Archived Story

Alderman’s idea seems logical for Natchez

Published 12:06am Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sometimes working together just makes sense, but mostly it makes dollars and cents, when taxpayer funds are involved.

Natchez Alderman Dan Dillard — never one to let the status quo rest unanswered — recently tossed an interesting idea out at a Natchez budget meeting.

Dillard suggested that funds earmarked for “maintenance” within the various city departments be pooled together rather than split out separately.

It’s a good thing to ponder.

Dillard’s fear is that if a city department head has dollars budgeted for maintenance issues but finds those monies unused as the fiscal year ends, the funds will be spent on non-maintenance needs.

The old government bureaucratic policy for generations applies here: if you don’t spend it, you’ll lose it.

But such an attitude, while it exists unfortunately in many, many government offices, shouldn’t.

In an ideal world, a department head would say, “Hey, I budgeted this money, but didn’t need it this year, so I’ll forfeit it back to the post.”

But such would be laughable to many public sector bureaucrats.

Dillard’s idea is simple: Consider having a citywide maintenance fund from which all city maintenance needs are paid.

The idea seems logical, at least enough to consider in earnest. Who knows, such working together could allow the city’s budget to stretch just a bit more without having to dip into the taxpayers’ wallets again.