This year’s “zero-based” approach to the city’s budget has made it easier for department heads to be team players.
With every department budget starting at zero with the requirement that each expense be justified, Mayor Robert Reichert’s proposed budget calls for no tax increase. But it would provide a pay scale for city workers by making them pay more for their health insurance.
With the economic times being what they are, department heads know they will be asked to continue doing more with less, even when they get a budget increase.
In fiscal 2010, Macon’s Department of Vehicle Maintenance received $1.85 million, but the department’s proposed budget for fiscal 2011 is $1.93 million, about a 4 percent increase. Even with the increase, there are items the fiscal 2011 budget won’t cover.
But that’s OK, Director Sam Hugley said.
“We like to be a team player,” he said. “The majority of my staff, that’s what they believe in.”
Gene Simonds, director of Central Services, which received $2.93 million in fiscal 2010 and is asking for $2.84 million next year, said he wishes he could get a new paint truck and a new line truck. But it won’t stop his department from doing its job, he said.