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Danville City Council Budget Work Session (3/8/16)

SouthsideCentral was at Danville City Council’s budget work session on Tuesday, and we’re going to tell you what happened in a very different way than anybody else. We’re going to do it in photos!

City Council members had a catered dinner at 5:30 PM and the meeting started at 6PM. Let’s go!

Budget Director Cynthia Thomasson settles in at the table for a long night.

Here’s tonight’s audience. You’ve got every department head whose budget is coming up for review tonight. City council candidates Sheila Baynes, Philip Haley & Madison Whittle are here. We’re not sure why Human Resources department head Sara Weller is here, but maybe she just likes torture.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Newman takes the hot podium first. Newman says that because of police body camera video, it’s taking much longer to prepare for court cases. He’s asking to add one more assistant attorney to his staff and he’ll get that.

Community Development department head Earl Reynolds is now on the clock. The only real topic that comes up during his budget discussion is the amount of money spent on the blight eradication program. City Attorney Clarke Whitfield notes that the job for the newest hired assistant city attorney (Corey Wolfe) is only funded through the middle of 2017 and he knew that when he took the job. Wolfe’s main job is to handle the legal process in blight eradication.

Marc Adelman’s up next with the Transportation budget. He tells the council about the $2+ million needed repairs on an airport runway then says that he’s received no complaints from pilots about the shortening of the main airport runway. That comment has brought howls of “Horsecrap!” from people at the airport who talk to pilots directly.

Registrar Peggy Petty justifies her budget requests by saying that state law is requiring new voting machines and she’s just about out of space at her existing office. So there. She’s going to get the new voting machines and will be getting new office space soon. She can “preparate” for that now. Heh.

Council also has a closed work session for working on the new city manager position, so Sherman Saunders wanted to cut the budget stuff off at 8PM so that the meeting didn’t run that long.

Information Technology director Inez Rodenburg is the last person to talk about her budget for the night. There’s nothing unusual in her department’s request so this one sails through easily.

The biggest news of the night was barely mentioned by Rodenburg. She said that online credit/debit card payments made to Danville Utilities will have no more convenience fee once the new website is rolled out in July. We pushed that out immediately on our SouthsideCentral social media channels and got a lot of positive feedback quickly.

And there you go! It’s the first time that SouthsideCentral has told an entire meeting’s story using photos… and it worked perfectly.

We’ve got more coming up here on SouthsideCentral!

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