In October, the Geneva City Council approved a budget that included last minute, significant cuts in funding for the Office of Neighborhood Initiatives and the Economic Opportunity Task Force. A Geneva Believer article on the ONI cuts was followed by two columns published in the Finger Lakes Times, both critical of Council’s decision to slash ONI funds.
As noted in the November 18th Geneva Believer article, the current budget process provides city council the opportunity to make surprise, last-minute, final changes to the budget each year, without any chance of public feedback.
In a December 9th appearance on Fingerlakes1.com‘s “Inside the FLX” with Josh Durso, Geneva’s Assistant City Manager Adam Blowers reported that during their recent annual retreat, Council decided they would change the budget process in 2019 to allow more time for staff and Council to “think things through,” and to give the public more of an opportunity to speak during the process.
“We talked with City Council and we think we’re gonna change the way we do a few things with budget for next year. Just because we all felt, Council included, like a lot of things came out kind of right at the last minute, and didn’t give Council enough time to really think things through, didn’t give staff enough time to think things through.
So we just want to kind of spread that out a little bit more. And also give the public a chance to speak on their priorities as well.”