Fleming proves her worth

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Franklin City Council’s recent decision to lift a hiring freeze it imposed last summer speaks to the council’s confidence in interim City Manager June Fleming and her competent, tightfisted leadership.

Fleming, at the council’s direction and with good cooperation from her staff, has restored fiscal discipline to city government and rendered arbitrary measures like hiring freezes largely unnecessary.

In working with council members this fall to ensure that property taxes remained stable in a very difficult economy, Fleming eliminated the budgeted but unfilled jobs that had been a hallmark of previous administrations. The city historically has used those unfilled jobs to create wiggle room in the budget for pet projects and unplanned expenditures.

Refreshingly, Fleming has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to accurite, transparent budgeting and spending money only for what the council intended. With that kind of leadership at the staff level, council members don’t have to worry about micromanaging the payroll.

Lest taxpayers be concerned about the loosening of oversight, the council hasn’t forfeited all control. Filling an unbudgeted position still would require adoption of a budget amendment by the council.