In the editorial of May 30, The Sentinel stated several times that the city provides only one public hearing on the city budget setting process, and that this public hearing is the only opportunity for the public to participate in, and speak to, the proposed city budget.

I think it is important to clarify that there are many opportunities for the public to participate in the process. The proposed city budget is submitted by the city manager to the City Council, and is referred by the council to the Finance, Organization and Personnel Committee. That committee then sets specific dates to consider the proposed budget in detail. The committee meetings are publicly noticed and are open to the public, to ask questions and to comment as the budget is reviewed. Members of the public do attend these meetings, and do make comments during the process, as The Sentinel has previously reported.

The process followed by the city is in addition to the statutorily required public hearing, and provides a greater opportunity for public participation in the budget process than required by law. The city encourages the public to participate in this expanded budget setting process, and to express their opinion on such an important issue.


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