Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Janesville Residents Asked to Make Tough Choices in Online Budget Scorecard

Residents' input sought on Janesville budget. (Janesville Gazette, 8/23/2011)

Excerpt:    Janesville city officials want to know what services taxpayers would cut and what fees they would raise to balance the city budget.

Unlike last year, Janesville taxpayers this year can't opt to increase city services when they complete the budget scorecard on the city website.

Only options to reduce services and increase fees are available.

The scorecard was created to help city council members gauge residents' feelings on levels of services provided by the city as they prepare the 2012 budget.

Last year, residents could say, "We want more services, and we are willing to pay for them," Jay Winzenz, assistant city manager, said.

"Now, we have limited avenues of raising revenue."

This year's survey also is shorter—five minutes will likely do it.

Those who take the survey are asked to identify $500,000 in savings, either through service reductions, fee increases or a combination of the two, Winzenz said.

Residents will have to make some tough choices, he said

One of the options:  Reduce hours at the ice arena senior center and library.

On its own, reducing hours is not going to save money.  I imagine any cuts in hours will be achieved through a reduction in staff.

The Hedberg Public Library received a low-priority status in the 2010 budget scorecard.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

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