'Bring us something': Council talks budget — again

Cary Ashby • Nov 29, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Norwalk City Councilman Steve Schumm wants to see city adminstrators take another look at the 2018 budget.

“Bring us something,” he said during Tuesday’s work session. “If you don’t have anything to bring me, tell me why.”

Schumm also challenged Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan to bring council a “test balloon” — an idea for a levy for council members to consider.

“Bring it to us so we can look at it,” Schumm said.

Interim Councilman Dwight Tkach said he sees the city being in the “exact same position” financially when he left council in 2011. 

“We need more revenue, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “But you have to have plans in place.”

Tkach reminded the mayor that the city needs to work within its means, just as one would do for their household.

Councilman Chris Castle said the city needs some sort of long-term financial plan because “we can’t be here in another six or seven years.”

Norwalk Finance Director Michelle Reeder has estimated a projected deficit of $850,000 in 2018.

Norwalk Police Sgt. Tom Cook said it’s important to back-fill the positions in the department since “we already are down one as it stands now.” 

“Chief (Dave) Light leaves in January; we are down two (officers),” he added. “We need these policemen.”

Detective Sgt. Seth Fry said he is working the patrol now due to personnel shortages. That leaves nobody in the detective bureau to work drug cases since Detective Dave Daniels is teaching DARE classes twice a week and Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton is on medical leave while he recovers from knee surgery.

“We need to back-fill these positions to keep fighting this (drug) fight and make sure we get home safe,” Fry said.

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