There were no speakers at last week’s Purcellville Town Council public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget, but debate over the spending plan will continue.
So far, the $21 million budget proposed by Town Manager David A. Mekarski has been reduced by about $125,000 with a 1-cent reduction to the real estate tax rate planned.
In comments during the April 12 council meeting both Vice Mayor Chris Bertaut and Councilman Stanley J. Milan Jr. said they would be pushing for more spending reductions, with proposed staff salary increases and increased investments in technology system upgrades—areas Mekarski has made a high priority—cited as targets.
“This is not the time to let loose the floodgates on spending,” Bertaut said.
“We need to look at the budget and cut back the fat,” Milan said.
The council has held several budget work sessions since Mekarski presented the budget in March. The council is expected to adopt the final version next week.
One item that won’t be included in Purcellville’s FY 2023 town budget is a $5,000 allocation to renew the town’s online community engagement platform.
When first contracted by the council several years ago, the Polco system was hailed as an innovative way to gauge public opinion by conducting polls on issue facing town leaders.
However, the service was little used. Last year, the town conducted just one poll, soliciting 175 responses. Councilman Joel Grewe noted not only the resulting high per-vote cost of the system, but also that the Town Council did not follow the survey results in its final action on that topic.
The council voted unanimously to not renew the vendor contract.