First, it was my intent to hold a public forum on issues related to the 2011 budget, but due to the timing of the release of information, the scheduling of Budget reviews, and a trip to the Nation League of Cities Winter Meeting, so instead I am offering you two avenues of communication.
1) Please check this website and I will be posting interesting analysis of the the 2011 Budget.
2) Send me any question that you wish to have answered. I will publish you question and answer on this site, so long as the question is respectful.
I am a pretty strong defender of the city budget and spending. We have had some very high profile failures like the Skyway to Nowhere and the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau Fraud. But in reality better than 98% of the budget is clear and pretty uncontroversial. We will see where the final numbers fall, but I expect that Rochester will be spending less real dollars per capita in 2011 than we did in 2001. The primary cause of increases is the failure to Tim Pawlenty to honor his promise not to cut LGA. If we could get our 2003 LGA amount adjusted for Growth, this same budget would lead to a massive property tax cut.
In Rochester we struggle to provide the infrastructure and services for 110,000 workers even though we only have only 43,000 households. All of those additional people that come here for work do not help pay the bills except for a .005 portion of sales tax and some business taxes for those at for profit companies. We citizens of Rochester continue to subsidize the rest of the region. LGA was the only method to introduce fairness, but that has been slowly killed off.