City’s Proposed Budget Subject of Two Upcoming “Community Conversations”

Acting City Manager Sheila Hill-Christian , Presented Her Budget to City Council and Two Days Later, Resigned.

Acting City Manager Sheila Hill-Christian , Presented Her Budget to City Council on Monday, April 6th and Two Days Later, Resigned.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,268)

The City of Portland is hosting two community conversations the end of this month in order to receive input from citizens and further explain this year’s budget process.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at 4:30 pm at city hall, in the State of Maine Room.   The second meeting will be held on  Tuesday, April 28th at 6:30 pm at Deering High School Cafeteria.

Acting city manager Sheila Hill-Christian presented her recommended budget for the Fiscal Year for July 1, 2015 at the city council meeting on Monday, April 6th.  The $22 million budget includes a 0.4% increase in city expenditures and maintains core city service levels, according to the city’s website.

The proposed combined tax rate increase for both city and schools is 2.9%. Despite many positive budget drivers, the proposed budget does include changes in the General Assistance program and a reduction in the workforce according to the city’s website which you can view yourself.

Two days later on Wednesday, April 8th acting city manager Christian announced her resignation for another comparable post in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Her last day of work in Portland is May 8th.  There is much speculation about  the reasons for her resignation following a relative short tenure in Portland.

Maybe she just got a comparable job with a bigger salary from a larger City with a more diverse popuilation?  Or was her resignation budget related as some have said?

What do you think happened?