Lawrence council hears finance presentation


The Lawrence Common Council heard a detailed presentation March 20 from Oscar Gutierrez of Carmel-based Bondry Consulting, which advises municipalities on best-practices related to finances, along with other services. 

A contract with Bondry will go before the Board of Public Works during its March 28 meeting. 

Gutierrez said he previously worked for the City of Lawrence and left to help the City of Fishers during its transition from a town to a second-class city. He founded Bondry about six years ago. He told the council that through his contract with Lawrence, he will work with city officials to establish a financial strategy. 

“I felt that bringing this to you early was important,” Gutierrez said. “What I’ve found is successful with most of the entities that we have been working with over the years is the communication between the administration and the council. Oftentimes, that communication is not there — a lot of mistrust happens. So, the sooner we can bring something before you get your buy in, and then start asking questions (the better).”

Gutierrez said his company would help the city determine how to work with the state’s regulations to optimize property tax revenue. He noted that Lawrence’s tax rate is lower than comparable communities and, while he’s not necessarily advocating an increase, officials should consider whether doing so would be in the best interest of the city moving forward. 

Gutierrez offered other suggestions related to bond debt and managing the general operating fund. 

Also during the meeting, the council heard from two residents of Mehaffey Street who are concerned about a nearby residential youth-care home that opened at a former daycare. They said the manager of the business is aggressive toward neighbors and drives recklessly through residential streets where children play outside. 

The residents said they have complained to authorities without any positive results. They asked the council to intervene. 

The next regular Lawrence Common Council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 1 at Lawrence Government Center, 9001 E. 59th St.