Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers will be the first of two budget hearings regarding the city's budget. It might be interesting to attend because there will be a hearing and then the tax rate will be discussed.
They are not planning to raise the tax rate this year, but because many appraisal values have dropped during this economic downturn, they won't be bringing in as much money with the same tax rate. It's means we are facing a budget shortfall of approximately $1.8 million.
At budget workshops, they stated that they would be instituting some user fees at recreation centers and the Senior Center, raising the alarm permit fees for businesses, swim class fees, Wildflower Festival tickets, ambulance rate and mileage fees, pet registration fees, Civic Center fees, among others.
They will be eliminating the Sounds of Class and Great Fountain Plaza festivals.
Areas they are not funding are the $100,000 to replace the art work in the Civic Center and the $78,000 for a Superintendent of Urban Forestry; among others.
http://www.wfaa.com/video/?nvid=391184 is a link to a Ch. 8 news story last Thursday about the car allowances in Richardson....over $800,000 for car allowances in Richardson, compared to the City of Dallas which spends $58,000 annually.
Another area some people have been looking into is the overtime paid by the City. The most recent budget year showed over $3 million spent in personnel overtime costs; and the new budget allots about another $3.3 million for 2009-2010.
If you can't make the meeting tonight, it should now be televised and streamed on the computer. If you go to the City's website www.cor.net, you can click on a link on the left side of the page about the meetings being on line. You will just have to click a link to watch it. You can also click a link to see the briefing materials online that the Councilmen review before each meeting.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.
When the people are sheep, the government is always a wolf.
Theodore Parker: May 7, 1856