About 25 people gathered for a “listening session” sponsored by Danville City Commission on Thursday evening at city hall.
The meeting lasted a little more than an hour as commissioners heard from the public regarding suggestions or opinions on the upcoming city budget.
Topics ranged from streetscape to building youth-friendly facilities, but the issue of taxes proved to be popular with most speakers.
Wilma Brown said she wonders what the alcohol tax is being used for.
“I’m wondering if the City Commission could look at other towns that have these fees and taxes and see how we can compare,” Brown said. “We can’t be in competition if we are charging more than other cities.”
Revenue from the alcohol tax goes in the general budget, but Commissioner Kevin Caudill asked if the commission could see a breakdown of the revenue.
Michele Gosser, city financial consultant, said the issue will be addressed during the upcoming budget process.
Another resident, Carl Beckman, also brought up taxes, saying the city needs to “balance the budget without raising taxes.”
“It seems there is always a tax increase,” Beckman said.
Mayor Bernie Hunstad said he understands tax revenue is an issue with the public and the city needs “to do a better job reporting that.”
Resident Ernie Moore had a different outlook on taxes to share with the public.
“I’ve lived in five states, and I’ve never been any place in my life where people hated to pay taxes more than people in Kentucky,” Moore said. “You need to be proud to pay taxes. It means you made enough money to be able to pay taxes. It’s not something to gripe about.”
Hunstad thinks Danville residents get a “good value” for their taxing rate, and Commissioner Caudill agreed.
“Danville is a pretty good deal,” Caudill said.
Donna Fairchild, who said she is fairly new to Danville, offered a suggestion to use resources.
Fairchild said the city should consider using the aid of retirees for their experience. “To help you think outside the box,” she said.
Fairchild also suggested some maintenance be done to the city’s website to elaborate on what each committee does. She said it would help to start receiving a report from each committee on how projects are going.
Caudill agreed the city needs to be more involved with committee happenings.
“We’ve had several good committees, and we’ve become sort of disengaged,” Caudill said, adding the commission should start hearing from them more often.
The city will host another listening session at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at city hall. In addition, residents are encouraged to access a survey on the city’s website.
City Manager Ron Scott will help compile a report based on the public opinions, and it will be released March 15.