Budget, public safety top concerns for Milton City Council winners
Incumbent Tom Chesmore said he wants to focus on the budget right away, even though budget season is months away.
“It’s quite early yet, but … one of our top priorities needs to be getting our budget started,” said Chesmore, who was elected to his second term on the council Tuesday. “It’s going to be extremely difficult this year.”
Chesmore said the idea of cutting city services “scares him to death,” but the city seemed to cut everything non-essential out of last year’s budget.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult to come up with a budget that’ll work,” he said.
Tied up in the budget question is public safety, said David Adams, the newest member of the council: The Milton Police Department is understaffed, and the Milton Fire Department faces expensive needs in the coming years.
Adams said he hopes the two open police officer positions and the position of permanent chief can be filled as soon as possible.
Lynda Clark pointed to questions surrounding the fire department as her biggest concern. The city and town of Milton split department costs 50-50, but the Milton Joint Fire Commission is reconsidering the arrangement.
The city and town have to decide what direction the fire department will take, Clark said. The department might need a new station in the coming years, and some wonder if the department will need full-time, paid staff someday.
“We can’t sit on this,” she said. “We absolutely have to work together on this.”
This isn’t Clark’s first experience on the city council. She served two terms on the council before choosing not to run last year.
Clark, Adams and Chesmore defeated incumbent David Schumacher. Bruce Lippincott did not seek reelection.