What are the causes of future city financial shortfalls?
The answer to this requires detailed outlines by the city staff. They have been asked for this information for several years now but nothing has been forthcoming. The biennial budget required specific department project/dollar inputs so the information is available. So your next questions for the City Council/City Manager should look something like this:
- What are the specific major projects the city has on the drawing board for the next few years?
- What are the estimated dollar costs for each project?
- Over what specific time periods will the dollars be required?
If we don’t know the WHAT..HOW MUCH..AND WHEN then how can we know that financial trouble lies ahead? Use your email, telephone, OP-ED in the newspaper, personal contact with representatives, Public Input at council meetings, and any other device you have available to you to insist on answers and not euphemisms. If the city is not willing to share these most important facts then the City Council is failing the citizens. The Council is the responsible party and they themselves will have to know the answers to these questions if to be accountable and transparent.
Pursue these answers. Prepare yourself for meaningful dialog. They are your representatives. Be nice, be thorough, be fulfilled. Your dollars are at risk.