Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Final Budget Meeting--Thursday March 27 at 7:00 p.m.

City Council will have its third and final reading before it votes to approve the 2008 budget. This will NOT be a public hearing.

Last night at the public hearing, the Mayor indicated that he received conflicting direction from the people. He heard people say that they want the city to tighten its entire budget and do more with less, while other people said they wanted more spent in certain areas. I believe that the focus of the public hearings was for the residents to tell the city where to place its spending emphasis. Obviously, we cannot spend more than we have. I heard the residents say that they want sacrifices to be made by the administration, particularly within City Hall, in order to free up funding for police, fire and street repairs. I did not hear conflicting direction.

We had a great turnout last night. There were many positive ideas expressed. Even the Chronicle Telegram picked up that the emphasis demanded by the residents are police-fire-streets. If you were at the meeting last night, tell us what you heard the residents tell Council and the administration.


John Q. Citizen Esq. said...

I heard the citizens say that they eat beans and rice, they pay a gas bill of $500, they do not like the mayor and they know very little about the $25,000 bid process. I did not hear one person demonstrate how they can come up with 6 million in cuts to pay for a levy renewal failure or 1.2 million to hire firefighters. Did you? And since you are the one edging all these complainers on, I sure hope on Thursday you have suggestions. If not, words like showboat, one term councilman and symbolism over substance come to mind! Vote no. I support you not agreeing with the budget. But don't do it with out verbal, intellegent suggestions on what changes you would make! Otherwise, you are no different than the ones your supporters complain about!

Mark F. Craig said...

Council sets the direction, the administration writes the budget for Council's approval. What is a shame is that Council did not make a single change. It had zero input into the budget this year, yet Council will approve it and be responsible for its contents.

I see my job as getting the people involved to understand its local government and weigh in with their opinions. It is not the job of the general public to write the budget either. That's why we elect the mayor and he hires an entire staff of people. However, if he is not acting in accordance with the will of the electorate, you can expect them to voice their displeasure and I will encourage them to do so. I think it is better for them to voice their concerns, clear up any misconceptions and possibly change the direction than to simply sit back, say nothing and then vote "NO" on the tax renewal.