Monday, September 27, 2010

Work Ahead

Now that summer is officially over, the pace will pick up on Council. We will begin in earnest, having already had our first budget work session, to put together a budget that is devised in a very different way than has been done before. It's a process known as Budgeting for Outcomes, which essentially requires public leaders to set a price for the city government and to figure out what citizen's most value and how to spend taypayer dollars. I'd encourage you to read about it at

We will also have to begin to grapple with a Capital Plan in the city that offers little wiggle room in terms of debt capacity and the stability of our bond rating. So it would seem to me that we'll stick again with more infrastructural and existing capital projects in the current five-year plan.

We'll also be dealing with putting together a Master Plan for the former Countryside Golf Club property. Any plan should have significant recreational components that include well-designed green spaces. Other ideas that I heard at the multiple public meetings for neighbors of the property and other stakeholders could include some nice and compatible housing, a village center, a conference center, playing fields and other ideas. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide more public input beyond the meetings already held, and I hope folks will take advantage of that opportunity.

We're already working and have just gone through a third draft of the city's annual legislative plan, and members of Council will likely go to Richmond to lobby the General Assembly on certain requested legislative changes. I'm sure there will also be a lot of talk about our need for the Commonwealth to stop the massive funding cuts to public education.

We've got a busy fall ahead and I'm sure more will arise as we head into winter. There's a lot to be done.