Residents gathered on the Southeast Side Monday night to give their ideas to city leaders on the budget.
City employees like Animal Care Services director Kathy Davis led the table discussions on what people believe to be important to them and how they feel the budget could be better. One resident at a table, Sandra, said she thinks the city could make better use of funds by selling office and other items not being used anymore.
"We could have auctions or something. I mean, you sell it to schools. Do something with it so we get our money back instead of just going out and buying new; same thing with office furniture," she said. "Who needs $100, $200 office chair? We could use that and put it back to the general fund. Those are ways to make our money back."
District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said streets, code compliance and libraries will always remain a priority. But what makes her South Side district different among the other areas of town? She said that she wants to maintain the integrity and identity of the neighborhoods. She also thinks a spay and neuter clinic will greatly benefit the South Side.
"From the start of this fiscal year through June, District 3 has had the most spay and neuter surgeries in the city -- over 2,000 -- which tells me that one, our community is getting educated about the issue, and two, when my office and the city is making that opportunity available, they're taking advantage of it," she said. "So I see that growing and that's going to grow even more."
Resident Jerry Gonzalez said he thinks the city attorney's office budget can be cut. Brown said he doesn't want the city to focus on only few areas because that can prevent money from being spent on other important services.
"Make sure with the parks, let's not forget about other things that need to be taken care of because if you just concentrate on parks and streets, then you're neglecting other areas, especially families and whatnot," he said.
The budget meetings continue all week. Tuesday's meeting will be at Second Baptist Church on East Commerce. Wednesday's meeting is at the District 5 Senior Center on South Presa. All start at 6:30 p.m.