Budgeting Tonight


Last week, Mayor Dave Schmidt sent the following message to his “supporters”:

I wanted to let you all know that we will be starting budget discussions much earlier this year. The first session will take place this coming Tuesday, December 14, beginning at 7pm at City Hall. The first session will involve a capital budget review, an overview of goals and priorities and a review of revenue projections. The next scheduled meeting is January 31 when the actual budget booklet will be distributed to the Council. However, it is entirely possible, perhaps likely, that there will be one or more additional meetings between those dates.

Last year’s budget hearings we by far the best-attended in any one’s memory. Although I obviously was not satisfied with the final product, I was pleased that there was so much resident involvement. I strongly believe that it has an impact, and I encourage residents to participate again this year. I hope to see you Tuesday.

Well, folks, “Tuesday” has arrived, and the Agenda for the Budget Workshop indicates that we will be getting a first glimpse of the City’s projections for its finances this upcoming budget year.

We agree with the mayor that last year’s budget process was far better and more open than in previous years, but that the result still left much to be desired.  Hopefully, City Mgr. Jim Hock and Staff will tell us that the City has a chance of ending 2010-11 in the black for only the second time in a decade, although we’re not going to hold our breath waiting for that.

Over the past few months we’ve been reading about neighboring communities either laying off personnel or raising taxes to combat their own multi-million dollar deficits.  For example, in October, Mt. Prospect announced that it would lay off 35 village employees in response to a $3 million general fund deficit and a $7 million decline in its fund balance since 2008.  And in early November, Arlington Hts. announced plans for a tax increase to combat a projected $3.6 million general fund deficit.

This will be the last budget for two of the bigger spendthrifts on the Council, Alds. Jim Allegretti and Robert Ryan, as well as for budget schizophrenic Ald. Don Bach, who seems to temper every one of his spending cuts with an equal or greater spending increase. 

All in all, we expect tonight’s budget workshop to provide “something appealing, something appalling,” if not quite “something for everyone.”

Come see for yourself: 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

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1 comment so far

…a comedy tonight.
-Zero Mostel, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

A classic.

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