WTVM Editorial 6/24/16: The mayor’s big court win - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

WTVM Editorial 6/24/16: The mayor’s big court win

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Any chief executive knows they bear the overall responsibility for running their business, especially the finances.

And as the chief executive of the city, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson takes that responsibility seriously when it comes to running the city’s business.

She and the city recently won a lawsuit, in which the sheriff argued that his entire budget request to run his department should be accepted, as is, by the mayor without any changes.

But that’s never how budgeting really works, and the judge’s ruling acknowledges the mayor’s budget review process is completely legal.

The sheriff has clear views on the amount of money he thinks it takes to run his jail and county law enforcement operations and he is entitled to that opinion.

But the judge’s opinion is the one that ultimately matters, and the judge says the law is clear: the sheriff is not entitled to any specific budget amount.

As mayor, Tomlinson has to wrestle with budget requests from numerous departments, all with big needs, and come up with a final, viable number it takes to run the city and present it to the city council.

That means some budget requests could be - and often are - changed or reduced.

Meanwhile, the legal fees for this lawsuit, and other cases like it still pending, are already around $2 million and counting.

Guess who pays those bills? The taxpayers.

The judge’s ruling makes it clear that the mayor’s budget process is entirely legal.

It’s just too bad, and very costly, that it had to take two years, $2 million, many lawyers and the judge, to get to the right decision on what seems like such a common sense and obvious issue.

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General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road 
Columbus, GA 31906

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