Council adopts schedule to prepare spending plan

Published 9:50 am Monday, December 26, 2016

On the second day of the new year, budget-preparation packets will be distributed to the city’s management team.

Washington’s City Council, during its Dec. 12 meeting, slightly modified City Manager Bobby Roberson’s proposed budget schedule for the 2017-2018 budget. Roberson plans to present his recommended budget to the council April 10, 2017, with the council slated to ask questions about the budget and Roberson clarifying budget issues at an April 17,2017, meeting. The public would be able to review the proposed budget April 10, 2017, according to the schedule.

The council decided it would need two weeks instead of one week to review the proposed spending-and-revenue plan before bringing questions and concerns about it to city staff.

Councilman Doug Mercer said after receiving the city manager’s recommended budget — which contains several hundred pages — for the next fiscal year, it would take him about two weeks to thoroughly review it. He suggested the council be prepared to discuss proposed budget two weeks after receiving it instead of one week.

“These are tentative dates, correct?” Councilman Larry Beeman said.

“These get amended all the time,” Mayor Mac Hodges said.

“And they’re flexible, we’re able to move them around,” Beeman said.

“Sure,” replied Roberson.

“You can slide everything back a week and you’ll still be finished by the first of June,” Mercer said.

State law requires the city to have its budget in place by June 30 because the new fiscal year begins July 1.

For now, a public hearing on the budget would be set for early May, with the council poised to adopt the new budget in late May.

Roberson reminded the council that “this (current budget year) is the final year on a five-year (capital-improvements program). Roberson said the council needs to keep that in mind during the upcoming budget process and be prepared at some point to begin the process to develop a new five- or 10-year CIP. A CIP determines what major equipment purchases and projects are needed in the city and sets a schedule to make equipment purchases and implement those projects. Usually, CIP projects and purchases are given a numbered priority.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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