Letter: Budget process questioned

May. 31, 2014 @ 11:03 PM

To the editor:

The Vance County commissioners will spend up to 15 hours in public meetings reviewing every line item in the proposed budget. The Henderson city council needed only three hours to complete their budget review. Why?

From my seat in the peanut gallery the answer is management and organization.

The city council meets annually to review, discuss and affirm the city’s mission statement. The county commissioners do not have a mission statement.

The city council meets annually to review, discuss and set key strategic objectives. The county commissioners have no key objectives.

Every resolution and ordinance approved or rejected by the city council is tied directly to one or more key strategic objectives. The county commissioners approve resolutions based on … the just because theory?

The city manager used 53 minutes in a special called council meeting to present an overview of the proposed budget linking revenues to expenditures to the key strategic objectives. The county manager spent 12 minutes of a three-hour commissioners’ meeting summarizing his 14-page manager’s message without linking revenue to expenditures.

The next city council meeting includes time reserved to listen to the public’s input before finalizing the budget. The county commissioners’ meeting Monday night includes a public comment period. On Tuesday night the commissioners resume their three-hour budget work sessions.

The city council’s work sessions begin at 6 p.m. and council members are expected to be prepared for their work sessions. Each of the five or six county commissioners work sessions begins at 5:30 with a takeout dinner, paid for by the property owners, before the official 6 p.m. meeting start time.

Any questions?

Michael Bobbitt