At the August 19th meeting of the City Commission, each City Commissioner gave their thoughts and wishes on how the budget process should move in the coming weeks, culminating with a vote in mid-September.
After the vibrant discussion, which referenced the input from a number of citizens interested in addressing the proposed 23% property tax, Mayor Gillum summed up the comments and gave specific directions to the city manager and the city staff. See the video below.
Mayor Gillum specifically asked for a budget option with no tax increase along with other options for the City Commissioners to consider.
On Friday, the city released the agenda for the first public hearing on the budget, which will be held on Wednesday September 16th, and City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson has ignored the Mayor’s request.
The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting did not include an option for no tax increase.
Mayor Gillum said in the August 19th meeting, “If we wait until September to get to it we are really going to be within a rock and a hard place.”
Well it is September and sources tell TR there is no budget option with no tax increase. TR, and others, have emailed Heath Beach of the City’s budget office and asked about the omission. So far there has been no explanation forwarded.
Is this part of a budget strategy on behalf of the City Manager Favors-Thompson, to put the Commission “within a rock and had place” as Mayor Gillum stated?
Has Mayor Gillum or any other Commissioners sought clarification from City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson?
TR will continue to investigate.