I tried to pre-write my city council story this afternoon.
I wrote that the council was going to do more to solicit public input early in this year’s budget deliberations.
That was what Councilmember Bill Harrison suggested, but that’s not what the council wanted to do.
Like recent annual city budgets, this one is going to be painful, as the city digs even deeper into its reserves and contemplates service reductions and employee pay cuts.
Harrison wanted to the council to consider commissioning a budget survey this year, and maybe forming a citizen budget commission for future years.
But his colleagues argued that the council should come up with a budget plan and then take that to the public, if any of them really care about it anyway — Fremont budget hearings are usually very quiet affairs.
Here’s a bit of what Dominic Dutra said:
“I don’t think we need to survey citizens to figure out what we need to do … I certainly appreciate the idea that we need to get their input. But the council needs to take responsibility to come up with a plan.”
And here’s a bit from Mayor Wasserman:
The real key that tends to get overlooked is it’s wrong t ogo out and ask the public what they thin, unless you can give them something of what you think.
The mayor also recalled his days as police chief when the public was more active in crafting budgets.
As police chief it was a lot of my time, he said. And the end result was really nothing.