Budget looks ready for an OK

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Thirty-two new public safety personnel. A new high school. Renovations to Sleepy Hole Golf Course. Four and one-half percent raises for employees.

These are among the expenditures that are driving up Suffolk’s proposed budget by $23 million to a whopping $250.2 million. City Council is expected to vote tonight on the new budget.

While the numbers seem large, they appear to be in line with the growth the city is experiencing and the need for services to keep pace with the development.

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Outside of some rather high proposed &uot;travel and training&uot; expenditures, there appears to be little that one could consider extravagant, at least in comparison with past budgets.

State funding is stagnant because of the General Assembly’s refusal to do its duty. No tax rate increase is proposed and tax rates are even being lowered in the Special Suffolk Taxing District, the direct result of the focus on and investment in, our core city.

Throughout the state and nation, local governments are struggling to keep the lights on. Suffolk is managing to do that and even add some bulbs without unduly burdening the citizenry.

As such, council members can feel they have served their constituents well by giving the document their approval.