KENNESAW — A divided Kennesaw City Council voted 3-2 Monday to approve the 2014 budget, which has no tax increases but does include a rapidly-growing obligation to finance future retirees’ health care.
About 50 citizens sat through the almost three-hour meeting. Many spoke impromptu, cautioning city leaders to carefully tend to their tax dollars, which, last year, went to funding the debt-ridden, city-owned Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History and the pensions of city council members.
Sam Paglioni, a private financial adviser who introduced himself as, “just a concerned citizen,” spoke three times, and each time received a standing ovation from fellow Kennesaw residents in the audience.
He came prepared with a binder filled with the city’s financial reports from the last few years, and cautioned the council members to carefully look through the numbers before voting to approve the 2014 budget.
After much discussion, and assurances by city Finance Director Gina Auld, the council approved the 2014 budget, with council members Cris Eaton-Welsh and Bruce Jenkins voting against the budget, and Tim Killingsworth, Matthew Riedemann and Jeff Duckett voting in favor.