Friday, January 17, 2020

Letter read at January 6 council meeting explains council president's stance on reopening the budget

Copy of Council President Heather Zink's letter that she read at the January 6, 2020 Columbia Borough Council Reorganization Meeting.
[Click to enlarge.]

During the discussion of a motion to reopen the borough budget at the January 6, 2020 Columbia Borough Council Reorganization Meeting, Council President Heather Zink read a letter explaining her stance on the issue. Zink said that after agonizing over the issue for the last few weeks, she believes that "a line by line exam will be unfeasible given the constraints spelled out in the Borough Code."  Those constraints include a February 15, 2020 deadline to adopt the revised budget, before which meetings must be held to discuss and proposed changes, and a subsequent 10-day period made available for citizens to inspect the budget. During that period, no further changes can be made.

Zink stated that having just under a month to advertise and make changes allows little time for research, unless council knows immediately what those changes are. She said she "would much rather move forward with the understanding that we will be controlling expenditures with our votes throughout the year as well as exploring ways to leverage the recent vacancies to find cost savings in the General Fund than look back by opening the budget."

The complete text of the letter is shown above.

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