Tooele City residents are invited to a Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting at City Hall later this month to learn about city finances.
The public will also be able to let city leaders know how they would like to see their money spent at the meeting scheduled for Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
“We just want to hear from the public,” said Mayor Debbie Winn. “I’ve heard a lot of comments from residents who would like this type of activity.”
Winn reviewed a proposed “budget meetings schedule” with the city council at a work meeting on Wednesday.
Public meetings will be held throughout March and April leading up to a May 2 deadline to adopt a tentative city budget. A final hearing and adoption of the budget is scheduled for June 20.
The mayor said the Feb. 28 meeting will open with a 20-minute powerpoint presentation on city finances.
“This would be an educational process to inform residents where the money comes from,” Winn said.
Only about 14 percent of residents’ property tax payments go to Tooele City while nearly 70 percent goes to Tooele County School District, the mayor said.
She said the powerpoint presentation may include various costs to run city departments, including the police department, fire department, parks and recreation and other departments.
The mayor said the meeting would last no more than two hours.
The city council and mayor then plan to meet on Saturday, March 3 for an entire day to discuss budget issues. A possible location for that meeting is Tooele Technical College and it would be open to the public and minutes would be taken.
Each city council meeting in March and April would feature a discussion of a budget topic followed by a comment period from the public.
The tentative schedule includes a discussion of the public safety budget on March 7; parks and recreation on March 21; public works and community development on April 4; and all other departments on April 18.
“I’ve asked staff to prepare their budgets early this year, in fact by next week, so we can talk about these budgets in front of the public,” Winn said.
The mayor mentioned the budget meetings in her “State of the City” address at the business meeting on Wednesday.
“We must prioritize and listen to what is important to our constituents,” Winn said in her speech. “To accomplish the goal of fiscal transparency we are asking for involvement from our taxpayers. We will be holding a town hall meeting where we will welcome all of you to come to city hall and learn about our budget process.
“We will also listen to your ideas and work together to incorporate those into the budget,” she continued. “During the weeks following the town hall meeting, the council and I will hold several public budget discussion meetings where you will be able to attend and watch your elected officials at work. As always, citizens may email me or the council at any time or give us a call to discuss your concerns. All contact information is available on our website and will be included in the 90 North Main publication that is included in your water bill.”