City Seeks Budget Priority Suggestions
By Lookout Staff
Want better alleys? How about job training programs for older youths? Or maybe more parks?
If you have ideas on what big issues the City should tackle as it begins to map out budget priorities for the 2001-2002 city budget, officials want to hear from you.
January marks the start of the City's annual budget process and residents can now make suggestions on-line athttp://pen.ci.santa-monica.ca.us/communication/cityforms/budget_suggestions_01.htm
Or suggestions can be made directly to the City Council on Jan. 9 at its budget priorities hearing. The council will use the suggestions and comments to determine which issues taxpayers money should go to.
Last year, affordable housing, quality of life, mobility and sustainability were the funding priorities for the City's whopping $318.6 million budget.
If budgets, revenue streams and bond financing leave you scratching your head or you just want to learn more about City finance before making your budget suggestions the City will kick off its free Leadership Series 2001 by hosting part one of "City Budget Basics" on Jan. 4.
The class will be taught by City Finance Director Mike Dennis, who will explain the City's budget process, revenue streams and the factors considered when budget priorities are set each year.
Part two will take place on Jan. 11 with Dennis recapping the previous week's budget priority hearing. Dennis also will outline the next budget steps and focus on the City's financial reports and fund restrictions.
If you've ever wondered about enterprise funds, redevelopment tax increment funding or block grant funding, Dennis has the answers.
"Our goal is to have more Santa Monicans informed about municipal finance as we move through the budget development process for the next fiscal years," Dennis said in a statement. "The City budget is really the community's budget, so it shouldn't be mysterious or confusing."
Both sessions will begin at 7 p.m. at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth Street. To register for one or both of the free classes or for more information call 458-8301. Enrollment is limited to 40.
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