Council To Decide Budget Priorities This Summer

Lakewood City Council is starting work on the next budget, months ahead of their traditional schedule. The extended process could mean greater involvement by residents.

Council holds formal budget hearings in November and December, in Lakewood. Last year, however, council explored adding a preliminary process to weigh priorities ahead of time.

This year the city’s finance committee began the budget-priority process on June 11, and for the next two months, council members will be developing priority lists for the next budget.

Finance committee chair Dan O’Malley (Ward 4) says, “My hope is this will be done with input from residents, hearing from them about areas we may have overlooked.”

At-large council member Tristan Rader says he is “very happy this process is taking place now, [well] before the budget is submitted back to council for passage.”

By the end of the priority-setting process, council members intend to substantiate each priority at length, with cost estimates, input from relevant city staff, and explanations of how it supports Lakewood’s Community Vision, capital investment criteria, and other existing goals.

The finance committee will hold hearings on proposed budget priorities in September. Then in early October, council hopes to vote on a final list as a resolution. “The goal is to pass this with enough time for the administration to incorporate them into the budget, which will be introduced in mid-November,” says O’Malley.

In the meantime, residents interested in what their members of council are considering or in suggesting additional priorities have until September. Council members’ contact information is listed at

Matt Kuhns is a Lakewood resident, freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.

Matt Kuhns

Matt Kuhns is a Lakewood resident, freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.

Read More on City
Volume 14, Issue 14, Posted 6:19 PM, 07.03.2018