A friend of mine's father was in charge of preparing a county budget, and as a kid I always chuckled when he worked late during "budget time", because I wondered what was going on during the majority of the months during the year when it was not budget time. The truth is, there's a reason why municipal budget officers routinely garner some of the highest salaries in government. Government finance is complex, plus you're spending other people's money, and those people often get pissed about how you are spending it.
Josh Stewart took a look at historical budgets and provided his insights in the paper today. Josh, I imagine, finds himself in a place I've found myself many times before. It's a lonely place, where untold hours of digging through boring documents yields results only marginally different from what other, lazier people who didn't look anything up will claim to have known all along.
So, here's some stuff that stuck out to me.
Consider these inflation-adjusted figures: In 1990, the average Annapolitan paid $302 in taxes. Ten years later (in 2000), it was $257. Today, it's $394.
Moyer stands by her fiscal policy and has a stack of reports that give a glowing view of her eight years in office. Yes, her budgets grew, she said, but only because she chased millions in federal grants and tackled long-planned construction projects.