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Council members approve budget, cut a job

After months of discussion and debate to iron out details of the 2011 budget and levy, Farmington City Council members were quick to take action Monday night.

The Farmington City Council took less than 10 minutes to approve the 2011 financials and eliminate the position of administrative services director Lisa Shadick.

Council members and city staff spent more than six months wrestling with the levy and budget documents, trying to find ways to get the most bang for the buck. In the end, a levy council members approved a levy of $8,565,982 for 2011, an increase of 3.42 percent over the 2010 levy.

Council members told city staff to trim $425,000 from the proposed budget, and to take some of those funds from a position. Most recently, the majority of council agreed they wanted a management position eliminated.

And so, it was.

On Monday, city administrator Peter Herlofsky brought two proposals to the council. One included the elimination of Shadick's position, the other decreased the budget without the cut. The latter option received no discussion.

Council member Christy Jo Fogarty made the motion to accept the option which, in part, eliminated Shadick's position and added $58,398 back into the budget for 2011. Herlofsky's proposal eliminated Shadick's position effective March 1. Council member Steve Wilson amended the motion, making it effective Jan. 1, 2011, and thereby increasing the amount saved to $78,400.

Shadick listened quietly as the terms of her employment was discussed. As the budget discussion was the last topic on the agenda, Shadick stayed at the staff table until the meeting's end, then left quickly without stopping to speak to anyone.

On Tuesday, Herlofsky said his recommendation to keep Shadick on staff until March 1 was a courtesy, to give her a 90-days notice. Even though there is less than a month until she leaves the city, Herlofsky said he has not figured out how to distribute the administrative service director's duties.

"I will have to sit down with the management team and assign these many duties," he said Tuesday. "It's still a work in progress."

Most of the cuts made in the 2011 budget came out of the general fund, mostly from the operations budget. The final amount of budget reductions totaled $470,841, according to finance director Teresa Walters. The debt service levy was set at $562,000. None of the budget cuts came from debt service.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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