July 9, 2001
To: Commissioners and City Manager
From: Mayor Bruce Snead
Re: Budget work session
As I indicated to you at our last discussion session, I hope to join you for the budget work session tomorrow via conference phone, to listen and participate as best I can. I will try to follow the power point presentation planned by Bernie as well, if I can download it ahead of time. If you can remember to share what page you are on when questions arise I should be able to follow along effectively. Thanks for your patience with this process.
I want to raise several items with you ahead of time so you can be better prepared to address the budget questions that arise. I have had a chance to review these items with Ron.
I am very pleased with the effort and reductions of the city manager and department heads, and the justifications given in our budget packet for the work session.
Outside agency requests
I would like to know the status of the request for county funding ($16,250) of the Mainstreet budget, so we can consider what amount and sources, if any, for city funding of this activity.
Manhattan Housing Partnership
I recommend we fund this request ($39,000) due to the critical nature of the need for affordable housing, and the fact that this is necessary to the survival of a local housing agency. The appropriate and available source of funds is from the half cent sales tax for economic development (page 59). Our micro-enterprise loan fund formed several years ago ($50,000 allocation) has not seen any requests yet, and dedicating $39,000 for housing would still leave $11,000 for that purpose. There can be no doubt that housing development is economic development, and that the need for affordable housing is critical, according to all the studies and input we have received. This is seed funding which does not significantly reduce the available funds for larger economic investments.
A request of this amount ($500) can be handled by the city manager’s office, but could also be provided from Social Service contingency funding if desired.
Finally, I want to offer possible items which, I would suggest, be first on any list of additional budget cuts a majority of the commission wishes to consider. This is after having reviewed the items cut in our packet for Tuesday’s meeting. Cuts involve reduction and sacrifice, and if we need cuts over what administration has proposed, the commission should also step up to the plate. Although commissioners are not compensated sufficiently for the personal costs incurred through service, and receive significantly less than commissioners in comparable cities, we could do the following for 2002:
- Reduce Commissioner salaries to $0
- Eliminate Commissioner and administration travel to December NLC conference
- Reduce participants at March NLC conference in DC to Mayor and City Manager
This would save $6,000 in commission salary and between $12,000 and $15,000 (est.) in travel costs, and my experience tells me we could accomplish the essential meetings and visits as part of the DC trip with the Mayor and City Manager.
Thanks for your consideration of this input in our deliberations on