Proposed 2010 Budget Takes Long-term Approach to Economic Challenges

On Tuesday, July 7th, the Olathe City Manager presented the proposed 2010 budget to the Olathe City Council at their regular City Council Meeting.

Like the rest of the country, Olathe is feeling the impacts of the recession. The proposed 2010 Budget takes a forward thinking and strategic approach to ensure Olathe remains a leader not only in addressing the challenge but preparing for the future.

The proposed budget takes a three-tiered approach to address the economic challenge, making strategic cuts in areas that are seeing reduced growth pressure, pursuing both public and private partnerships to save money and maintain service levels, and making difficult decisions just like families.

The approach includes a focus on sustainable cost reductions that will carry forward and place the City on strong financial footing in the future. The budget proposes reducing capacity in areas impacted by the economy, primarily growth and development. It includes partnering with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department for police dispatch services, not only to ensure adequate staffing levels and to save money, but to return other police personnel and officers back to their regular positions.

In all, the proposed budget for 2010 general fund (operations) budget is 4.2% less than 2009, and the overall budget includes a $3.8 percent reduction. According to Olathe City Manger Michael Wilkes, this is the right thing to do. He said, "These decisions are difficult, but they are simply the right things to do." He said, "We are making decisions that not only address today's challenges but place us in a strong position to move forward and continue providing the high level of core services our residents expect and deserve."

The public is encouraged to follow the process, and the City is working hard to make sure complete budget information is conveniently available for the public. The proposed budget is available on the City's website at www.OlatheKs.org, including the budget cover letter, the complete proposed budget, and the City Manager's budget presentation. In addition, residents are encouraged to sign up as a fan on the City's budget Facebook page.

The City Council will discuss the proposed Capital Improvement Plan at the July 14th meeting, and they will begin detailed budget deliberations during a special budget session on Saturday, July 18th at City Hall.

Residents can provide comments by calling City Hall, or by contacting the Mayor and/or City Council.