Sunday, November 13, 2022

Budget time

I would love to live in a community that includes the public in its budget process. Some cities host people's budget sessions to educate about where tax money is being spent and let residents share ideas and priorities. Others include opportunities for people to vote on items to include in their budget, and still others, surveys and invitations for community participation.

Here, not so much. Not only do you have to know when and where pertinent committees will discuss parts of the budget by navigating the very clunky and opaque Legistar site, you also have to know how to read and understand the budget documents. Then, you have to find out who to contact if something seems to be missing (and then be told that's part of a different budget (implied: you idiot!))

So, just in case you have time, understanding, and inclination, here's your notice that on Monday (tomorrow)  at 6 p.m. the City Council will hold a public hearing on and then approve the 2023 operating budget (click here to get to the document and avoid several layers of Legistar hell). 

Do you know what's in it? Do you know what's not in it? This is could be part of Ope! Publishing's Demystifying City Government series ... 

Even if you don't have a clue about the budget or what's in it, I encourage you to attend and/or email the council about making this process much more people-friendly going forward. We need education, input, and participation.

Several City Council seats will be open in spring (will you run?) Let's make transparent and connected government part of the requirement for candidates.

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