City salary report should have been ready

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The “City salary report cost $1,500” article in the Lincoln News Messenger paper of July 28 (page A3) is a good example of misrepresentation on the citizens of Lincoln. This report cost the city no extra money to produce (less the overtime portion). All employees receive a salary and are expected to be busy doing city-related position activities. Doing a report or some other employee activity is part of their normal work activities. When this requires the use of overtime hours, it is a result of poor planning. The state city-spending report was initiated for 2009 and should have triggered the city of Lincoln to take action to be ready for the report in coming years. The article indicates this planning was not done. Also, it seems every time a new requirement arises to get something done. The city goes out with a contract to an outside company to get the requirement done. Are all these contracts included in the yearly budget or are they adders that break the budget? Their cost must be covered by the department that needs the information. The city should always know where and how much is being spent on everything. You don’t wait until the end of the year or when out of money to know where the money went. Only for approved emergencies can money be spent if not included in the approved budget. STILLMAN GATES, Lincoln