Wausau council debates budget idea - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau council debates budget idea


The Wausau city council is beginning to discuss next year's budget. Monday night, members voted down an idea that would have tinkered with the way the city accounts for staff.

Last week, council member Keene Winters proposed the new approach that drew a lot of heated debate. It was shot down by the council in a 10-1 vote.

His approach was based on budgeting for staff turnover. Essentially, the number of people that leave their jobs with the city and are not replaced. He estimated the change would free up around $700,000 dollars that the city could then use to cover a shortfall and lower property taxes.

But many council members said the plan was flawed and that it could limit what they can do with the budget.

"The indirect effect of this is that it encourages and rewards under staffing in a manner of speaking," council member Lisa Rasmussen said.

But Winters defended his idea saying, "So we actually do count on turnover right now. This would do it in a more systematic and less random basis."

Members of the council stated that they already take into account staff turnover when drafting the budget and plan to do so this year as well.

Budget talks will continue and a public hearing will take place in the coming months.


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