Adoption of the 2006-2007 city budget was the most significant final action of the City Council in June.
City annual budget approved: The City Council on June 19 adopted the final city budget for fiscal year 2006-2007. Highlights of this year’s budget include these:
In a $357 million budget, there is obviously a great deal more detail to be discussed, and I will do my best to respond to any budget-related questions.
City manager search underway: Long-time City Manager Bill Stuart officially retires at the end of June (although he has agreed to serve longer, on a month-to-month basis, until his successor is in place). Stuart was honored at several events this month for his 26 years of service to the citizens of Winston-Salem. He is nationally recognized as an extremely capable local government manager, who has provided our city with an unusual degree of fiscal and administrative stability across three decades. The City Council and Mayor at this point are well into a national search process to select a new city manager. Interviews are set for July 8, and we hope to be able to announce the new manager during mid-July.
Two-thirds bonds authorized: At our June 5 meeting, the City Council authorized the issuance of about $4.4 million in "two-thirds" bonds for streets and sidewalks, parks and recreation, and fire station capital projects over the next two years. ("Two-thirds" bonds are a type of general obligation bonds, which local governments can use in expenditure areas authorized by public referendum vote, as earlier bonds issued in those areas are paid off.) Projects planned for those bonds include about $1.7 million in sidewalks and $900,000 in greenway.
Rats! For some unknown reason, I have heard more reports and complaints about rats during the last year than at any other time during my five years in office. The phenomenon is not unique to the Southwest Ward—other council members have similar reports. As a result of these increased reports, the Council voted last fall to approximately double the annual city budget for "vector" (primarily rat) control. In particular, the city will respond to reports of rat infestation associated with storm or sanitary sewers or housing conditions. If you see rats in your neighborhood, you can help by taking the following two actions: