Mayor Gray Presents his FY2013 Budget to Ward 1

Mayor Gray at the Ward 1 FY2013 Budget presentation

Mayor Gray presented an overview of his proposed budget priorities for FY2013 last night at Bell Multicultural High School, 3101 16th Street, NW. The Ward 1 presentation was the last of his eight Ward presentations.

According to the Mayor’s PowerPoint presentation, his FY2013 budget proposal has three main goals and four development principles.

The goals:

  1. Diversity and grow the District’s economy;
  2. Educate and prepare our work force for the New Economy; and,
  3. Improve the quality of life for all.

The principles:

  1. Continue to prioritize strategic investments in education, public safety, and workforce development;
  2. Protect our most vulnerable residents;
  3. Ensure a structurally balanced budget (no use of fund balance); and,
  4. Balance the budget with no new taxes or fees.

There was a notable emphasis on education — both in funding schools and in capital improvements (such as school modernizations). In responding to a question after the presentation that questioned all the money going into schools, especially for adults without children, Gray replied that investment in education was investment in the District’s future in all areas.

Because there is a projected budget gap for FY2013, one of the Mayor’s proposed methods of making up some of that revenue would be to expand sales hours for alcoholic beverages by bars and restaurants. While very little print was give to this proposal, the Mayor actually spent some time discussing it during the presentation and it was a topic of concern by more than a couple residents during the follow up questions to the Mayor. Residents from Adams Morgan, in particular, noted their observations that services responding to concerns in that neighborhood are already inadequately addressed. Some noted their belief that any money raised by extending the sales hours for alcohol would merely pay for the increased policing, etc., of the problems that the extra hours would create.

For those interested in exploring the FY2013 budget proposal themselves, many relevant documents are currently available online and can be accessed here.

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