Mayor Dave Norris opens up City Council’s March 18 budget work session

On March 18, 2008, The Charlottesville City Council held their third work session on

City Manager Gary O’Connell’s proposed budget for FY2009

. This time, Budget Director Leslie Beauregard presented

details of funding for outside agencies

, and an update on how state funding will affect the budget.


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“What we do know is that the general assembly has once again passed the pain on to the localities,” Beauregard said. “What they’re saying is that they’re going to look for $50 million in savings and ask localities to actually choose how we want to realize what our portion of the savings is.”

However, Beauregard said the details are not yet known, but when the

Virginia Department of Planning and Budget

issues its formal request later this year, the City will have to select where it will save money in late summer. “We definitely have more questions than answers, and we don’t have any details on anything, and as soon as we do we’ll come back to Council with an action plan.”

Beauregard said the City will be asked to choose from a list of programs currently funded by the state. O’Connell said his understanding was that the list would not be presented until August.





Councilor David Brown

Councilors also heard details on how outside agencies receive funding from the City. An Agency Budget Review Team holds work sessions to determine what social services proposals will be funded by the City.

A second process involves a team consisting of both City and County budget staff examine what arts, cultural and educational programs will receive funding, as well as any contractual obligations for shared ventures between the two localities such as the Emergency Communications Center and the regional jail.

Councilor

Holly Edwards

did not attend, but submitted questions in writing. She observed that the process by which agencies are funded is too complex and should be simplified. Councilor

David Brown

said Council should discuss that process at another time.

Councilors also suggested they would not need to hold the fourth work session, currently scheduled for April 1 at 5:00 PM. However, they left open the possibility of holding the session should conditions change.


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