California city lets residents set part of budget

AP News
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Posted: Jun 11, 2013 1:11 PM

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California city that emerged from bankruptcy two years ago is trying a novel approach to setting part of its budget: having the public decide.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday (http://bit.ly/192uwNc ) that Vallejo let residents over the age of 16 vote in May on how to spend about $3.2 million.

Taxpayers were allowed to pick from 33 projects, with the top 12 sharing the money.

The winners included pothole and street repair, community gardens and streetlights. Among the losers were public art and small-business training.

City Manager Daniel Keen said the effort was a good way to give people confidence in a city government they considered broken.

The City Council certified the vote results last week and sent them to city staff to incorporate in the budget.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com