Janesville61.6°

Tax rate up 9 percent in Clinton budget

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ANN MARIE AMES
November 21, 2007
— After 17 years, Ruth Mabie is no longer the Clinton Senior Center director.

She resigned the position at a public hearing Tuesday night. A while later, the village board approved a budget that cut Mabie’s job.


Some board members hope the senior center’s board of directors will use $6,000 budgeted for programming to keep Mabie on during the transition.


The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the 2008 budget as proposed by Administrator Philip Rath. The $1.4 million budget includes a $703,831 levy and an $11.54 tax rate, which is an 9.3 percent increase over last year.


Mabie announced she would resign Nov 30. Everyone who spoke at the hearing criticized the board for proposing to cut her position.


“Yesterday, I counted 22 very sad, very depressed people (at the center),” resident Dorothy Case said. “I know there’s a money situation … But there’s a time when you do what’s right, not what’s financially feasible, not what’s the bottom line.”


The new budget cuts the director position, which costs $12,000 a year. The center will stay open, and the village will give $6,000 to the center’s board for programming, which it has not done before.


Rath defended the cut by saying Mabie provided little proof of how her position brought new members to the center or how many people participated in the center’s programs. The center’s board is available for leadership, and Rock County provides many of the programs.


Another issue is that only part of the center’s membership lives in Clinton. Many live in surrounding townships and even in Illinois, but only the towns of Bradford and Clinton contribute to the budget—about $200 each.


“That’s a donation, not a contribution,” said Clinton Township resident Anita Wildermuth.


Unfortunately, she said, seniors didn’t think to drum up cash from towns until the “crisis” hit.


Trustee Delores Hahn said the center’s board could use the $6,000 to pay Mabie to work until June until it finds a volunteer director or makes other arrangements.


“They have a choice,” Hahn said.


A look at the 2008 budget for the village of Clinton.
Total budget

Next year $1.412 million


This year $1.407 million


Percent increase .35%


Tax levy

Next year $703,831


This year $683,073


Percent increase 2.95%


Tax rate

(Per $1,000 of assesed valuation)


Next year $11.54*


This year $10.56


Percent increase 9.3%


Note: Percent changes calculated on whole numbers.


* This number is an estimate made by village Administrator Philip Rath.



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