City budget hearing set Tuesday night

Published 11:13 pm Saturday, August 24, 2013

City officials have been busy working on a draft of next year’s city budget, and now local residents have an opportunity to chime in.

The mayor and board of aldermen will hold a budget hearing open to the public this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the city boardroom at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex.

“Certainly, we are hopeful to get as big a turnout as possible. I feel like we have done a good job with the budget, but we are always reminded to be careful stewards of the public trust,” said Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes.

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The city budget hearing will follow a board of aldermen work session last Thursday night where officials made preliminary notes on a draft of the 2013-2014 budget.

City Clerk Mike Jinks said he was pleased with the outcome at the session but is looking forward to getting the public’s input Tuesday.

At Thursday’s meeting, Ward Five Alderman Fletcher Grice praised city department heads’ efforts to streamline their budgets.

Grice and Mayor Joe Cox singled out the Water/Sewer Department Superintendent Keith Lewis in particular for his recent efforts to maximize employee efficiency despite dealing with a labor shortfall.

Now that a draft of the budget is shaping up, it’s time to get the public’s input.

“We are required by law to have an open meeting with the public,” Estes explained. “Whether people are mindful of it and actually turn out, is difficult to predict.”