Budget process under big change

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There is a big change in the way the town of Mount Olive is putting its annual budget together.

It is now being done by the town’s finance department and not by the town manager.

And, Town Manager Charles Brown said, “That is the way it is supposed to be done.”

“The budget process should be a function of the finance department,” he added.

Finance Officer Kay Anderson and Deputy Finance Officer Cathy Nichols have taken extensive training under the School of Government and a consultant from the League of Municipalities.

Both are now taking on that responsibility.

“We have a consultant, who is the former finance officer for the city of Charlotte who is coaching them through the process,” said Brown.

He reiterated in saying this is the way it should be done.

Asked about a timeframe, Brown said there is another budget meeting that Mayor Ken Talton has called for next month.

“I think by that time everything should be pretty well wrapped up,” Brown said.

He further explained that what he tried to do in the past was present the budget to the town board of commissioners at the May board meeting, giving them 30 days to study it and come back for approval at the June board meeting.

The budget is required by law to be approved no later than midnight on June 30.

He said, the way it is going now, it appears it all should be wrapped up by mid March.

The deadline has been set for March 21.

He added that the first thing to do is make sure you have enough revenue to cover budget requests.

By the time it is given to the board next month, he said, it will then be up to the board decide what needs to be cut.

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