Last weekend my family received the City's 2020 Municipal Budget Snapshot in the mail and I had a number of questions after seeing no changes made to address the COVID-19 crisis facing our community.
My comments/questions are:
- I would like to know what assumptions were used in creating this budget. How long do we expect the near total shutdown to last? What types of restrictions will remain as the economy reopens?
- Will the Family Aquatic Center and hotels be allowed to run at full capacity? If so, do we expect the general public to join pools or stay in hotels at pre-COVID volumes immediately? How will the governor's order to wear face masks when out in public work at the town pool?
- What about the reduction in parking fees income? There is free parking downtown and I’m assuming the commuter lots are empty. Yet the parking meter workers are still employed and in their cars at the transfer station.
- Did the city furlough any staff during the crisis and if not why not? Are there departments within City government where we are paying staff and through no fault of their own cannot do their jobs because of the restrictions in place?
These questions were not addressed at Tuesday's Council meeting so maybe a dedicated budget workshop before the next meeting on May 26th would help address some of mine and likely other concerns about the financial health of our city. Let's come together to find the best possible solutions to the unique challenges facing Summit. Full transparency from our elected officials and City staff will do this year's budget process good!