Due diligence needed with city budget

Published 12:08am Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spending $37 million should be done a little more carefully, so says at least a few of the six people responsible for approving spending plans for the City of Natchez.

Last week, some Natchez aldermen complained that the city’s 2013 budgeting process seemed a bit rushed.

Despite holding a number of budget work sessions, a handful of Natchez aldermen said they feel a bit ill-prepared to approve the budget at tonight’s meeting.

The problem, they say, is that many of the work sessions were at times that the part-time aldermen were working at their full-time jobs so many could not attend.

Better communication and planning could help resolve these problems going forward. Alderman Sarah Smith suggested aldermen should plan at least one meeting in which all of the department heads met together with the board to discuss across-the-board spending reductions.

That makes pretty good sense to us, as does working hard to ensure as many members of the board — and the public — could attend the work sessions as possible. Having those after regular business hours would be a good place to start.

Ultimately, creating a budget for the city is important stuff. A ton of taxpayer money is on the line, and taxpayers deserve to have their money spent with great care.