Council Sets Goals for the 2017-2019 Budget Cycle
Budget workshop follows a highly successful public outreach effort
After a successful outreach program that garnered extensive community input, the City Council formally set its goals Saturday for the 2017-2019 budget cycle, naming Housing, Multi-Modal Transportation, Climate Action and Fiscal Sustainability and Responsibility as its top four priorities and Downtown Vitality as an Other Important Objective.
The Council set those Major City Goals and the Other Important Objective during a daylong workshop at the City/County Library. There, Council Members addressed several options, then deliberated before taking action. The workshop is one of several important steps the Council takes in creating a budget, including a review of work plans associated with the priorities (on April 18) and a preliminary Financial Plan presentation on May 15.
In an effort to assist the Council in aligning goals with community needs, the City called for public input, as it does prior to every new two-year Financial Plan, and received record-breaking feedback. More than 1,200 people completed surveys and 2,000 offered input, both online and at a packed public forum held Jan. 10.
“The Council was able to use this feedback and their sense of what is important to the community to arrive at these priorities,” said City Manager Katie Lichtig. “I’m pleased that so many individuals are engaged in the process, which really shows how much people care about our community.”
The Major City Goals and Other Important Objective determined by the Council are:
Major City Goals
Housing: Facilitate increased production of all housing types designed to be economically accessible to the area workforce and low and very low-income residents, through increased density and proximity to transportation corridors in alignment with the Climate Action Plan.
Multi-Modal Transportation: Prioritize implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan, pedestrian safety, and the Short-Range Transit Plan.
Climate Action: Implement Climate Action Plan, assess requirements to achieve a “net-zero carbon City” target, and implement cost-effective measures, including implementation of a Sustainability Coordinator and formation of a Green Team.
Fiscal Sustainability and Responsibility: Continue to implement the City’s Fiscal Responsibility Philosophy with a focus on economic development and responsiveness, unfunded liabilities, and infrastructure financing.
Other Important Objective
Downtown Vitality: Continue to improve safety, infrastructure investment, and maintenance in the Downtown and support Downtown Association’s proposal to consider a Downtown improvement district.
Following the presentation of the preliminary Financial Plan, workshops will be held in June before it is adopted June 20. The Financial Plan lasts for two years.
The City of San Luis Obispo has received national recognition for its use of a two-year financial plan and budgetary process that emphasizes long-range planning and effective program management. More information on the goals and the budgetary process can be found here.