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Few present at South Bend budget input meeting

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— It’s your money and now South Bend wants to hear your voice.

“It’s a matter of trying to make sure that as a city, we’re spending our money effectively for the benefit of everyone living in the city limits,” said South Bend resident Bill Dunn.

After weeks of presentations on the budgets of different city departments, the city’s common council opened the floor Monday, to hear comments and concerns from the taxpayers who are funding them.

“It was an opportunity for the public to come, and to ask any questions regarding the budget process or any questions regarding the various budget hearings,” said South Bend Common Council Karen White.

It was a missed opportunity for the thousands of South Bend taxpayers.

“I was a little disappointed we didn’t have the number of citizens that i was hoping we would have,” said White.

Folks pressed the city last year to let them in on the budget process.

This year, the council did just that holding so far just under a dozen public hearings, including an input session for taxpayers to talk to department heads.

“I thought they made an honest effort to listen to what questions I had and they answered them,” said Dunn.

Making sure their voices were heard was important to Dunn and the other few taxpayers who showed up; especially considering the topic of discussion was a $322 million budget.

 “We have 100,000 people here, they all have streets they have to drive on, for example, we need to figure out if we’re spending too much on 10,000 of them, and not enough on the remaining 90 percent,” he said.

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