CORTLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The Cortland City council meeting Monday night could have been billed as an evening of change. A new mayor and three council members were sworn-in as the city heads in to 2016.
Mayor Jim Woofter takes the helm of the city after he ran unopposed in the November election. He replaces former mayor Curt Moll.
Woofter served on council and was president of council before running for the mayor’s position.
Also sworn in Monday were newly elected council members Patti Keller and returning member Dennis Linville. Linville was also elected president of council during the meeting.
Donald Moore was appointed by council to serve the remaining two years of Woofter’s council term. Moore was chosen by council among several candidates vying for the job and was immediately sworn in. Moore is the vice president of Midwest Trumco Insurance located in Warren, Ohio.
Cortland, like many municipalities in Trumbull County, is facing financial challenges to keep services up and running. Woofter said the biggest reason the budget has taken such a huge hit is state cutbacks. For example, the city’s road budget has been cut by one third, going from $300,000 to $200,000 in just one year and other cuts are coming.
Continuing services in the city at the level they are now is the biggest challenge, Woofter said. He plans to launch an educational campaign so residents know exactly where the city stands financially and what will need to be done to keep those services running.
“Our general fund is being hit pretty hard. We are going to have to find a revenue source to feed our general fund. Our challenge is not unlike anybody’s challenge today in city government – trying to find a way to finance services to residents. That could possibly be through some type of a levy,” Woofter said.
Woofter said he plans to meet in the coming weeks with Finance Director Fran Moyer. He said Moyer and the city’s finance committee will determine if and when a levy will be considered but could come some time in 2016.
A $5 license plate registration tax has already been implemented for Cortland residents to raise revenue, but proceeds will not be collected until 2017.
Woofter said council members Keller and Moore, while new, will be able to exercise their expertise in coming up with ways to move the city forward. Moore has been appointed to the finance committee and Keller will be part of a technology review committee.