Come April 1, the District will start discussing what’s sure to be a controversial topic -- the 2012 budget. Despite optimistic forecasts that reduced the budget deficit to $322 million, down from close to $600 million, there’s little doubt that Mayor Vince Gray, the D.C. Council, interest and advocacy groups, and residents will fight over what gets cut and what gets spared during the two months of deliberations leading up to the budget’s final approval. The fights will likely be even testier than usual, seeing as various social service advocacy groups are pushing for tax hikes as an alternative to more painful cuts that were undertaken in recent years.
Never one to shy away from process and deliberation, Gray rolled out a brief online survey over the weekend aimed at gathering public input on the 2012 budget. While the idea may be laudable, the execution sure isn’t -- the survey is limited to five questions, only three of which are actually of substance.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]