The local government finance model in the State of Michigan is broken. The City cannot operate in a deficit by State law, and reductions in expenses cannot be made again without severely impacting the City’s core services to its residents. The time is right to begin exploring a change in the City of Kalamazoo’s revenue to one that is more reliable, can grow when the City grows, and can provide a sustainable funding source.
On April 6th, 2015 the City Commission authorized the City Manager to create a Blue-ribbon Panel of residents, businesses, non-profits, and education stakeholders from the community. The charge of the Panel was to research, study, and explore revenue options that, when considered together, would address the City’s General Fund structural budget imbalance.
The Panel met twice per month throughout the second half of 2015, eventually settling on ten options for consideration. The Panel's pdf final report (378 KB) details their process and outputs. Meeting materials from the entire process are also available for viewing, and video of meetings is available on the City's YouTube channel.
In 2015, the City of Kalamazoo also began utilizing Priority Based Budgeting (PBB), a process in which expenditures are evaluated in terms of their influence on the most desirable community results. This two processes together take a comprehensive look at the City's finances and will inform decision making as we work together to reach a sustainable solution. More information is available on the Priority Based Budgeting page.
Linda Teeter (Parkview Hills Neighborhood)
Carl Brown (Edison Neighborhood)
Chris Praedel (Milwood Neighborhood)
Patti Owens (Downtown Neighborhood)
Mattie Jordan-Woods, Vice-Chair (Northside Neighborhood)
Sheri Welsh, Chair (Milwood Neighborhood)
Matt Milcarek (Vine Neighborhood)
Andrew Haan (Arcadia Neighborhood)
Deborah Gang (Westnedge Hill Neighborhood)
Kip Miller (Winchell Neighborhood)
Von Washington (Arcadia Neighborhood)
Ron Kitchens,Southwest Michigan First
Tom Huff, Peregrine Realty
Jon Durham, Life Story Network
Jim Escamilla, Byce & Associates
Peggy Gagen, United Way (replaced by Mike Larson mid-process)
Mike Larson, United Way
Mike Way, Bronson Hospital
Richard Felbinger, Borgess Hospital
Gary Start, Kalamazoo Public Schools
Dr. Marilyn Schlack, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Dr. John Dunn, Western Michigan University