This year, we made improvements to the process we use to host Community Budget Hearings across the City. Residents had the opportunity last week to provide their input before the budget is prepared and additional meetings will be held after the proposed budget is presented to City Council on August 9.
This past week, five area-wide Community Budget Input Hearings were held to obtain input and feedback from the residents on the Community’s priorities. Almost 200 residents attended the Hearings.
During the Hearings, a brief video highlighting the major services provided by the City was shown.
Following the video, residents spent approximately 30 minutes in small groups discussing and identifying their top priorities for city services in the upcoming fiscal year.
Residents also were asked to identify 2 to 3 areas they would be willing to cut. While most residents were able to easily identify areas where they would like to see services increased, they had difficultly identifying potential reductions for the upcoming year.
At the end of the discussion, a resident from each table reported out the groups top five priorities and three lesser priorities.
The recurring service areas identified as priorities included (not necessarily in rank order)
- Public Safety
- Streets, Sidewalks & Drainage
- Animal Care Services
- Code Enforcement
The service area priorities identified at each meeting are summarized in a report. As a reminder, after the FY 2013 Budget is proposed on August 9, residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed budget at five additional area-wide Community Budget Input hearings scheduled across the City and two City-wide Budget Public hearings at City Council chambers.
Residents also can provide us with input at any time during the budget process through the Budget Input Box available on the City’s website and at the Budget Input Boxes located at City Libraries, Senior Centers and City Hall.