Mayor Brett J. Frazier's 2014 Budget Address
Office of the Mayor
Members of the Common Council, City Staff and my fellow citizens I am proud today to present for your consideration and debate, the City of Milton 2014 Budget and Service Plan.
I would like to publicly thank our City staff for their hard work on this budget. Each of our Department Directors is to be commended for their efforts to present a budget to you that reflects fiscal prudence, budget affordability and long-term planning. I especially want to thank our Administrator Jerry Schuetz and our Treasurer Connie DeKemper. I began this process by laying out to them a broad sweeping vision for our City and finished that meeting with a simple direction – “let’s see how much of that we can do this year”. Jerry and Connie worked with the Department Directors to craft a budget document that you see before you tonight. It represents literally hundreds of hours of work, and thought, and effort. This document would not be possible without the efforts and care of our City staff.
This is the 175th anniversary of the settling of this community. In those 175 years our community has grown and evolved from a collection of homes and businesses to two separate Villages and finally a merger into one City – the City of Milton. Throughout those years the details of who we are have changed with the times, but through it all Milton has been more than just a City – we are a community moving forward.
This is my first budget as Mayor. The presentation of the Mayor’s Budget is responsibility of this office, but more than that – it is a privilege. It’s an opportunity.
A budget is more than a listing of costs and quantities, it’s more than a set of expenses and revenues. A budget is a representation of the values and priorities of a community. A budget should be conservative and represent good stewardship of the tax dollars of our citizens, but it should also be aspirational and never complacent. A budget should push us forward, farther, it should ask us to do more. Not merely to be more efficient but also more effective servants of our citizens. I believe a budget should honor the past while pushing on into the future. As a City, as a community, we agree that “good enough” is not good enough for us and our budget should reflect a spirit of elevated expectations of what is possible in the City of Milton.
Throughout our 175 year history as a community our City has met challenges, navigated pitfalls, and seized opportunities. In each of those years community leaders such as our Common Council have considered, debated, even argued about the proper way to fund our government.
The budget before you for your debate, I believe represents us as a community. It is a budget that reduces total government spending, improves services levels and balances the welfare of our employees, the infrastructure needs of our City and the affordability of our taxes.
Our City is growing. Our City is evolving. It is up to us as elected officials to shape a future for our community and to choose that future wisely. It is up to you as a Council to do as you have always done and to wisely consider how and where to invest the tax dollars of our citizens.
I present to you a budget that I believe represents a first step in my vision for this community. Now you, as a Council, must debate it and ensure that our final budget reflects your values and your priorities as a Council.
This budget will shape our City in 2014, our 176th year of our history, but it must also imagine the 177th and the 200th. The choices you make and the budget you craft cannot only exist in the vacuum of the now, but must presume and deliberately pursue a future for our community that represents the best of who we are today and sets a course for who and what and where we want to be tomorrow and beyond.
I am proud and honored to present the 2014 Budget and Service Plan for your debate.
Brett J. Frazier
Mayor, City of Milton