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Council set to consider 2010 budget today

Monday, September 14, 2009 by Austin Monitor

After months of consideration, public input and non-public work by staff, the City Council will hold a final hearing, and vote on this year’s budget today. The meeting begins at 9am in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell is hoping for a smooth process with no surprises from his fellow Council members. He said Sunday there will be amendments to the $2.75 billion budget proposed by City Manager Marc Ott, but those will have been thoroughly vetted before today, such as restoration of service incentive pay, known as SIPs for city employees with five or more years of service. Employees are not getting a raise this year. The SIPs are paid once a year, usually in December.

Leffingwell told In Fact Daily last week that he was looking at further cuts to the budget that might be had by cutting positions that had not been filled for some time. However, on Sunday he said, “Most of them, there’s a justification they want to keep those open for the time being. There are still some open issues among several Council Members that will be pursued later. I don’t think we want to be making big massive changes on the fly up there,” on the dais.

Leffingwell noted that the budget can be amended throughout the year after those ideas had been thoroughly considered. “I just think it is better…to ponder the changes,” he said. 

Council Member Sheryl Cole agreed. On Sunday she said she expects her colleagues will approve the budget unanimously on all three readings today, eliminating the need to return for second and third rounds of voting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For the city’s description of the budget, go to http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/budget/09-10/downloads/executive_summary_2010.pdf.

 

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