Wednesday night, the council passed the budget as written with the 6 cent property tax increase & the water rate increases. The vote was 5-3. Councilman Fawcett voted against the water increases and Councilmen Ward & Duman voted against it because they wanted to take over a million dollars from a savings account the city has set aside for emergencies and give it to the school system for an HVAC system.
But, on the plus side, we did win a few small concessions. I don’t want anyone in our group to feel like we failed. If we had not spoken out, the tax increase would likely have been much higher. Remember, at the budget hearing in March, they were talking about anywhere from 11-23 cent increases to pay for so much more. It is because we spoke out that the 2 projects were deferred (the Library land acquisition, & the Bennett’s Creek Rec Center – located 700 yards from Creekside Rec).
We did well for our first time really challenging the budget process. Folks in the city government now know, without a doubt, that we are not only out here, but active & educated about the process. Several councilmen now know our leadership by sight, and on more than one occasion have actively sought out our leadership for discussions. It may not seem like we accomplished much, but we did.