At the tail end of last Thursday night’s regular Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting, Ward 4 Alderman Bryant Wolfin expressed his opinion about the way the city budget is approached.

The discussion took part at the end of an evening that saw one of several city budget work sessions held prior to the regular meeting.

Wolfin expressed concern about the practice of department heads of painting a “worst-case scenario” when projecting possible expenditures, thus skewing the actual budget numbers each year.

“I would like to ask everybody to at least consider ... maybe changing how we are doing our budget expectations,” Wolfin said. “I find it very hard to budget when the ending numbers of our budget are coming out $200[,000] to apparently $400,000 difference on the ending numbers. It makes it very hard to make decisions when our final numbers are coming up so much different compared to our proposed budget. I think it would be beneficial to set expectations closer to what we think they’re going to be instead of worst-case scenario on expenditures.

“I completely understand in doing worst-case scenarios on revenues, but I have a problem saying we have a balanced budget when we don’t really have a balanced budget. We just have a budget that so happens balances at the end of each year.”

Wolfin said using the current practice allows department heads to submit budgets with deficits.

Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan said he agreed, adding, “As far as the amendments [to the budget] ... I’m just not  sure what the opposition would be to looking at those amendments each time.”

See complete story in the August 14 edition of the Herald.