MADISON, Ala. - Monday the City of Madison passed a 2016 budget but it wasn’t without debate. Mayor Troy Trulock presented his proposed budget to a not-so-enthused council.
Since July, the finance committee has been working to make a budget, and Monday night the council dubbed the Mayors proposal as "too late," coming in at the 11th hour.
“You are allowed to have discussion,” said Madison Mayor Troy Trulock. “And we had a lively discussion. That’s what democracy is all about.”
The mayor suggested his dispersal of the $30 million budget put the interests of city employees first. He suggested a reduction in the council budget by more than $200,000; $46,000 in salary reduction and $151,000 in expense reduction. The plan also added a position for a mayor's aid. His proposal would help employees keep their benefits package the same as insurance costs have increased.
The council unanimously voted down the proposed changes. Members voiced concerns about a delayed plan and sever cuts to the council budget.
Instead the 2016 budget that passed gives city employees a 1.5% cost-of-living-adjustment raise. The plan also includes a 3-4% step increase. These changes are tailored to help offset the additional costs for insurance rates.
This year, the City of Madison is on track to have highest revenue in eight years, and 2016 is expected to be just as successful. Now that the budget is passed, the city can move to other matters.
“Now that it’s voted on, we have a great 2016 proposal and we are moving forward.” Said Mayor Trulock.