Logan Mayor Russ Fjeldsted has backed off from his request to hire a $30,000 public relations director but says the position is needed because "the local media continue to erroneously report city government information."
During a Sept. 3 meeting in which the City Council bent to public pressure and decided to cut the city's budget by $600,000, the mayor announced he wanted the public relations director.The council had passed the budget earlier in the summer, but residents objected to raising property taxes, and the council decided not to.
Councilwoman Janice Pearce said Monday that spending more money to improve the city's public image would be "a public relations disaster."
The mayor continued to lobby for the position, even though the council was slicing hundreds of thousands out of its budget.
Fjeldsted said in a new release that it wasn't his idea but "the suggestion of some council members, department heads, employees and citizens."
Many residents are angry over hikes in utility costs and said at the Sept. 3 meeting that the city should cut the number of employees or their wages.
The council has decided to ax plans for park restrooms, sidewalk improvements, equipment purchases and remodeling of City Hall. The spending cuts are to be discussed at the meeting Thursday.
Councilman Russell Anderson said Monday that he worries Logan is just postponing projects until next year rather than making real cuts.