Mayor's 2018 Year End Report

Monday, January 7, 2019

This year’s report is best described as bittersweet. Many positive things that have occurred has been over shadowed by more recent events.

I will first list some of the positive things:

The completion of the expanded parking lot at the Recreation Center (funded by a USDA grant, donations by Roger Group and in-kind labor).
Several more miles of street paving.
Improvements to the stage at Rock Creek Park.
Completion of the walkway from the East Commerce Bridge to the walking trail (funded with 95 percent TDOT funds and 5 percent local funds).
Significant progress on the widening of Ellington Parkway (100 percent TDOT funded)
Improvement of appearance of property due to increased enforcement.
Significant increase in residential building.
Approval of funding for curbs, gutters and sidewalks on Mooresville Highway (100 percent TDOT funded).

Now I will address the disappointments:

Our current financial condition is serious. Simply put, we spent more money than we had on hand. We are dealing with the problem in a responsible way.

The following has been discussed with management and management has instructed the department heads as follows:

An immediate freeze on new hires and the filling of vacancies that would not impact public safety or welfare.
A review of present and future projects for possible delay or abandonment.
Review of all proposed spending that would not impact public safety or community welfare.

Additional measures:

Review of audit procedures.
Involve the mayor and a councilman in the budget preparation (The County government’s Budget Committee is comprised of five elected commissioners. Lewisburg’s present charter does not include any elected officials on the City’s Budget Committee).
Take all measures necessary to prevent a tax increase.
Pay off the current Tax Anticipation Loan in a timely manner as mandated by the Tennessee Comptrollers Office.

We do not wish to ask for reduction in salaries or the layoff of employees.

The most sobering fact is that we do not have any funds available for an emergency.

We understand it will take at least two years of austere measures to achieve an unobligated fund balance of 30 percent.

I, Jim Bingham, as mayor, take responsibility and will not attempt to deflect any blame. I also will be available to discuss any concerns in a civil and professional way.