Metro Council reduces budget readings from three to two

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Each budget season, the Metro Council, Metro Board of Education, and other public offices play a game of beat-the-clock. Even though budget season and local budget committee meetings can begin as early as March, most Metro officials don’t get the necessary revenue numbers from state officials to be able to make meaningful budgets until late May or even as late as June.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s office gives a June 30 deadline for all approved budgets to be submitted to the state, so this sometimes forces local officials into a game of hurry-up-and-wait. As such, on Monday the Metro Council voted 13-2 to change the Metro Charter to reduce the total number of budget readings from three to two, in order to meet the June 30 deadline without needing a called special session meeting, as they have for the last several years.

“Because many of our numbers come from the state, and we often don’t get them until after the second or even third reading, this puts us in a pinch,” explained Director of Schools Chad Moorehead during open discussion.

Mayor Stewart echoed Director Moorehead’s sentiments stating that many of the budget revenue line item numbers come from the state and that the required three readings often puts local officials playing catch up.

At the roll call vote, there were two no votes: Robert Bracewell and Arvis Bobo. Because this ordinance would change the Metro Charter, it will require a public hearing. That hearing will take place prior to the September meeting, which happens on Monday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. •

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