The city of Covington has announced its new proposed budget, and it appears that the city is in good financial shape.
Credit needs to go to City Manager Steve Horton and his staff for insuring that the city has managed its money in such tough economic times. Mayor Kim Carter and city council also deserve a pat on the back for their efforts in keeping the city solvent.
The city is planning to increase its spending $3.6 million in the upcoming fiscal year, on equipment and completing water line and street projects. You can read about it here.
The city even wants to add 11 new positions in its budget and it's here that we urge a second look.
For starters, we do not at this time need to hire a public communications officer at the cost of $77,000 including benefits.
The city already has many sources to get out their information, notably the chamber of commerce, which already touts the city's accomplishments almost every day.
Mayor Carter herself also does a good job of getting the good news out.
We love having the mayor out there interacting with the public.
Too often public communication officers are more shields for public officials than sources of information. They seem to see their job as protecting their immediate bosses from scrutiny instead of working for their actual employers, the citizens who pay the bills.
We don't need another layer of bureaucracy in local government.
Our other concern is the proposed addition of four dispatchers to the E911 department.
The expenses for this department are already higher than surrounding counties and cities.
It was only two years ago that state-of-the-art equipment was installed to update that department and make it more efficient.
We're glad the city is flush with our cash, but we encourage our mayor and council to hold the line on spending.
We trust they'll do the right thing.