Posted tagged ‘District Budget’

Mayor’s FY2014 Ward 1 Budget Town Hall on Thursday, April 11th

April 9, 2013

Are you interested in knowing more about Mayor Gray’s proposed FY2014 budget? If so, consider attending the Mayor’s town hall meeting this Thursday at the Columbia Heights Community Center.

ward 1 town hall flyer

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Mayor Gray Submits Fiscal Year 2014 Budget to Council

March 29, 2013

Yesterday, Mayor Gray released his Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget to the D.C. Council (press release below after the jump). This will begin the cycle of Budget Town Hall meetings (Ward 1’s is scheduled for April 11, 2013, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Columbia Heights Community Center) and DC Council hearings. While the proposed budget does tend to set a lot of the broad budgetary priorities, there is still a lot of wiggle room — which is why the Council hearings are important.

By going to the Council’s budget meetings residents can testify re: priorities and projects for which they are advocates. In reviewing Mayor Gray’s priorities, there are two that I think align with continuing needs we have in the community, which I believe makes them low hanging fruit. Those are the “multi-million dollar investment in expanding, improving and renovating the District’s parks and recreation facilities and programs” and his commitment to affordable housing.

Field house at the Park View Rec Center in 2009.

Field house at the Park View Rec Center in 2009.

While the Park View Recreation Center has recently benefited from outdoor improvements and upgrades and renovations to the main building, the historic 1932 field house still needs to be addressed, as well as the swimming pool and pool house. The entire rec center also needs to have a 10-15 year master plan for being completely reworked. The recent renovations were executed in a piece meal fashion and neither DPR or DGS was willing to entertain a master plan for the acre and a half property without a budget to back it up. This budget season, with the emphasis on recreation, could very well make renovating the old field house, if not more, a winnable argument in the Wilson Building.

The Hebrew Home for the Aged, at 1125 Spring Road, in 1967.

The Hebrew Home for the Aged, at 1125 Spring Road, in 1967.

Few will argue that affordable housing isn’t critical. In our area, every new development includes the conversation about how many units will be affordable. But, one thing that no one really seems to be talking about is affordable housing for seniors. Politicians and activists talk about aging in place and keeping seniors in their homes, and this is good.  But I don’t really hear anyone talking about expanding or diversifying affordable housing options for seniors. In our community, I think we have an excellent opportunity to do both.

The old Hebrew Home for the Aged, located at 1125 Spring Road, is currently vacant and owned by the District. Residents have talked about renovating it for affordable senior housing in the past but to no avail. This year would be a good year to restart the discussion and get things moving. All in all, this would be an easy win/win for our seniors.

Once I’m able to get more information on the Mayor’s proposed budget, I’m sure I’ll find other opportunities to head to the Wilson building and get behind as an advocate. I would encourage others to attend the budget town hall and Wilson Building budget meetings as well.

The full press release is after the jump (more…)

Mayor Gray Presents his FY2013 Budget to Ward 1

May 1, 2012

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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Going to the Ward 1 FY2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting Tonight?

April 30, 2012

There have certainly been a lot of notices on the listservs about tonight’s FY2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting. Is anyone else going? If so, what do you hope to learn from it?

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