‘Road show’ comment casts aspersions on budget process stakeholders

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‘Road show’ comment casts aspersions on budget process stakeholders
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By Octavia Brown, Alexandria (File photo)

Honest dialogue and deliberation as to how a city spends taxpayer funds by its citizens and employees is fundamental to how a democracy is supposed to work.  To have the participation in the city budget process through town hall meetings and interaction with employee groups characterized as “road shows” by City Manager Rashad Young leaves this reader in doubt as to how open the budget process might actually be.

While the title of an Alexandria Times article “Officials Look to Open up Budget Process” (October 30) was probably meant to give the citizens and employees of Alexandria confidence in city council’s management of the budget process, but instead the unfortunate use of the term “road show” has the opposite effect, leaving condescension in its wake.

Insult is added to the budget playbill mix when the city manager further implies that tough budget decisions will be the product of new budget processes.  If difficult budget decisions are new this year, then what sort of budget decisions has city council been making all along? For years now, city department heads have been asked to leverage essential citizen services while placing employees on the reduction in force list.  Is this not the epitome of a difficult budget decision?

As an upcoming “road show” barker, this reader is hoping that city council intends to have sincere participation in the budget process and notices the hard work that went into preparing for the performance.

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