Segarra Seeking Input Earlier In Spending-Plan Process Than Usual
By JENNA CARLESSO
March 27, 2011
HARTFORD — — The mayor has traditionally solicited public opinion about the proposed city budget after it is released.
This year, Mayor Pedro Segarra isn't waiting.
Segarra has scheduled a "town meeting" Tuesday to hear residents' ideas about how he should balance the 2011-12 budget, which he plans to submit to the city council April 18.
The public is invited to ask questions and make recommendations about how the city can be more efficient.
"It's about having people express their ideas," city spokeswoman Sarah Barr said. "We're looking forward to a nice turnout."
The city is facing a projected $17.8 million deficit in the next fiscal year. City council members have discussed various ways to close the gap, including raising parking fees, consolidating school board functions with other city departments and closing city hall on Fridays.
The meeting will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. Guests are asked to sign in when they arrive and write their questions on cards. There will also be a chance to ask the mayor questions directly, Barr said.
Those whose questions are not answered during the meeting will be contacted by e-mail or telephone afterward, she said.
"We want to get everyone's questions answered," Barr said.
Light refreshments will be served at the library at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday's meeting is the first in a series, Barr said, though the mayor has not yet scheduled subsequent meetings.
A public hearing will still be held after the release of the mayor's budget. It is scheduled for April 26 at Bulkeley High School, 300 Wethersfield Ave.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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