Transparency and Optimism in Oak Park Budget Video (video)

Transparency and Optimism in Oak Park Budget Video (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 30, 2014)

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate is optimistic about the future of his city, and it shows in a budget video made earlier this month for City Council and the public.Judy_Palmer30years

The video is part of the administration’s efforts to include the public in the budget process and share with them what progress has been made the past two years. “It is not enough to balance our budget,” Tungate said. “Our plan is to move beyond the break-even point and begin to truly thrive.”

In the past seven years, Oak Park’s general fund budget has shrunk from $21 million to $16.9 million. The decrease gallowaycollens1comes from a decrease in overall taxable value of properties and lower revenue sharing from the state. Tungate said the loss in revenue sharing from the State of Michigan has been $20 million over the last decade.

Although those decreases have been hard on the community, property values are starting to rise and the city is making a comeback. “For the last several years we have hunkered down and re-evaluated all city operations. We’ve saved time and money and are working towards fulfilling our goal of being a premiere destination in Metropolitan Detroit,” he said.

Among the improvements is a commitment to economic development. “This past year City Council agreed to allow tavern licenses throughout the city and we knojennifer sandler bowen reflexologyw as an economic development tool, along with others like the outdoor dining ordinance, will allow us to retain businesses that we already have and attract new businesses that wouldn’t have considered the City of Oak Park in the past.

Other improvements include a $12.2 million rainy day fund, the hiring of four new public safety officers, healthcare savings through negotiations with workers, outdoor dining, and an increased emphasis on code enforcement. Oak Park got a new Mayor in 2014. spiritual life ferndaleIn her first State of the City Address, Mayor McClellan said “When I talk to business owners and residents about Oak Park, people mention a new energy, a new direction and optimism about the City’s future. It is imperative that we keep that momentum going. It has been an active and progressive year for your City Council.”

Oak Park also has a brand new municipal complex, and an expanding recreation program. In 2013, The Michigan Suburbs Alliance praised Oak Park for its growth, with an article that can be found at

For more on the City of Oak Park visit their website at

Tungate’s Budget Video and others can be found at

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