City Council Members React to Mayor's Budget Proposal

Most city council members kept opinions on Mayor Herenton's budget proposal to themselves,but several including Carol Chumney did speak out.

"There's been irresponsibility in this administration and neglect and mismanagement. It hasn't been just one thing, it's been a lot of things," says Chumney.

Carol Chumney, reacting to Herenton's boast of 12 years of successful budget forecasting with one major miss last year. Herenton warned of lean times but forecasted a 20 million dollar surplus the next two years.

Chumney isn't convinced, "To some respect, there's a political agenda here to say 'lets do it for two years' knowing there's an election next year or that there's a recall underway now."

To balance the budget and put extra cash in city bank accounts, Herenton say city employees shouldn't get pay raises for up to two years. City council members have to make that decision as they go over every line of the budget.

Council member Jack Sammons, "There will be hundreds of hours of meeting in the next few months but hopefully we can put together a balanced budget."

Council members, including Barbara Swearengen Holt, promise more scrutiny this year after last years 25 million dollar shortfall, "Inspect what you expect. I think we're doing a better job of that now." Knowing that tough times for tax payers could mean tough times for council members at the ballot box.