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McQuillan raises questions at Geneva budget hearing

Officials contend website was updated with correct information

GENEVA – Aldermen approved Geneva’s 2013-14 budget Monday, but not before failed mayoral hopeful Bob McQuillan challenged officials on the budget’s accuracy and presentation.

McQuillan, who lost to incumbent Mayor Kevin Burns last week, also asked aldermen not to approve the budget. After the budget hearing, aldermen approved it 8-0; 3rd Ward Alderman Dawn Vogelsberg was absent.

The budget plan covers $83.7 million in spending and $85.1 million in revenue. 

McQuillan questioned whether it was a balanced budget, saying online information listed revenue of just under $80 million.

“I’m reading off the page I printed off the website,” said McQuillan, referring to the city’s budget summary. “Your total expectation of revenue is $79,676,862, and your expected expenditures are $83,698,248. So somebody’s wrong.”

Burns said the correct revenue projection is $85.1 million.

“The spreadsheets are correct,” City Administrator Mary McKittrick said.

“Why is this on the website?” asked McQuillan, referring to incorrect information.

Assistant City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said the budget was updated online because all the numbers were not correct.

“The first budget put on the website for the taxpayers was incorrect,” McQuillan said.

“And a week later, the correct budget was put up when they recommended it to be set for a public hearing,” Dawkins said. “The correct budget has been on the website for the past 15 days and at the library and at City Hall.”

“When were the taxpayers told that there was a change in the budget on the website … or did you just change it and not let anybody know?” McQuillan asked. “Was there an email sent out? Why not?”

Burns cautioned McQuillan to calm down.

“Deep breaths, man,” Burns said. “We’re all taxpayers. ... Information is updated regularly on the website. If we sent an email every time we updated the website, people would be flooded with emails.”

Burns suggested that those who want to know what is going on at City Hall check the website constantly or contact their representative.

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