Podcast: Community Cafe:
City’s Finance Director highlights proposed budget for 2015-16

<i>Podcast: Community Cafe:</i> <br>City’s Finance Director highlights proposed budget for 2015-16

BCB Community Cafe Bainbridge Island - 150In 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.