Doraville’s 2020 Budget – First Pass

On Wednesday, May 29th, the city manager will be hosting a public meeting at the library about Doraville’s budget for 2020. The budget was only posted tonight (May 28th), so there is not a lot of time to review it, but I encourage you to take a look and show up with questions and suggestions.

Download the Proposed 2020 Budget Here

I have a few initial thoughts/questions:

  • I’d like to see job descriptions for any new positions (“Program Managers” in the Parks & Rec department, “Assistant Community Development Director” in Community Development, etc
  • I understand that the city’s phone and IT infrastructure is badly out of date and needs to be replaced (or at least needs a long-term replacement plan). That said, I would like the city to consider bidding out any services that they think will be increasing significantly over the next year (like IT).
  • Metrics – A number of “performance measurements” are listed, but we aren’t given any details about them or how they’ve changed over time. I would like to see these actual measurements and understand if they’re actually being tracked and providing meaningful guidance to the departments. If they are meaningful, that should help us better understand where we should be directing our city’s resources. One big one would be to get the number of police calls/incidents per month/year and see how those have changed over time.

I think that this budget also includes changes to the city’s pay plan. The city manager gave us a preview of what she was thinking of at the May 6th council work session. In my opinion, her plan was too complicated. I’d prefer to see underpaid people brought closer to whatever the median pay for their position is without a lot of gimmicks. I think trying to give pay bumps for extra skills or education will be hard to manage over time – it may also hurt some people unintentionally. Finally, I think giving people additional vacation days when they apparently cannot take all their existing PTO does not make sense

Some other noteworthy items – there is a full list of all the staff and their positions, which I’m not sure if I’d seen anywhere before:

List of City Employees and their Titles (Current & Proposed)

There is also a proposal to update the city’s fee structure to bring it in line with what other cities do. I am generally supportive of this, but would like to know how these would be changing from our current fee structure:

I am still trying to work through this document and process everything. I welcome comments at joseph.geierman@doravillega.us. I also encourage you to come to the public forum that the city manager is holding at the library at 6:30pm on the evening of May 29th. While I wish it had been better publicized, I am very happy that she is opening this process up more to the public.