Does budget process matter?

The SRIA asking for $10 million from the Escambia County Commission begs an even larger question. Why wasn’t the beach parking in the 2007-08 budget for the county or SRIA? We are seeing half a dozen big funding requests at the county and city levels right now: more $$$ for Saenger Theatre renovation, Pensacola Cultural Center, Springfest, DeLuna statues, etc.

Why weren’t these items discussed during the regular budget process? These expenditures didn’t suddenly appear – SRIA was voting on plans for a parking garage last summer.

I have no problem with most of these expenditures – except that they aren’t part of the budget. We are told the budget is tight – yet the commissioners and city councilmen don’t even have a complete budget.

This whole making special requests process makes a travesty of the budget process and goes to show how little thought goes into truly accessing the needs of the community.

What we have are budgets prepared by staffs with little input by BOCC or Pensacola City Council and little input from the community. Staffs produce budgets that take care of themselves, their employees and programs. The public is left to come begging for special requests.

BOCC and Pensacola City Council become reactive bodies instead of proactive.