Much of the focus for this evening’s City Council meeting is not on what the Council will say, but the people’s input.
The budget is up for public hearing today, and Council President Bill Bishop says it’s difficult to tell exactly how many people will show up to speak but they are expecting a crowd. He intends on keeping this as purely an opportunity to let the people submit their input, rather than having council debate the issue tonight.
He is a little surprised at the level of debate, discussion and compromise there has been in this budget cycle.
“Every budget is a compromise and we take it and we move on and we do the best we can with it,” he says.
But this year, doing the best they can will likely leave some parties wanting.
“Are we gunna be happy with the end product? Probably not,” Bishop says.
Many of the council members expect to hear from employees who have lost their jobs and groups fighting for their share of the funding. But with a multimillion dollar problem still looming as the city and sheriff work to resolve where funding for workman’s comp claims should come from, there may be even more give and take in the budget still to come.
“It’s gunna have an impact, it’s gunna require some sort of equal reduction somewhere else,” says Finance Chair John Crescimbeni.
Crescimbeni told me we will see that issue before the finance committee next week, as the full council is required to pass the budget before the end of the year.
“Somehow, some way, this all has to be wrapped up by the end of September,” he says.
He would not be surprised if it takes a special meeting, following the council’s scheduled meeting in two weeks, to get the budget completely resolved.