Passing the Power At Lubbock City Hall - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/26/02

Passing the Power At Lubbock City Hall

Lubbock City Councilman Tom Martin proposed an amendment to the current budget ordinance. Martin suggested the council pass a new budget ordinance that would limit power to the city manager.

Basically what that means is, after the budget is approved, City Manager Bob Cass can no longer shift money to different departments. Cass would have to get permission from council first. Plus, Martin mentioned that he was concerned about raises some city employees got last year without council approval.

The second part of Martin's amendment says Cass will now have to get council approval before he can give raises to upper level management. "In the current corporate environment of the U.S., I think Mr. Martin correctly assess and I made it clear to the council, I'm emphatic and agreed with him that you probably need to reign in on that authority," said Cass.

"They all agree it's never been abused but, why take the chance," Cass added.

Right now, an average household is spending $25.19 per 10,000 gallons on their water bill a month. The city council approved a 3% water rate increase, meaning you'll be paying 76 cents more a month. Sewer rates are going up as well. Instead of $17.80 cents per 10,000, you'll now be paying 89 cents more a month.

"We had discussions regarding the rate increases. We know we have to aggressively tackle an aging infrastructure problem, and that we will pay for that with this money," said Bob Cass, Lubbock City Manager.

The city has also delayed hiring two new code inspectors and two new librarians until January first. This will save the city $46,250 that will also be pooled into city employee raises. City employees who make $30,000 a year or less will see a 4% increase on their paycheck after October 1st. Cass says the city has approved the $330 million budget for next year.

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