AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta’s proposed 2024 budget calls for general fund spending to top $200 million next year. That’s an nearly 5% increase in spending. But Mayor Garnett Johnson wants to know where the bang for the bucks is.
“We still can’t deliver on some of the simplest things we owe our residents and our constituents, we can’t find a consistent way of cutting the grass, we can’t find a consistent way of getting trashed picked up,” said Mayor Garnett Johnson.
At a budget work session Thursday, city leaders are expected to hear explanations on every budget line item that increased by $100,000 or more.
“Just some justification why we increased budgets over $100,000… making sure we got all the questions answered that we have,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
The answers city leaders do not have is what departments budgets would look like if they were cut by 5% or 10%.
Mayor Johnson asked for model budgets reflecting those cuts, but it wasn’t approved by the commission. “I think we did miss an opportunity there because it would have at least shown the taxpayers that we’re putting forth a good faith effort as their elected leaders to show some fiscal responsibility,” said Mayor Johnson.
“Again, we never have these tough discussions about cutting obviously we had a five percent growth, and our budget goes up we make ends meet because of that five percent growth,” said Frantom.
Augusta leaders have budget question and some believe they are missing some important answers.