In an entry in this newsletter, dated December 29, 2016 (** CY 2017 -- City Priorities, My Priorities **), I summarized the status of 2016 Gulfport operating budget priorities, as well as highlighting key items for CY 2017. I provided extensive details on items I considered important, primarily based on regular input from the community, the City Manager and his staff. In the December 29 post in this newsletter (see left margin, scroll down), I also provided a link to the City Manager's memorandum that details a very preliminary list priorities for 2017-2018. I recommend you take a look at the document.
At the upcoming April/May 2017 Gulfport City Council meetings, we will begin to have initial discussions that will ultimately guide the 2017-2018 Gulfport Operating Budget. With discussions taking place at most of the City Council meetings throughout the summer (including a budget workshop), we will have a final draft of the budget by early September, followed by the required budget hearing, and implementation on October 1, 2017.
As a point of reference and very useful tool, you may want to browse the current (in effect) operating budget. It is available on the city's website (www.mygulfport.us). Take note that we budgeted expenditures at about $11 million, with 69% due to employee costs. The seven page Executive Summary, as well as the following sections -- Fund Analysis, Revenue, Expenditures, Capital Improvements -- provide a really good baseline for understanding the budget.
As I get ready for initial discussions in April/May, I appreciate any thoughts and ideas you would like to share with me. With major infrastructure (sewers, street/brick restoration, alleys, sidewalks, Shore Blvd, drainage, building maintenance...) needs still an ongoing and high priority, new budget recommendations will be carefully weighed against them. However, by seek outside sources for funds, we may be able to address projects without straining our budget. Lastly, we have some upcoming budget issues that will challenge us to be even more conservative with our budget.
Please feel free to touch base with me via my email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will also schedule my next "Council Chat" shortly, specifically for informal budget discussions.