Saturday , 23 August 2014
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Budgeting for Democracy

Budgeting for Democracy

In this time of economic crisis and considerably negative property values, West Park is confronted by extraordinary challenges that require us to come together as a community to reconfirm our priorities and define the kind of City we want to be.

These shared goals are expressed each year in the preparation of our City budget. A City’s budget is its most important policy action. The budget is a plan. It is a financial proposal that annually directs the provision of public services and facilities. This plan represents the City Manager’s and Commission’s commitment to provide for the most important citizen needs within the boundaries of available revenue or funds. It represents an annualized purchasing of incremental progress toward the vision we share for our community and protection of the quality of life for which West Park is proud to be known. It spells out our needs, quantifies what we can afford, and sets in motion the initiatives and corrective measures that will keep us on a true course.

When you receive your property tax bill or pay your personal property taxes each year, the City of West Park’s budget process is probably not uppermost in your thoughts. Yet, the budget is the place to find out how your tax dollars are being spent.

During the next couple of weeks, we will be working through the City’s financial challenges, so that it respects both the interests of you, the taxpayers, and our responsibility to future generations. Our goal is to work successfully to develop a balanced budget.

Realizing that we want the City’s budget clear and accessible, that you share what your priorities are and that you believe, as I do, that it puts our City on the right course, I am encouraging you all to come out and participate in the budget hearings. The budget involves a four part process- the Commission, City manager, Staff, and you. Although we strive to provide all services at a high quality level, we don’t always hit the target. We need your input to help us determine where we need to get better; where we are doing just fine; and where we may be over doing it a bit. These conversations have a dual-purpose. They are an important tool for the city to demonstrate the amount of planning and cooperation that goes into creating the budget. But they also give us an idea of where citizens think their money should go.

As your Vice Mayor, I am committed to sustaining accountability measures that have created stability and credibility for our City. Whatever circumstances we face, be assured that West Park will be ran in a fiscally responsible way with the public interests before all others. Honesty and transparency will be our top goal. I am encouraging you to come out and be a part of this process.

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