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'F' as in Frank

Time for Sunnyside to revisit budget cycle

Back in the day when Sunnyside had a one-year budget it seemed like the city was always scrambling to balance the books.

That situation is made worse by the city's two-year budget cycle.

It's apparent that council isn't getting financial information in a timely fashion, as evidenced by the decision to approve a million dollar budget amendment, only for council to find out a few weeks later that the city's finances are under water.

Yes, a two-year or biennium budget is nice because you have to tackle major budget discussions less frequently.

But the downfall, as we're seeing, is the budget decisions that council makes are ones we have to live with for two years instead of one.

Also, an annual budget gives us, the public, a better idea of what the city is actually spending. It would be nice to see a huge figure for a biennium budget broken down into what government's actually costing us each year.

It seems to me that a two-year budget just invites more opportunity for cost overruns. It seems there's the potential to simply push a shortfall ahead to the second year in a budget.

Whether they stick with two-year or opt for a one-year budget, the city council needs to get the spending under control by making some hard choices.

Lagging sales tax revenues should be a tip that folks here don't have unlimited pocketbooks for future fee or tax increases...so cuts - whether they're one year or two years at a time - need to be in the offing.

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