Press release from the Paula Hughes for Mayor campaign:
Hughes unveils cash-based budgeting
Calls for an end to City Budgeting as Usual
On Groundhog Day, Former Allen County Council President and leading Republican candidate for Mayor of Fort Wayne Paula Hughes unveiled her plans to use cash-based budgeting to restore fiscal discipline to Fort Wayne city government. This approach would be a distinct departure from previous administrations and their view of fiscal responsibility.
“Elections are about choices and the distinction in this race is clear,” Paula Hughes said. “This groundhog day, we have a choice between four more years of increased spending and debt or ending the way we do business and getting Fort Wayne on the road to financial peace.”
The Hughes plan, “Making YOUR Money Count” will require all division directors and department heads to submit a prioritized budget that focuses on necessities. Each department will start at zero and build their budget from the ground up. This type of budgeting will empower each department to focus on doing more with less and to critically evaluate the need for each individual program and line-item.
“Far too often when governments look to shrink budgets, they choose across-the-board reductions instead of making the difficult decisions that can improve the budgeting process for decades,” Hughes said. “When Fort Wayne residents have a pay cut at work, they don’t get to make an across-the-board cut at home. Government shouldn’t use that tactic either.”
At the end of 2009, the city’s long-term debt was $405 million. That is nearly double from just seven years ago. The Hughes budget plan would not allow for a debt increase. It will instead focus on making the current tax dollars count and getting to a point to start paying down the massive debt accumulated by the past Democrat administrations.
“In his State of the City address, Mayor Henry said he sees a city with sound finances. Doubling your long-term debt is not fiscally sound,” Hughes stated. “More individuals are getting their financial house in order and it’s time for Fort Wayne to follow suit.”
The Hughes plan is modeled after Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He is a nationally-renowned financial advisor with a daily radio show broadcast nationwide and previously hosted a show on the Fox Business Network. The radio show airs locally on 100.1 FM from 3-6pm.
“We will get the City of Fort Wayne on the road to financial peace,” Hughes proclaimed.
Paula Hughes is married to her husband, Chris and they have a seven-year old son, Beale.