Upland seal

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/12/15, 3:05 PM PST |

UPLAND >> More than a year after a Fiscal Task Force was convened to save the city from possible bankruptcy, only seven of the 22 items on its to-do list have been addressed.

City Manager Rod Butler said the city is moving forward with the recommendations, bringing the remaining items to the Council for direction in the next few months. According to his updated his list, the last three task force items will be presented at council meetings in June, and will address several issues such as reviewing the management of the water system, fire department operations, and possibly asking employees to concede more benefits and compensation.

“We intend to take it very seriously,” he said. “Now that the election is done, and the new city manager is on board we can really seriously move forward.”

The goal for the 10-member committee was to identify the top issues — out of 47 — that could help generate up to $7 million in savings to the city’s general fund.

The original taskforce implementation schedule was formally adopted by the council this past March was expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Martin Thouvenell, a member of the Fiscal Task Force, said he was disappointed the city had not moved more quickly on the items.

“It needs to be done soon, or the city will continue to be in the same condition that it’s in,” he said. “It could go right back where it was if things are not done quickly.”

Butler said the city remained committed to the recommendations.

“From the council level to our level we understand that there is a lot of work that went into that process and a lot of residents were attending the meetings,” Butler said about the task force process.

Butler is expected to ask the City Council to provide city staff with direction on a majority of the items between February and March. For example, a discussion on the operations at the animal shelter was originally expected to go before the council last May. The new target is between February and March.

Those items got off track as a result of changes on the council and executive management, Butler said. He joined the city as its top executive in August and Councilwoman Carol Timm was elected in November.

Thouevenell acknowledged those changes would cause delays but added some of the recommendations could have been handled before the turnover.

Thouvenell is encouraged that there is a new person on the council that could lead to a consensus on the dais and getting items on the list approved.

“Maybe I’m wishful in thinking that they’ll proceed with some of these issues — whether that happens remains to be seen,” he said.

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