Officials seek simpler budget breakdown

City commissioners expressed an interest to have a simpler breakdown of the $15.772 million 2012-2013 budget.

"I would just like a simple budget comparison for straight answers to straight forward questions," said Daniel Lopez, District 3 commissioner.

Lopez said the commissioners need to be able to make sense of the budget in order to have accountability and give proper financial direction for the city. He said a simple comparison budget could show what differences there are in this budgets from last years would greatly be appreciated.

Last year'ss budget was $17,422,000, and was higher due to the construction of the new waste water treatment plant, said Dennis Dysart, city financial director.

Dysart said the budget was completed and submitted before the 5 p.m., deadline on July 31.

Lopez said he was concerned about the budget being approved so close to the final deadline of July 31. He said it raises questions to why the budget has taken so long to be submitted.

"There needs to be an easier format for the budget to be reviewed," Mayor Amiel Curnutt said. "We can not hold a special meeting every time we need the budget explained."

Lopez asked,"What happens if there are changes which need to be made to the budget after it has been approved?"

Lumpkin said the budget can be approved with the understanding that it can be changed if revenue allows for the change.

"The city's budget is a living document," Lumpkin said. "There will always be situations in which we will need to approve changes to it in the course of the year."

Lopez said another concern he had with this year's budget is that the Tucumcari Police Department will lose one position in the new budget. He said he finds it difficult to vote for a budget which will result in a reduction in public safety.

The commission voted four to one to approve the city budget.

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