Posted: Oct 10, 2012 4:56 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
The salary increases for Butte-Silver Bow officials and government spending has raised an eyebrow for some residents lately.
At last night's Chief Executive debate, candidate Matt Vincent asked Incumbent Chief Executive Paul Babb about the increases.
Babb explained his reasoning for the increases and government spending if re-elected as Chief Executive.
Vincent stated, "Prior to your administration taking office Butte-Silver Bow always made sure to operate with maximum sensitivity to the tax payers. Upon taking office, your administration began immediately increasing the budget at an alarming rate and also far behind previous schedules for our commissioners and citizens to review. Government operations have increased by 109 mills during your 8 years in office. That's a 45 percent increase."
Babb replied, "That's an important question and something that if you look at prior administrations, there wasn't a lot of action in my mind that took place. There was a lot of positions that were not filled. All you have to do is look at our Fire Department, our Police Department, Public Works Department-just about every department wasn't staffed where it needed to be. To say that we don't go through a budget process where the public can be engaged-obviously I didn't see you at any of our budget meetings and they go on for a lot of months and there was ample time for people to ask questions about the budget."
Babb says he and council of commissioners have invested money in rebuilding uptown Butte as another reason for the increase in spending.