The Oakley Annual Budget is on this Tuesday’s agenda (May 11) for the City Council meeting. The difficulty I am having with the budget is City Staff is presenting $24 million as the amount of money available. Yes, I commented on this during the last election cycle. The City’s income is over $40 million a year. Approximately half of that budget comes from “special taxes” such as landscaping and lighting. If one examines the agenda for tomorrow night, one sees how the money is “taxed” and collected. That money is not part of the budget discussions.
During the last election cycle, Mayor Romick repeatedly stated that the City had only $24 million to spend. Knowing the City collected nearly twice that income, I asked where the location of the money. Those on the dais attempted to deflect the question saying I was insinuating the money was missing. Yes, I wanted to know where twenty million was allocated and for what specific purposes. That question remains unanswered. I made no statement, “the money had flown the coop.”
If the City is to have an accurate, open budget, all money collected needs reporting to Oakley citizens, and its use is accounted for in a budget proposal. As it is now, I believe Oakley residents have “only half the story.” I will be striving for a complete reporting of the Oakley budget as we move forward.
George Fuller City Councilmember, City of Oakley