Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Rally at City Hall encourages residents to speak up on proposed city budget

ST. PETERSBURG — A group of about 40 people gathered outside City Hall on Monday to call for more input from residents on two key budget items.

A coalition group, the People's Budget Review, wants the public to speak up on two proposals the city is considering to close a $10 million shortfall in the 2013 budget: a fire readiness fee or a millage rate increase.

"People have been speaking up for the first time," said Lou Brown III, political action chairman of the St. Petersburg NAACP.

Brown, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, said the group prepared a survey that initially drew 4,200 responses.

The group wants to get 10,000 residents to complete the survey before the budget hearings on Sept. 13 and 27.

Survey questions have been refined to determine whether residents want to approve the fire fee or raise the millage rate to balance the budget.

The group went on to say that residents were more concerned about line items in earlier budgets, but now they're looking at the entire budget.

Mayor Bill Foster and four council members attended.

The survey has 32 questions and is available online at peoplesbudgetreview.org.

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