Porterdale City Council again did not have enough members at its regular meeting Monday to conduct business, canceling the fourth out of the last five meetings and putting off major budget decisions with the end of the fiscal year looming.
With the exception of a brief called meeting Nov. 17 to swear in a new councilor and transfer a liquor license, the city council has not mustered four members to be able to vote on ordinances, read proposals, approve leases and consider the 2012 budget since Oct. 3.
Mayor Bobby Hamby and councilors Robert Foxworth and Tim Savage waited at City Hall for about 15 minutes before Hamby dismissed the meeting for a lack of quorum. Councilors Linda Finger, Mike Harper and Lowell Chambers were absent.
City Manager Bob Thomson had prepared a budget presentation for the councilors to begin the process of approving a spending plan for 2012.
Porterdale’s fiscal year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
State law requires cities to establish the dates of a fiscal year and to approve a balanced budget for that term every year, said to Amy Henderson, communications director at the Georgia Municipal Association.
“State law doesn’t say what happens when a budget doesn’t pass,” before the beginning of a new fiscal year, she said. “However, the Porterdale city charter does, and it says they operate on a month-to-month basis until a new budget is adopted.”
According to state statutes, the city must advertise its proposed budget and hold one public hearing before it can adopt a spending plan.
If the city wanted to raise taxes, it would need to advertise the increase along with the new budget and hold three public hearings, the last of which must be at least seven days before final approval of the budget.
Because business could not be conducted Monday, a meeting was automatically called for this coming Monday, Dec. 12.
Thomson said Tuesday that he expected the city to pass its budget on time.
Aside from the budget, the council’s agenda included approval of an application for a Community Development Block Grant and reading of drug paraphernalia and property upkeep ordinances.
Newly-elected Councilor Savage was sworn in Nov. 17 to finish the rest of the term of Arline Chapman, who resigned her seat to run for mayor. Chapman and Councilor-elect Anita Rainey will be sworn in next month.