Wanchick seeks public input on budget

St. Johns County Communication Manager, Karen Pan, reported to Historic City News the schedule for County Administrator Michael Wanchick’s upcoming Town Hall meetings.

Beginning next week, Wanchick will hold a series of Town Hall meetings throughout the county give a presentation on the County’s financial condition and present recommendations for the 2012 budget.

This is the third year Wanchick has conducted these meetings; which are followed by a time for citizen comments and questions.

“The community dialogue generated during the past two years has been extremely valuable,” Wanchick told Historic City News. “Feedback helps in formulating the budget that Administration recommends to the County Commission each July.”

Wanchick is requesting the community, once again, to participate in the budget process.

Following significant budget cuts each of the past four years, more reductions are anticipated for 2012, largely due to the continuing decline of property values, according to Wanchick’s office.

Pan tells local St. Johns County reporters at Historic City News that county administration anticipates recommending an increase in the millage rate in order to re-capture some of the lost revenues.

What the County Administrator is hoping to identify is the degree of community support for the programs and services being provided. Wanchick says that he only budgeting to continue those programs which the community has expressed support for in the past.

These are decisions that deserve and require community input, Wanchick believes.

“As budget cuts are becoming more and more significant, and the correlating reductions in programs and services are impacting more and more people, it is critical the public be involved in making the budget decisions that are best for our community,” he said. “These meetings are an opportunity for me to promote understanding and for citizens to communicate their desires regarding the preferred balance of services and expenditures.”

2011 Town Hall Meetings Schedule

• Wednesday, June 1st – 6:30 pm – St. Johns County Convention Center at World Golf Village (in the Renaissance)

• Thursday, June 2nd – 3:00 pm – St. Augustine Beach City Hall

• Monday, June 6th – 6:30 pm – Southeast Branch Library

• Thursday, June 9th – 6:30 pm – Hastings Town Hall

• Thursday, June 16th – 6:30 pm – Bartram Trail Branch Library

• Wednesday, June 22nd – 6:30 pm – Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library

• Monday, June 27th – 6:30 pm – Main Library in St. Augustine

You can learn more about the meetings on the County website by visiting www.sjcfl.us/townhall

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by SJC

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