Throughout my time as your Mayor, I have worked to run the City like a business. Providing excellent City services in a fiscally conservative way remains a top goal – one we are achieving. My commitment to sound financial management has created a $23 million cash reserve even in these difficult economic times.
The year ahead will be filled with even greater challenges. As we begin to prepare the 2004 City budget, I am asking for your help. In order to stay on this solid fiscal path and keep the City's budget balanced, I will be faced with many difficult choices. You can help me make those decisions by attending one of the 2004 Budget Town Hall meetings or sharing your opinions in the 2004 Budget Survey, posted on the City's website, www.cityoffortwayne.org.
I want to hear from the people of Fort Wayne about how they want me to continue providing excellent services without hurting the City's fiscal stability. To make participation in the budget process as easy as possible, I am hosting a number of town hall meetings. The meetings are open to everyone and will provide residents with an opportunity to voice their opinions about how their tax dollars are used to provide services. The schedule for the town hall meetings is:
• 6:30 p.m., August 13 at Calvary Third Presbyterian, 4700 South Anthony Boulevard
• 5:45 p.m., Thursday, August 14 at Good Shepard United Methodist Church, 4700 Vance Avenue
• 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 20 at West Central Ministries, 1316 Broadway
• 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 26 at Franke Park Pavilion I
I also encourage residents with internet access to provide feedback on the budget process by filling out an on-line survey. The short survey asks citizens what they consider to be funding priorities for the City as well as areas where funding could be reduced and the best ways in which the City could generate additional revenue.
All of this information and input is vital to City department heads and myself as we begin crafting the 2004 budget. Working together, we can build a strong Fort Wayne.