West Hollywood Invites Residents Input on Budget

budgetThe City of West Hollywood is starting the preparation of its two-year operating budget and five-year capital work plan. In anticipation of this process, the city has launched a short online budget survey to engage residents, businesses and community members in West Hollywood in providing feedback about budget priorities. Each of the city’s departments and divisions will incorporate input from the public into budget and work plan development. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and is available online.

The city’s operating budget will cover two fiscal years. It will begin on July 1 and run through June 30, 2016. The five-year capital work plan will also be updated through June 30, 2019. There are five key themes in this budget-planning cycle: Technology, Arts, Human Services/Homelessness, Community Engagement and new Eastside residents.

The budget survey consists of a variety of questions regarding city services, quality of life and city infrastructure. Survey respondents are asked to identify which services they believe are most and least important and which services they would identify to receive an increase or decrease in funding. In addition, the budget survey has questions regarding attracting new businesses and visitors to West Hollywood.

The city will host a “budget fair” on April 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Rooms 5 and 6 of the Plummer Park Community Center at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. The budget fair will feature two distinct areas to provide information to community members about the budget information and city divisions. One room will offer a short video presentation about the city budget with background, facts and figures. A second room will incorporate booths with representatives from a variety of city divisions. Community members will be able to learn, by division, about the city’s accomplishments and proposed work plans — and people will have an opportunity to provide input regarding work plans.

In May, the city will host a Twitter-based “#Wehochat” discussion to engage community members in the city’s budget-planning process. More information will follow about this in April. For additional information about the preparation of the city’s two-year operating budget and five-year capital work plan or about the online budget survey contact John Leonard at (323) 848-6446 or at budget@weho.org.

  1. I encourage residents to get involved with the City’s budget planning process; however, as a market research professional for over 30 years, I have concerns with the City’s online survey particularly in terms of how some of the questions were written.

    For example, Q.’s 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 force the respondent to check 3 responses for each. The survey should allow respondent to check 1 or 2 responses (or a “none”), if that’s how the respondent wants to answer. (BTW, a way around answering 3 is to check “other” and write in “no other response.”)

    Q. 4 should be asked for each city individually for a more accurate comparison as respondents might think that some of the cities listed have a better quality of life than WeHo, and others worse.

    Q.’s 10 and 11 should NOT be Yes/No questions. Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone answering “No” to Q. 10 – “Do you like that the City has $85 million in reserves…?” The more appropriate question might be, “The City has $85 million in reserves… How much do you think the City should have in reserves?” For Q. 11, a more meaningful question might be, “How important is it to you that the City has made significant progress towards completion of its capital work plan…”

    Looking forward to the Budget Fair!

  2. I completed the online survey, but after three attempts at the verification code and not getting it right I give up!

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