On May 6, 2020, the Board of Mayor and Alderman received the initial draft budget based on the requests of Department Heads. The expenses exceeded the estimated revenue by close to 15 million. The Interim City Administrator, Dave LeMarbre made it clear that what is presented to the board to vote on will be a neutral budget. “We have made some headway”, said Dave, “but there is a lot more work to do”. Since May 6th, Dave LeMarbre met with the City Department Heads and was able to trim over $3 million dollars already. Robert Manning, the City Finance Director mentioned that the estimated revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2021 are very close to those of Fiscal Year 2018, so while priorities may shift, we will endure.
Parks and Recreation have been one of the hardest hit departments impacting the revenue for our City with cancelled leagues and events. Andy Gilley, the Director of Parks and Recreation said “Unlike any other time in our City’s history we will all be working together on this budget. The budget requests reflect the actual needs of our city, not some wish list of wants. Cutting the budget will require cutting needs, cost of living increases of employees and other projects and operating expenses that are vital to our city. We are committed as a team, as a city and as a group of Board of Mayor and Aldermen with our City Administrator to making this budget work!”
The Chief of our Fire Department, Scotty Bush added “Each department is going to be faced with unprecedented changes/cuts to their needs. We understand as a group of very diverse and dedicated employees of the city that we are committed to working with the City Administrator and the Board of Mayor and Alderman to make this a smooth process. We are united as a team and we are #hvillestrong”.
On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the second draft of the budget will be presented where all options are on the table to remove the remaining over 13 million. No one could have predicted the pandemic and the unprecedented affect to our revenue. Difficult decisions will need to be made, but this workshop on Wednesday will allow us to make those decisions together.
The budget workshop will be an online meeting, live streamed on the City YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofHendersonville