Here’s how you can share your priorities on Norfolk’s proposed FY 2020 budget online or in person

(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

NORFOLK – The city has compiled a Budget Toolkit on their website that includes all the city’s budget resources in one place.

The toolkit includes links to documents, videos and interactive budget tools as well as a schedule of upcoming budget discussions and meetings.

Norfolk has subscribed to the online budget tool, Balancing Act. It allows residents to view and interact with the proposed budget.

Users of the tool can increase or decrease spending, share their own version of a proposed budget, and leave comments.

The only catch is that the budget must balance. For every change in spending or revenue, there must be an offsetting change elsewhere.

So users can lower taxes on the website, for example, but must lower spending or raise revenues somewhere to balance the budget.

To speak about Norfolk city budget issues in person, residents can attend the Public Budget Hearing at 6 p.m. on April 10 at Granby High School. This is the only public hearing on the budget, and the only time residents will be able to address council members directly during a public forum on budget items.

City Council has planned several work sessions to discuss the FY2020 Proposed Budget. City Council does not accept public comment during any of its work sessions.

The public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. May 7 in City Council chambers deals only with real estate reassessments.

As always, residents may express comments or concerns directly to their City Council member, using the contact information found here or by calling 757-664-4268.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.