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Citizens Panel Releases Budget Report

If you care about New Rochelle's future, please read this document.

Recommendations Balance Cuts, Revenues and Investments

If you care about New Rochelle’s future, please read this document.

Back in January, the City appointed a volunteer, non-partisan committee, called the Citizens Panel on Sustainable Budgets. The Panel was given unprecedented access to municipal information, encouraged to engage in critical inquiry, and tasked with making independent recommendations for meeting New Rochelle’s fiscal challenges. The volunteers, who were drawn from each of New Rochelle’s council districts, met consistently for about six months and devoted untold hours to exploring options of every kind. Yesterday, in a public session of the City Council, the Panel presented its report for the first time.

I am still digesting the Panel’s recommendations and have not made any decisions about which proposals to support. But it is not too soon for me to call the report a blockbuster … one that addresses the City’s problems with remarkable candor and thoroughness, and that offers potential solutions with persuasive clarity.

To be sure, no one is going to confuse a budget report with a suspense novel — the Panel’s recommendations are long, detailed, and chock full of statistics. But please do not let that deter you from reading, because the document represents an extraordinary contribution of time, energy and experience, and it has the potential to significantly shape a community-wide debate about our future.

If you have time to examine only one document about civic affairs, make it this one. And then please also share with me your thoughts about the Panel’s conclusions and suggestions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Martin Sanchez September 14, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Very good effort by the Citizens Panel. While many of the suggestions are bold and worthy of immediate approval, I anticipate the Mayor taking considerable time in fully digesting the Panel's recommendations. In fact, I preict that the Mayor will NOT adopt not even half of the items in the Panel's recommendations. One additional recommendation should have been the elimination of the Mayor's Office. Thank you.
Billy September 14, 2012 at 01:39 PM
My bet is you embrace the tax increases while putting off anything that would actually reduce spending in New Rochelle. You need to make/keep the city AFFORDABLE so that it can be sustainable. You should embrace the spending reductions & find some more, scrap the tax increases & infastrcuture updates. Simple math. And by affordable, I don't mean driving down real estate prices to reduce residents expenses. This is what's happening already now. Government spending & thus the property taxes paid need to be reduced. What happened to closing the fire house? If it was such a good idea a year ago, then implement it. Have some guts & courage!
fuzzy September 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I love the one to turn two sectors into one most of the time at night those sector cars are down south and the north end goes unprotected anyway. In the reduction of firemen i hope its the north end firehouse on stratton rd. because thats the house that is slow at night. But remember if they do close the northend firehouse i will tell you this that there will be a new mayor in office at the next election.Remember the NORTHEND rules while the southend drulls
Billy November 21, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Noam, why not use a suggestion or 2 for next year's budget? To completely disregard this information like you have, makes me think this wasn't a serious effort and the results a sham, not worth the paper they were written on.

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