May 1, 2014 By News Staff
To engage the public and solicit feedback, San Francisco held an online budget town hall where Mayor Ed Lee discussed the city’s $7.9 billion annual budget and its projected budget deficits, expected to total $66.7 million for the city’s 2014-15 fiscal year and $133.4 million in 2015-16.
The virtual discussion took place on YouTube with resident commentary coming from Twitter, through email and YouTube comment posts. As a moderator, Barbara Taylor, the San Francisco City Hall bureau chief for KCBS Radio, said it was the third iteration of the online event for Lee, who wanted to use it as springboard for community engagement.
“This is the third year that Mayor Lee has hosted an online town hall and does it for a very important reason: to enable and engage all San Franciscans to become an active part of his budget process,” Taylor said.
As a “city of technology innovation and social media,” Taylor said that the online platform was designed to engage the public in live conversation about spending priorities.
The discussion lasted just more than an hour, and was back and forth between Lee, Taylor, the city’s Budget Director Kate Howard and Board of Supervisors Budget Chair Mark Farrell.