Getting back on track — After leaders’ resignation, Mount Pleasant’s priority is budget

2012-10-08T06:22:00Z 2013-12-17T11:23:03Z Getting back on track — After leaders’ resignation, Mount Pleasant’s priority is budgetALISON BAUTER alison.bauter@journaltimes.com Journal Times

MOUNT PLEASANT — Following the sudden resignation of both the village president and interim administrator, Mount Pleasant trustees and their recently appointed new leaders are focusing on finalizing the 2013 budget under a tight schedule.

Despite the setback of losing both top officials in the same day, “We’re moving forward as best we can and as fast as we can,” said new Village President Jim Majdoch.

With under two weeks since being appointed to the job, former village police chief Majdoch has been boning up on the budget, getting as familiar as he can with the complex document due to the county before the end of the year.

Majdoch presided over the first of several budget hearings Thursday, where village staff and trustees vetted the 2013 budget’s first draft and listened to funding pitches from various departments. Although the budget process is still in its early stages, and subject to change, the initial draft suggests residents will see a slight decrease in the overall tax levy for 2013.

The final budget must be published and examined through a public hearing, then officially adopted by the board of trustees before tax levies can be set for 2013.

Majdoch said the next pressing problem is completing a mandatory audit of the village’s 2011 budget, which is already two months late.

According to departing temporary administrator Mark Morien, there are numerous other issues that the village must eventually address, ranging from the now-vacant fire chief position to the reportedly non-existent personnel manuals or pay and class plans.

The village initially hired Morien to help them seek a new full-time village administrator, but then trustees asked Morien himself to temporarily take the reins and address discrepancies that might otherwise deter a new administrator from taking the job.

Little more than one month later, Morien was out, tendering his resignation the same day as six-year village president Carolyn Milkie.

Morien and Milkie both cited board members’ resistance to change as one reason for their resignation. While some trustees relished the shake-up, others said that Morien made alterations—like moving the public comment period from the beginning to the end of meetings—without seeking the board’s input.

For now, Morien’s ideas for reform are on the back burner at best, as Majdoch and Interim Administrator Ron Meyer take the wheel and attempt to steer the Mount Pleasant through the current budget cycle.

Majdoch said he’ll be looking at the village in general, and finding ways to move forward despite difference of opinion between trustees.

“Different people have different ideas, so it’s a matter of talking them out and not creating a problem,” he said.

The Board of Trustees will meet to discuss next steps and current projects at 7 p.m. tonight in Mount Pleasant’s Village Hall, at 8811 Campus Drive.

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