Warner Robins City Council members say they would like more involvement in next year’s budget, including getting it further in advance and hearing from department heads on spending requests.
At Monday’s pre-council meeting, Councilman Tim Thomas said he would like to get a preliminary copy of the budget 60 days in advance of voting on it. He also said he would like to hear from department heads directly about their spending requests and hold town hall meetings on the budget in each council district.
Thomas said he had discussed it with other council members and they agreed.
“We want to be more involved in what we are voting on,” Thomas said. “I know it’s the mayor’s budget and I understand that but once you hand it over to us to vote for it, then it becomes part of our budget.”
Mayor Randy Toms said he had no problem with the request but did not want it to be specified in the form of an ordinance in the first year. Thomas said after the meeting that he believes it does need to be put into an ordinance to make it permanent regardless of who is mayor.
The council currently gets the budget six weeks in advance, then votes on it prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1.