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St. Pete to kick off FY 2016 budget public forums Wednesday

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The first of three public forums to discuss the St. Pete’s budget is Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the J.W. Cate Center on 22 Avenue North and 58 Street. The Budget Listening Tour for the 2016 fiscal budget will be attended by St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to learn how the annual budget works and weigh in on their priorities and ideas for the upcoming budget year.

During the three meetings, citizens will also be introduced to a new online tool called St. Pete OpenGov. It allows users to easily sort through data in a series of easy-to-read graphs and charts. Users can sort information by various criteria like allocation by department or by things like salaries or housing.

Data from fiscal year 2011 until the present is available on the website.

Members of the public will be allotted the usual three minutes to comment. Following that, City Council members will also speak.

Two other meetings will be held on May 20 at the Enoch Davis Rec Center located at 1111 18 Avenue South and on June 16 at the Willis S. Johns Center on 6635 Der. M.L. King Jr. Street North. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.

Kriseman is expected to deliver his budget recommendations to City Council in July. They will consider the budget and approve or reject it in September.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email [email protected]

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