Re “New leadership needed for Atwater” (Letters, Aug. 23): I agree with the writer to some degree. The city budget problem did develop in 2009. Finance director Stan Feathers developed a 10-year plan to make water and sanitation accounts solvent.
From 2009-11, Mayor Joan Faul heeded Feathers’ recommendations. Motions to implement his financial plan were made, but the plan was voted down by a 3-2 vote. In 2009, our city had a $4,369,887 budget fund balance. In 2011, the budget had a $278,947 deficit, according to the June 30, 2013, audit report. Reasons were underfunded water and sanitation accounts (no funds for repairs and maintenance) and reduction in property taxes. Again, the importance of the 10-year financial plan that had been voted down 3-2.
The underfunded water fund had a deficit of $693,560 and the sanitation fund deficit was $788,498: a total $1,482,058. These accounts will take time to become solvent.
In addition, about four years ago council members chose not to accept pay or fringe benefits.
Bob Calaway, Atwater