The city council began discussing the budget in earnest at a special Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, November 16. The discussion focused mostly on changes in the general fund and how these changes would impact other funds such as the riverboat and TIF funds in order to address an anticipated $10-$13 million structural deficit.
The staff has proposed a budget that supports a "balanced approach" to revenues and expenditures, versus alternatives that focus solely on either (A) dramatically increasing revenues that would place a significant burden on residents or (B) dramatically slashing expenditures and sacrificing service levels and quality of life. As part of its outreach efforts, city officials invited the community to share their thoughts of the three options at an interactive public meeting on Saturday, November 19.
The balanced approach is based on revenue enhancement and diversification coupled with expenditure reductions that create further efficiencies. Visit the 2012 Proposed Budget Website for a few of the highlights from Wednesday's discussion.