DALLAS — Members of the Dallas Budget Committee requested city staff provide more clarity in the budget process, including a report of any new positions created or major changes in funds.

The committee met for an introductory meeting to review its responsibilities and future meeting dates on Monday. The 2019-20 proposed budget will be unveiled at the group’s April 15 meeting. The budget committee consists of the nine Dallas city councilors and nine citizens.

“This brings me back to last year’s process. There was an employee added that kind of caught me by surprise,” said Councilor Terry Crawford. “I was just wondering if it would be possible for the staff to summarize planned new hiring and major expenditures that are different from last year.”

Financial Director Cecilia Ward asked how the committee would like her to determine what changes it would like documented separately.

“Did you want it by percentage increase or whatever is a significant increase?” she asked.

Mayor Brian Dalton said there were several changes and corrections to the budget while the committee was reviewing it last year that made the process complicated. He said he believes much of that will be cleared up for the 2019-20 budget.

“Last year’s was a carryover from the prior administration. They had kind of been given a format,” Dalton said. “This year is more pure (City Manager) Greg Ellis and his budget style.”

Ward said the city will create a simplified version of the budget for the committee to review to make the numbers easier to understand and personnel easier to track.

The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on April 15 at Dallas City Hall, 187 SE Court St., Dallas.

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