Councilor Questions Mayor's Budget Estimates

City Councilor G.T. Bynum

City Councilor G.T. Bynum is questioning how the mayor's office prepares revenue estimates for the city budget.

Bynum filed an open records request two weeks ago for all emails sent by Mayor Dewey Bartlett and his staff about the revenue estimate for the current budget year.

The city was forced to make large cuts to this year's budget after sales tax revenues fell short of the revenue estimate.

"The reality is we're bringing in more money than we did last year," Bynum said. "We were given a projection that was far more aggressive than reality."

Bynum said councilors are frustrated they were told this year's estimates were off shortly after approving the budget.

"With all the variables at play it's impossible for human beings to predict down to the cent how much money is going to come in, so nobody expects that," he said. "But we do expect it to be generally accurate."

Bynum said councilors want a better understanding of how the revenue estimate is developed before voting on next year's budget.

"It's the most important number in the whole budget," he said.