Budget season has arrived, and the City of El Paso is inviting residents to share their views on what city services are most meaningful to them through the annual budget survey: Chime In!
The survey is available in English and Spanish via the Chime In! banner on the City’s homepage at www.elpasotexas.gov. The survey period runs through May 31, 2022.
“The pandemic has placed enormous pressure on the City of El Paso and other municipalities to perform under a globally distressed economy that has created increased costs across the board, for everything from goods to services,” said Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas. “We owe it to our residents and businesses to develop a fiscally responsible budget that maintains focus on the needs the community has identified as a priority. One way we can provide the City Council with the community’s critical public insight if each of our taxpayers and residents participate in this annual survey process.”
Engaging the public early in the budget process is a best management practice that allows the City to align its investments with priorities identified by the community, as well as with the City’s Strategic Plan and the City’s mission to deliver exceptional services to support a high quality of life and place for our community.
In the last seven years, City leadership has strengthened El Paso’s financial stability by achieving $227 million in cost savings; eliminating a $7.8 million General Fund deficit in 2014; eliminating a $27 million operating deficit in the mass transit department; tripling the fund balance by increasing it by more than $73 million; captured State sales taxes for downtown hotels revitalization; and led the City of El Paso team to achieve zero audit findings for six consecutive years.
In addition to the annual budget engagement survey, the City conducts a year-round integrated budget process and presents a budget update at every City Council meeting. The year-round process provides the community with ongoing updates and opportunities to learn about and provide feedback on the City’s finances.
Under this engagement campaign, the public will have additional opportunities to participate in the budget development process including social media polls, focus groups and a series of public meetings that will be scheduled prior to the adoption of the new budget.
Survey responses will serve as a guide for prioritizing the City’s budget, which annually must be adopted by August 31.
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