Wauconda mayor touts financial savings in new report
Spending cuts and increased revenues have helped create a record financial surplus in Wauconda, Mayor Frank Bart has announced.
The fiscal shifts created an unprecedented $745,000 surplus for the village in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended last spring, Bart revealed.
"I was very happy with that," Bart said Wednesday, the day after he delivered his first State of the Village report to trustees and residents during a meeting at Wauconda High School.
Village officials have amassed a smaller surplus during the current fiscal year, Bart reported -- about $356,000. That is the second-largest surplus in village history, he said.
The savings diminished from one year to the next because the cuts that were implemented are saving less money each year, Bart said.
Personnel changes were the biggest factor in saving more money, Bart said.
He cited the removal of then-Police Chief Douglas Larsson in 2013 as a key step.
Larsson was replaced by then-Sgt. Patrick Yost. Yost's sergeant post wasn't filled after his promotion, and that has saved the village some cash, Bart said.
Several other positions were eliminated in cost-savings moves, Bart said. One he's repeatedly touted was an environmental quality director whose job he's said was unnecessary.
"Each of these positions was a six-figure job," he said.
Bart's report also included information about businesses that have opened in town, the development of a special taxing district along Route 176 last year, and the plan to bring Lake Michigan drinking water to town, among other issues.
On Wednesday, Trustee John Barbini called Bart's presentation "a good report."
"I think it's great for people to kind of step back, look at the landscape of what we've done and get a glimpse of where we're going," Barbini said.
Bart was narrowly elected mayor in April 2013. His first two years in office have been marred by squabbles with trustees and the public over Larsson's firing, the temporary collapse of the Lake Michigan water plan, a proposal to shutter the village's 911 center and other topics.
Four seats on the village board are up for election April 7. Bart's term as mayor expires in 2017.