At a special meeting on Monday evening, the New Carlisle City Council met and approved an ordinance that will abolish the positions of Secretary/Clerk/Assistant Tax Administrator and the position of Finance Clerk both of which are currently vacant. The ordinance allows for the creation of a new position for Assistant Income Tax/Finance Administrator.

City Manager Randy Bridge explained that the duties of the two positions being combined into one new position is the result of the city no longer needing the same type of responsibilities due to the recent implementation of new financial software that eliminates some of the duties of the employee.

The software will allow the user to complete tasks at the stroke of a key noted Bridge. The estimated cost savings by the reduction of one position is estimated to be $30,000 for the city at a time when the budget continues to be a concern. Bridge stated that the decision was supported by both the finance director and the law director. “This is a step in the right direction” stated Bridge.

Because the positions are under the union, the city manager will be meeting with union representatives to notify them of the approved ordinance. The position will be posted by the city following that meeting.

City employee Cathy Marshall expressed concerns for the wording “abolish” in the ordinance referring to the combining of the positions. She suggested that the city should keep the two positions and add the new position. Marshall was informed that the law director and city manager believe that it is necessary to “set up” the city for success.

Resident Maggie Yoakom spoke to council regarding her concerns for the estimated $220,000 in uncollected income taxes. She stated that she has completed some extensive research which she is willing to share with the city manager regarding employers in nearby communities such as Dayton and Springfield where residents are employed to identify those tax payers and have the income tax withheld from paychecks rather than waiting for individuals to file and pay the city income tax.

Bridge welcomed her comments and assured Ms. Yoakom that the new software will improve the collections.

Yoakom also questioned the collection of delinquent water bills. She suggested that landlords should be responsible for water bills rather than renters who often leave without paying the bills. Bridge addressed the concerns noting that the city will be looking at ways to improve the collection of the water bills as well.

Council Member Krabacher stated that the city has improved collection of the income taxes and has been taking those who have not paid through the court system. He noted that since he has been in office, the collections have improved and the uncollected funds have been cut almost in half.

Howard Kitko reported that during his short time as interim city manager, he established a relationship with the new tax administrator regarding the need to improve collections. Both Kitko and Bridge reported that the new software will be a big help for the problems and that training is being provided by various agencies familiar with the use of the software and the concerns should be resolved in a timely manner.

Council will meet in regular session on Monday, May 4 at 7 pm at the Smith Park Shelter. The public is invited to attend.

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