Joint budget meeting back on calendar for Tuesday in DeKalb

November 18, 2018

DeKALB – The anticipated joint budget meeting between the City Council and the Finance Advisory Committee has been rescheduled for Tuesday.

Fiscal Year 2019 budget talks have been rocked by controversy in the past couple of weeks.

Originally set for Nov. 5, the meeting was abruptly canceled after city officials said they discovered the city was not fully covering its obligations to pay for retiree and employee health benefits, and had placed $250,000 into the general fund which should have gone in the Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative.

Council voted Tuesday night to make an immediate supplemental payment of $250,000 back to the IPBC.

After the money mishap was discovered Nov. 5, budget talks were stalled while Mayor Jerry Smith made the decision to place now-former interim City Manager Molly Talkington on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, Smith has said.

After an almost two-hour closed executive session during Tuesday’s six-hour council meeting, Talkington was removed from her role as interim manager and returned to finance director, though she remains on administrative leave. Raymond Munch was named interim city manager.

Talkington’s lawyers claim Smith and city Attorney Dean Frieders removed her from her position in retaliation for her refusal to answer questions regarding a personal relationship with First Ward Alderman David Jacobson. Talkington said she felt sexually harassed by Frieders and Smith, both of whom deny her claims.

Talkington was the city staff liaison to the FAC. Neither the FAC nor the City Council were informed of or consulted about the IPBC decision, Smith has said.

The joint meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 400 South Fourth St. Agenda items include a review of both the FY2019 budget, and the 2018 property tax levy.

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