Rich Russell

The thing that makes Guntersville beautiful is the people from all walks of life who were born here, grew up here, or those who are residents through personal choice during their lives. We are richly blessed through our diversity both socially and intellectually. We all contribute to the progress of the city through involvement and voicing our views on matters which affect the city.

One such area of diversity and involvement is determining the priorities of our city. Public budgeting is an exercise to allocate scarce, limited resources, among unlimited competing demands. The city budget of Guntersville this year is $31,042,082, which represents approximately $3,650 per resident, based on population estimates.

Funds come from various sources. But the funds actually come from the people; out of your pocket, and mine.

City governments need a budget because fiscal and fiduciary responsibility falls to those who are elected to the city government, or hired into certain positions. Fiscal responsibility means spending money for purposes which benefit the people. Spending money just because it is available, spending money without a plan tied to the long-term benefit of people, and spending money through isolated/ disconnected decisions without consideration of the effect of a decision on both current and future operations of the city is not fiscally sound; this is my personal view.

Fiduciary responsibility means spending money responsibly to provide the equipment, facilities, and programs to care for our inhabitants, and to promote the future wellbeing of the city. If decisions are made without the transparency and discipline of regulated business processes, fiduciary responsibility may be at risk.

We are also fortunate in Guntersville that while all may not agree with a decision to expend funds for one purpose or another, the caring and careful consideration by city officials of each expenditure of funds is done for the good of the people of our community. City officials need to hear from you about what you consider important for our future.

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