GOSHEN — It was a fairly quiet yet productive year for Goshen city government in 2013.
From quick and refreshingly painless action on crafting the 2014 budget to long and drawn out talks about the possibility of a new deputy mayor position, the seven members of the Goshen City Council worked throughout the year on many different issues within the city, though none that really rocked the boat.
Councilman Ed Ahlersmeyer cited the deputy mayor position as perhaps the most controversial issue dealt with by the council this year, leading to a rare veto by Mayor Allan Kauffman.
“The deputy mayor position was interesting,” Ahlersmeyer said. “I thought the Republicans compromised to get that through for the mayor, yet the veto was a surprise.”
On the flip side, Ahlersmeyer praised both the mayor and Council President Jim McKee for their work on the budget for 2014.
“The input from the chamber and others involved was a catalyst to bring us together,” Ahlersmeyer said of the budgetary process.
For his part, McKee said he also believed the deputy mayor position and work on the 2014 budget ranked among the top issues dealt with by the council over the course of the year. Also included on that list is the council’s decision to take $500,000 from the city’s Rainy Day fund to help balance the budget, as well as the council’s vote to send a controversial $27.6 million Goshen Community Center project to a special referendum.
“There were other important issues,” McKee said, “but these were the ones that really stuck out.”
Councilman Jeremy Stutsman said he thinks the continued learning connected to the effects from the state property tax caps is one of the bigger issues the city faced in 2013.
“Since the caps have taken place and the economy and assessed values being down, the city has had to run very lean and we are always looking for efficiencies,” Stutsman said.