Service Levels May Cause Budget Changes

After Naperville city staff identified several services that have dropped below their standards, they brought the discussion to Naperville City Council at its latest meeting, looking for direction.

“An example would be phone wait times if people call our finance department,” said City Manager Doug Krieger. “The turnaround on documents either at the police department or at finance. A lot of the basics.”

Another issue that caught council’s attention was the city’s e-Bill filing system, which Mayor Steve Chirico said causes frequent complaints from residents.

“My suggestion is we’re better off not having an online payment system, than one that’s so lousy. That’s my thinking,” said Chirico.

But with an already tight budget to work with, the city may need to re-evaluate its financial principles if fixing services requires more capital.

The city is considering raising property taxes, lowering the bar for the debt reduction, and maintaining less cash in reserve as ways to funnel money into services.

“The city exists to provide service to our residents,” said Krieger. “Obviously those services and the levels at which we provide them are critical to city council and it’s critical that staff set those at a rate that is sufficient to provide a level of service, but also to do it in the most cost-effective manner as possible.”

Though no decisions have been made, Krieger said the property tax revenue stream is the only one council has considered changing so far.

City council is scheduled to discuss the budget in greater detail at its October 19 meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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