N. KILBEY-SMITH/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
As Councilman Bobby Richter enters the La Vernia City Council chamber Aug. 22, Councilman John Richter studies paperwork prior to the special city council meeting and budget workshop.
Wilson County News August 29, 2012 3,775 views 2 comments
LA VERNIA -- The La Vernia Municipal Development District’s (MDD) budget for fiscal year 2013 has received the city council’s stamp of approval.
This was among the action take during a brief and businesslike Aug. 22 special council meeting, followed immediately by a budget workshop. The full council reviewed, briefly discussed, and approved the MDD’s budget and the 2013 operating budget presented by the Wilson County Appraisal District, then addressed the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.
A recent matter brought before the zoning board regarding Koepp Chevrolet prompted a board member to recuse himself, leaving the board without a quorum. This prompted the council to address the need for alternates to the zoning board, in the event of absence or recusals.
Mayor Robert Gregory advised council members D. Bradford Beck, Randy Leonard, Bobby Richter, Eloi Cormier, and John Richter that several city residents have expressed interest in serving as alternates on the board.
The council unanimously approved appointing two alternates, with the appointments to be made at a later date.
“They may never serve,” Gregory said. “They may never be called to serve. But we’ll have them should we need them.”
The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m., with the mayor immediately calling a budget workshop to order. The council, along with City Secretary-Treasurer Angela Cantu, Code Enforcement Officer Janet Thelen, Police Chief Bruce Ritchey, and Public Works Director Jason Mills, plowed through the city’s budget line-by-line.
Several items engendered detailed discussion, including technology. Ritchey and Sgt. Danny Pitts outlined the potential benefits of purchasing and using COPsync and WARRANTsync software programs for the La Vernia Police Department. Coupling these with programs from Hill Country Software, according to Ritchey, Pitts, and Cantu, could streamline some city processes, from traffic tickets to payroll, because they “talk” to each other, the council heard. At present, a single traffic ticket takes three people to process; if the new programs were utilized, the process would take only one. A conservative amount of $110,000 was suggested for this line item. Pitts also told the council the city needs a new server.
“The server is full,” he emphasized. “There’s a lot of records, actual live data, stored. It was there before I came here!”
Storage is needed not only for city records, but for criminal justice records, Pitts said, which require a secure system. Alternatives discussed included cloud technology, but city hall would need to go wireless for that, Pitts said.
Further discussions included employee compensation and benefits. La Vernia also may consider adding a city administrator in the future; this also was discussed during the workshop.
Another item on the city’s “wish list” is a new automatic reading system for water meters; with a price tag in the region of $100,000, this remains more a “wish” at this time, Cantu said after the workshop.
**La Vernia City Council special meeting Aug. 22
In attendance: Councilmen D. Bradford Beck, Randy Leonard, Bobby Richter, Eloi Cormier, and John Richter; Mayor Robert Gregory, Police Chief Bruce Ritchey, Code Enforcement Officer Janet Thelen, City Secretary-Treasurer Angela Cantu, Public Works Director Jason Mills, La Vernia Municipal Development District Executive Director Jennifer Kolbe.
Budget workshop attendance:
All above, plus Sgt. Danny Pitts, La Vernia Police Department; and with the exception of Kolbe.
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Enough is Enough La Vernia September 1, 2012 11:21am