The snow is as high as a composter’s eye (well, a small composter). [photo]
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.
City Council Meeting (Jan. 5, 2009, Part II) This article reports the portion of council’s Monday evening meeting that did not relate to the City Place PUD, which is covered in Part I.
This piece is organized thematically, not chronologically.
- Laptop computers – what do they cost the city?
- Liquor – why do they get a liquor license, when we’ve heard so much negative news about them?
- Easement for public utilities – what, if anything, do the public schools have against electricity?
- Public Art Commission – an unexpected wrinkle in a garden-variety appointment.
- City Income Tax – a previous study to be updated.
- Streets and Snow – includes a ride-along in a snow plow reported by councilmember Marcia Higgins; also Stadium & Pauline and Huron Parkway & Nixon have construction planned starting in the second half of April 2009, to be completed by end of August 2009.
- Waste – commercial recycling and wastewater treatment (can you say “bio-solids”?)
- Public Commentary – against a street, for social justice, and for unbiased reporting on the bombing of Gaza.