Councilor Burney has graciously provided members of the Budget Advisory Commission an outline of the balance of the budget process:
Proposed Budget Completion and Adoption DatesWith the budget process in such disarray because of Mayor Robinson-Briggs' flawed submission of a proposal, all taxpayers should be on the alert as the process moves forward.
Monday October 20
Thursday October 23
- Fire and other department(s).
Friday October 31
- Extra budget meeting: Deep dive - IT, Public Information, Incorrect revenue from housing project [the $1.66M PILOT misstatement], and Project Alert [Dudley House].
Friday Nov 7
- Citizens budget advisory committee sends budget recommendations to council.
Monday Nov 10
- City Council sends budget changes to Council finance committee.
Wed Nov 13
- City Council discusses budget changes and receommendations (from citizens budget advisory committee) with self, and requests admin comment and implementation. Citizens budget advisory committee presentation of receommendations to City Council.
Mon Nov 17
- Admin responds electronically to change recommendations.
Mon December 1
- Resolution for budget changes is finalized and brought forward.
- FY 2009 budget adoption.
We need to know that the Citizens Budget Advisory Commission is getting complete and accurate information on which to base their assessment and recommendations -- and that they are truly independent and not being pressured by the Administration or the Council.
The Council also needs support and input -- individually and as a group -- from concerned taxpayers as they try to sort out the mess.
The Council also needs to put the Administration on notice (O Ray Blanco! Where are you when we need you?!) that it is the Council that strikes the budget, not the Administration. How the mess will be cleaned up is a decision that falls on the Council -- happily or unhappily.
According to this list, the Fire Division and others are to be taken up after tonight's expected-to-be-brief Council business meeting at the Courthouse (8:00 PM).
Expect to hear much more from the media and the bloggers as this misshapen budget beast slouches toward adoption.
-- Dan Damon