City directors gathered Monday night to discuss what they wanted and needed from next year’s budget, which will be hashed out in August during a three-day session. The meeting, which was held in the council training room, was kicked off by City Secretary Cindy Stafford.
Stafford started off by acknowledging the tough economic times and stating that she would be able to operate within the same budget as she did in the previous year. Although she can operate within the lines, she is hoping to get some other folks hired who could help her with the responsibilities.
She spoke to the council about hiring a county election judge, something she said would “streamline” the election process and make the election judging an even smoother process. She encouraged council members to speak with a commissioner about the hiring of a judge. She explained that Bart Greenway handles the elections for the county, but has not been given the title of election judge, which is something that both she and Gwinda Jones, County Clerk, feel would be beneficial.
She also proposed the idea of hiring a full-time information technology person to serve the city, seeing as the current system of hiring a part-time college student has its flaws.
“Our college students have always done a great job, but when they leave us, we have to take all the tasks upon ourselves,” said Stafford.
Nancy Hunter, Mayor of Stephenville, asked what the exact responsibilities of the information technology, or IT, specialist would entail and said that that was something the council could look into.
Stafford also proposed going to a “paperless agenda” system by using laptops and jump drives to deliver the agenda, cutting out the cost printing out hard copies for each meeting. She figures that the cost of the laptops, retrofitting the desks and microphone systems and installation would cost the city about $42,000.