The City Manager and City Council make the final decisions on what is included in the budget and what funding levels will be. But before these choices can be made, information, recommendations, and preferences are provided to these decision-makers by a wide range of groups which have an interest in government programs and finances.
One good way to gain a sense of the diversity of involvement in the budget process is to glance down a list of speakers for a typical budget hearing. There are speakers representing senior citizens, public education, the handicapped, taxpayers associations, and the general citizenry, for example. These community group representatives, as well as elected officials, individuals, department heads, the Budget Department staff, and other interested parties, all have an important role in the budget setting process.
Citizen recommendations presented to the City Council and City Manager at the public budget hearings subsequently are discussed at work sessions by them with the Budget staff and department directors and their staff as necessary. All of these participants contribute to the final decisions each year on what are the most important citizen needs for public services and facilities in Newport News and their funding levels. If you have any questions, please email the Department of Budget and Evaluation.