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Scenario for Task at Hand:
Townscape, Illinois is a growing suburban community located thirty-five miles west of downtown Chicago. Townscape began nearly 150 years ago as a small town nestled on the banks of the Fox River. The village began as rural, farming community of 2000 inhabitants that depended on the river as a source for power as well as transportation until the middle of the Twentieth Century. Approximately fifty years ago, the community experienced its first significant period of growth, transforming it from a small farming community to a full service suburban city of 30,000 people. This very quick period of growth was facilitated by a large developer offering very affordable housing to the families of servicemen coming home from World War II. Townscape experienced another significant period of growth in the late 1990’s, swelling its population to well over 50,000 residents.
Prior to the building boom of the late 1990’s, Townscape’s municipal infrastructure of roads, sewer and water facilities, public safety buildings and schools were all built during the first expansion occurring in the early 1950’s. Townscape had no definable town center and subsequently had a lower ratio of residential to commercial tax base than other cities of similar demographics. The city’s residents shoulder the majority of the city budget that is hardly keeping pace with the additional demands of new residents, much less planning for the replacement of necessary services. The city is now faced with making significant decisions with regard to the replacement of a crumbling sixty year old infrastructure, maintaining an acceptable level of service for its residents, and planning and upgrading public buildings to meet the needs of an expanded workforce employed to serve the growing community.
The City of Townscape is considered a full service community and is chartered by the state as a council-manager form of government. It maintains its own police and fire departments, streets and sanitation department, underground utility department, water filtration plant, sewer treatment facility, community development and building department and city administration. The city is governed by a part-time board President and six member Board of Commissioners. The Board appoints a full time City Manager who as the chief operating officer has full authority to appoint all department heads. The city employs 325 people and has an operating budget of approximately $30,000,000. While there has been significant growth in the community over the last five years, the majority of the growth has been single family residential housing.
The City of Townscape must begin making some important decisions on its future. The City Manager will need to examine the current state of city finances, personnel needs, infrastructure improvements and public and political sentiment towards new sources of revenue. Other public bodies, such as school and park districts and the county board, are also concerned as to the direction Townscape will take in the next decade as well. You are a member of the Townscape City Council, whom the City Manager consults with on various projects and decision-making policies. You will be asked to provide suggestions and rationale to the City Manager for your proposals.

Answer the following information using the scenario above:

The City Manager would like the council members to gather to review Townscape’s current fiscal year police budget and the needs of Townscape as highlighted in the scenario. Each council member will be required to take a section of the Townscape police proposed budget for the next fiscal year and will be the designated sub-committee chairperson for that department.
Review Townscape’s needs as highlighted in the scenario. Use the following two sheets for the Townscape Police budget. The first spreadsheet 08-09 Townscape Police Budget is the approved budget for the current fiscal year. The second spreadsheet 09-10 Townscape Police Budget is the proposed budget requested by the chief of police. These resources will help you determine whether additional services and personnel are warranted or if significant budgetary cutbacks are required.
Part One
* Step 1: Complete 4 page write-up of the conversations, concerns, rationales for decisions, etc.
You are to take the role of a city council person on the budget committee. In your role, discuss with the other council members and reach a compromise on a 3% across the board budgetary increase. You will notice that the Chief has requested a sizable increase to meet the needs of the community. It is approximately 7% over the previous year. The Chief must factor in a 4% contractual raise that is in the patrol officer and sergeant’s collective bargaining agreement. The Chief has been informed to hold the overall increase to 3% because of the problems with revenue this year. In addition, the Chief is trying to add a couple of officers to address the growing community’s needs. There are a myriad of policy issues that must be addressed by the city council. The decision of whether or not to cut public safety is critical and must be balanced with the needs of the fire department, public works and administration.

 

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