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Phoenix to Host Budget Hearings on 2018-19 Budget, Residents Invited to CommentPhoenix to Host Budget Hearings on 2018-19 Budget, Residents Invited to Comment<div class="ExternalClassC9673D69B244420EBA039447FA691E44"><p>Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher presented his 2018-19 Trial Budget to the Mayor and City Council for community review on March 20. The budget is balanced and focused on services and maintaining Phoenix's excellent quality of life. Here are some highlights from the proposed budget:</p><ul><li><strong>Fire Prevention & Building Safety. </strong>Addition of eight Fire Prevention positions to expand the Fire Department's building safety program.<br></li><li><strong>Crime Investigation Support.</strong> Addition of five civilian positions to support the Crime Gun Intelligence Center, which identifies violent criminals through ballistics testing.<br></li><li><strong>Expanded Homelessness Intervention Teams.</strong> Enhancing the Phoenix C.A.R.E.S. program with the addition of two contracted outreach and service navigation teams and staff to coordinate referrals to services for people experiencing homelessness and ensure the clean-up of encampments.<br></li><li><strong>Park Safety. </strong>Addition of two Park Ranger positions to support Phoenix C.A.R.E.S. and keep parks safe and usable for everyone.<br></li><li><strong>Increased Library Hours</strong>. Permanently add Sunday operating hours at the Yucca, Century, Harmon and Ocotillo branches.<br></li><li><strong>Latino Cultural Center and Arts Support.</strong> Expansion of funding for the Office of Arts and Culture's Grants Program, and addition of a project management position to oversee development of a Latino cultural center.<br></li></ul><p>Beginning April 2 and continuing through April 17, the city will hold a total of 15 community meetings across Phoenix. Information will be available in English and Spanish. The Mayor, City Council and city management will be on hand to share details on the proposed budget, take feedback and to answer any questions. The community budget meeting schedule is <a href="/budgetsite/Documents/2018-19%20CM%20Trial%20Budget/C.%20Budget%20Hearing%20Schedule.pdf">available here</a>. Residents can also share their thoughts on the city's budget by emailing  <a href="mailto:budget.research@phoenix.gov">budget.research@phoenix.gov</a> or on social media by using <strong>#PhoenixBudget</strong>. Additionally, all community meetings will run on PHXTV Channel 11 and will be posted to the city's <a href="http://lists.phoenix.gov/t/1327531/1193578/11724/3/">YouTube channel</a>.<br></p><p>Residents can view details of the proposed budget at <a href="http://lists.phoenix.gov/t/1327531/1193578/4822/6/">phoenix.gov/budget</a>.  After the community's review, the city manager will present a revised budget to the City Council on May 8. The Council is expected to make a final decision on May 22. Formally, the Mayor and City Council will consider adopting a budget-balancing plan on June 6 and 20. The approved plan will take effect July 1.<br><br>Also, in conjunction with the budget hearings, residents will be able to provide comments on a proposal to change when city elections for Mayor and City Council would be held. The change is being considered to potentially increase participation in city elections, since more voters tend to participate in state and federal elections in even-numbered years, particularly in the November General Election. These meetings will precede, or follow, eight of the already-scheduled meetings on the city's proposed budget for FY 2018-19. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.phoenix.gov/elections">phoenix.gov/elections</a>.<br></p></div>3/22/2018 7:40:00 PMMatthew Heil602-534-0108