Friends, neighbors, and supporters:
It’s been a busy spring in Chapel Hill. Last week our town manager introduced his recommended budget. I’m writing to share information about the budget, and invite you to share your thoughts and feedback about priorities in our town. You can find information about the budget on the town website.
We’ve heard from many community members that they are disappointed with the current number of hours our new library is open, and our manager’s budget includes a recommendation to increase funding to the library by four hours a week. We have a new library director arriving this summer, and he’s suggested we give her some time to become adjusted, and can make recommendations about operation levels and service adjustments. At a minimum, I'm supportive of the manager's recommendation. Since that proposal has been released, we've gotten a large amount of feedback that residents desire further increased operations, and we'll be discussing additional options for library operations over the coming weeks. I am hopeful we can find a solution that increases service hours while remaining fiscally responsible.
The budget also includes funding for the first two phases of our employee classification and compensation plan, and a 2% pay increase for town employees. The manager has recommended we increase property taxes by 2 cents in this year’s budget. For additional information, you can view the presentation our manager gave us last week.
We’ll be having a series of work sessions and meetings to discuss our budget priorities over the next month, and the council will likely make changes and adjustments based on the feedback we receive. I hope you will attend one of the meetings to watch the discussion, or communicate with the council about your concerns in our budget. As always, be in touch if you have specific feedback about this budget, or other issues in our town.