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How should SLO spend your tax dollars? City asks residents for feedback on priorities

How SLO County cities decide which roads to maintain, spend money on

Ronald L. De Carli, executive director of San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, talks about how the government maintains and builds streets in San Luis Obispo County.
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Ronald L. De Carli, executive director of San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, talks about how the government maintains and builds streets in San Luis Obispo County.

Community members can help identify priorities for the city of San Luis Obispo’s 2019-2021 budget cycle through an online survey and at a community forum.

The online survey is available at www.slocity.org/opencityhall, and must be completed by Dec. 16.

Surveys will also be mailed with utilities bills in November, and can be found at City Hall and the San Luis Obispo Senior Center.

Additionally, the public can attend a community forum on Jan. 23, 2019, set for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo.

In a news release, city officials said the goal is to establish the “top priorities that will make San Luis Obispo a better place to live, work, and play.”

The City Council will then assess the resources necessary to achieve priorities, adopting its two-year budget in June 2019.

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The city’s 2017-19 budget goals were housing, multi-modal transportation, climate action and fiscal sustainability and responsibility. Downtown vitality was also identified as an important objective.

In 2018, San Luis Obispo’s Fiscal Health Response Plan has targeted ongoing financial challenges due to increased pension costs.

The city will continue to emphasize maintaining existing infrastructure and providing core services, while advancing fiscal health objectives through employee concessions on retirement compensation, new ways of doing business, operating reductions and seeking new revenues.

“Given this, it is critical to have an effective process for setting the most important, highest priority things for the city to accomplish in the next two years,” city officials said in the release. “At the forum, the community will have an opportunity to present ideas to council and discuss them with other members of the public.”

City staff will compile community feedback for the council to review in advance of its goal-setting workshop on Feb. 7, 2019. During the workshop, the council will officially set the goals for the next two years.

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