ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Willard amends income tax ordinances

WILLARD - Should city administration officials or city council members have the authority to forgive uncollectable, delinquent income taxes? Council voted 6 to 1 to amend Willard's income tax ordinance, a small portion of which deals with uncollectable, delinquent income taxes. Larry Jacobs was the lone no vote, adamantly arguing that only elected officials should decide matters of finance.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

WILLARD - Should city administration officials or city council members have the authority to forgive uncollectable, delinquent income taxes?

Council voted 6 to 1 to amend Willard's income tax ordinance, a small portion of which deals with uncollectable, delinquent income taxes.

Larry Jacobs was the lone no vote, adamantly arguing that only elected officials should decide matters of finance.

"We're the only ones elected by the people," Jacobs said in a loud, clear voice. "We were elected to run the finances of the city, nobody else. I'm telling you right now I'm voting against this ordinance."

Council member Diana Olson disagreed.

"I believe this is an administrative duty given to the finance director and our law director," she said.

"Then we should give them the budget, too," Jacobs shot back and thumped his finger on the table.

The ordinance is part an overhaul of the city's tax code, which has been done over the last few months.

Also Monday, council voted 6 to 1 to implement the collective bargaining agreement between Local 4468 of the International Association of Firefighters and the city. Council member David Sattig was the lone no vote.

Under the agreement, firefighters will receive a 4-percent raise in the first year, retroactive to July 1, 2007, a 3-percent raise beginning July 1, 2008 and 2 3/4 percent, beginning July 1, 2009.

Under insurance, retroactive to July 1, 200, a single plan will cost $24 per pay period and a family plan $60 per pay period. Beginning July 1, 2008, a single plan will cost $27 and a family plan $70. On July 1, 2009, a single will cost $30 and a family plan $80.

In other business:

Council unanimously approved a check of more than $1,000 the Willard Moose gave the city to help develop a proposed soccer complex off Keefer Street. The donation is the result of the state's gambling laws that require such organizations to share their gaming profits with non-profits and local government.

City Manager Brian Humphress told council the annual city auction will take place at 10 a.m. June 21 in the garage portion of the old city hall, 2 Myrtle Ave. The auction's purpose is to sell off confiscated items, unclaimed property and other city equipment for which the city no longer has any use.

Council voted unanimously to vacate the section of alley way between 814 and 820 Myrtle Ave. Humphress said the land in question is only used by the property owners.

Humphress announced the city will provide dumpsters during four days over the next two weeks for residents to get rid of old furniture, small appliances, junk and other trash as part of spring cleaning. The dumpsters will be located in the lot at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Woodbine Street, and will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday and May 16 and 17. The hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

During those weeks the city will pick up white goods (metal appliances and cabinets) and tires that are set out in front of the residences.

Council voted 6 to 1 to enter into fire protection agreements with the four surrounding townships. Councilman Solon Kousma voted no.

Council voted 6 to 1 to enter into emergency ambulance service agreements with the four surrounding townships. Kousma voted against adopting the resolution.

Comments

rerussell74

Jim Jacobs must have been a pretty busy guy prior to this ordinance -- did he go door-to-door collecting unpaid taxes ?

Council in any town prepares the budget and sets the appropriations. Council approves the tax ordinances (unless they decide to actually ask the voters for approval). The Fiscal Officer and his minions, working under the administration, pays the bills and collects the taxes. It's called separation of powers, and fundamental to our democratic process. Diana Olsen got it exactly right.

Council, again in any town, can act like demagogues all they want, they still only have the power to pass legislation.

By the way, what the heck are "white goods" ? Boy, that ISN'T very politically correct, is it ? If I have an avocado stove (which I did until a few years ago...), would they pick that up ? Just wondering.

JoeSmo

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JoeSmo

Its nice to see an ex firefighter support the local deparment.Mr Kousma doesnt realize the importance of the townships being in Willards fire district. I really dont think thats the kind of people that should be running the city.