There will be a Study Session for the Council on the University City FY2016 Draft Budget at the City Council meeting, Monday evening. This meeting is open to the public.
In February, the City Manager proposed a budget that does not contain adequate funding for our street and sidewalk work. Because voters rejected the streets and parks bond issues in April, we need to return to good and responsible management of our city. Residents agree we want to fix and maintain our streets, sidewalks and parks. The election was about how, not whether we should pay for these things, and I asked that the City Manager find $1 million dollars in his budget to fund the capital improvement for streets and sidewalks, cutting discretionary spending and fat in the budget. The Study Session will cover the City Manager’s proposed changes to the budget.
The packet for this meeting can be viewed and downloaded here. To my knowledge, the City has not provided the customary digital copy of the packet to the public.
One of the most striking features of the packet is that the City Manager, rather than cuts to discretionary spending, is proposing, “ cuts to programs and services that our community needs and deserves":
• Eliminating the Summer Camp Program for our children;
• Closing Centennial Commons for seven additional days;
• Eliminating all public swim hours at the natatorium, and reducing the hours at the Heman Park Pool.
By contrast, Mr. Walker’s budget for the City Manager’s Office was untouched, though it was increased by $$168,300 (25%) over last year, and there are cuts proposed to the budgets of the Police and Fire Departments. Astonishingly, not one new street or sidewalk improvement project was added. So, City Manager Walker is proposing that the Council vote to cut your services, cut nothing from the City Managers Office or the Legislative (Council) budgets, and neglect our needed street and sidewalk work.
I encourage you to read the packet containing Mr. Walker’s proposed changes and service cuts to the Draft FY2016 Budget and to attend the Study Session to hear the discussion or contact your Councilmembers to let them know your thoughts about this budget.