City leaders discuss priorities for 2020 budget

Active Life

PEORIA, Ill. — City leaders are laying out their priorities and trying to come up with a workable budget.

On Monday, they spend the day collaborating for the future of Peoria.

“It’s definitely a difficult time, and it’s important for us to prioritize how we’re spending those scare dollars,” said Mayor Jim Ardis.

Council members and senior staff met in a rare opportunity that allowed them to talk about key topics they want to prioritize.

“We’re really focused on what matters, before we start talking about dollars and cents,” said assistant city manager Deborah Roethler.

Leaders looked at large concepts and broke down what it would cost to reach the city’s goals.

“The big part is having everybody in the same room, staff and council members. So, as we kind of flush through these different topics, we have an opportunity to ask questions of staff if we’re not sure, staff has an opportunity to help us understand where they are,” said Ardis.

The whole point of the meeting was to figure out the focus.

“When we’re articulating these priorities, it is with an eye towards what are the funding priorities that should ensue,” said Roethler.

The topics discussed fell into the categories: safety, environmental health, arts, culture & lifelong learning, economic opportunity & livability, government, and infrastructure & mobility.

“Having us all together here today has been a way of really, really, interacting over the topic,” said Roethler.

This kind of collaboration is a new opportunity for the group.

“We’re all together. And I think it’s been proving to be very valuable to us,” said Ardis.

The 2020 budget will be a two year plan, and will be finalized by the end of the year.

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