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posted: 5/8/2013 4:40 AM

Glen Ellyn budget fiscally prudent

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Glen Ellyn budget fiscally prudent

On April 22, the Glen Ellyn board of trustees passed its budget for the fiscal year beginning May 1 by a vote of 4-1. This vote capped an exhaustive process going back to the fall of 2012, and included hundreds of pages of documents and financial plans, including line item budgets for each of the village's 14 separate funds.

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During the budget process, trustees expressed their own goals and priorities, while probing the staff's projections, priorities and assumptions. Staff responded to these inquiries promptly, updated the budget as new information became available, corrected math and typographical errors in the draft and supplemented and refined the budget documents.

We had a number of questions and concerns during the five workshops and hearings conducted on the budget, but I do not recall that any material question went unanswered or that any significant concern went unaddressed.

On April 23, after the village board had passed the budget, the village president informed us that he did not intend to sign the consensus budget ordinance. I genuinely do not understand the vast majority of his objections, and certainly do not believe that the budget reflected any change in the village's balanced budget or reserve policies. I found the budget to be as clear and forthcoming as previous budgets.

That is not to suggest the budget process is perfect. Trustee Robert Friedberg challenged village management to find cost savings to reduce expenditures below budgeted amounts. Other trustees commented on the quirks of Illinois law, which require us to determine the property tax levy six months before we determine our expenditures. None of us who voted in favor of the budget would describe it as "perfect," but all of us who supported it found that it was fair, accurate, fiscally responsible and prudent.

Peter E. Cooper

Glen Ellyn

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