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Ferris council questioned about $271,000 reserves

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Staff Report
The Ellis County Press
FERRIS - A $271,000 reserve in the Ferris annual budget for 2008 caused concerns from local citizens.

During the public hearing on the budget on Sept. 24, former Ferris Mayor Scott Born asked the council why the reserves were not listed as line items.

Born said the amount of reserves equals about $100 for each Ferris resident. After the budget is approved, the council does not have to have a public hearing on how the reserves are spent.

Councilman Billy Don Dunn, also a former mayor, said the council needed the reserves for purchasing land and improvements of a sports facilty near the present ballpark.

Dunn said until the annual audit was completed, the city was not sure of it's actual finances.

Local resident Charles Hatfield asked why the city had to wait for an audit since the city had a CPA on staff who provided monthly financials to the council.

Councilman Bill Pardue said the city had been late in getting the audit results for the past two years and the city wanted to make sure of it's finances before spending any money on the projects.

The council basically scrapped the budget prepared by city staff in favor of Dunn's proposal, according to former City Manager Gus Pappas, who tendured his resignation at a previous meeting.

The council had high praise for Pappas's work as city manager.

When asked why he was forced to resign, Mayor Jim Parks, Jr., responded, the reason Pappas was not wanted by the city was, 'he did not appear good in public.'

Parks also threatened to force former Councilwoman Lori Perkins from the meeting for laughing at his comments.

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