Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2005

Beatty spends first week at job on budget

July 28, 2005

For most people, moving to a new place usually includes certain tasks, among them, drafting a new budget.

It's the same for Cheryl Beatty, but on a monumental scale.

Aided by city clerk Donna Oleson, the new city administrator spent her first few days in office tweaking and twisting Eudora's finances in the hopes of streamlining city spending for the next year. To accomplish her goal, she's been through a crash course in Eudora's municipal structure.

"I had to very quickly start learning what some of the goals and priorities were of each department," Beatty said. "It's been very intense."

When it comes to creating a city budget and settling down in a new place, Beatty's been there before. She managed the city of Kingman for eight years, and now she's making the most of a new start.

"It's nice to have a fresh new commission that has a desire to work as a team," Beatty said.

A draft of the proposed budget was presented July 20 at a special study session of the city council.

As the study session progressed, Beatty advised the city council and department heads on new ways of allocating money in utility funds, like electricity or waste management, to create a larger surplus.

Beatty's views also spurred talk of several items to be possibly added to an upcoming city council agenda, including a look at the money Eudora spent on hiring engineering consultants and a further look at the next steps needed to get a full-time fire chief.

"From the brief workings, we've had working together I'm really impressed with her professionalism," council member Dan Gregg said. "She really seems to be getting on top of things."

During Eudora's time without a city administrator, work didn't pile up, Beatty said.

"I think the departments did a good job of keeping things steady," she said.

Because of the urgency of the budget work -- perhaps a city administrator's most important task -- Beatty has had very little down time. The time she does have is spent looking at houses, she said.

In the meantime she's been lodged in temporary housing.

"I'll see my family on weekends," Beatty said.

This is also nothing new.

"When I moved to Kingman, I think we were four months apart (from each other)," Beatty said. "Lots of phone calls."

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