Duluth residents examine city budget

Duluth residents are helping the city balance its budget for the second consecutive year.

The citizens budget committee -- an extreme example of civic transparency in which ordinary folks suggest cuts and generate ideas for revenue -- will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Duluth City Hall to hear presentations from department leaders.

Like last spring, the committee of a few dozen residents will help the city tackle its $17 million operating budget and large revenue shortfall. For fiscal 2011, that shortfall is $1.7 million. For fiscal 2010, it was $4 million, City Administrator Phil McLemore said.

The committee, which held its first meeting last week, is expected to gather for at least four weeks, with a goal of wrapping up by mid-April, McLemore said.