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City Council

2008 Community Roundtables

Summary Report

Click here for a comprehensive summary report of the input shared by nearly 200 Midlanders during October 2008 Roundtable sessions. The report was released at the December 8, 2008, City Council meeting.

Background

In addition to current economic conditions in Michigan that have limited our economic growth and increased our costs, recent settlement of major tax appeals has reduced the City of Midlandís tax base by over $400 million. This reduction in tax base has produced a 17% loss in property tax revenue needed to provide City services.

We overcame a $5.7 million gap in funding in the 2008-09 fiscal year, and project a $4.7 million shortfall in 2009-10. City employees reduced spending by $1.4 million this year alone and continue to search for improved efficiencies and cost reductions; however, making up for this lost revenue has been no easy task.

Things will change in the 2009-10 budget. That change will likely come in the form of reductions or eliminations of services, increased fees and taxes, or a combination of both. The implications of these changes have warranted more public input in the budget process than in the past, and the City Council has been very interested in citizen views on what City services should be offered and at what level.

Budget Roundtable discussions scheduled for October 7-10, 2008, were an opportunity for citizens to discuss the value of City services with other residents. Nearly 180 citizens took part in one of seven scheduled Roundtable sessions. Results of each roundtable discussion are included in the comprehensive report above. The report recommendations have been considered by the City Council, and have provided direction to the City Manager in preparing his proposed 2009-10 City of Midland budget.

Input From Many Avenues

Input from many different sources is providing City administration and Midland City Council with the best possible information for the decision-making process ahead:

Employee Budget Roundtables

Nearly 300 City of Midland staff participated in employee Roundtables in August 2008. These sessions challenged employees to identify more opportunities for improved efficiencies and cost reductions. City staff have contributed numerous ideas to cut costs and help City services work more efficiently.

City Telephone Survey

400 city households completed a random-sample telephone survey at the end of August 2008. This survey provides statistically valid feedback on the importance of various City service issues as expressed by the Midland residents surveyed.

Community Budget Roundtables

Citizen Roundtables allowed residents the opportunity to learn more about City services and their costs, and to discuss amongst themselves their City service priorities.

It All Comes Together in the End

At its January 2009 goal-setting session, the City Council considered the ideas and input provided through the telephone survey, the employee Roundtables, and the citizen Budget Roundtables. The City Council also received summary and verbatim reports from each of the input opportunities. Council established budget priorities, which provided direction to the City Manager in preparation of the proposed 2009-10 budget.

For More Information

The links in the purple area at left provide access to a variety of information about the City's budget challenges:

  • Community Question: Budget Challenges - This 30-minute video provides you with insight into the financial issues plaguing the City of Midland governmental entity. (Windows Media Player 9 and a broadband connection to the Internet is needed.

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  • City Manager's Budget Presentation - This PowerPoint presentation was presented to City employees during employee Roundtables in August 2008. The presentation outlines some of the challenges the City is facing this year and will be facing in future budget years.

  • 2005 Budget Roundtables - These roundtables, held in early 2005, provided Council with input from citizens about what they believed the budget priorities should be for future years. Invaluable input from these roundtables has aided the City Council in setting priorities that have impacted the last four City budgets.

  • 2008-09 City Budget -  This budget is for the current fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009.

  • Timeline -  This document show a timeline of the 2009-10 budget review and approval process.

As more information becomes available, it will be added to this site.

Submit A Comment

Have a comment, question, or idea to share regarding the City of Midland budget, services, or programs?  Click here to submit an e-mail message to City Hall. If you would like a response, please include your contact information.