In this podcast episode, Bainbridge Island City Finance Director Ellen Schroer explains to BCB host Barry Peters the highlights of the City’s proposed budget for the next two-year biennium (2015-2016).
Public meetings on the budget occur on Tuesdays in October. The Council must approve the budget by December.
Topics discussed by the Finance Director during this interview are the following:
- What’s new about this budget exercise for the City? 0:38
- How does this budget identify City Department performance measures: accomplishments and goals? 1:33
- Is a good example of a performance measure how many days it takes to obtain a planning or building approval? 3:43
- How do you compare City staffing in pre-recession years (when there were as many as 152 full-time equivalent employees) versus a recent year (when staffed dropped to 104)? 4:16
- What are examples of key goals and priorities for 2015-16? 5:54
- What is the size of the City’s operating budget, and its capital budget? 7:43
- What capital projects are shaping up as priorities for the next two years? 8:17
- What are examples of capital projects accomplished recently? 9:08
- For the preservation and resurfacing of roads, is the budgeted $600,000 sufficient? 9:42
- Does the Council contemplate issuing debt to tackle major capital projects? 10:56
- The budget exercise, for the first time, uses an approach called “Priority-Based Budgeting”. What is that? 12:02
- One priority is “Reliable Infrastructure and Connected Mobility”. What is ‘connected mobility’? 13:36
- Another priority is a “Healthy and Attractive Community”? How does the budget address that? 14:46
- Another priority is “Vibrant Economy”? How does the budget address that? 15:40
- Has the Council asked for the budget to address the need for improvements in cellular service? 16:22
- Does the budget address the needs for improved parking in Winslow in connection with the goal of Vibrant Economy? 16:58
- How does the budget define the sixth priority: “Good Governance”? 17:18
- Do you have a comment on the awards recently received by Bainbridge Island for active citizen engagement? 17:44
- Is the City looking for ways to improve citizen engagement for groups like daily ferry commuters; young busy families; and youth in the 18-25 age group? 18:26
- What does the budget have to say about maintaining opportunities for local residents to volunteer? 20:17
- Do you have a final thought about the openness of the budget process to Bainbridge residents? 20:52
The City Council is conducting public meetings for budget review on Tuesday evenings in October in City Hall. Meetings typically begin at 7pm with a public comment period being at the beginning of a business meeting, or occurring in response to topics raised at a Study Session.
Credits: BCB host, editor and publisher: Barry Peters; BCB intro music: Tim Bird; BCB ferry music: Dogfish Bay Studios; BCB podcast art: artopia creative.