Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Nashville Parks director finds council support despite budget overruns
Several council members say Roy Wilson runs well-liked department as budget has shrunk By Nate Rau • THE TENNESSEAN • November 17, 2009 Metro Parks Director Roy Wilson took responsibility for his department's budget overruns at a special joint meeting of the budget, finance and parks committees Monday. The parks board shared its plan to balance an anticipated $1.7 million overrun in this year's budget. Balancing the budget could mean laying off at least five parks employees and dipping into Metro's rainy-day fund to the tune of $850,000. Despite the fiscal woes, several Metro Council members offered their support for Wilson, saying he ran a well-liked parks system even though his department's budget was cut back year after year. The department's $28 million budget is $1 million smaller than it was seven years ago. "I think it's time for some move forward," said Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite. While Wilson accepted responsibility for a $704,000 overrun in last fiscal year's budget, he pointed out that he had stayed under budget in the five previous years. Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling promised his department would do a better job communicating with the parks department in the future. A resolution approving the special rainy day fund appropriation should go before the council by early next year.
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