BY TONY SONITA, Connellsville Daily Courier
Connellsville City Treasurer Bruce Jaynes said Wednesday that he will step down at the end of the year.
The announcement came during the city’s budget meeting.
“I told (Connellsville mayor) Greg (Lincoln) I gave it two good years, but I don’t want to be not coming down here and short-changing the city and not doing a good job,” Jaynes said Wednesday. “I’ve been thinking about it for a few months.”
Jaynes said that he recently got married and would like to travel with his family. He will stay on until the end of the year, but has turned in a letter of resignation. The letter will be acted on at city council’s November meeting.
“I respect (Jaynes) for not staying and just collecting a paycheck,” said Lincoln.
The city will accept letters of interest to fill the remaining portion of Jaynes’ term. A new treasurer will need to be elected.
City officials used Wednesday’s meeting to continue to fine-tune the preliminary 2017 budget, due by the end of the year.
The city’s focus continues to surround the city’s $10 per capita tax and mercantile tax.
“I have racked my brain trying to figure out a way to update the address list,” Jaynes said. “Even at that point, how do you send it out to collect it?”
Lincoln noted that the city needs to look at expenditures and issues that can be fixed in 2017. Among them, Lincoln was critical with Pennsylvania American Water for how it handles road construction to fix water lines.
“I know that South Union puts a timeframe on (Pa. American Water),” he said. “As soon as they start digging, they’re on the clock.”
Lincoln said the city should look into adjusting their contract with Hoffman Kennels, saying that Connellsville is overpaying because the state’s third-class city code requires a kennel of record and Hoffman “is the only game in town.”
In 2016, the city will pay $4,800 to Hoffman. Lincoln said he compared the prices with surrounding municipalities and found that Southwest Greensburg is paying $100 a month and $75 for emergency calls, well below what Connellsville pays.
Still, city clerk Vern Ohler said that he believes the city’s budget is well on its way.
“I think we’re a year or two away from where we want to be, but we’ll get there,” he said.
“I think we’re in good shape. I think the city’s in good shape,” Jaynes said. “Tying up some of these loose ends is a good thing.”
Tony Sonita is a Daily Courier staff writer. He can be reached at 724-628-2000, ext. 111, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.