A Good Process for Really Considering Citizen Input on the City Budget...
I am pretty impressed with how city staff went about ensuring city council genuinely considered the input provided in the two city budget roundtable sessions hosted so far (one more to go). Council's direction was that we wanted to genuinely consider input but staff did the heavy lifting in terms of figuring out how to get us there.
There were about 180 different pieces of input received. Staff compiled them and organized them into categories. The different categories pretty much aligned with different city departments. Then council was sent a survey where we ranked each category of input.So, for example, parks and rec items were ranked separately from public works items. At the council meeting this week, we really focused on the input that was ranked highest by council.
A lot of those items will make their way on to what is called the supplemental budget list (essentially a list of items for council to consider funding over and above the base city budget). I'm pretty sure that ideas and proposals that have come from citizens will be funded. Not all of them, to be sure, but I would venture to guess that we will reflect the community will better by going through the process we have.
Welcome your questions and comments!