I’m Back… and the 2016 budget

Good morning everyone!

I was in Seattle last week at the national City Manager conference.  It’s a good chance to step away from daily operations and see how other communities have successfully tackled problems that we face.  I took good notes and we’ll start exploring some of those  interesting ideas in 2016.

Among the interesting concepts being worked on by other communities….

There was a great seminar on successfully recruiting retail to your city.  This is obviously one area we need extensive help.  I don’t want our citizens to have to drive to other cities to get the retail items they want to shop for.  That’s money flowing out of our city into our neighbor’s pockets.  I’ll be following up on how those cities successfully put their plans together to see what could work here for our citizens benefit.

Another clever idea was a crew that was dedicated to the look of the City.  Using their terms, we could create a “Transform Middletown” work crew whose sole purpose was to improve the look of the city each day.  That could include fixing curbs, painting fire hydrants, weed control, straightening signs along the road… anything at all that looks untidy and needs attention.  We could certainly use that here.  If we were really clever, we might be able to pair it with summer employment for at-risk youth and put our younger citizens to work cleaning up their own city and learning how employment works and the importance of showing up on time and working hard.

The 2016 budget has been distributed to Council for consideration.  It continues a strong focus on Economic Development and longer range planning for sustainability.  There will be presentations made at the City Council meetings tonight and October 20th with more details.

As we get to the final numbers, I’ll try to get a budget draft document on our web page in case anyone would like to review it.

Have a great day!

Doug

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