A new operating budget for 2019 is in the works for Birmingham as Mayor Randall Woodfin presents his plan to the city council today, May 1.
The budget calls for an $8 million increase over 2018s.
During last weeks council meeting, Woodfin stated,
“It’s a new day in Birmingham. Not just through the budget process, but with how we spend tax dollars. The budget we have created falls in line with our core values and commitment to neighborhood revitalization. It represents some difficult and responsible decisions that must be made to support our priorities.”
The proposed $436 million dollar budget plan focuses on five key areas:
- Personnel: Includes a one percent cost of living adjustment for city employees, as well as the continuation of longevity pay. It also eliminates 133 vacant positions, saving $4.7 million.
- Operations: Establishes a Preventative Maintenance Program with a plan to address the needs of the city infrastructure. It will begin with an initial investment of half a million dollars.
- Overtime: Identifies opportunities to reduce overtime costs through efficiency and accountability.
- New standards for the funding of boards and agencies: All non-departments must submit budgets that focus more on programs and services for the residents of Birmingham and not primarily to support salaries. In addition, an internal audi process of all contracts will be put in place.
- Neighborhood revitalization: Creates new standards to support our absolute priority of neighborhood revitalization. It also reflects the demands to increase funding for demolition and weed abatement, sidewalks and paving roads. It will also establish the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity where priority will be set for an increase and support in small business growth in Birmingham neighborhoods.
“We held three days of departmental training, which followed with the request forms to be returned and reviewed by the Budget Office at the end of February,” said Woodfin. “Throughout this process, there were two critical messages. Each department must prioritize needs over wants. There were no sacred cows. Nothing is views untouchable… the positions we have taken demand accountability from within the departments and non-departments.”
To watch the council meeting live, click here!
What do you think of Woodfin’s operating budget plan for 2019?