Questions for candidates: What’s the mayor’s role in creating the city’s budget?

September 28, 2018
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Rochester City Council is reviewing a $289.3 million budget recommended by the city’s administration.

With two candidates seeking to be the city’s new mayor in 2019, they were asked what role they believe the mayor should take in creating the final city budget.

Here are their responses:

Kim Norton

The mayor should be involved in crafting the initial budget — not simply “in creating the final city budget.”

Voters choose a mayor based on issues and priorities expressed during a campaign. Those ideas should be part of the discussions with administration and the city council members early in budget development.

My priorities based on voter input include ensuring safe, affordable and inclusive neighborhoods by developing a stronger, expanded and user-friendly presence at city hall for citizens (such as an Office of Neighborhoods); achieving smart, efficient, sustainable city development and transportation systems that provide meaningful services that help us become a healthy, world-class city; assuring effective and transparent city government; and building a thriving economy with opportunities for all to work and elevate their standard of living.

Charlie O’Connell

As the city council reviews the administration’s recommended budget, the mayor needs to do the same.

The mayor is the last line of defense in ensuring that the recommended budget will meet the needs and requirements for the largest possible percentage of our citizens. Over the next 90 days the recommended budget will be reviewed. As the mayor reviews, discusses and analyzes the proposed budget, the mayor also needs to be building consensus among all city stakeholders.

If there are portions of the recommended budget the mayor or others do not agree with, this 90-day period is the time to discuss the differences. Communication is paramount in developing collaborative solutions to ensure the budget is passed without the potential for a mayoral veto occurring.

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