Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Council Finance Panel Begins `86 Budget Wrangling

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Council Finance Panel Begins `86 Budget Wrangling

Article excerpt

A recommendation by City Manager Scott Johnson to put telephones in the homes of Oklahoma City Council members and pick up the estimated $12,000 annual cost was axed Monday by the council's finance committee.

That was one of three recommendations during the first meeting of the committee to consider the proposed $198 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The proposal is $715,125 less thanthe current budget.

The other recommendations were:

- To cut by 10 percent the $20,000 budgeted for travel by the mayor and council members.

This cost last year was approximately $18,000, Johnson told the committee members. However, if the new figure is exceeded, Johnson said there would be money available for "important trips" from his contingency fund.

- To cut one vehicle in the city manager's office and to cut the personnel budget of his office by $2,000.

There also was discussion of the three secretaries for the mayor.

Mayor Andy Coats explained that one secretary deals with scheduling and correspondence, while one deals directly with the public and the third deals with administration and research.

The recommendations will be made to the full council, although there are six council members on the committee.

The deliberations continue through a series of meetings over the next week or so. The committee will take up each city department separately, and department heads will be called in for consultationas the process continues.

Ward 3 Councilman Jack Cornett, chairman of the committee, said he thinks there should be more placed in the capital improvements budget than the $20.3 million recommended by the manager.

"I'd like to see at least another $5 million allocated for capital improvements," Cornett said. "The decisions we make in this committee will be some of the hardest we have ever made, and what we do will affect the future of this city. …

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