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Deputy clerk plans to retire next year

Deputy clerk plans to retire next year Deputy clerk plans to retire next year

Full-time replacement may not be needed, she tells committee

Abbotsford’s deputy clerk-treasurer, Louella Luedtke, told members of the city council last week that she plans on retiring next spring, and she doesn’t think the city needs to hire another fulltime person to replace her at city hall. The news was announced during an adhoc committee meeting to discuss the city’s 2021 budget, which could see a significant decrease in expenditures if a full-time city hall position was eliminated midway through the year. Luedtke is currently one of three full-time employees at Abbotsford’s city hall, along with city administrator Dan Grady and administrative assistant Erin Clausnitzer. All three were hired in 2018, when the city went from a full-time city clerk and part-time assistants to a full-time administrator, deputy clerk and an assistant.

According to the city’s budget projections, Luedtke’s total compensation for 2021 would be about $55,000, which includes about $44,580 in wages and another $10,500 in benefits.

Luedtke said she thinks two full-time employees can handle city hall operations, with Grady taking over payroll and Clausnitzer handling accounts payable and receivable.

“A lot of times she’s looking for things to do up there,” she said, referring to Clausnitzer.

Committee members decided not to change the clerk’s wage lines for 2021, just in case the council decides to hire another full-time person to replace Luedtke.

Ald. Frankie Soto said the mayor will need to know who is in charge of doing what after Luedtke leaves in case something isn’t getting done on time.

As proposed, the city’s 2021 general fund budget includes about $2.1 million in revenue and expenditures, a decrease from the current year’s budget.

On the revenue side, the budget calls for a total property tax levy of $918,864 — an increase of $13,579 (1.5 percent) over this year’s levy.

The city expects significant increases in the amount of money it receives from the state next year. Shared revenue is expected to go up by about $24,000, 5.3 percent, while transportation aid will jump by 15 percent or $25,000.

Anticipated income from the rent of city buildings was initially dropped from $9,000 down to $2,000 due to concerns over COVID’s continued impact, but committee members pushed it up to $4,000.

On the expenditure side, a few line items are slated to increase while others will drop significantly.

Election wages will be greatly reduced — from $7,000 to $1,000 — due to there being only one election planned for the spring of 2021. Other election-related expenses have been cut from $3,000 to $500.

Those numbers could change if a recall election is held against Gov. Tony Evers, who is being targeted for removal by a petition that must gather a minimum of 668,327 signatures by Oct. 27.

“By the time we finalize the budget, we’ll know if there’s going to be a recall election,” Mayor Lori Voss said.

In another part of the budget, fire protection expenses were set to drop by $25,662 next year after Central Fire and EMS reduced its annual dues, but committee members bumped up that line item from $77,612 to $82,000 in order to account for maintenance items at the city’s fire hall.

Other minor changes were made to the proposed budget, which the full council will vote on tonight (Wednesday) in order to publish it for review before a public hearing on Nov. 2.

The ad-hoc committee also reviewed water and sewer budgets on Tuesday.