OUR COUNTY

Budget time returns, and that's a good thing

D. GARY DAVIS
Posted 3/12/19

Budget: It is not a bad word. Dave Ramsey has made a very good living by explaining to a new audience what was once best described as common sense to previous generations. Some "Dave" tidbits:• …

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OUR COUNTY

Budget time returns, and that's a good thing

Posted

Budget: It is not a bad word.

Dave Ramsey has made a very good living by explaining to a new audience what was once best described as common sense to previous generations.

Some "Dave" tidbits:

• “Spend less than you make, and save for a rainy day."

• “It does not matter what you make, it matters what you save."

• “Live like others won’t, and soon you will be able to live like others can’t."

• “If you have no debt, you can decide how to spend your money, not your creditors."

Last week, Bradley County once again officially dispersed the budget packets to more than 70 different departments and each of our elected officials' offices. Each one of these amazing professionals will have the majority of this month to calculate what their departments need to function, and also provide a list of priorities to be considered for the new fiscal year's budget.

After these budget packets are completed, they will be sent to my office by the 21st of this month. Copies or thumb drives of these budget documents will then be forwarded to the Bradley County Commission.

The commission's Finance Committee is scheduled to meet on April 15, and schedule budget hearings that will start on April 23. Many additional steps are included, such as my meeting with the county finance director and receipt of the Bradley County School System's budget beginning May 10, and then my budget proposal to the full county commission on June 3.

The month of June is scheduled to have the full county commission vote to approve end-of-year budget amendments and hear any appeals of the proposed budget on June 17. Publication of the proposed budget in the newspaper is scheduled for June 21, and the vote to approve the 2019-20 budget document, and to set the tax rate, will be on July 1.

This brief overview of the budget process for Bradley County has been provided not only to inform of the process, but to explain this one portion of my office.

As Bradley County mayor, my primary, constitutional duty is that of chief financial officer. This is one that I take very seriously, and also one that I truly enjoy.

Having watched over the budget — as well as the budget process — for years now, I can tell you that the full $140 million will not only have a place, it will have a function to accomplish.

This attention to detail is what I enjoy, and also earns me some “non-friends” on occasion. But, I feel this is important, and it is vital to our community, as well as to our continued growth.

I understand that “money does not grow on trees," and that we all work very hard for what we earn for ourselves and our families. This conservative process is duplicated on the county level, the state level and occasionally on the national level.

As we do not have the luxury of printing more money — at least, without going to prison — we are forced to “live within our means." I, and many others across Bradley County, ensure that this process is followed not only now during the budget process, but all year long.

This diligence allows us the opportunity to live in a community that strives to provide the service that we have come to expect and a tax price that we can all afford. Utilizing the continued growth of our community to fund our government services without a tax increase is a pledge that I have taken, and delivered upon, for each and every budget that I have presented.

With your help, and the amazing employees, elected officeholders and volunteers across Bradley County, this winning process will continue.

And in so doing, our continued growth, opportunity and advancement are ensured, and will continue to be part of what makes Bradley County ... Tennessee at its best!

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