The Warner Robins City Council on Monday approved an amendment to its charter to require that it have enough reserve fund to operate for four months.
The city currently requires two and half months of a reserve fund, which has been used in recent years to balance the budget.
The council approved the amendment 5-1, with Councilman Mike Davis casting the lone vote against it.
In a debate on the issue in the pre-council meeeting, council members Chuck Shaheen and Tim Thomas were the most vocal in favor of the four months requirement, while Davis wanted to keep the current policy.
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“I think what we have is sufficient,” Davis said. “I’ve talked to many people, and I realize the importance of being financially responsible, but I’ve talked to a lot of people that don’t pay taxes for us to have a big bank account. They pay taxes for services.”
Thomas said mandating a higher reserve fund will encourage the council to take a stronger look at curbing spending.
“I think it’s time we start squeezing pennies a little bit, and this is how we are going to do it,” Thomas said
The council has been divided on whether to raise taxes to pay increasing costs, or to borrow from the reserve fund to balance the budget. The budget approved for the fiscal year that started July 1 was balanced with money from the reserve fund.