With almost one billion dollars of your tax dollars at stake, the City Council is still waiting to see what this year’s budget proposal will look like.
Mayor Alvin Brown told Jacksonville’s Morning News earlier this week he will meet his July 15th deadline to submit a proposal. But right now, incoming City Council President Bill Bishop has received few details on how the budget office plans to make up an estimated $70 million deficit.
“At this point in the game they should have a better understanding of how they’re going to make it work. And if they do, they’re not telling me. If they don’t then that’s a real big problem,” he says.
He says this needs to be the city’s number one priority because passing the budget is the one and only thing they are required to do by law. One of the biggest issues right now is the growing pension system which both Bishop and the Mayor agree needs to be reformed.
“That is the biggest single driver of costs in the city budget,” Bishop says.
Brown says he will have a reform plan submitted by the end of the year and Bishop hopes that can be pushed in time to make it in to next year’s budget.
But for this year’s budget, Bishop is surprised the people he is talking to don’t seem to have all the answers they should.
“I don’t know who knows because the people that we’re asking that should know don’t have the answers yet,” he says.
Bishop has told me he is frustrated by the pace at which he gets important information from the Mayor’s Office. This is not the first budget he has waited until the last minute for details on. The actual budget must be passed in to law by the end of September.