Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – Budget work sessions in the fall are normal for Augusta Commissioners, but they normally take place after the administrator presents the budget recommendations for next year. That’s not going to happen until Tuesday, so the timing here has some city leaders scratching their heads.
Interim Administrator Jarvis Sims saying he wanted to hear from Commissioners before they heard from him on his final recommendations for the 2020 City budget.
Commissioner Mary Davis: “You know we don’t have the actual budget in front of us, so we need to see where the money is allocated and really have those discussions about prioritizing different areas.”
The Administrator is telling commissioners there will be more money to spend next year, revenue increased by 5 and a half million dollars. He is saying he wants next years budget to reflect what commissioners want based on surveys they took in the spring. They listed health and safety, transit, and economic development as the top three priorities.
Commissioner Marion Williams: “This was okay. I agree with the survey that they did to prioritize some things, I didn’t exactly agree with the method that was done today.”
Commissioners will not know until next week, what is in next year’s budget but there are areas they do want to see included as priorities.
Commissioner Bobby Williams: “Blight, economic development and I would just like to see development on the riverfront.”
Commissioner Dennis Williams: “That’s one of the biggest things I have safety health and blight and that’s going to be expensive.”
Commissioner John Clarke: “I’m not looking to add a lot to the budget I’m looking to stabilize the budget by cutting it in some areas and adding to it in other areas.
The budget battles will begin in earnest Tuesday, that’s when Commissioners will hear the administrators recommendations for the 2020 168 million dollar spending plan as for this work session commissioner John Clarke calling it a waste of time.