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Council Approves Budget, But not without Changes

The FY2013 draft budget book

The Council last night voted to approve the FY 2013 budget.

Based on the discussion in last week’s worksession, a small change was made to the draft budget – an amount of $4100 for Council retreat was taken out and put back to the reserve funds.

I’d like to thank our staff and colleagues for their good hard work in putting together this budget. We should all be happy to see a budget that does not ask for an increase in any kind of tax from our residents. We also did not add or raise any fines or fees for our residents.

Instead we added more services for our residents. We added 100,000 for an additional ful time police officer, 80,000 for the new middle and high school (College Park Academy), 25,000 to attract for environmentally friendly businesses, 20,000 for noise enforcement.

The Council could also make Cost of living adjustments (COLA) and merit increase for our staff. Our staff do really deserve this for the quality work They do.

That said, I wish our budget could be a bit more transparent in certain areas.  Our budget document is a 400+ page book, but does not talk in great details how exactly we spend 60% of our budget expenses that go to pay our staff. Many many other Cities voluntarily and proactively make these salary figures in details available as part of the budget process, and I don’t see why that cannot be done in our budget. It’s all part of transparency and our residents have the right to see how exactly their tax dollars are spent.

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