Mayor Rick Schultz
Sometimes we find it easier to complain about things than to be thankful. We easily forget that many people do not enjoy some of the services that we take for granted. When we look around our city there are many services in operation that we just expect to be a part of everyday normal life.
A livable city is a matrix of components, working together to provide services to residents. These services – public safety (fire and police), well maintained roads, sanitation, (sewer and refuse), parks and trails, aid in defining a community.
Yes, most of us pay taxes to ensure the current level of services remains status quo. However, without diligent and responsible budget choices, along with Minnesota State Government aid, these services and the quality of life in St. Joseph could abruptly change.
We (city staff, councilors, boards and commissions) are beginning another trek down the annual budget process. I recognize this process as evergreen, always being reviewed, refreshed and evaluated, one that will have both winners and losers.
As we move forward, I expect significant discussion on a variety of topics, infrastructure, revenue sources, capital outlay, expansion, planning, downtown, new construction, city footprint, personnel, parks, fees, taxes, etc. Almost every city will have budget problems, largely due to falling tax revenues and plateaued state aid. The size of the problem varies from place to place, as do the strategies for dealing with it.
As I’ve dealt with non-profit organization and department budgets, I consider myself knowledgeable but not an expert. I am capable of adding the pieces together and making amends to where changes are necessary.
But I expect all people to participate in this exercise. I expect people to challenge the status quo, to turn over rocks, to speak out and make notice of potential budget challenges. This is not my town, nor any councilor’s. It is a city of people and businesses whose concerns and needs should be met.
I hope people will want to attend, listen, speak and participate in the discussions. I welcome any and all exchange of ideas and conversation. As a stakeholder, here are a few things you can do to be more informed and participate:
- Request information from the city,
- pay notice to when budget meetings are being held and televised,
- talk with councilors and mayor
Mayor Rick Schultz:
Address: 326 7th Ave SE
Address: 606 Birch Street W
Address: 301 Birch Street West
Address: 354 4th Avenue SE
Address: 1211 Dale Street E
Many of us realize that budgets may cause some consternation and angst. By being active participant, including listening and understanding, I believe the people of St. Joseph will come to a positive outcome related to the budget and other future planning.
Mayor Rick Schultz