February 12, 2024

Community Members Offer Budget Ideas to City Council

Residents’ input from Community Conversation event to be discussed at Council Retreat on Feb. 13.

Woman looking at We Love Virginia Beach poster with public input provided via sticky notes

Providing more opportunities for Virginia Beach residents to weigh in on the City’s fiscal year 2025 budget is a priority of City Council. For the first time, community members were invited to participate in a conversation about budget priorities much earlier in the process than in previous years. 

About 145 residents attended A Community Conversation, an event on Jan. 18 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Some came at the request of their council member, while others learned of the open community meeting through the City’s marketing efforts. 

Attendees were divided into groups at round tables, each with a City employee to help facilitate the conversation. Professional facilitators from the firm Fountainworks worked with City staff as primary facilitators.  

Residents at each table were asked a series of questions about City priorities and the budget, such as: 

  • What is one thing that you really love about living in Virginia Beach? 
  • What do we want people to find attractive about our city? 
  • What is your top priority for one thing we could change for the better? 
  • What is one thing that we should avoid? 
  • What are the top three things that come to mind when someone says, “core government services”? 

City Council Retreat

Information and results from the conversations were analyzed and will be discussed at the City Council Retreat on Feb. 13-14. The retreat will be open to the public, livestreamed on the City's website and Facebook page, cablecast live on VBTV via Cox channel 48 and Verizon channel 45, and posted to YouTube within 36 hours of the meeting’s conclusion. Learn more about the City Council Retreat and tune in for the agenda items below. 

Tuesday, Feb. 13, Agenda

  • 9:15-9:40 a.m. - Review of Community Conversations Feedback 
    (The full report will be available to view after discussion.)
  • 9:40-10:35 a.m. - Budget Overview: Timeline and Revenues 
  • 10:50-11:20 a.m. - Budget Prioritization Criteria 
  • 11:20 a.m. to noon - Myth of the Billion Dollar Budget 
  • 12:45-1:45 p.m. - Budget Proposal Reductions Being Considered 
  • 2-3:30 p.m. - Grants, Contributions and Dedications 
  • 3:30-4 p.m. - Wrap Up 

Wednesday, Feb. 14, Agenda

  • 9:30-10:45 a.m. - CIP 
  • 11 a.m. to noon - Guidance for Staff 
  • Noon to 12:15 p.m. - Next Steps 

Next Steps in the Budget Process

Residents will have additional opportunities to provide input on the City’s FY 2025 budget during the upcoming stages of the process, which began in fall 2023. Leading up to the public hearings in April and final adoption in May, the budget process follows this timeline:

  • February: The City Council and the public receive the annual report of real estate assessments, and the Department of Budget and Management Services uses it to update the school funding formula to provide to Virginia Beach City Public Schools. VBCPS holds workshops and public hearings before its budget is adopted.
  • March: The Virginia Beach School Board adopts the Schools’ budget in early March. The city manager presents his proposed budget (Operating and Capital Improvement Programs) to City Council on the third Tuesday of March.
  • April: State Code requires the city manager to present a proposed budget by April 1 each year. City Council is briefed by individual department directors. The proposed budget is available for the residents to view at public libraries, City Hall, and online at budget.virginiabeach.gov. Two public hearings will provide residents an opportunity to comment on the proposed budget.
  • May: The reconciliation workshop is a week before the state-mandated deadline of May 15 for the budget to be adopted.

Be in the Know About the Budget

Learn more by visiting budget.virginiabeach.gov. Watch the City Council meetings and be prepared to provide your input on the proposed budget in April. Subscribe now to get updates on the City’s budget process and how you can provide your input before major decisions are made.

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