The city is facing a $75 million budget shortfall for next year, and leaders are asking for the public’s input on what programs should remain a priority.
Baltimore’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research has launched two websites to give residents the chance to sound off on the 2017 budget:
Balanced Baltimore is an exercise that challenges residents to make investment and savings decisions that help close a portion of the gap.
Open City Hall asks residents to participate in a ranking of attributes that measure quality of life in the city.
City officials said the shortfall is due to increased pension and prescription drug costs, as well as new programs such as body cameras for city police and the municipal trash can program.
Residents can also go to Budget Live!, a website where they can view a 2017 financial outlook infographic, explore the current budget through the Open Budget platform, learn of upcoming meetings and events and receive updates from the city’s budget director.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, along with the city’s budget leaders, will hold a meeting from 9 a.m.-noon on Jan. 9 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Pennsylvania Avenue branch to allow residents to participate in a budgeting exercise.