This week, City Manager Chuck Strome formally presented to the City Council his proposed budget for 2013. As illustrated in this summary, the budget continues a multi-year pattern of general austerity, while also recommending a tax increase to fund State-mandated expenses and contractual obligations. It embraces several of the recommendations that emerged from the Citizens’ Budget Panel, modifies others, and leaves several significant items to the Council’s policy discretion.

The Council has scheduled several meetings to review the budget in detail. We will also welcome comments at a public hearing on December 4th. If past experience is any guide, the Council will almost certainly approve amendments before adopting the budget in final form.

I expect to have much more to say about our fiscal challenges and opportunities as this process unfolds, and have not yet reached any conclusions about the budget’s specific contents. My purpose in this post is simply to share the raw material of the Manager’s proposal for those who are interested.