Participatory Budgeting event at Bronx House

There are thirty-nine members in the City Council Participatory Budgeting Program where one million dollars is set aside to go to items in each council district that the voters choose. This is the first year that Councilman Mark Gjonaj is participating the City Council Participatory Budget program. His second workshop on Participatory Budgeting drew only a handful of people Friday night at the Bronx House on Pelham Parkway.

Farah Rubin of Councilman Mark Gjonaj’s office explains Participatory Budgeting, and how one million dollars is to be voted on by the people of the district for items rhat garner the most votes within the one million dollar limit.

Why was the turnout so low? There was a meeting in Throggs Neck a few days before where many proposals were presented, including a new fire engine for the Edgewater Park volunteer fire company. Since the minimum amout for a proposal is fifty-thousand dollars, a million dollars does not go far. It was said that the community with the largest population would get the bulk of this Participation Budgeting money, as has been done in other council districts. That could be why only thirty-nine council members are in the program this year as some have opted out of the program.

The third and last Neighborhood Assemblies by Councilman Gjonaj will be held on Tuesday October 8th at the Villa Barone Manor. Volunteer recruitment for the voting (sites are to be announced by the councilman’s office) is going on now. Call Councilman Gjonaj’s office at 717-931-1721 for more information on Participatory Budgeting, and where the voting will be held.

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