Rog asks Rhinelander council to review invoices more closely
New council member sworn in for District 3
By Ken Krall
Rhinelander alderperson Dawn Rog Monday night made a passionate plea for all members of the common council take a sharp look at the month’s bills and invoices.
A motion to review one month’s invoices was set aside until next meeting.
A dispute erupted recently over some office furniture purchased by City Administrator Daniel Guild. The past practice was to have the Finance committee review expenditures of this type and recommend them to the council for approval.
Rog said the office furniture line item was far over budget, but city finance director Wendi Bixby said while the individual line item was over budget, the city overall was still within the legally adopted budget.
But Rog, who had been on the former city finance committee, was hoping to impress on the full council, that since they moved to a council of the whole to review the bills, that they needed to take a much closer look at those line items to close out 2018 bills.
“I think it is time the city council pay attention to the checks being written and the bills being paid, and not just scribble your name on a piece of paper,” Rog said. “You need to take the time. If we’re not going to have a finance committee that meets once a month, and we’re going to be the finance committee as a council of the whole, here’s your chance. This is your chance. Let’s start at the beginning of the year and take spending taxpayer’s money seriously.”
A motion was approved to have the January, 2019 invoices held until the next meeting in two weeks, so the council could review the items in question. Council member Steve Sauer said the decision to move away from the committee system could result in some growing pains, but overall favored the change.
In other action, the council approved a recommendation by Mayor Chris Frederickson to have Lee Emmer fill the empty district 3 council seat that has been vacant since the resignation of Sherrie Belliveau.