Thursday, October 21, 2021

Closing the Gap

At the informal Common Council meeting on October 12, city treasurer Heather Campbell reported that, at that point, after receiving all of the budget requests from the various city departments, proposed expenditures exceeded anticipated revenues by about $1.5 million. Going into yesterday's meeting of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (BEA), after several more budget workshops, the gap had been pared down to about $700,000. Coming out of yesterday's meeting, during which the BEA combed through proposed departmental budgets looking for cuts, the gap between revenues and expenditures was down to $331,613. About that number, Mayor Kamal Johnson commented, "And then we still have ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act]." Those funds for 2022 will be about $300,000.

The BEA had proposed significant cuts to two new requests for funding: the Tourism Board and the Housing Trust Fund. The Tourism Board requested $180,000; they will be getting $30,000. Half the revenue from the lodging tax and 10 percent of the ARPA funds, amounting to about $180,000, was requested as seed money for the Housing Trust Fund; the BEA agreed to allocate $20,000 for the Housing Trust Fund in 2022.

The BEA is scheduled to hold another budget workshop on Friday, October 22, at 2:30 p.m.


  1. I’ll give credit when it’s due. Looks like they are trying to be reasonable here and I appreciate that.

  2. K30 to the Tourist Board, are they out of their mind.Get rid of them completely.and start afresh. City should hire just 1 person to do the promoting. Last Sat Nights Opera was a huge success, with no thanks to the Tourist Board" That's To WHITE FOR OUR DIVERSE COMMUNITY " ..where do the think the money from their Homie projects come from ?.

    1. I know there’s a point being made, but I’d work on the messaging…

  3. It makes no sense to throw good money after bad, and $30K to a board that has squandered almost half a million doling out money to their friends and family is $30K of taxpayer money wasted.

    There are ways to foster the tourism industry that will increase wages for local workers and create opportunities in adjacent industries, but the individuals on this board have proven itself incapable of managing projects or capital responsibly. The HDC or Business Coalition would be much better-suited to manage these efforts moving forward.

  4. Why are the arts always the first to be cut?

  5. Because the vast majority of (ART) is not worth supporting. Is there part of that don't you understand

  6. Festivals provide a platform to engage with large and diverse audiences. ... And festivals are also critical in providing access to the arts in local communities and a chance for the artists to meet the public, and vice versa.

  7. You are as far out as the HUDSON LIGHTHOUSE. Bad art should not be supported or encouraged.

  8. Whether the art is bad or not is immaterial- the fact of the matter is the Tourism Board has shown little appetite for sound policy or ethical standards and a fondness for pork barrel spending and self-serving virtue signaling.

    Tom DePietro already said they could ask for less during the budget process and come back next year to ask for more, so I doubt $30k is anything close to the amount of taxpayer money they're actually planning to waste.

    The Tourism Board has to go.