Tucson budget, planning is focus of Monday forum

Kozachik-hosted session to address future big expenses
2013-05-12T00:00:00Z Tucson budget, planning is focus of Monday forumDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For weeks the Tucson City Council has squabbled over the budget.

Some council members contend the city is careening off a fiscal cliff. Others maintain the city's finances aren't as dire as some may think and the city is more than able to manage them.

But the recent discussions created more questions than answers in the public's mind.

To help residents sort through some of the budget challenges confronting the city, Councilman Steve Kozachik will host a town hall meeting Monday at his Ward 6 office.

"Even though we've had several budget study sessions, I know it's hard for people to get engaged mid-week, during the early afternoon," Kozachik said.

So Kozachik invited City Finance Director Kelly Gottschalk to join him, to discuss where the city sits right now and where it is headed as pension costs, streetcar expenses and other budget obligations soar in the near future.

"We've got some real, measurable challenges coming, and I want people to hear from our in-house expert just what those numbers look like," Kozachik said. "We have some differences of opinion on the council, so this will be a chance for residents to come and see the numbers and draw their own conclusions."

There are no easy answers to the city's budget woes, Kozachik said. So those in attendance Monday shouldn't expect to hear any panaceas.

"People shouldn't come expecting to hear about some magic bullet that'll fix the budget," Kozachik said. "There are some real tough numbers we're facing."

On StarNet: Go to azstarnet.com/politics to read more about local and state government and political news

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com

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