Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Should council approve city budget?

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Greg Peck
November 23, 2012

Janesville City Council newcomers Matt Kealy and DuWayne Severson are concerned about the city’s borrowing levels. Another councilman elected last April, Jim Farrell, fears the 2013 budget doesn’t do enough to address the emerald ash borer infestation. Farrell also voted against cutting one police officer position. He wanted to see the current level of 103 positions retained. He voted in a 4-3 minority, however, in a bid to keep the current level.

In today’s Gazette, reporter Marcia Nelesen details some of the concerns and numbers in the budget. The tax levy rises slightly, but due in part to a rise in overall assessed values, the tax rate decreases slightly. Owners of the typical home valued at $120,100 would pay $945.74 for city and library services, a reduction of $3.23.

Of course, higher trash and recyclable collection fees will take those savings and drain even more from pocketbooks. This year, the city started charging $40 per household for garbage collection. That will rise by $16 next year. Is that still reasonable, given that the real cost of those collections is closer to $90?

What are your priorities? Has the city budget undergone enough scrutiny?

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Sunday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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