Learn About Somerville’s Annual Budget Process at a Virtual Workshop, March 29

Workshop to cover budget basics and budget process, followed by Q&A, and an opportunity for residents to share budget priorities

SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville is hosting an informational workshop about the City’s annual budget process. All are invited to learn about what the budget is, how it’s created, and how residents can keep up-to-date with the process. After a presentation by the City’s Budget team, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their priorities for the fiscal year 2024 budget.

The virtual workshop will take place online Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. To learn more and register to attend, go to somervillema.gov/budget.

About the Budget Process
The city budget is a financial document that reflects community values, priorities, and needs. It dictates how public funds will be allocated to support public services, including day-to-day expenses and longer-term investments. The proposed budget is developed over many months, with several key milestones in the spring and early summer.

This year, Mayor Katjana Ballantyne will present her proposed fiscal year 2024 budget in late May. In February, as part of the Ballantyne administration’s efforts to better incorporate City Council input, Council priorities were requested. After the Mayor’s budget submission, per City Charter, the City Council Finance Committee will hold a series of meetings in late May and June to review the budget and propose any cuts. They also hold a public hearing for community members to testify about the general budget. Finally, the Mayor will submit an amended final budget for approval, and the Council will vote on the budget ahead of the new fiscal year on July 1.

How to Engage
Understanding community priorities is essential to creating a budget that meets community needs. The Mayor, City Council, and City staff gather public input year-round as they engage with constituents, local businesses, community partners, and other stakeholders and listen to their goals and needs. What they learn at the meetings, events, discussions, and more held throughout the year on a range of topics helps shape budget decisions. But March and April are another good time to give feedback. Beyond attending this workshop to learn about the budget and share your priorities, you can offer your input in other ways:

Email budget@somervillema.gov or if you do not have access to email, call 311 at 617-666-3311.
Testify at the budget public hearing in late May/June. More details on date and time will be shared when they are finalized.
Watch the budget hearings live or later via streaming at somervillema.gov/TV and on GovTV on Comcast Channel 22 and Astound Channels 13 and 613.
Meetings are also posted to the GovTV YouTube channel at youtube.com/SomervilleCityTV for later viewing.

Participatory Budgeting Is Happening, Too
Take part in this year’s first-ever Participatory Budgeting process, where residents will decide how to spend $1 million. Residents can propose ideas for what to invest in to improve Somerville. Residents age 12 and older can vote on ideas, and the City will put the winning ideas into action. Learn more at somervillema.gov/pb.

Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy in advance at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or apomeroy@somervillema.gov.

Interpretation into any language may be requested in advance (at least 7 days before the event is best) by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at somervillema.gov/ContactSomerViva or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.

This event will be videotaped by the City’s GovTV team. Watch it on-demand with optional closed-captioning (select the CC icon) on YouTube.com/SomervilleCityTV. Or watch on cable TV at GovTV Comcast Ch. 22 and GovTV Astound (RCN) Ch. 13 & 613. Videos generally post within one business day of recording.

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