As highlighted in a previous blog post, at the Board of County Commissioners' June 24th budget workshop, they will discuss proposals to cut transit and park services in next year's budget. The Board is also considering the transportation Capital Improvement Projects budget (see our earlier recommendations). Below is our letter to the Board.
June 18, 2013
BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets and a balanced multi-modal transportation system in Lee County. At the June 24th budget workshop, you will discuss the draft 2013-14 budget, including proposals to cut transit and park services.
Budgets are a statement of the community's priorities and it is important that our elected officials make decisions that reflect the community's values. The budget needs to be developed in a rational and thoughtful way, with a focus on the long term consequences of today's budget decisions. It is critical that these decisions reflect the quality of life investments that are vital to the sustainability and economic viability of our community.
For the past six years, the county's budget has been tightened, staffing has been reduced, staff hasn't received any raises, and services have been cut back. The BoCC has chosen not to raise property taxes, preferring to balance the budget by taking from reserves. BikeWalkLee acknowledges that at some point the Board may have to raise additional revenues and we would support that effort in order to maintain the quality of life for our residents and visitors. Our long term economic viability depends on maintaining and enhancing the quality of life that attracts and retains our residents.
Click here to continue reading BWL's letter, which focuses on the following proposals:1. Proposed Transit Cuts
2. Proposed Parks Cuts3. Proposed Transportation CIP
We believe that economic prosperity comes from quality investments in community infrastructure, such as transit, parks, and complete streets.
Monday's budget workshop has no opportunity for public comment but the public can be present in the County Commission chambers, or watch it on the Lee County website or on Lee TV (Channel 97) on June 24th, 1:30-4:00 p.m. Public hearings on the budget will be held in September.
For News-Press 6/18/13 article on the Alico Rd. widening debate, click here.