike Beazley said the city has held lengthy hearings with the Finance Committee “and considerable input from council,” on the proposed budget.
Beazley said $10,000 was added to the capital improvement budget for banners on Navarre Avenue since council discussed the budget at the last meeting.
“The budget is consistent with the discussions we’ve had in the last four weeks in committee hearings,” said Beazley. “We feel good in terms of a budget that will continue to reduce expenditures in a slow and responsible way, but will allow us to maintain our strong tradition of excellent city services.”
“I think the administration did a great job in preparing the budget,” said Councilman James Seaman, chairman of the Finance Committee. “And council attendance was very strong. I’d like to give a lot of credit to all our council members for taking such a deep interest in it.”
Some areas of the budget were reduced from last year’s budget, said Seaman.
“We did take a look at our overtime and some of the traveling expenses. Mr. Beazley and the staff have tremendously diminished the amount of money being spent in those two areas. That was well worthwhile. We’re looking do to more with less. No question about it. We’ll use cross training abilities in various departments. I think we’re making tremendous gains by doing a little bit more with less.”
Also at the meeting, council decided to delay an agreement with Bender Communications, Inc., of Toledo, for $13,021.20 to provide maintenance services for radio equipment serving the fire department. Councilman Mike Sheehy wanted to review a lower bid by P&R Communications, a local company.
Council President Tom Susor asked about the difference in the bids of P&R Communications and Bender Communications.
Fire Chief Ed Ellis said there was a difference of $200 in the bids. Bender’s bid was $200 higher than P&R. Bender has been the vender for the fire department for the last several years.
“We went with the Bender bid because the police department went with P&R this year, and I wanted to see how that worked out for them before we stuck everything into one vender,” said Ellis.
Last year’s contract with Bender did not include maintenance of portable radios, said Ellis.
“Portable radios were all under maintenance with the county. That is up now this year. So we had to go out and get a maintenance contract for our portable radios,” said Ellis.
Sheehy asked Ellis if it was his decision to go with Bender.
“It was my decision,” said Ellis, “but I did talk it over with Mr. Beazley. They’ve been a good vendor for us.”
Beazley said he wouldn’t mind looking at the matter again.
“I wouldn’t mind taking another look at it again. We felt good about having a local supplier. I know the police had gone with them,” said Beazley.
“I was really surprised that the police had so much confidence in the local company,” said Sheehy. “For $200, I’d like to go with the local guy.”
Seaman, though, said he understood Ellis wanting to go with a proven vendor.
“We want to continue to generate the competition between P7R and Bender because that’s what’s going to give us what we want, and we want good competition. I agree with the chief. Bender has done a good job for us for years. I think it’s a good move,” said Seaman.
But Sheehy moved to send the matter back to the administration for review.
“I think the administration is correct,” said Councilman Jerry Peach, “and Mr. Sheehy is correct in taking a closer look at the pluses and minuses between the two bidders that we have.”
Also at the meeting, council:
• Authorized city employees Joan Keckstein to carry over an excess of 32 hours in vacation time and Paul Roman to carry over an excess of 34.49 hours in vacation time into 2012. They are required to use the carryover hours by August 31, 2012, or they will be deducted off their vacation balance by the payroll supervisor on Sept. 1.
• Created a pay scale for the new city position of IT financial specialist to assist in the Information Technology and Finance departments. The position is expected to eliminate some of the costs associated with outsourcing particular IT services for the IT and Finance departments.