This Week in Council Memos: Members' Budget Wish Lists, Flow Control and Looking Ahead
Those in need of a little light reading this Saturday morning will find on the other side the stack of heads-ups sent to the city council last night, the highlight of which will probably the proposed budget amendments offered by council members before Monday morning's briefing and straw vote. And the wish-list items are myriad, especially since, on September 7, City Manager Mary Suhm told the council that she, ya know, found an additional $1,768,646 not included in the original FY2012-13 budget -- "electric franchise fees and building use fees in Park and Recreation," dig?
Mayor Mike and seven council members -- Carolyn Davis, Pauline Medrano, Ann Margolin, Monica Alonzo, Scott Griggs, Linda Koop and Dwaine Caraway -- have a plan to spend every penny: adding two to Sustainable Development (which is also a Mary Suhm suggestion), restoring $140,000 to library materials, getting rid of one more furlough day (which is also on Tennell Atkins's wish list), pouring $150,000 into swimming pools (I was told Thursday night, "Dwaine's getting his pools") and forking over $296,169 to the Office of Cultural Affairs and $153,500 to the AT&T Performing Arts Center. For starters.
Angela Hunt and Scott Griggs have paired up for what they will be a revenue generator of as-yet-to-be-determined value: adding a "surcharge on residents consuming more than 15,000 gallons of water/month for months from April to September." Otherwise known as the Tom Hicks Tax? Sandy Greyson joins the duo for another proposal: rerouting $3 million the city spends on maintaining TxDOT rights-of-way to keeping Park & Rec workers and upping street maintenance.
Also in the stack o' memos: a sneak peek at what we could be up against next budget, because it's never too early; and more about flow control, which will also be on Monday's to-do list as Marys Suhm and Nix urge council to sign off on the trash-to-treasure initiative by no later than September 28 over the objections of those who say it's costly, stinky and altogether unnecessary.