|2012-13 Budget focus of work session Mayor proposes no tax increase|
|Thursday, May 10, 2012|
The Gallatin City Council was scheduled to begin discussions on Mayor Jo Ann Graves' finalized budget proposal at their work session at City Hall Tuesday night.
“The budget I presented is responsible,” she said. “It plans for the necessities of ourcCity as determined by our citizens.
“The budget increases the number of police officers on our streets. It includes money for road projects as required by our contracts with TDOT,” Graves said. “It includes money for our match for the greenway as required by our contract with TDOT. The budget includes money for our match for doing drainage projects. At the same time, it gives our employees a 2.5 percent step increase and safeguards all of their benefits.”
“I think it looks pretty good,” said District 4 Councilman Craig Hayes. “The department heads all worked on it and have signed off on it, and we put our trust in them for their expertise.”
There are certain to be some changes as the full council digs into the details, but how much remains to be seen.
At-large Councilman Tommy Garrott said he would like to see quite a few changes.
“I'm going to try to put in some things that she took out and take out some things she put in,” he said. “We really need a new trash truck, because if it breaks down, it can really mess things up. And I'd like to take the $600,000 for the greenway out and put it in the bond (which the mayor has vetoed).”
“It's just a difference of opinion,” Garrott said. “There are some little things that aren't funded that we've needed for years, and if you let the little things build up, they lead to big things.”
Garrott said drainage problems around the city are one example.
“What she's got in there is what they use every year, and we need more to be done,” he said.
“I think she's been fair,” said District One Councilwoman Anne Kemp. “There are some things that have been cut (from department heads' requests) that I hate, but maybe around the first of the year we can go back and look at them again.”
“There are some things I want back in there and some I want out,” said District Two Councilman Steve Camp.
“It's just a matter of priorities,” said District Three Councilman Jimmy Overton. “It's a hard job to do, putting the budget together, and we all have our different priorities.”
The city has until June 30 to pass the budget, which funds the city from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
By Josh Nelson