Budget document brings out opinions

Posted 6/11/19

Finances. Budget. Money. These are just three of many words that are known to possibly cause an increase in blood pressure, emotions and also a simultaneous decrease in patience and understanding. …

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Budget document brings out opinions


Finances. Budget. Money.

These are just three of many words that are known to possibly cause an increase in blood pressure, emotions and also a simultaneous decrease in patience and understanding.

There are an untold multitude of opinions as to how to manage money, income and expenses. Two of the most vocal, and therefore also the most prevalent, are the camp that states the government should be “run" as a business, and then the diametrically opposed group that often states that it is impossible to “run” a government as a business.

I have strived to maintain the mindset that while there are portions of the local government budget that are “beyond our control,” there is also the ability, and the responsibility, to never spend more than we have access to at a current time.

This “tried and true” method has allowed me to produce, and therefore present to the Bradley County Commission, a budget for the past 19 years that has not asked for, not required, a tax increase in order to fund the budget each year.

The 2019-20 Bradley County government budget document presented by me for $163 million once again achieved this directive of funding most requests without an increase in your taxes!

Has this been an easy task? No. Working with others, we have been able to address the needs of new equipment, new school improvements, new funding in a systematic basis and all within a timeline that will not require a tax increase. You will hear the statement that we need additional funds now and this is the reason that a tax increase is needed.

I disagree with that premise, but I also respect those who have that opinion. My conscience is clear as the chief financial officer of Bradley County in that I have presented a budget that achieves the requested goals, but with a timeline that allows current income to meet the needs and a timeline that is no more than a few months different than requested. This timeline worked for Park View Elementary and Lake Forest Middle School. We now have those beautiful school buildings and we did it without a tax increase.

In a representative type government that we have locally, it is important to always be involved, not just at significant voting times. I ask you to stay involved if you currently are involved. And I also request that if you have not been actively following the course of local events that you become involved and participate by letting your voice be heard, on either side of this debate, before the final votes are made as if your money would be involved, as in fact, it is!

Please understand that the principles of budgeting are what is being considered and how we view the taxpayer, who is our ultimate employer — not the personalities and or viewpoints of those who may differ with our own.

I pledge that I will continue to represent my employer, the citizens of Bradley County, to the best of my ability and that I will continue to work with the 14 commissioners who are also elected by their employer, the same citizens of Bradley County.

This teamwork, the ability to have differing opinions without becoming disagreeable, and the participation of each voter is what keeps Bradley County as Tennessee at its best!


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