The council voted 3-2 against the reading of the proposed budget summary prepared by Lynch Mayor Bob Collier for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Council members Anne Carr, Bennie Massey and Carl Collins voted against the proposed budget summary, while council members Hal Woods and Johnny Adams voted in favor of the budget summary.
“I have done your work for you. I have prepared a budget proposal, which is your duty. You have it. Put something on my desk that I can work with. It is your judiciary duty to do so,” Collier instructed the council after the motion was not approved.
Carr then asked Collier about a financial statement that she thought would be given to the council.
“After the special-called meeting last Friday, you asked me to take a look at a financial statement that you had prepared. I thought you were going to give that to the council tonight. Was I wrong?” Carr asked.
“You were wrong, yes. I told you when I showed it to you that I was working the bugs out of it, if you recall,” Collier answered.
“I didn’t, and that is why I am asking for clarification. You do plan to give us a copy of that,” Carr responded.
“I do plan to give you that on a quarterly basis. That is what the law provides for,” Collier said.
Adams later asked if the city would vote on the old budget until a new budget was passed.
Collier said he would check with the city’s attorney.
“If he says that we can operate on (the old budget), then we will operate on it until you all get a budget. If not, we will shut the city down. So that is where we are,” Collier said.
The council also voted against a reading of the 2007-2008 budget amendment with Carr, Collins and Massey voting against the reading and Woods and Adams voting in favor of the budget amendment.
After the meeting, Carr explained why she voted against the budget.
“We have a lot of trouble understanding this budget. We have asked for questions to be answered by the CPA. We have been in trouble with the taxes and the past vendor bills. So we waited on the financial audit for the year. We have waited for the CPA explanation that we have been trying to get. I need more information before I can approve it,” Carr said.
When asked after the meeting, Collier said he was not surprised the budget reading was not passed.
“I am not really disappointed. It is their duty to furnish the budget. I did their work for them. If they lay something on my desk that I can work with, I will work with it — if not, I will veto it,” Collier said. “It is the same old grit and grind that we have been going through for the last year and a half. They are not going to change.”
Collier added that the lack of cooperation between the city’s elected officials could have a negative impact on the city itself.
“Sure, it hurts the city,” Collier said when asked about the lack of cooperation. “I can’t pay the bills now. I don’t have the money.”
In what would be the theme of the night, the council was split in voting against a reading of the minutes from a special-called meeting that was held on Sept. 16 by a vote of 3-2, with Carr, Collier and Massey voting no.
Collins said he could not accept the minutes with the various remarks made by Collier at the last meeting included in the document.
Council members Adams and Woods voted in favor of the reading.
“Whether you agree with the minutes or not, you have to put the minutes down as the things happened. It’s not what you want to hear, it’s what happened. It doesn’t matter what was said,” Adams said to his fellow council members.
The council did agree to accept a letter of resignation from former council member Tracy Bailey, who stated in the letter that she had to resign due to her new role as Cumberland tourism director.
Woods later made a motion to appoint Lynch resident Al Feher to the council position vacated by Bailey. The motion was voted down by a vote of 3-2 with Carr, Collins and Massey voting against the appointment.
Massey later made a motion to appoint Emma Smith to the vacated council seat. That motion was unanimously approved.
In other action, the council:
-- Announced that copies of the city’s canceled checks for several years have been sent to the firm the city hired to negotiate with the IRS;
-- Amended a code of ordinances regarding an identity theft prevention program to comply with federal law;
-- Announced there is a picnic scheduled for Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Benham Coal Miners Park to inform citizens about Kentuckians for the Commonwealth;
-- Announced the city has received $1,600 to be used for painting and supplies as part of the “Paint the Town” project.