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October 23, 2013

Jeffersonville's communications budget cut by 'mistake'

Council says money will be returned to 2014 budget



At the time Moore contracted with ProMedia in 2012 he said it should resolve concerns the council had cited about the position being under the administration’s direction.

City Councilman Bryan Glover, during the board of public works meeting in which the contract was approved for ProMedia, he said it was an excellent compromise that satisfies both the administration and the city council.

“They wanted to take the political nature out of the position, I think this actually does that,” he said in 2012. Glover, however, abstained from voting on the contract.

However, the cuts made to the budget, removing the communications department, were seen as a political move.

“I think it’s obvious, the council does not want transparency,” Moore said. “They are not interested in keeping the people of Jeffersonville informed.”

And Moore was not the only one who saw the move as politically motivated.

“For a city like Jeff to have such a robust communications initiative up and running for them, at such a little expense, and then for the city council to say there is no value to that,  it’s just mind-boggling to me,” Williamson said. “It seems to me it is very politically motivated.”

But Sellers said the council’s intention was to cut only the city newsletter.

She added it is necessary to have someone maintain the city’s websites, but added she would like to see the council address the quarterly newsletter.

“There has to be a better way to get that out because it’s very expensive,” Sellers said.

Zastawny agreed and said he was not pleased with the newsletter, especially the most recent version that was produced.

He added that he was obviously unhappy when the contract with ProMedia was approved and would like to see the city move back to having an individual employed by the city act as its communications director.

“[I] preferred an employee, because they were in-house,” Zastawny said. “I think that was missed with the contract with ProMedia.”

Zastawny, Sellers and Councilman Nathan Samuel were all members of the city council when the communications director position was first created in 2007.

Sellers said the city does need some sort of communications effort. “We need something,” she said. “I don’t see how we can just drop it.”


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