Earlier this week, I sent a letter to my colleagues outlining my top priorities for the budget, and have since spoken with several members, but I am most interested in hearing from you.
After having heard from many members of the community and having done my own review and research, I have categorized my concerns about the City Manager’s proposed budget in 5 major points:
1. Concerns with projected revenue
2. Avoid any tax or fee increases
3. Prioritize CIP budget items that were recommended not to be funded, like Sherriff pay parity, Hillard-Heintze HR and security recommendations, and Disparity Study recommendations.
4. Find other CIP budget items that are more appropriate to be deferred (ideally enough to provide actual tax relief for residents)
5. Recovery plan for residents and small businesses
It is my opinion that the FY 20-21 budget must be a living, breathing document that is flexible enough to support our community with excellent services but is also lean enough to reflect the hard budgetary decisions residents are making with their own households.
There has never been a more crucial moment for the Council to be very sensible and strategic with City spending and be agile enough to weather this storm. I know our community is looking to us as a City Council to make hard choices in these tough times. We need to understand what your concerns are so we can responsibly fund this budget and uphold our fiduciary responsibility with your hard-earned tax dollars.
April 28 – Special Session called by the Mayor (which citizens can participate in via WebEx, and I’ll link the info on how to sign up). The School Board will also be having a virtual meeting for their portion of the budget.
May 5 – City Council will have our budget reconciliation workshop, presumably virtually as well.
Please stay safe and stay tuned for more updates. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.