The proposed 2006-2007 city budget is available for your perusal; check out for yourself where City Manager Mary Suhm wants to spend $2.34 billion. Or play along with Mayor "A Penny Saved" Laura and see where you can find some places to cut from the budget, as she's about to ask a panel of council members to do. Probably best not to put Dr. Maxine Thornton-Reese on that committee; not only did she sneak that Ann Arbor/Marsalis Shopping Center into the bond package for $3.7 mil, but The Dallas Morning News reported on Monday that she's actually trying to add to the budget in order to get city employees a 2 percent across-the-board pay increase. How often a day do you think she utters the phrase, "Hey, it's not my money"? The over-under has been set at 14.
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Got questions about the budget? Or, like Jim Schutze, do you just need to know where Angela Hunt's gonna be sometimes? Then go here for a list of scheduled town hall meetings during which the budget will be dissected, by which I mean council members will talk for a while, people may or may not ask a few questions, and the council members will go home and forget everything their constituents asked/said/shouted/begged for. (Unless it's Angela Hunt, in which case she will put the info on her blog, to which I link very reluctantly and only with the warning that it takes a good five minutes to load these days. Concerning the budget, she does have some reservations, chiefly because "the most critical program that was not included in the budget is the Single-Room Occupancy Unit program for the homeless ($3M), [which] are a critical component of the City's 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.") The town hall meetings started Monday, continue tomorrow and run through September 12, when Reese gets the final word. Of course she does. --Robert Wilonsky