Be heard on city budget issues at 6 p.m. today

coin pinchLet’s face it, city budgets can be a bore if you’re not part of the municipal government realm. Heck, budgets in general are a drag to slog through for most of us.

But this year — not to mention last year — is different because of the major changes that could be forced by budget deficits.

Below are a few reasons Wichitans should consider viewing and commenting on tonight’s preliminary budget presentation on cable Channel 7, online at www.wichita.gov or at City Hall at 6 p.m. (Arrive early to get through security.)

  • The city is facing huge deficits and officials plan to cut some services, lay off employees and add fees.
  • People will probably see changes in community recreation and education programs.
  • Trash hauling may be franchised.
  • It might get tougher to reach city officials because of cutbacks in secretarial work and office closings. (They already shut down public access to police bureaus at night.)
  • The city will spend more on police, and it is hanging on to some money for economic development.
  • And the list goes on. One or more of these things will affect pretty much everybody in Wichita in some way. Tonight, anyone can put their opinion on the record. Residents will have at least two more chances to be heard later on in July and August, but that will be after many of the details are ironed out.

    After the budget hearing, the evolving downtown master plan will be presented.