Newly-elected Richmond Hill City Council member Johnny Murphy was relatively quiet at council’s first January meeting.
That changed Tuesday night.
Murphy, the developer and publisher of both Richmond Hill Reflections magazine and the website Richmond Hill GA Live, quizzed Financial Director Bob Whitmarsh about the city’s 28-page preliminary 2013 financial statement.
That eventually prompted Mayor Pro Tem Russ Carpenter to ask Whitmarsh to assess the city’s financial health.
“Maybe this is just the teacher in me, but if you had to give a grade to the city’s financial stability, what would it be?” asked Carpenter, who teaches government at Richmond Hill High School.
“Oh, an A-plus,” Whitmarsh responded. “You’ve got seven months fund balance. In any given year you can be a little over or under, but the fact of the matter is you’ve got such a large reserve … we’ve been able to keep our taxes down and (have) paid off debt.”
Mayor Harold Fowler also weighed in, praising department heads for sticking to budgets.
The 2013 statement showed the city spent about $6.9 million from its general fund in 2013, less than the $7.1 million it had budgeted.
But the statement also showed the city had only collected about $6.2 million of its estimated $7.1 million in revenues, some $2 million of which comes in the form of property taxes, through Jan. 17, though Whitmarsh noted tax collections continue into February and aren’t reflected in the statement.
See more in the Jan. 25 edition of the News.