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Budget session nixed because no-shows

Tuesday's Ironton City Council meeting proved fruitless but Thursday's will not be a waste of time, as far as Councilman Jim Tordiff is concerned.

The council was set to meet for a budget workshop Tuesday evening but only three of seven members showed up, meaning an official meeting could not be held.

On Monday, Councilmen Bob Isaac, Brent Pyles and Jesse Roberts said they likely would not attend because of prior commitments and the failure to break any new ground in the many meetings in recent months. Councilman Richard Price was also absent.

Councilmen Chuck O'Leary, Jim Tordiff and Bill Nenni were present.

Prefacing that he consulted with the city attorneys as to the legality, Chairman Tordiff offered to stay and talk with anyone in the audience but no one decided to stay. So, he called a special workshop for 9 p.m. Thursday to continue to discuss the city’s $500,000 spending deficit, address the workforce shortage in police and other departments and replace dangerous equipment.

Even if council is a no-show, Tordiff said the group will still meet unofficially. As long as less than four members are preset and no two who serve on the same committee, the meeting will be legal but no action can be taken, Tordiff said.

"Even if there is no quorum Thursday night, you can tell folks that may be interested in coming it won't be a wasted trip. They can still have some input into the budget," he said. "Since there does not appear to be any support for the $15 fee, I may have some other ideas to throw out."

The council remains split 5-2 over whether to focus on cuts or to adopt some type of municipal fee. Most of the audience members, largely city employees and their friends and families, have urged council to do something.

Mayor John Elam thanked everyone for coming and remained positive.

"I don't think we are at an impassable crossroads," Elam said. "Š I think it is time we put our heads together collectively and move forward for the health, safety and well-being of the citizens of Ironton."