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Mayor Tim Bala decides not to seek re-election Nov. 8

Mayor Tim Bala
Jennifer Antel

Wayland Mayor Tim Bala has decided against seeking another two-year term in the non-partisan city election next November.

Bala, who has been mayor since being first elected in 2008, said, “It’s time” in his decision to step down. He added that he plans to continue to do woodworking and volunteer at the Wayland VFW Post No. 7581.

He was opposed for re-election twice, but prevailed handily.

Meanwhile, Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Antel, who was first elected to her council seat in 2006, has decided to run for the mayor’s post this fall. If she wins, she will be the first woman to be elected mayor in the city’s history.

Phillip Reno was Wayland’s first Mayor, from 1966 to 1972, just after the community voted to switch from being a village to a city. He was followed in 1972 by Marshall Towne, then in 1978 by Donald Shafer, Linden Anderson in 1986, Mike DeWeerd in 1994, David Miller in 1996 and Burrell Stein in 2004.

Antel has been active in the community through the school and sports. She is Wayland Middle School track and cross-country coach and has been closely involved with the Rails to Trails program.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:

• Adopted, after a public hearing, the fiscal year 2022-23 budget that includes an estimated $2.659 million in revenue, $2.653 million in expenditures and a fund balance of about $1.5 million. The local tax rate will be 16.3607 mills.

City Manager Josh Eggleston said the biggest headache for the city financially remains capital improvements, particularly streets and roads. He noted funds the city has are not enough to cover expensive repairs and paving.

However, he added, “This is pretty lean, non-exciting budget. We’ve gotten to the process so there’s no blood on the walls.”

He said the city has about $417,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which the city will have to decide where to spend.

Councilman Rick Mathis praised Eggleston for his efforts on the budget since he arrived here several years ago.

“We actually have a budget that’s forward looking,” he said.

• Heard a presentation from Wayland Union Schools Assistant Supt. for Finances and Operations Patricia Velie about the Aug. 2 bond proposal, essentially for a new swim pool.

“We’ve resuscitated it, CPR’d it, but there’s nothing more we can do,” she said about the 48-year-old facility, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

She added that a new pool will bring back physical education swim classes, community use such as senior’s water aerobics, put youths to work over the summer as lifeguards, and have a positive ripple effect for space for band, orchestra, choir and computer aided design (CAD programs at the high school.

Also in the works are repairs and renovations at all elementaries and the middle school.

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