COUNCIL ANNOUNCES KICK-OFF OF BUDGET REVIEW SEASON President Shabazz and Finance Chair Freel announce public engagement website, departmental hearings and return of hearing for Council budget

Wilmington, Del. (February 5, 2018) – City Council President Dr. Hanifa Shabazz, today, announced the steps City Council is taking to prepare for the review of the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 annual budget, to include a virtual citizen participation platform and budget hearings open to the public and aired live on WITN 22.

One of Council’s chief responsibilities each year is to adopt an annual operating budget, and members take this fiduciary responsibility seriously.

“As elected representatives of the residents of Wilmington, it is our duty to review and scrutinize funding proposals, to ensure the City’s annual spending plan balances the need to prudently manage tax dollars with the need to fund important initiatives,” said President Shabazz. “It is also important to engage our constituents in this process, so we will continue our efforts to make this process transparent and accessible.”

Council will again launch its innovative and user-friendly web platform – www.WilmDEbudget.org – that gives residents access to information related to the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget and facilitates engagement of community stakeholders in the budget review process.

More specifically, www.WilmDEbudget.org includes materials related to the City’s overall budget, as well as the budgets of individual departments, and offers visitors an opportunity to:

o Review proposed budget documents for the City of Wilmington and each of its departments to learn more about how your tax dollars will be spent;

o Submit comments about departmental budgets that you would like Council to consider during the budget hearings;

o Watch the budget hearings by streaming them online; and

o Follow City Council on social media to stay informed of new developments.

“Whether it is through visiting our budget website or viewing our budget hearings, we strongly encourage members of the public to follow along as Council reviews and scrutinizes the proposed budget,” said Council Member Charles “Bud” Freel, Chair of City Council’s Finance

and Economic Development Committee. “We are working to ensure that you – the residents of Wilmington – have a voice in how we allocate your tax dollars, and we hope you will join us in this important process.”

Following a long-standing tradition, the City Council Finance and Economic Development Committee will also hold public budget hearings to allow each City department to present its budget, and to provide the opportunity for Council Members – and the public – to learn about funding proposals and ask questions about proposed spending.

President Shabazz also announced that City Council will hold a public hearing to present its own proposed budget, something that the City’s legislative branch has not done in at least 7 years.

“In addition to scrutinizing the proposed budgets of the other City departments and offices, we see the value in sharing the details about our own plans for Fiscal Year 2019,” she said. “We are excited about the critical initiatives, as well as the operational efficiencies, that will be reflected in our proposed budget.”

For more information on Council’s review process for the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget, visit www.WilmDEbudget.org or www.WilmingtonCityCouncil.com.

 

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