Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Weand Goes 'Outside' for Help Lowering Tax Hike

Attempts to cut spending and/or boost revenue to try and lower the 12 percent tax hike embedded in the $54.4 million budget adopted in December will be aided by two "outsiders."

While Borough Council President Dan Weand evidently did not agree with all of the personnel suggested by Councilman Joe Kirkland to the Ad Hoc Cost Reduction Task Committee, he did agree to put Kirkland in charge.

"You mean I'm going to be the head of the committee but I have no say in who is on it," Kirkland asked.

Weand, who has been on the finance committee that looked at the budget for months, indicated that Kirkland's assessment was correct, and said he wanted some "outside" people, those "not on council or staff" to also have a crack at the budget puzzle.

So in addition to himself, Kirkland and Councilman Dennis Arms, Weand appointed Finance Director Janice Lee and Utilities Director Brent Wagner, Weand also appointed Borough Authority Vice Chairman David Renn, who is not exactly and outsider, and James Smock, the head of the West-Mont Christian School in North Coventry and a former member of the Pottstown School Board.

Weand said Smock has experience dealing with "extremely tight budgets."

Councilwoman Rita Paez said she thought the ad hoc committee should have some minority representation, to which Weand responded he might be able to add some later.

This ad hoc committee has until next month to provide suggestions for borough council to act upon by Feb. 15 to reduce the tax burden.

Best of luck all.

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