Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Budget Day...

Doubtful that it will ever become a National Day of any significance, but October 1st is the day that we release the proposed budget for the following year.

The release of the spending plan comes after months of hard work between department heads and my administration. It is time spent crafting a responsible and conservative plan that does not push undue burden onto the taxpayers, all the while making sure that we continue to position ourselves for future success.

After five years of astronomical increases in retirement and health care, we have reached a point where those costs have leveled off. Because of that we were proud to announce today that the 2008 proposed budget has no tax increase at all.

There is also no increase to the sewer rates or water rates. It is a budget proposal with no gimmicks at all, we are not using any of our fund balance to balance the budget as so many other municipalities are fond of doing. It is a budget that we were able to present because of nearly four years of solid fiscal planning.

I was also proud to announce that next year the City will fully fund a $1.7 million capital plan that will allow us to continue to the strides we made this year with the paving of streets, and purchase of new vehicles.

The budget is a solid one, and while I would not be surprised to hear political opponents call it an "election-year" budget, I will probably just chuckle, as they've been saying that for four years. In 2005, they even called the budget that was presented an election year ploy when a 1.48 percent increase was unveiled, and then switched gears days later and said the taxpayers should not have to deal with an increase. You never know what you are going to get during the silly season.

There is a multitude of public hearings scheduled on the budget, and the City Council now must do its diligence and ask questions concerning everything from A to Z. According to the City Charter, the budget must be passed by the Council no later than December 1st.

Any questions about the budget, or any other topic, I look forward to hearing from you. The e-mail address is

Have a great Tuesday!