Lexington’s City Council has completed the tedious process of last minute budget refinements. The panel of 15 council members spent the better part of Tuesday considering additions to the Mayor’s spending play. In the end, the Council opted to borrow almost two million dollars more and spend another $885,000 in cash. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton said late in the afternoon the end product is good.
“We had some really good debate today and it wasn’t rankerous debate. It was just good healthy debate. People took positions based on fact and opinion and it gives us a good budget,” said Gorton.
Much of the discussion centered on spending for individual council districts for such things as parks, social services, and sidewalk improvements. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is out of town this week. Chief of Staff Jamie Emmons says the council changes don’t create any major concern.
“The product shows that the priorities with the council and the mayor are fairly closely aligned. We’re pretty happy with the budget process and where we’re at. Of course, we wish we could do more. We think the investments in public safety, parks, neighborhoods, social services were all very positive,” said Emmons
Finance Commissioner Bill Omara says the additions made by the council were relatively minimal.
“The Council added important things in their perspective for less than a third of a percent change in total budget. So, I think it was a good collaborative effort,” said Omara.
The first formal vote on the budget is set for next Tuesday. Final passage will come before the end of June.