On Traverse City Budgets – and Values

When budget season rolls around, you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase “a City’s budget reflects its values,” getting tossed around. YIMBYs and NIMBYs will use this phrase to frame their arguments for what should or should not be included in the City’s budget.

But if we’re going to reference our values, where do we begin? What are Traverse City’s values?

The 7 “Core Principles” in the City of Traverse City Master Plan is probably the closest thing we have to a core document that outlines our collective values as a City.

These Core Principles are:

On Monday night, City Commissioners will have an opportunity to put our money where our values are.

Before the City Commission will be the budget for 2018/19. Hanging in the balance (again) is funding for sidewalk infill and repair throughout the City. Yes, the proposal that the City Commission has already publicly supported with a 5-2 vote on December 18, 2017 will need to be approved as part of the overall city budget.

Unfortunately, the proposal before commissioners has been reduced by a million dollars down to $3.5 million.

$3.5 million is a sizeable sum and it certainly is nothing to complain about. But it’s not what our City Commission approved. It’s not what a room full of supporters and dozens by email spoke in favor of back in December. A reduction in the sidewalk gap/infill proposal is in direct conflict with our core principles:

Core Principle 6: “Transportation choices are important to our vitality and environmental health.”

Core Principle 7: “Maintaining  health and vibrant City is important to the region.”

Traverse City Commissioners need to hear from you on this topic one more time.

Tell them that you support the full $4.5 million sidewalk gap/infill proposal approved in December.

Email all Traverse City Commissioners here:

Join our grassroots pro walk/pro bike advocacy group HERE.