We're but days away from the due-by date for the FY2010-11 budget, which will dominate much of the council's time this week and next; City Hall expects so many speakers at Monday's budget briefing that the mayor will convene the council in chambers at 9 a.m. before moving everyone upstairs for what's sure to be a lively discussion about council member and City Manager Mary Suhm's budget amendments. You can read 13 of them here -- including not only the eight members' call for a tax 4.91-cent tax hike, which would restore $40 million in services, but also Mayor Tom Leppert's proposal that adds $8.9 million back to the budget (including $2.5 million from "public/private partnership," which I assume includes Mark Cuban's $100,000, and $500,000 from "parking meter revenues') and Dwaine Caraway and Delia Jasso's plan to up garage sale permit fees from $5 to $15. Jasso also proposes to ditch those proposed building permit fee hikes.
On the other side you'll find even more budget goodies: 23 additional budget-detail questions asked by the council and answered by Suhm in a memo sent to council last night. Among the Q's that get A'd: "What savings could be achieved by reducing street lights?" "What is timeline and steps necessary for City to become a Retail Electric Provider (REP)?" "Provide a 5 year history on the operating revenue and expenses at WRR." (Note: In 2007, WRR pocketed $562,718 in profit; in FY2010-11, it's expected to lose $133,722.) And, "How much of the pothole money has been spent and what are the unfulfilled needs of potholes?" Also provided: a list of RIF'd positions and the salaries saved. Light reading, in other words.
September 10, 2010 Memos-1