"Public input" to City Council has become a travesty.

To the Editor:

"Public input" to City Council has become a travesty.

The last meeting of the year ended with council voting 7-0 to approve the 2016 budget.

Prior to the vote, several residents testified expressing concern over the amount of money being directed to Northam Park, the 911 issue, the infrastructure needs in the community and significant increase in the city's operating budget.

Some important points raised by residents who testified are:

* The city's abysmal track record for remaining within budget on capital projects by pointing to the library/Tremont school parking lot (100 percent over budget) and the first phase of the Tremont Road reconstruction (budgeted for $7.8 million and is now over $10 million).

* The looming sewer problem south of Lane which is projected to cost well over $100 million, but there is no strategy which begins to address this huge upcoming expense.

* The addition of a $105,000-per-year communications position despite the fact that the city has a professional city manager, assistant city manager, community affairs director, and a community affairs coordinator with combined salaries in excess of $437,000 (plus raises and bonuses for 2016).

* These compelling facts generated no discussion or interest except for one councilman stating his opinion that UA needs another highly paid position to improve "communications" and another councilman asserting that residents are "dug in" and don't know the facts.

Attendees were treated to a lecture by the council vice president, who assured us council is listening. But this assertion cannot be taken seriously when there have been three readings of the budget over the past month, but public input was not scheduled until moments before the vote was taken.

Sadly, the public can still give our input, but it is taken too late and it falls on deaf ears.

Dorothy Myers

Upper Arlington