Park City Resident Says City Budget Process Unclear, Hindering Public Participation

Jun 4, 2019

Credit Park City Municipal

Over the past month, Park City budget staff has presented different aspects of the fiscal year 2020 budget to the Park City Council. The presentations haven’t drawn much public input, and one resident says that’s due, in part, to a lack of clarity and functionality in the staff reports.

Numbers, graphs, charts—hearings for Park City’s fiscal year 2020 budget haven’t been the most exciting presentations, but they do provide important information about the City’s priorities and funding sources. Park City Mayor Andy Beerman recently told KPCW he would love to see public comment on the budget. Park City resident Angela Moschetta provided some at Thursday’s council meeting.

“The agendas—they're not navigable documents," Moschetta said. "I'm trying to go through this right now. You click, and something new opens. There's no table of contents. Why, still, we cannot find someone to publish PDFs and things that are useful and easily useful in 2019?”

Moschetta says she had the same complaint during last year’s budget process. During Thursday’s budget discussion, some numerical typos came up, and at one point, Councilmember Steve Joyce requested information he felt was pertinent but not featured in the packet of budget documents. Moschetta says that makes it difficult for the public to participate—and for the Council to have an informed discussion.   

“I feel like we are once again moving really fast towards making a decision, and everybody that needs all the information doesn't have it,” Moschetta said.

Councilmember Tim Henney agrees the City could improve upon clarifying information for the public, though that could be difficult to do in terms of the budget.

“We can always do a better job of being clearer and helping people understand what it is we're trying to accomplish on their behalf," Henney said. "And we can hear what's being asked of us from the community. We can do a better job of hearing; we can do a better job of distilling; we can do a better job of reflecting back.”

Henney says a good place to start would be with the City’s website.

“I’m not great with websites in general, but boy, I find our website…you know, I would have a hard time calling it user-friendly,” Henney said.

The City Council has one more budget hearing, scheduled for this Thursday’s Council meeting. The Council is anticipated to adopt the budget June 20.