Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Follow-up on McLennan budget surplus story...

The Legendary R.S. Gates responds:

Let me amplify my opinions about the McLennan County budget. I used this graphic to illustrate my point in an article that appeared in these columns on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

It was characterized as “fantasy” by an anonymous post. I’m not in the habit of responding to comments like that but the post included language that sounded really good with all those neat buzzwords like CAFR and Life-to-Date balances and such.

I took available budgets and compared the listed actual expenditures to the amount budgeted. By subtracting the actual from the amount budgeted, I arrived at the amounts in the above graphic. I have occasionally fantasized about convincing my wife that we could spend twice our annual budget but she reminded me I am not the government and only the government can spend money they don’t have.

In follow-up, I ran across this from the 2011 adopted budget. Only in government could you propose a budget of almost twice as much as your actual expenses.


(please click on the above for an expanded view)

The graphic was intended to show how the budget process is not related to the services taxpayers receive. Your reader missed the point. It sounds good to say it is credited to the budget of the following year but the reality is the majority is moved to a “contingency” account which is for “emergencies” if it is not moved to other accounts to buy a new pickup or new desk. This leaves the taxpayers to get the full bill for the “proposed” budget.


  1. Mr. Gates

    Are you saying the graphic you used to illustrate your point on Dec 14 was incorrect?

  2. Sorry for the confusion. I was not the author of the article titled:Demo up on road money parity, GOP runs backward. A graphic I did was included in that article but I don't see how it illustrates a point. Since this article has a date of 12/14, are you referring to a point made by this article? The way I see it, road and bridge budgets are not reflective of revenue needed to provide the services. I believe the graphic shows this has been the case for a long time. Business as usual so to speak. We may disagree about if taxpayers are getting screwed when an elected official spends $2.1M and tells taxpayers he needs $4M. I can't see the justification for it. What exactly was the point you believe was made by the graphic and find so misleading. If you believe I offered it as evidence there was $27M missing, that was not my intent.