For Vicksburg, fiscal sense is common sense

Published 5:24 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s strategy to control costs while investing in city services and employees is the correct approach to keep Vicksburg on the track for success.

During recent budget hearings department heads have come to the board with requests — their wish lists if you were — for the 2020 budget. And in most cases, those wish lists have been trimmed, altered or downright refused by the board. And it is their responsibility to do so.

It’s the job of the department heads to make requests, say what they need to do their job better and provide better services. The oversight of the mayor and aldermen is needed to challenge those requests and ideas.

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The priority for city leaders from the outset of this process has been to create a budget that is no more than 97 percent of the existing budget and provides for an across-the-board, scaled pay increase for city employees.

It also dictates that the long-standing hiring freeze remains in place and city departments work to improve efficiencies and services, while maintaining, and better yet, trimming costs.

If only our state and federal governments budgeted on such principals.

The city of Vicksburg is growing. It might not be growing at a rapid pace, but improvements to the quality of life in the city and advancements in our education system have made Vicksburg and Warren County more attractive to businesses looking to relocate and residents looking to move.

The trend of better government — a government with spending under control and investment well planned — must and will continue in the next budget.

Based on the questions asked, challenges offered and the objections to some requests so far in the budget process, there’s little worry government spending in Vicksburg will go awry anytime soon.