Residents urged to participate in city budget process

Tuesday marks the Marquette City Commission’s final 2013-2014 budget work session – and the perfect opportunity for city residents to make their voices heard.

During a trio of gatherings last week, the commission discussed some of the intricacies of a proposed budget that will extend from July through September of 2014.

With little to no public comment to this point, the seven city commissioners have reviewed city staff’s proposals for the budgets of Marquette’s central administration, police, fire, community development and community services departments, as well as the budgets for public works, water, sewer and wastewater.

These may not seem like the most exciting topics, but the discussions can have direct impacts on city residents.

For instance, on Tuesday, Police Chief Mike Angeli proposed an increase in city parking ticket fines. Under that proposal, most ticket fines will increase from $10 to $20.

One of the most important tasks of the city commission is setting the municipality’s annual budget.

The process sets Marquette’s course for the year ahead and we think residents should make a point to share their views with their representatives.

Tuesday’s meeting, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. in the commission chambers at city hall, would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. Then, the commission will conduct a budget wrap-up session and will scheduled a public hearing for later this month.

Citizens often turn out at public meetings lamenting the start of a project or process directly impacting them. Such complaints are commonly lodged weeks or months after a decision, and are too little too late.

It is important for Marquette residents to share their opinions with the commission now, at a time when the body is laying out a budgetary blueprint for the months ahead.

If citizens are unable to attend Tuesday morning’s meeting, they should still get informed and contact their commissioners directly.

The meetings are broadcast on Charter’s Channel 21 and the minutes will be posted on the city website.

Citizens can learn about the proposed budget by viewing a public copy found at the clerk’s office in city hall.

A digital copy can also be found online at