Each year during the budget process, we ask Madison residents for their thoughts as to how the city should spend its money. This year, as you think about the upcoming city budget, please go deeper than individual lines items – consider what values are important for our city and how these values should be expressed in the services that the city provides for individuals, neighborhoods and the city as a whole.
In these challenging times, citizen involvement is more important than ever. That is why we are structuring our operating budget process differently this year. We are involving you, the citizen, earlier in the process and we want your ideas. There are two ways for you to participate, both in person and online. I hope you have seen some of the many announcements regarding our Community Budget Conversations. There will be five separate Community Budget Conversations in five areas of the city focusing on various aspects of city services. Elected officials and city staff will attend, as you discuss with your neighbors your values and priorities for city services, keeping in mind how this budget will affect you, your neighborhood, and your city.
If you can’t attend one of the community meetings, I invite you to participate in the budget survey on the website. The ranking of city services in the meetings and on the web will help guide the development of the City budget. Now more than ever it is important to hear from community members about budget priorities. We also hope that participating in this process will help you understand more about where the city’s money comes from, how it has been spent in 2011, and the wide range of services our city employees provide. I urge you to participate, join in the discussions and complete the budget survey. Your involvement is vital as we move forward together.
Mayor Paul R. Soglin
City of Madison Budget Process: You, Your Neighborhood, and Your City