A guest commentary by Lubbock Councilwoman Latrelle Joy:
This station ran a commentary critical of a budget amendment passed by the City Council. The amendment hired two auditors and one council staff position at a cost of about $ 200,000.00.
That's one side of the story. Here's the other. The budget totals $646 million. Our audit committee of accountants and business leaders told the Council it was bad to have just one auditor.
They said dollars cannot go unsupervised, and we must have proper controls to account for them. The City Manager said the auditors were "unnecessary." The council disagreed. We took the advice of business leaders.
Next, on the issue about staffing - the Mayor ordered cutting one-half to one percent across all departments.
The City Manager made her cuts by cutting one of two staff members for the council. While the manager argues efficiency, I learned last year she awarded $900,000 in raises for certain employees. It takes some digging to uncover this information.
And, that is precisely the point.
Each member of the council is a volunteer, and have other jobs. But, as representatives of the citizens we have a duty to ask the tough questions about spending and policy. Good decisions aren't made without good information. This means researching, and having staff to investigate when necessary.
Good government requires accountability and oversight. That's why the amendment passed. This is how we ensure efficient, responsible government.
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