To the Editor:
Let’s suppose that the city presented the 2017 budget to the Killeen City Council as in its final configuration. Then it would have been business as usual for the council. Therein lies one cause of the budget outcry. The council has insufficient management visibility of the city’s finances. The council needs charts depicting revenue and expenses for each of the enterprise funds, the general fund and any other. This data should be presented by year and by comparison between the years for at least the five previous years. This would highlight borrowing from “Peter to pay Paul.” Sources and amounts of revenue and targets of expense should be shown. The council must identify the problem.
It is obvious that on the whole, expenses have exceeded revenue. Look at this for each fund area and the sources of revenue for that area. Annual expenses rise because of the impact of inflation on materials used in normal maintenance, salary increases and the like. Then there are one-time expenses. Killeen has a new fire station with the attendant costs of building construction, equipment and personnel.
The bottom line is if we need to increase taxes, that there are absolutely no other sources of revenues to satisfy the expense demand, then raise the taxes.
Mayor, Council persons, please put the welfare of the city of Killeen above personal considerations and do what is necessary for the present and future of the city.