Imker invites citizens to budget ‘summit’

PTC Councilman wants ideas to reduce costs, increase efficiency

Peachtree City residents with an eye on trimming the city’s budget are invited to attend a meeting Saturday with new city Councilman Eric Imker.

The city is facing a $3 million budget shortfall in the 2010-2011 budget and in the following year, Imker said. So he’s convening a budget summit for citizens Saturday at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

Imker will have some information and ideas to present, but he’s particularly hoping to get ideas from citizens on how the city can improve efficiencies and trim the budget without raising taxes or reducing services.

The projected budget shortfall for next year is so dire that the city needs to take action this year, perhaps as early as the second half of the fiscal year which begins April 1.

“This is life or death for the city,” Imker said. “The budget has to be priority number one. We can’t do anything else without a sound budget.”

City employees are welcome to attend, but Imker said he is hosting the meeting on his own to encourage more citizens to provide input. He thinks some citizens might avoid meetings during the city’s normal budgeting process and he hopes this meeting is a way to change that.

“I’m going to be wide open to everybody’s ideas,” Imker said.