Last week was a busy one on the budget front with a Budget & Finance committee meeting on Wednesday, an informal budget discussion Thursday and a work session on Friday. We’ve now plowed through the entire operating budget and the administration only has utility and capital budgets left to present. That doesn’t mean we’re settled on the operating side yet.
While municipal elections don’t occur until April of next year activity is already underway with a couple surprises.
First off, while previous indications were that our current chair, Debbie Ossiander, did not plan to seek a third and final term in her Chugiak/Eagle River district is seems she now plans to do so.
We had another budget work session on Friday, October 16, to discuss the Fire, Finance, OMB, Mayor’s, Parks & Recreation and Library departments. Some of the points discussed included closure of the South Fork fire station (if I understand correctly this is a relatively remote station staffed by auxiliary – part time – firefighters), my point that an underfunded Community Service Patrol contract results in more costly responses from AFD & APD, the “blending” of managerial aspects of the two Parks & Recreation service areas and reductions in library hours (especially at branches). So while I’ve heard concerns from a variety of folks about cuts in municipal services I feel the first step is to gain some clarity about the structure of the budget.
Okay, time to pull back the curtain a little further with the second inning results of Assembly Insider Baseball! So, without further ado:
Friday, October 9, marked the first in-depth budget work session with the following departments offering additional details on their 2010 plans:
Returning home last Wednesday afternoon (September 30) I listened to a message on my answering machine. No name, no number – I even checked the caller identification – just a thank you for my vote the preceding evening. This was odd, usually untraceable calls to my home result in messages calling me a fuzzy-headed so-and-so (actually, they’re generally less polite than that) and they often include a more specific hint as to the topic about which they’re calling.
On Friday, October 2, the administration unveiled it’s 2010 budget proposal at a City Hall work session commencing at 11:30 am. Thus began a busy six-plus weeks of work sessions, public hearings and amendments as we attempt to balance the desire for public services with the desire to keep taxes low. Not an easy task.
Here’s the schedule thus far: (more…)
At long last, here’s the second edition of “Assembly insider baseball” – another opportunity to test your knowledge of the trivial details that probably don’t pertain to municipal governance, but you never know…
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