Public meetings, spending plan well received by taxpayers
Knoxville, Tenn. (May 6, 2011) — In a move that is unprecedented in Knox County, Mayor Tim Burchett met with taxpayers in all nine Knox County Commission districts this week to discuss his FY 2011-2012 general budget proposal, which he presented to Commission Monday morning. The public budget meetings began Monday and will continue through the month of May.
“The money Knox County Government spends belongs to the taxpayers, and it’s important that we remember that. They deserve to know what’s in this budget proposal, and they should be able to offer input if they want to.” Mayor Burchett said. “This is a new way of doing things, because I meant what I said when I promised a ‘New Direction’ for Knox County.”
Questions asked during the meetings varied widely, but included concerns about the county’s debt burden, property taxes and funding for unnecessary expenses. In all of the commission districts, Mayor Burchett’s budget was well received, and his willingness to speak directly to the taxpayers who fund it was very much appreciated.
"It is good that Mayor Burchett is focusing on openness, despite his busy schedule. I think he understands how important it is to come and talk to a small group of citizens who can get specific answers to their questions, and possibly even help him identify real issues that need to be addressed," said Jean Giusto, a West Knox County resident who attended a public meeting held at the Cedar Bluff Library. "I think this is a good way to do county business."
“This budget proposal makes meaningful cuts in unnecessary spending without reducing county services; it puts us on pace to reduce the debt by more than $100 million over the next five years; and it lays a foundation that will put Knox County in a good position when the economy finally recovers,” Mayor Burchett said. “This is a sound budget, and I hope Commission adopts it.”
The Knox County Commission will likely vote on the budget proposal during a special meeting in mid-June.