Memo for fiscal year 2020, updated 2019-04-22

[Archived] Question #73: Please provide online comments received regarding Add/Delete proposals.


Please provide online comments received regarding Add/Delete proposals. (City Manager Jinks)


On Thursday, April 18, FYI Alexandria, the City’s official resident newsletter, was released to the community. The first item of this edition requested community input on final budget proposals.

As of April 22, 2019, at 9:00am, the following comments were received online regarding the City Council Add/Delete proposals. As a reminder, the public comment period on Add/Delete proposals will be open until Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 11:59pm.

Comment #8
I fully support the proposed budget increase to implement WasteSmart and the Environmental Action Plan. I also support the hire of the additional equity staff. I also support the King Street Corridor Tree Lighting Project and believe this will support our tourism economy for the City as long as the City is able to still do proper tree maintenance. I also support the SNAP expansion benefits at the farmers' markets. I am a City resident living in 22302.

Comment #9
My understanding is the Council recently received a request for additional funding for DASH Operators. I understand there is an emotional aspect of wanting to provide better pay for our city employees. Ensuring they are properly and fairly compensated is important and we should ensure that is happening. However, I urge the council to defer any consideration late in the budget cycle to increase the DASH operating budget. The increased pay currently budgeted, if what was reported in Alexandria Times is accurate, represents a 2.5% increase which is above inflation. Rather than increase resources, the city should examine which routes need to be curtailed and adjusted to meet current public transportation demands. As an example, DASH continues to run bus services to and through the Landmark Mall property (AT7). That same route overlaps multiple metro stations and bus routes; this is a glaring example of DASH’s inefficient operations. We need to eliminate DASH’s inefficiencies and leverage those resources to fairly compensate DASH employees to provide cost-effective service to our community.

Comment #10
I would prefer to keep the annual scheduled spring cleanup because it gives me a goal and deadline to clean up my act.

Comment #11
I would love to see the City Manager and Council invest in the City's employees and designate funds toward the improvement of employee satisfaction and engagement. Is it realistic to expect department heads to designate funds for this while managing budget cuts? Their objective is to maintain services with minimum job reductions, leaving the complexities of organizational change (i.e. engagement) to volunteer committees. If funds were set aside for this purpose, separate from the budget, then maybe we could finally make sustainable changes toward becoming a more engaged workforce and earn a place as one of the "best places to work". We will not obtain sustainable changes with employee satisfaction and engagement without dedicated funds and qualified people in place who can manage this cultural shift. Volunteer committees have their place, however, cultural change requires dedicated and skilled positions for program management, oversight and implementation. I've work for the City almost 16 years, and own a home here. I'd like to see more best practices pertaining our approaches to managing and investing in our greatest asset, our employees. We have a much to be desired and an uphill climb if the goal is "best place to work".

Comment #12
I write on behalf of The Campagna Center and Smart Beginnings Alexandria, an Early Care & Education Workgroup Initiative (ECEWG) to express support for request to make $200K in additional resources to expand access to early care and education in Alexandria. The Campagna Center is committed to expanding the number of children served using a model that combined public and private (i.e. fees) funding to increase the number of children served through their early childhood programs. Alexandria’s mixed delivery system has been instrumental to the city’s ability to make preschool education a reality for children living in families where income falls between 100 and 200 percent of poverty. Our combined efforts through the ECEWG to improve coordination across several programs and align curriculum have resulted in important system improvements designed to support school readiness. Thank you for prioritizing the needs of young children as a part of your overall strategy to close the achievement gap.

Comment #13
The Commission for Women supports the expansion of proposed positions on Racial and Social Equity to include Gender. Thus, we also support the Additional Equity position included in the Add/Delete Process. Our 2018 report on the Status of Women indicates that gender must be specifically included in City decision making, to include budgeting and planning, to ensure that the needs of women are taken into account and addressed.

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