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October 23, 2013

Jeffersonville's communications budget cut by 'mistake'

Council says money will be returned to 2014 budget

JEFFERSONVILLE — A tentative deal may have been reached to fund Jeffersonville’s communications department after the city council cut its budget earlier this month.

The city’s communications budget was cut out of the 2014 budget the council approved Monday on its final readings. The budget was submitted to the state and will likely be certified early next spring by the Department of Local Government Finance.

City Council President Connie Sellers said the removal of the entire communications budget by the council was an error.

“The only thing we wanted cut was the newsletter,” Sellers said. “I think we’re going to make a special appropriation next meeting to add that back in. I think we’ve got it worked it out.”

The council is expected to meet at its next regular meeting on Nov. 4.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore was upset when he found out the communications budget was cut. He said ProMedia is meeting the goal of what a communications department should do, informing people, and has black and white numbers that show the growth. While he agreed that he spoke with Sellers Wednesday, he said he wasn’t sure that a deal was worked out.

Earlier in the week City Councilman Dennis Julius sent out an email to the council that requested ProMedia’s budget be cut for 2014.

“The only other change I would like to make is for ProMedia,” Julius wrote. “I am not in support of $4,500 per month for social networking. I think we have cut the newsletter and I would like to cut this as well.”

Multiple calls to Julius Wednesday were not returned as of press time.

Dan Williamson, owner of ProMedia Group, said he met with four council members last week and gave a presentation as to what ProMedia has done to publicize the city before the 2014 budget had been completed.

According to a presentation given by ProMedia, the city’s Facebook page averaged about 35,000 page views during the first three quarters of the year and about 17,000 unique visits during the second and third quarters this year.

“My goal in coming in and partnering with the city was to cast the positive and there is a lot of good that isn’t always communicated,” Williamson said. “It’s positive messaging. My whole goal was to find those stories, get those stories and put a spotlight on them to let the people know there are great things going on in the city.”

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