Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 9:23am
Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz introduced his 2008 executive operating budget today, proposing fiscally responsible investments in public safety, quality of life and economic development. The $224 million budget now goes to the Common Council for review and approval.
The Mayor unveiled his budget proposal at Operation Fresh Start, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive employment and training services to Madison-area youth. The Mayor's Public Safety Initiative includes funding for programs such as those offered by Operation Fresh Start to provide young people with positive alternatives.
"The budget that we adopt each year is a reflection of the values, concerns and priorities of our community," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "My 2008 executive operating budget proposal makes responsible, balanced investments in Madison's public safety, quality of life, transportation infrastructure, network of community services and economic development."
Highlights of the mayor's budget include:
• A modest 3.7% increase for taxes on the average home;
• A responsible plan for using $3.9 million in one-time money for public safety investments over the next two years;
• A Mayor's Public Safety Initiative that includes hiring of 30 additional police officers - nearly six times the historic average, and triple the number added last year;
• Funding for youth programs such as the Wisconsin Youth Company and the Youth Conservation program;
• Three new positions in the Neighborhood Preservation and Inspection Unit, to help enforce the recently-enacted chronic nuisance abatement ordinance;
• No fare increases or services cuts for the Metro Transit bus system;
• Continued support for the Collaboration Council's regional economic development program;
• Full implementation of the new Economic and Community Development agency.
For the second year, the mayor's executive operating budget is accompanied by Madison Measures, a comprehensive collection of city government performance benchmarks. Madison Measures tracks everything from crime rates to fire department response times to the number of low-income families using certified childcare.
Madison Measures is available online at http://www.cityofmadison.com/comp/budgetindex.htm.
The lack of an enacted state budget continues to create uncertainty for city government. State budget provisions related to Payments for Municipal Services (PMS) and municipal levy limits are vastly different in the Assembly and Senate budget proposals. Passage of the Assembly position on these two items would require Madison to cut an additional $15 million from its budget.
The Mayor's 2008 executive operating budget, along with other budget documents, is available online at http://www.cityofmadison.com/comp/budgetindex.htm.
- George Twigg(608) 266-4611