When the city of Albany passed its budget in June of this year, it got a lot of people around the city talking. Now, City Manager Peter Troedsson wants to keep the conversation going.
“I don’t know what to expect,” he said of the Budget and Brews event scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Deluxe Brewing, 635 NE Water Ave., Albany.
The event is structured as an open conversation where residents can discuss issues facing the city — including the budget — or other concerns they may have. While Troedsson will be there, he won’t necessarily be the center of attention.
“I didn’t want to have it as a conversation with the city manager,” he said. “I will be there and can answer questions but will be more of a facilitator.”
The city’s budget is balanced, but it calls for cuts to several city departments including police, fire, Parks & Recreation and the library. Finance Director Jeanna Yeager told the council last month that conservative projections show an $11 million deficit for the city during the next budget cycle once the current two-year cycle, which began on July 1 of this year, has ended.
You have free articles remaining.
In an attempt to cut costs and generate revenue, the council is currently mulling several suggestions, including closing the Albany Community Pool, repurposing the Carnegie Library, instituting a $200 per bed fee for assisted living facilities and creating a utility fee.
On Sept. 17, Troedsson said he’ll be ready to discuss the budget given the amount of buzz the topic has generated and plans to bring along assistant city manager Jorge Salinas and Yeager as well as the city’s online budgeting tool.
“The big point is how complex the budget is,” he said, noting that he wanted participants to leave the event with a working knowledge of how the local government can spend and collect money.
“A lot of times people will say ‘them’ and ‘they’ in government, but it’s us," he said. "This is your government, you elect your officials and they hire a staff and we’re getting your work done."