Common council holds first meeting of the year

Mayor Michael Villa presided over the first common council meeting of the year Friday, shortly after he and the council members were sworn in at a ceremony in the lobby of City Hall.

One of the first resolutions passed was to approve William Lorman as corporation counsel. The position’s salary was set at $45,000 per year with an additional “secretarial stipend” of $10,000 per year.

Villa said Thursday that Lorman will not handle any labor negotiations or code enforcement issues. Instead, those duties will be handled by the Roemer, Wallens, Gold, and Mineaux law firm. A three year contract with the firm was unanimously approved at the meeting. The contract will cost $48,000 the first year, and will graduate in cost by $1200 in each successive year.

The council passed a resolution transferring $2,000 in funds previously allocated to the Community and Economic Development Director (CEDD)’s position to a contractual line to be used by the mayor. Villa said Thursday he will not re-appoint Robert von Hasseln as CEDD and will look to transfer von Hasseln’s responsiblities to Montgomery County economic development staff, leaving the city position vacant. Villa said he will use the $2,000 to pay von Hasseln for his time in helping to transition his duties to county staff in the coming months.

Susan Alibozek was re-appointed as city clerk. Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Martuscello was appointed as deputy mayor. All current members of the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency were also re-appointed. In addition, various committee chairs and liaisons were appointed. (Click here for a list of those appointments)

A resolution that would adjust the salary of City Engineer Rich Miller was tabled. On Thursday, Villa, said that he would like to reduce Miller’s hours and salary, having him work three and a half days per week.

A resolution authorizing the advertising of requests for proposals for accounting services was withdrawn. Villa said he wants to wait to move forward until he and Controller Matt Agresta can have a meeting with Municipal Solutions, the city’s current financial advisers, in regards to hiring an outside firm to help with the ongoing efforts to reconcile the city’s financial records. Agresta said Thursday that with the recent resignation of the deputy controller, that additional resources would help expedite his work.

(Photos by Tim Becker)

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.