–ѕа°±б>ю€ 57ю€€€4€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€м•Ѕ#` рњbjbj\.\. 8>D>D €€€€€€§^^^^^^^rЦЦЦЦ Ґr#ш¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬Ґ§§§§§§$hГd»^• ¬¬• • »^^¬¬Ё! ! ! • .^¬^¬Ґ! • Ґ! ! VО@^^R¬ґ pbК≥ƒ«Ц” "ќ Ґу0#Џxзх зRз^RP¬"д! ь Х¬¬¬»» ¬¬¬#• • • • rrr$ЦrrrЦrrr^^^^^^€€€€  Memorandum July 12, 2007 From: Charlie Sapp To: City Council, City Manager, Assistant City Managers Subject: The next stage: The spending side of the equation 1. In the swirl of discussions over taxes it often seems forgotten that there are two sides to the budget equation: revenue and expenditures. Over the past few budget cycles this Council has imposed a constraint or cap to try to moderate the growth in real estate assessments. While this has had some positive effect, it must be recognized that despite the generous growth index we have still been compelled to exceed the limit in order to meet pressing spending needs. It is apparent that we need to pay some more attention to the expenditure side of the equation. 2. I emphasize more attention in recognition of earlier attempts to identify core functions and prioritize spending against that list. That exercise clearly showed that there were different opinions in the community as to what constituted a core function. Bluebird Gap Farm and the movies at Buckroe immediately come to mind as functions not called out in the constitution or state code but certainly of great importance to the community. 3. There seem to be two issues in play: (a) What kind of decision- making process do we use to craft the budget? and (b) What kind of community do we want in Hampton and how much are we willing to pay for it? 4. The basic requirement for intelligent decision-making is to hear arguments and evidence from both sides of an issue. Despite our complex series of workshops and associated budget-building exercises, we typically hear from various program administrators and some folks who are in favor of a particular program but rarely hear from anyone advocating reductions or, heaven forbid, elimination of the program altogether. The program in question is assumed to be necessary, helpful, and effective and the exercise becomes one of program reduction, rarely elimination. 5. I propose that the antidote for this situation would include (a) better articulation of the purpose of each program or activity in the budget combined with better measures of effectiveness at meeting its objectives and (b) some method of presenting the case against various programs to help balance the pure advocacy we see now. Balance must be created by somehow introducing capable, energetic critics of spending programs into the budget decision-making process. Otherwise we remain immersed in a culture of spending with no logical or objective constraints to guide our fiscal policy decisions. 6. This leads logically to dealing with the second question: I think we need to create a formalized venue for the taxpayerТs voice to be heard, one that is more formalized and structured than is now provided through the public hearing process. This might take the form of a citizensТ commission on the budget whose members could be appointed by Council from a list of applicants much as we filled the roster for the HRHA and the FADA. 7. With this as background, I look forward to a spirited discussion on July 18. |ѓ≤єЌви# * + . 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