We are off to a good start on another season in Highland Park -- budget season. With the changing leaves of fall comes a re-assessment of the City's priorities. I am working hard with the Mayor and my fellow City Councilmen, as well as City Staff, to develop the City Budget for FY2013. The challenge is to develop a budget for all seasons, literally and figuratively.
My general approach to the City Budget is outlined below.
Budget In Brief
It is important that we adopt a balanced operating budget, as we did for 2012. Key priorities in the budget process are:
- Funding core government services and responsibilities, such as maintaining and updating our infrastructure, including meeting our electricity needs, upgrading the water plant, and maintaining sound roads, sewers and bridges; and ensuring public safety by providing sufficient police and fire department services.
- Promoting business and economic development to make our downtown and other business districts even better places to shop, do business and visit. That will increase our sales tax revenues and make our community even more vibrant and enjoyable.
- Enhancing our human services through the work of the Human Services Task Force and filling the gaps in services for our seniors, youth, the disabled, Latino and immigrant populations and those who are economically disadvantaged.
The City Budget workshops are open to the public and available on our City website by clicking here. Upcoming workshops are on October 15, October 22, and October 29 (if needed) with a proposed public hearing on November 12. Times and details can be found here.
Our neighborhood meetings provide an opportunity to give input on the budget and/or other issues on your mind. These meetings are informal, open to all residents with no set agenda, and designed to keep the community informed about City government. The Mayor, members of the City Council, the City Manager and representatives of other units of the City will be present. Meetings are scheduled for:
- Thursday, October 4: 7:00 p.m.; Northwood Jr. High School, 945 North Avenue
- Thursday, October 11: 7:00 p.m.; Ravinia Elementary School, 763 Dean Avenue
- Tuesday, October 16: 7:00 p.m. Ravines Condominium Complex (Ft. Sheridan Neighborhood), 3535 Patten Road
- Tuesday; October 30: 7:00 p.m.; Sherwood School, 1900 Stratford Road
No need to register or "get on the agenda."
I hope to see you at a future meeting, around town, or perhaps as I go door-to-door along with the Mayor or other members of the City Council to hear what is on your mind!
As always, I also would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your concerns will not "fall" through the cracks!
Highland Park City Councilman