Read Kemp Conrad’s guest column in the Commercial Appeal.
There’s one rule that even our children understand: When you’re in a hole, you quit digging.
That’s why I proposed at our Feb. 7 meeting of the Memphis City Council an amendment to the city charter that would require city officials to create a disciplined, six-year operating and capital budget — a fiscal strategic plan. If approved by the City Council, Memphis’ citizens would vote in a referendum on whether this important fiscal discipline should be added to our charter. Unfortunately, a council vote on the charter amendment was delayed and the administration opposed it.
While such a plan would allow for flexibility, it would chart the fiscal affairs for our city and approach the allocation of scarce capital more like a business. City government is, of course, not a business, but that doesn’t mean I can’t operate in a businesslike way. Politics will always play a role; however, decision-making and policy should not be driven primarily by brute political force, as they are now. Serious times call for a serious approach to governing.
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Published Saturday, February 25, 2012