Responsibility and accountability

Published 6:14 pm Friday, October 7, 2011

According to councilman Jack Cooley the vast majority of city management has struggled to stick to their departmental budgets as they are assigned.

All but two of the city’s 15 departments have operated over-budget and for each of the past five years, the city’s fire department has exceeded its budget.

Building Official Junior Booker and the Public Works Department, headed by Mike Baker, are the only two managers who routinely come in under their numbers.

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The root of this issue will become more clear in the coming two weeks. Emergencies happen. Things have to be fixed and things have to be bought. Missing a budget number for one year, or maybe two years, is forgivable assuming it’s reasonable.

However, three times or more over a five year period is hard to swallow without some concrete methodology and reasoning.

Councilman Cooley pointed out and raised a good question: What’s going on with the management of funds?

Living thick during thick times have left many struggling with how to survive during the thin times. Those thin times are here and with the budget current ending with red ink, a tough challenge is ahead to those who have not historically met their goals.