If you’re planning on attending next Tuesday’s city council meeting you’ll find yourself in the wrong place if you head to city hall. To encourage greater participation in the budgeting process, which the council is currently undertaking, the meeting has been moved across town to McBride High School.
The council meeting will include a budget presentation at the start of the meeting, which starts at 5:00PM, and discussion from leaders from the city’s library, health and human services and disaster preparedness departments. Smaller committee meetings for the successor agency for the now-dissolved redevelopment agency and the council’s budget oversight meeting will precede the actual council meeting.
Budget Oversight Committee Chair and Fifth District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo is inviting the community—McBride is located in the 5th District—to come out and participate in the budget process, one that must conclude before October 1.
“I often hear from neighbors that making it to downtown on Tuesday afternoons is challenging,” Mungo said in a statement. “Residents want to be able to directly weigh in on the City’s $2.65 billion budget and have a say on how the council prioritizes the spending of their tax dollars.”
The council’s Tuesday night agenda will also include an item authored by Mungo that will ask the city manager to develop a system to expand the city’s ability to more effectively communicate with its residents and increase transparency. The item is a continuation from a 2015 request made of the city manager to survey neighborhoods on their satisfaction with the city’s core services and what they feel should be prioritized.
Included in the request is a proposed analysis of the city’s use of social media and which outlets have been most effective in connecting with residents.
Last month, the city moved its public safety committee meeting from city hall to Stearns Park to help more residents cut out the drive to downtown to attend. The move was orchestrated by Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, who chairs that committee.
Price will add another layer of unusualness to the upcoming city council meeting as she will be joining her colleagues via teleconference from the mayor's office in Maui while she vacations in Hawaii.
"I believe that as a member of the budget oversight committee it's important for me to participate in all of the budget discussions so that I can make the most informed decisions," Price said. "This is our only family vacation of the year and we had to move it up a week due to the LBUSD start dates moving up. Otherwise, I would not have been missing council meeting."
[Editors note: The story has been updated to include Price's comments.]