The City of Alameda launches the 2013 Online Budget Challenge, an interactive tool that invites residents and business owners to experience the type of policy choices involved in balancing the City’s budget. The Budget Challenge can be taken at the City’s new website at www.alamedaca.gov from now until mid-May.
The challenge is to balance the City’s General Fund budget, so people must decide which City services are to be cut or cut back, and whether to raise taxes. The Alameda Budget Challenge was first presented to the public in 2012. Approximately 500 people took the 2012 Challenge, and experienced the difficult choices City leaders must face in passing the City’s budget. Only 185 were able to balance the budget. Examples of their comments include:
- The realization of how little the City has to spend.
- That police and fire make up the majority of the budget.
- How little of the general fund is spent on public works or capital projects.
- The realization that revenues are not the same year after year.
- How much of the budget goes towards pension and health care costs.
“The Alameda Budget Challenge is an innovative way for Alamedans to learn about the City’s budget, and to share their views with City leaders. I encourage all Alamedans to take the Challenge,” said City Manager John Russo.
The Challenge will be administered over the next few months while the City is preparing the budget. The results will help inform the City Council during their budget deliberations.