Mandatory city budget meeting attracts only one visitor

Exactly one member of the public attended a mandatory Port Orchard City Council meeting on Dec. 6 to listen to comments about its proposed budget.

Consequently, the gathering lasted roughly four minutes before being adjourned.

“A public hearing on the proposed 2011 budget is required on or before the first Monday of December,” wrote City Treasurer Allan Martin on the agenda staff report.

“Citizens and community organizations,” he added, “ are encouraged to participate by providing the council with their priorities for future infrastructure projects, public safety enhancements, cultural and recreational opportunities and other public services.”

The city expects to have a $30.6 million budget by the end of the budgeting process, and the council expects some of its revenue sources to increase while others will decrease.

The police department, for example, expects to increase its revenue for certain violations and decrease violations for others.

In 2010, the police department budgeted $75,000 for civil parking infraction penalties. In 2011, however, that amount is expected to drop to $68,000.

Revenue from driving under the influence, meanwhile, is projected to increase from $4,500 to $6,000.

Overall, the Port Orchard Police Department is projected to generate $240,500 in 2011, which comes in slightly less than their $246,500 budget of 2010.

General property taxes, on the other hand, are expected to generate $858,996 in 2011, up from the $644,471 budget of 2010.

Houses newly annexed to the city of Port Orchard as well as a 1 percent increase in the property tax rate contributed to the projected revenue increase.

Expenses related to city employees went up in just about every department across the board.

The budget for the mayor and his staff, for example, is expected to increase from $65,325 to $78,862, and budget allows for an increase in “records services” costs from $101,643 to $108,510. Legal services are expected to jump from $255,723 to $345,583.

The record will be open to written testimony until the office closes on Dec. 10.

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