Guest Column: Our Budget Shows Our Values


Guest Column: Our Budget Shows Our Values

Hon. Nancy E. Shaver, Mayor
City of St Augustine, FL
Special to Historic City News

If there is one topic that I have heard more about from the business owners and residents, it would be the sad condition of our streets.

I hear from at least one person a week about a pothole, or a patching job that is worse than a pothole. It is no surprise that our streets are graded “D+”, that means “Poor – At Risk”.

Although we need to spend close to $1M on street maintenance to make a difference for all of us, we need to resurface 7% of our roads every year just to maintain the same near-failing grade.

The current budget for paving, proposed by city staff, guarantees our streets will get worse next year. This budget has only $520K for street paving instead of the needed $690K, a figure 25% less than it should be.

Where do we get the money?

We can easily shift $170K from the $850K budgeted for mobility, where we are not yet ready to spend money, and maybe we should add more than that to actually raise our grade?

We review the budget every quarter and can make changes. However, approving this budget, as proposed, means there is no guarantee that our streets will get even the minimum they need to remain “D+”.

We need to get this right from the start.

If you’d like to weigh in on this, send e-mails to the City Commissioners:

Roxanne Horvath, Seat 1
Leanna Freeman, Seat 2
Mayor Nancy Shaver, Seat 3
Todd Neville, Seat 4
Nancy Sikes-Kline, Seat 5

Finally, please come to the final budget meeting and share your views at City Hall, to be held in the Alcazar Room on September 22nd, at 5:00 p.m.

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