C'ville CIty Council Seeks Citizen Input

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Tuesday January 22, 2008

John Pfaltz doesn't like how the city of Charlottesville spends its money.

"In preceding years City Council has blithely increased city spending by 15 to 20 percent," Pfaltz complained to City Councilors.

Now, thanks to a new initiative announced at Tuesday night's City Council meeting, disgruntled residents like Pfaltz will have an easier time registering their complaints.

"We really do encourage residents to give us their feedback," said Ric Barrick, the city's Director of Communications. "One way you can do that is to go to charlottesville.org/smartgovernment and there's a very small form to fill out that allows you to give your opinion on where we can save money."

The city's budget will go public February 15 and heads to the Council in early March.

In addition to the new Web site, City Manager Gary O'Connell also invited the public to a Saturday budget workshop in March, where they'll be able to give their opinions to City Councilors face-to-face.

"We're trying to increase our opportunities for our citizens...save citizens money. It's good for the community and...I think a win-win deal all the way around," O'Connell told the crowd at Tuesday's meeting.

In addition to the Web site and the workshop, the city will soon announce the hiring of a new Assistant City Manager, just another tool to connect the citizens to their government come budget time.

"We wanted to see...where we're already looking at cost savings, where we might be able to squeeze a little bit more cost savings in the future and how we move forward," Barrick explained. "So this is a good way to tee up that conversation, hopefully involve the public as well."

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