7/17/2013 9:51:00 PM City to hold Budget Fair Monday
By Van Mitchell
Stillwater residents will get the opportunity to learn about how the city budget process works and share their ideas and concerns with the City of Stillwater and the Stillwater City Council during a Budget Fair on Monday, July 22 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. in the Lowry Activity Center located at the City of Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. 8th Ave. Citizens will be able to meet one-on-one with various city administrators as well as Mayor John Bartley and City Councilors Chuck Hopkins, Gina Noble, Cody Scott and Joe Weaver.
"It is something the Stillwater City Council members are wanting," said Sherry Fletcher, director of marketing and public relations for the City of Stillwater.
"They want people to understand how the budget process works and they want residents to have an opportunity to weigh in on what the city are doing and what they are looking to do for future years."
Fletcher said the budget fair will be a come-and-go event styled like a school or job fair with multiple information booths staffed by city administrators who are will be able to answer questions and collect feedback about their service areas.
She said the purpose of the fair is to provide a forum, so city officials can hear directly from the public.
"It is a one-on-one situation," Fletcher said. "If people want to talk about the pot holes in their street they can go straight to the transportation department director or they could talk to the mayor or one of the city council members or the city manager about a specific topic.
This gives them an opportunity to speak specifically about something they are interested in."
Stillwater City Manager Dan Galloway said the budget fair gives both the city council and residents a chance to learn from each other.
"We know that citizens like to attend and participate in the budget process, but the vast majority of people have questions or concerns about two or three parts of the budget," Galloway said.
"At traditional budget presentations someone from the City makes a fairly long general presentation covering all sections of the budget, which means people may have to sit and listen to 45 minutes of information just to hear the two or three minutes about their particular interest.
I think a budget fair is a better way. Our goal is to make sure each of you have the opportunity to understand the City budget. We want hear your opinions, needs and desires."
For more information about the City Budget Fair, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 742-8362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.