Balanced budget requires commitment

Posted 6/11/18

Money. While it has been said that “the love of it is the root of all evil," there are also untold amounts of good that can be achieved by the proper use of this same object of currency.Last week …

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Balanced budget requires commitment


Money. While it has been said that “the love of it is the root of all evil," there are also untold amounts of good that can be achieved by the proper use of this same object of currency.

Last week (Monday, June 4) I was able to present my budget plans for funding Bradley County government operations without a tax increase to the Bradley County Commission and also to the public through the news media that covered this portion of the commission meeting. Last Thursday, the Bradley County Commission’s Finance Committee, the Bradley County Finance director and multiple Bradley County agencies and departments discussed in further detail the specifics of their individual budget proposals.

 It is impossible to fully describe the complete budget process as if all government should be run like a family budget, as a few departments and specific line items are indeed mandated by either federal or state law, and sometimes by both!

In my opinion, the overall aspect of the Bradley County budget, has been, is and hopefully always will be seen as a sacred trust to spend wisely each dollar that is entrusted to us by our employers, the hard-working Bradley County citizens.

 This year more than $150 million will have had each dollar discussed many times, and will be allocated to more than 70 different and essential departments and offices all across Bradley County.

There are many businesses, and a few individuals, who have more revenue to account for within the boundaries of Bradley County. There are also many businesses and individuals who may have less money to account for, but we all have the same responsibilities to ensure that each dollar is not only spent wisely, but that a “paper trail” and accounting procedures are in place to document how each dollar was spent.

Last year, almost 50,000 invoices were not only paid, but also reconciled within the Bradley County Finance Department by two employees. This is a process that is duplicated over and over and over again in every office across Bradley County government. Literally massive amounts of work are systematically processed by professionals that seek to do their best for those that they serve each and every day.

As Bradley County mayor, one of my duties is to serve as Bradley County’s chief financial officer. This is a job description that I take very seriously, and is also one for which I also receive an occasional remark about being too frugal.

I also understand that while the “buck stops with me,” that it is not a job that I do all by myself. I have the great fortune of working with many wonderful people, elected officials, departmental leaders and dedicated employees who all help to make this process run smoothly.

We also may disagree on items, but I have yet to witness a long-term “discussion” that caused us to become disagreeable with each other. These discussions, this process and the outcome of a balanced budget each year that we can all live with is yet another reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best!


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