The Port wants to hear your ideas about its budget

By Bob McChesney, Executive Director, the Port of Edmonds | Oct 07, 2010
Here is an imaginary scenario: You and a friend are at your favorite coffee shop. You have just picked up your lattes and have settled into your chairs. You lean forward and say, “I want to talk to you about the budget.”

In a heartbeat you will see his or her eyes glaze over.

Now here’s a contrasting scenario: Everything is the same, except this time you say, “I want to talk to you about a tool that will help us manage our business better.”

No glazed eyes, in fact you are likely to see raised eyebrows, silently saying, “Tell me more.”

You see, that is really all that a budget is: a very effective management tool. And it defines the forthcoming 2011 budget for the Port of Edmonds.

The five elected Commissioners of the Port of Edmonds take their job very seriously.

They are ever mindful that they were elected to represent the citizens of the Port District. They were commissioned to be your stewards of this multi-million dollar publicly owned property.

That means planning carefully for anticipated revenues and expenses and making provisions for unexpected problems and opportunities.

The word for such planning is budgeting. When you do it well—as the Port has done in the past—it is an extremely valuable planning tool.

Today—much like cities, states and businesses all over America—the Port of Edmonds faces a financial challenge: the likelihood of too little revenue to cover expected expenses.

That is what budgets are all about: setting goals and devising ways to bring revenue and expense into line with each other.

It should be noted that, compared to many government bodies—including some close to home—the Port of Edmonds is very fortunate. The gap we need to close is relatively small.

As of right now, the Port plans no major changes for 2011. There will have to be a few small changes, of course, but probably nothing that might be called major.

As your elected stewards, the Commissioners are very interested hearing what you think are the important factors to be considered.

What do you think are the best, fairest and most appropriate ways to generate the revenues we need to remain viable?

What are the most important things we should spend those monies on?

The Commission has scheduled three public hearings to hear from you. The first will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11, in the Commission meeting room on the second floor of the Port administration building. The second public hearing will be two weeks later, on Oct. 25, and the third and final hearing on Nov. 8.

If you care about your Port and how it is managed, I invite you to attend. You can speak if you wish, or you can simply observe.

This is your Port and we will be talking about your dollars. Come and be a part of what we do.

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