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News Review
Mayor Lee & Supervisors Announce Townhall Series on City’s Budget
Community Engagement Efforts to Engage Residents & Help Balance City Budget; New SFOpenBook Gives Greater Transparency in City’s Revenue & Spending
Posted Date: 4/15/2013
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the dates for community engagement events to get the public more involved in the City’s budget process and hear from residents about their budget priorities to build a balanced two-year budget for San Francisco. Mayor Lee will co-host District-based Budget Town Halls with members of the Board of Supervisors and provide other forums to hear from San Franciscans about their budget priorities and ideas.

“We are excited to hear directly from our residents about their top priorities on issues that matter the most to them,” said Mayor Lee. “We must craft a balanced budget that keeps our City on a steady course of continued fiscal stability, stimulate the local economy, create good jobs, invest in key capital and infrastructure improvements, as well as address long term challenges identified in the proposed Five Year Financial Plan and ensure that San Franciscans can access City services they need.”

As part of this year’s budget process, Mayor Lee will meet with the Board of Supervisors, community-based organizations and advocacy groups, neighborhoodand business leaders, labor representatives, representatives of City Commissions and Department Heads to discuss budget priorities and innovative cost savings ideas.

The six District Based Budget Town Halls will be spread around the City at various community venues. For more information and updates on this year’s Budget Town Halls, go to: www.sfmayor.org/budget.

Schedule of Budget Town Halls with Mayor & District Supervisors

Districts 1 & 4 with Supervisors Eric Mar & Katy Tang
Saturday, April 20, 2013 (10:00 – 11:30 a.m.)
George Washington High School, 600 32nd Avenue

Districts 10 & 11 with Supervisors Malia Cohen & John Avalos
Monday, April 22, 2013 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)
Southeast Community Facility, 1800 Oakdale Avenue

Districts 8 & 9 with Supervisors Scott Wiener & David Campos
Saturday, May 4, 2013 (9 – 10:30 a.m.)
Cesar Chavez Elementary School, 825 Shotwell Street

Districts 4 & 7 with Supervisors Katy Tang & Norman Yee
Saturday, May 11, 2013 (10 – 11:30 a.m.)
Location TBA

Districts 5 & 6 with Supervisors London Breed & Jane Kim
Monday, May 13, 2013 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)
Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street

Districts 2 & 3 with Supervisors Mark Farrell & David Chiu
Saturday, May 18, 2013 (10 – 11:30 a.m.)
Location TBA

Mayor Lee, Board President David Chiu and City Controller Ben Rosenfield also announced today a new transparency portal called SFOpenBook (http://openbook.sfgov.org/), a new tool to view City spending and monitor the City’s economic health. The online tool, developed by the Controller’s Office, includes recently developed applications:

• Spending & Revenue – This interactive tool allows users to search, browse and download data on current and historical spending and revenues. Users can analyze activity by department, program, type of spending, and more.
• Economic Indicators – The Economic Barometer provides interactive charts of economic and demographic indicators, including employment, real estate activity, tourism and retail.

“SFOpenBook provides an innovative tool for San Franciscans to monitor the City’s spending and revenues,” said Mayor Lee. “It’s never been simpler to find out where taxpayer dollars are going.”

“With this new tool, we can watch what departments spend on overtime and keep a close eye on city revenues,” said Board President Chiu. “The public deserves this information, and SFOpenBook helps bring it into the light of day.”

“Understanding how your City is performing is a key part of public accountability – and that’s why I’m excited about this new tool and the plans we have to grow it in the future,” said City Controller Rosenfield.

In the coming months, the Controller’s Office plans to expand SFOpenBook’s capabilities to include self-service information searching on City budgets, employee compensation, government performance and improved information on City vendor payments.  Ultimately, the site will also allow the public to easily compare trends in the economy, government performance and spending for unparalleled insights into the City’s operations.

For more information on SFOpenBook, go to: http://openbook.sfgov.org/ .