LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In support of City Manager Benjamin Eldridge
Published 1:09 pm Friday, November 10, 2023
The people of Buchanan will be fighting to keep our new City Manager at the City Commission meeting this Monday night. Since 2020, the City has had turnover in four city managers, three city clerks, two bookkeepers and three treasurers. This has caused great expense and instability to a city currently faced with a declining population, buildings and equipment and water/sewer with overdue maintenance and replacement issues necessitating higher fees, utility bills, and taxes during historic inflation.
On Friday, Nov. 3, Mayor Sean Denison suspended our new city manager indefinitely.
During the four months that Ben has been here, he has reduced the overtime fees of employees, which were over the top, brought the department heads’ debit card down from $5000 limit to $500 saving the city in overall spending, implemented clock in and out phone apps to better track employee time and justification for overtime.
He has increased the time limits on City financial CD’s to allow for a higher profit margin than before and no penalty if the city needs to draw money out for emergencies. He has helped secure Taco Bell from leaving Buchanan at the last minute. Probably most important is his ability to unite the community by making an effort to speak to individuals who have been upset with the city for a very long time, including downtown merchants, the Northside community, seniors, Republicans and Democrats. He is inclusive and diverse, a true hands-on city manager.
To remove the new city manager is premature. It will cause further financial damage and further damage to the morale of residents who need stable sails in a storm, not to be tossed back into the water.
Carla Johnson and Monroe Lemay