Chandler seeks resident input on city budget - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Chandler seeks resident input on city budget

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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:00 pm | Updated: 12:55 pm, Tue Jan 14, 2014.

Looking for the public’s input as it prepares its next budget, Chandler is conducting an online survey of residents to help develop the city’s budgetary priorities.

The survey is up now at the city’s website and can be submitted through Jan. 24. The survey results will be presented to the city manager, City Council and Mayor Jay Tibshraeny for consideration during the development process for the 2014-15 fiscal budget, which goes into effect July 1 of next year.

The survey, in its third year, is limited to Chandler residents.

“It tells us what’s most important to people,” said Greg Westrum, Chandler budget manager. “It affirms the things we’ve prioritized, but there is always the possibility something comes up that we didn’t think of.”

Part of the budget formulation process to date was Chandler management’s ongoing review of the many programs and services the city provides to residents, businesses and community organizations. The city continues to search for ways to achieve greater efficiency savings in recent years, Westrum said.

The budget survey solicits feedback on program and service priorities, as well as capital project priorities. The survey is posted at chandleraz.gov/budget.

For those without computer access, paper copies of the survey are available at the Chandler City Hall front desk, Chandler libraries, the downtown Community Center and Tumbleweed Recreation Center.

City officials will assess a variety of economic factors as they begin work on the next budget.

“We’ve been to a few economic forecast meetings recently, and it continues to be ‘slow but steady growth,’” Westrum said. “We’ve used that for a couple years now, but it still applies. Unemployment is down and housing is still climbing.”

Westrum said the city does not plan to cut the budget and that it was too early to tell if next year’s will be larger than the current one.

“We’ll mostly be shuffling funds between city programs,” he said.

Thus, the importance to knowing where the public’s priorities lie.

In addition to the survey, the public will have other opportunities in the coming months to share their thoughts about the proposed budget with city leaders and staff prior to its adoption in June. Budget Connect, an online forum, will be scheduled for late February or early March for residents and other stakeholders to ask questions and give input.

Details on the event and other public budget hearings will be posted on the city’s website. The latest updates will be available by calling the budget office at (480) 782-2252.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or cgabel@evtrib.com.

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