Duluth looking for volunteers for citizens' budget committee

DULUTH - The opening line in the city's electronic newsletter sent this past week says it all.

"As you know, the economy is affecting us all," it reads.

Because of that simple fact, Duluth city officials are asking for its residents' help in drafting a budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1.

According to Phil McLemore, the city's administrator, Duluth is forming a citizens' budget committee and is looking for volunteers.

"We want to put together a team of citizens willing to devote some time in making critical decisions that will have both immediate and long term effects on the city and its citizens," McLemore wrote in an open letter to all Duluth residents. "The revenue decrease being experienced has never been experienced by Duluth. The city has prepared for economic downturns and has money in the bank to handle normal cycles, but the current downturn is not normal."

McLemore went on to write that the city is looking for people to review the city's actions and choices and to validate that the municipality is on the right track financially.

"Every detail of our finances and budget will be shared with you to develop a plan of action to meet the projected decline in revenues," he wrote. "We're hopeful that your involvement will strengthen our community as we go forward."

For more information on the citizens' budget committee, e-mail Susan Weber at sweber@duluthga.net or call City Hall at 770-623-2780.