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Preparing for the Next Budget

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by Ann Ferguson

Under the Town Charter the Mayor must propose a budget for the next fiscal year and present that budget to the Council in the first week of May. During the month of March that process begins.

All departments--Police, Public Works and General Government submit requests to fund current operations, for new programs and for capital expenditures such as replacement of equipment. Meetings are scheduled and department heads must justify their requests for additional expenditures and, if the proposals are determined to be beneficial, they are included in the budget document. Other activities funded under the annual budget are tree planting and park maintenance and activities organized by the town's Recreation Board.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the budget process. A resident who knows of a program that could benefit the town can describe the details in a letter to me so I can consider it as part of my proposed budget. Residents should also consider offering recommendations in already existing budget categories--for example a proposal for additional recreation activities or enhancement of an existing service in one of the major departments.

After the budget is delivered to the Council, meetings are scheduled by the Finance Committee to review projected revenues and proposed expenditures. These meetings are open to the public for comment and another opportunity for comment by residents is the public hearing which is held each year as part of the budget adoption process--a meeting scheduled in May of each year.

A major decision in this year's budget is continuation of the streetwork projects begun in the 1998-99 budget year. One-half million dollars allocated for the Phase I work resulted in

significant improvements in the condition of many town streets, curbs and sidewalks. A similar allocation in the 2000-01 budget year will improve streets in the Phase II project areas.

Our goal in the budget process is to use town revenues wisely for the benefit of residents. We encourage and invite the public to be participants in the process.

School Uniforms Proposed

At a PTA Executive Committee meeting in January a decision was made to propose the adoption of a school uniform policy for students at Riverdale Elementary School.

A number of jurisdictions have instituted this policy and results show that students under a uniform policy have experienced improved grades and a reduction in behavior problems.

Parents must vote in favor of this issue before it can be adopted. Ballots will be sent to each family--one for each student at Riverdale Elementary School. If you are in favor of this proposal, it is vital that you return your ballot. Ballots not returned are counted as a "no" vote.

Recycling Works

A disposal tank for the recycling of used motor oil is available at the Public Works building. This program was begun early in the 1990s under a State of Maryland program and is used often.

A report on total volume recycled for ten months in 1999 shows that 1,960 gallons of oil was disposed of at the town's location in that period. Another benefit is that these gallons of oil might have ended up in our water table and eventually in the Chesapeake Bay. Recycling does work! Congratulations to the many residents working to protect the environment.

This page was last changed on Sunday, March 5, 2000. Questions, comments, or submissions? See the Website Committee web page. This page has been accessed 4722 times.