Only Half of City Council Districts Having Their Own Budget Meetings
OCEAN BEACH, CA. Some of us active in the community of Ocean Beach have been wondering why there is no “Community Budget Input Meeting” scheduled for our District – District 2?
The San Diego City Council has just begun its process on approving a budget for FY2010, and Councilmember Tony Young and Mayor Sanders organized a series of community-input hearings in different City Council Districts, beginning Feb. 4th and ending on Feb. 26th. But not all the Districts – only Districts 3, 4, 5, and 7. None for Districts 1, 2 – the District here, 6 and 8. Half the Districts have their own meetings, and half don’t. Does this make sense? Districts 4 and 5 have already had their meetings.
Different OBceans have been attempting to get an answer from our Council office, but as yet, nothing clear on the issue has been communicated from Kevin Faulconer’s downtown office. Folks with the Friends of the OB Library even offered the Masonic Temple on Sunset Cliffs Blvd as a venue for a community meeting, but Councilmember Faulconer’s office declined and stuck with the schedule prepared by Young and the Mayor’s office. (See here for that schedule.)
A general meeting is planned as a catch-all. It’s set for 9 am on a work day, Wednesday, Feb. 25th. Downtown. That’s the day that Faulconer’s office points to for OBceans to have input. In contrast, the community meetings set for the four districts are either at night or on a Saturday.
Councilmember Tony Young wanted his committee, the Budget and Finance Committee to host a series of community meetings. Somewhere along the line, Mayor Sanders got involved in the planning, and together they set up this series of community meetings. Or, in a sense, ‘some community meetings’. Young was described as having a “strong desire” to involve city residents at these meetings as part of a process to prioritize City of San Diego services. The results would be compiled and “utilized by the Mayor and the Council throughout the budget process.” (For a little background – I mean a little -from the Independent Budget Analyst on this process, visit here.)
So, if all of this is true, why aren’t there community meetings to give input to the budget in all of the City Council Districts? For an answer, I suggest you call Councilmember Faulconer’s office at 619-236-6622.
If we don’t end up with our own District’s meeting, I urge you to still attend the one on the 25th, even though it’s in the morning and is downtown. Don’t forget: If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.