By Angelo Parlove, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saline Mayor Brian Marl gave his nod of approval for several items the city will look to include in their new budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which will be approved by city council in the near future.
For the new budget, the mayor indicated his support for a school resource officer (SRO), additional support for the Saline Farmer’s Market and adding another worker to the Department of Public Works (DPW). “I am strongly in favor of moving forward with a draft budget that has been presented by staff and discussed by city council,” Marl said.
Like he advocated in his January State of the City address, Marl would like to see an additional full-time worker added the DPW staff.
“My position has not changed,” Marl said. “I think if we’re going to be sincere about our commitment to maintain our assets and our infrastructure, we must have the appropriate number of folks on the front lines to do the work on a daily basis.”
The mayor also gave his support for an SRO with Saline Area Schools. If the SRO is adopted by city council in the upcoming budget, the matter, which would include a contract and a proposal with the school district, will then come back before council for subsequent action.
“If I did have children in the district or had a loved one who was employed there or frequented our buildings on a regular basis, I would feel much better knowing there was consistent police presence in our school buildings,” Marl said.
The third major item Marl supported was additional funding for the Farmer’s Market. “The market is a valuable community asset,” he said. “I think it’s critical to preserve that asset, but also work to enhance it.”
However, the mayor warned any additional funding earmarked for the farmer’s market in the upcoming fiscal year could be a short-term fix, with Marl and other council members suggesting the farmer’s market should pursue other measures, including additional fundraising, more outreach in marketing and recruiting additional vendors, in the future.
“An infusion of a few extra dollars is prudent this fiscal year,” Marl said. “It’s probably not something I would support in perpetuity. This is an issue I would like to revisit in a year’s time to see if the farmer’s market is on a more stable, upward trajectory.”
Marl and city council discussed the budget again at length during a work session on May 7. City council will look to adopt the new budget most likely by their first regular meeting in June.