Last Wednesday night, over 30 Budget Delegates and 16 City staff from 8 departments met for a Participatory Budgeting "speed consulting" session in City Hall's Sullivan Chamber.
Over the course of an hour and a half, Budget Delegates from the 'Bridge Builders; Health, Environment & Safety; Parks & Recreation; and Streetsmarts Committees moved around the room to talk about PB ideas with staff from the Community Development, Electrical, Executive, IT, Human Services, Library, Public Works, and Traffic Departments.
Delegates came well prepared with questions they developed during their committee meetings the previous week. Since it's relatively early in the proposal development process, many questions focused on the bigger picture: Which bike infrastructure projects are already included in the City's capital plans? Is the location of this community garden idea on City property, state property, or private property? Does the City have guidelines for providing accessible playground and park features?
In committee meetings this week, Delegates will report back on what they learned through speed consulting, figure out what questions they still need to answer to evaluate remaining ideas, and make a plan of action to conduct site visits and additional research. They will submit their shortlist of 20-40 proposals by October 24 for cost estimates and final vetting by department staff and the City Manager. Stay tuned for more updates on their work!