Delaware Public Media

Wilmington City Council continues discretionary spending discussion

Sep 11, 2017

Wilmington City Council members discussed changes to its discretionary spending process Friday.

Council members agreed that grants $5,000 and over should require vetting by the finance committee, and a full council vote.

 

Wilmington City Councilman Bob Williams says he plans to introduce an ordinance next Thursday that would do just that.

 

“Anything under $5,000 would be submitted via a spreadsheet to the finance committee for review," Williams said. "Not necessary needing a vote, it’s just for documentation purposes.”

 

Each council member receives $4,000 in discretionary grant funding, and another $6,000 in scholarship funds. Those funds wouldn’t be subject to a council vote for approval. Line items already included in the city’s budget would also be excluded from vetting.

 

Wilmington City Councilwoman Michelle Harlee says the measure would at least increase transparency and accountability.

 

“There’s going to be a website where people can go – the public can go – to look at where every dollar is going and who is requesting a particular grant," said Harlee. "So I think that is a huge upgrade.”

 

Williams says he expects council to take a vote on the issue sometime next month.