Question: The newly elected mayor of Oksford noticed that in the
The newly elected mayor of Oksford noticed that in the recently enacted budget of that city’s General Fund, revenues exceed expenditures by $ 15,000. Later that year, after a hurricane caused a large amount of damage, she ordered the city’s finance officer to write a check for $ 15,000 from the General Fund to an emergency relief fund. Because of the unexpected nature of the hurricane, no appropriation had been made to cover this transaction. When confronted by the press, she pointed out that the state’s balanced budget laws require only that the General Fund “ break even” and that she could not, in good conscience, allow the city to retain idle resources when people needed help. What, if anything, did the mayor do wrong?
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