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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Mayor frustrated by finances

  • Mayor Ed Langendoerfer was frustrated during and after Monday night's regular meeting of borough council.


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  • — Mayor Ed Langendoerfer was frustrated during and after Monday night's regular meeting of borough council.

    The mayor's frustration stems of what he says is an inability to get any solid answers about the current financial state of affairs within the budget.

    During the meeting, he asked a question about the $400,000 which the borough had to borrow in order to make up a deficit in last year's budget. It was a controversial decision and one which was upheld in the courts.

    But Langendoerfer said he has yet to hear an accounting of just how that money is being used and how much of it has been spent, if any.

    "It think it should be on the treasurer's report," said the mayor.

    When he asked about it at the meeting, he still did not receive an answer.

    Finance committee chairman Scott Smith was not at the meeting nor was board president F.J. Monaghan.

    Borough secretary Judy Poltanis said she "didn't know how to read" the report generated by borough treasurer Karen Breidenstein.

    She told the mayor he needs "to talk to her about that report."

    Langendoerfer said he thinks the council needs to address this issue immediately.

    "I want to know how much is left and if we use it this year, that's a problem," said the mayor.

    The mayor also questioned a line item designated to police pensions. That line item showed a $25,000 payment, but the report also showed it had not been included in the budget.

    Again, Poltanis said it was Smith who developed and input the budget into the computer system so she did not have an answer to the question.

    The mayor said because it shows the expense in the police budget, it makes it appear the department is over budget.

    Poltanis told Langendoerfer he would have to discuss the matter with Smith.

    After the meeting, the mayor said he had made requests about these issues to borough hall a few times but has received no response.

    He also said after the meeting the borough is going to have to deal with the issue of the pool. The budget shows $45,000 has been spent on the pool this season.

    During the parks and recreation report, chairman Mike Slish said the borough has received around $16,500 in donations for the pool.

    But the mayor says that still leaves a big deficit and he wants to know how the borough is going to meet its obligations for the year. He is also concerned that if the borough can't meet its obligations, the council may have to raise taxes once again, something he said should not happen.

    In an interview after the meeting, the mayor said he thinks the borough should go back to having two meetings a month because of the many financial questions.

    He believes the first meeting of the month should be the regular monthly meeting.

    The second meeting, said the mayor, should focus on the budget, including purchases requested by the various departments. He believes no action should take place at that meeting but the budget could be scrutinized, line by line if necessary, in order to get a clearer financial picture.

    The council did meet twice a month at the beginning of this year but then changed the meetings back to monthly.

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