Meridian, Miss. Public Works Director Hugh Smith brought his proposed budget to the Meridian City Council Wednesday morning, and just like all other department heads will have to do later this week, answered question after question about exactly what he wants to use his portion of the city's budget on. Ward 5 Councilman Randy Hammon says that he understands that each department head is trying to get enough money in their budget to accomplish their goals. He also adds that due to spending in the past, that may not be feasible, but they're trying to do their best.
"My goal, and I believe the other council members' goals are to have a balanced budget and to ask enough questions to know where the money is going to, and to get some of this money back out to the taxpayers."
Smith, in his first year as Public Works Director, says he's gone through previous budgets to see how he can best allocate the money he's given to better serve the citizens.
"I've cut a lot of the department expenditures to the bone, so a lot of the areas I'm even cautious about, but the whole idea was to allow for improvements with the employees and more equipment."
Although the discussion may have gotten a little heated at times, Hammon looks forward to seeing how each department head tweaks their budget, so everyone has the money to do things crucial to moving the city forward.
"This is just the first of many, and once those come in, we'll decide which ones will be within their budget and we're going to approve, and which ones will have to cut."
After more meetings, the City Council will approve a balanced budget based on how much money is coming into and going out of the city.