Review the requests

By: 
NLJ Staff

 

Newcastle City Mayor Deb Piana recently proposed that the Newcastle City Council cut 10 percent of the funding they provide to service providers that receive city funds. While we think that the proposal came a little late in the budget season, we couldn’t agree more that the city and other entities need to look more closely at their budgets if revenue outlooks are not improving. 

Funds provided to service providers, while important to those entities, should be reviewed on a regular basis, especially in times that the revenue is not improving. 

Piana told the council that she thinks the budget is just approved every year with no consideration as to where the money is actually going. Through our experience at the paper, we find this to be true. 

Every year the budget is passed out to the council and every year the budget is approved with little question from the council. These service providers should be required to provide detailed lists of their revenue and expenses as well as a detailed report on where the money from the city goes. 

As taxpayers, we have the right to know what that money is being used for, especially when the city is not the one obligating where those funds are going. 

Department heads within the city are responsible for defending their budget requests on an annual basis and fighting for the money to fight fires, patrol the city and fix our infrastructure, while the service providers submit their requests and only have to approach the council if they request an increase for a specific reason. In our opinion this is not how it should be. 

The operation of the city and the infrastructure within Newcastle should be the first and most important priority for the city council and the funds that taxpayers pay. 

Not all residents use the Weston County Children’s Center, The Weston County Senior Center or the Weston County Humane Society, yet every year tax dollars from the city are given to those entities with no questions asked. 

We offer our support to Piana and Councilwoman Pam Gualtieri, who both openly supported the cut to the service provider’s budget. While we may not support an across the board cut, we do believe these entities should be more thoroughly scrutinized before the funds are designated for the service providers. 

We also applaud Piana for making it clear that she did not care about potential “political ramifications” for proposing or making cuts in the future. Those serving in elected positions need to care less about those potential ramifications and more about doing what is best for the city, county, state or country. 

Category:

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