“The annual budget of each local government with notes outstanding shall be submitted to the state director of local finance immediately upon its adoption. The state director of local finance must thereupon determine whether or not the budget will be in balance in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
“If the budget does not comply with the provisions of this chapter, then the state director shall have the power and the authority to direct the governing body of the local government to adjust its estimates or to make additional tax levies sufficient to comply with the provisions of this chapter.” [Italics ours]
Wilson repeated that he had no desire to impose this authority so long as the City Council and the administration of Mayor A C Wharton were making bona fide efforts to pass an acceptably balanced budget and establish clear financing guidelines.
“Oh, absolutely not. I think they’re going to work it out. I really do. I do think they are. But it’s there.”
Regarding the clearly stepped-up sense of urgency apparent in Council budget deliberations, Wilson said, “Well, that’s good. My whole goal is to have a balanced budget.” It was not his concern “how they get there,” and he was expressed indifference about specific controversies, such as that over the restoration of salary cuts made in 2011 for city employees.
“That’s not my fight, how that plays out or doesn’t play out,” Wilson said.
Asked if he had an optimistic attitude about the Council’s efforts to establish a workable budget, Wilson said, “Oh yeah, I do. I really do. And the point is they are now talking to each other. And I’m hearing from council members that they want to come to resolution. Now, they may have different resolutions. But that’s all probable. Once you acknowledge there’s a problem and you all want to come together to solve it you get a solution. I think it’s wonderful, and I hope they do.”
More from the interview and on city and county budgets in this week's Flyer issue.