Friday, October 9, 2009

City councilmember identifies key issues facing city as gangs, development and...UTC?; Sarasota, FL

WARD 4: Q&A with Henry and Smith Sarasota Florida Southwest Florida's Information Leader:
WARD 4: Q&A with Henry and Smith

Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 10:37 a.m.
Considering the decline in the city’s property tax base, do you agree with its budget priorities?
Henry: At this time I haven’t seen this year’s budget. In past years, I have thought that priorities were askew. I believe the council should have more input into the making of the budget.
Smith: I agree with the budget priorities when taken in the context of the current economic situation, nationally and locally, as well as past and future budget realities. Since 2000, the city has made significant strides in reducing staff levels through increased efficiencies while raising wages, especially in public safety to help retain our employees. This philosophy of making the city run much like a business continues in the fiscal year 2010 budget. Further, the current budget, while relatively austere, will allow the city to move proactively into the uncertain times of a bad economy and potential new state funding mandates with some stability.

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