I spoke with Mayor Ashton Hayward last night. He made it clear that he has no plans to change the city budget that he presented to the Pensacola City Council on August 8, but he is open to reviewing any budget amendments passed by the majority of the council.
“Our staff has worked hard on this budget,” said Mayor Hayward. “It’s a great budget that is balanced, conservative and consistent with the commitments that we have made to the citizens of Pensacola.”
Hayward also said that city departments have been making presentations to the city council since February and he has repeatedly asked the council members for anything that they wanted included in the budget. “We received very few written requests from the council,” he said.
The mayor said that he believes he has the votes on the council to pass the budget as is. However, he is willing to look at any budget amendments passed by the majority of the council (five votes). “The amendments must be balanced,” said Hayward, meaning any changes to general fund and enterprise fund budgets must zero out —revenue=expenditures.
Mayor Hayward added that he sent out a memorandum to the entire city council yesterday explaining his position.