The Leeds City Council passed the city’s budget for Fiscal Year 2013 at its meeting Monday night.
The council voted to approve a budget of around $17 million, according to Mayor Eric Patterson. Patterson said the budget includes a four-percent cost-of-living raise for city employees.
“Every single department met with (council member) Charlotte Earnest, the finance person, and (business officer) David Coyne, for hours,” Patterson said. “They put in, between the two of them, probably 50-100 hours worth of work.”
The budget passed in a 3-1 vote. Councilman Johnny Kile dissented, saying he thought it better to wait until after the city’s next council takes over.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think we did our first budget ourselves (in 2008),” Kile said. “I think we should’ve left this one for the next council. I expressed that to them.”
All of the current council except Kenneth Washington — who was not present at Monday’s meeting, along with council member Susan Carswell — will not return for the next term. Patterson’s job is also in peril; he finished second in the August election, and will appear on the ballot opposite David Miller in the upcoming Oct. 9 runoff.
“I just asked them, it seems like we ought to pay the bills and keep the lights on until they get here,” Kile said. “But the mayor is fulfilling political promises, and that’s what he’s got a right to do. I hope the next council goes in and rescinds the budget.
“It’s stupid for us to (pass) it. Four of the five council members are going to be gone. More than likely the mayor’s going to be gone. We’re going to stick them with our budget.
“That makes no sense. You don’t care anything about the city when you do that. You just care about yourself.”
Patterson noted that the city’s budget is balanced for the fourth consecutive year, and lauded department heads for their work.
“The city of Leeds is up 11 percent in revenue during one of the worst economic times in our history, which is remarkable,” he said. “That is without Grand River and without Bass Pro’s numbers. The city is doing very well, and we have a very healthy revenue stream per person.
“Our finance people have done an excellent job of spreading the money around, and maintaining the city. And it’s reflected in all the different work that’s been done, all the projects going on – Leeds has come a long way in four years and we’ve had four balanced budgets.”