At its budget retreat held on Saturday at the Wheeler Service Center, city council set out its priorities for the coming year: land use policy (i.e., zoning), economic sustainability, plus improved communication and service delivery.
This, after getting a picture of where the city stands from the city administrator, Roger Fraser, and his key staff: unless expenditures are reduced or else revenues increased, the city will experience a shortfall of revenue against expenditures starting in fiscal year 2010. Staff also outlined some significant projects that the public will start to see implemented or else be expected to help shape in the coming year. Those include increased use of web technologies (e.g., Facebook), more zoning revisions, possible dam removal, and regional coordination of safety services.
Fraser also offered conceptual drawings of a conference center that could be built on top of the proposed Fifth Avenue underground parking garage, and floated the idea of constructing a roof over Fourth Avenue for a bus station to replace the Blake Transit Center. The retreat took place in a workroom outfitted with one of 11 plasma screens that had recently caught the attention of an auditor, because they had been purchased in a manner inconsistent with city guidelines on credit card use.