Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget Process

2015 City of Muscatine Logo

The City of Muscatine must adopt an annual budget by March 15th of each year.  That process starts in November when departments receive budget materials and instructions.

Throughout the budget process there are numerous opportunities to participate and engage with your City staff and Council members.  Below you will find the schedule for this year’s budget process.

Please stayed tuned for periodic updates on the process, issues and challenges we face in putting together a budget for a full service city…a budget that meets our community needs, but that is responsible at the same time.

As always, our ideas and constructive input are most welcome!  Please feel free to respond here on Wordress, the City’s Facebook page, other social media outlets or by email.  Here is my email address:


Budget Schedule 2016-2017

Muscatine Parks and Recreation’s Role in the Community

City of Muscatine

City Week Iowa

It’s City Week here in Muscatine! That means we’ve been providing information about city government and encouraging engagement as we seek to include the community in decision making. City Week is sponsored by the Iowa League of Cities, with the purpose of showcasing and celebrating cities and the many services they provide.

Each department within the City of Muscatine plays an important role in enhancing quality of life for Muscatine’s residents. Today, I am going to share about the Parks and Recreation Department.

When I began working for the City of Muscatine, I spent time meeting with department heads and touring the facilities of their departments. One of the most enjoyable departments tours was with the Parks and Recreation Department. I liked visiting Parks and Rec because I already had some background knowledge about their offerings. Much like most people who grow up in Muscatine, I had childhood experiences of frequenting Weed Park…

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Water Pollution Control Plant Celebrates 50 Years

City of Muscatine

WPCP1On Thursday, Aug. 13 , the City of Muscatine Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) held a 50 Year Celebration Open House with tours of the plant and laboratory. It was my second time touring the plant and hearing about the process used to remove harmful organisms and other contaminates from wastewater so it may be safely sent to the Mississippi River.

While on each tour, I could not help but realize how little I think about the water I use. As long as it turns on at the sink or in the shower, I assume things are good to go. I think it is safe to say that a majority of the U.S. population is with me. We don’t often think of the “after” when we flush the toilet or run dishwater down the drain. In touring the plant, I got more than a “whiff” of the “after.” Considering the magnitude of waste…

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Vote for Muscatine to Receive $15,000 to Further Small Business Development

The City of Muscatine is in the running to receive an award of $15,000 to further the efforts of small business development in the community, and we need your help! We have partnered with CBI Bank & Trust, Community Bank and First National Bank of Muscatine to apply and become a finalist for the Strong Communities […]

Mayor and Jill Hopkins’ Trip to China for the Opening of the Muscatine Center was a Success

City of Muscatine

Muscatine China Relationship Mayor and Jill Hopkins and Albert Liu are guided into the Muscatine Center at the Opening Ceremony

Last month, Mayor DeWayne Hopkins and his wife Jill spent ten days in China to attend the opening of the Muscatine Center and renew old friendships. This was Hopkins’ second trip to China as a representative of Muscatine. The first trip to China in November 2012 served to set the stage for the sister city relationship between Muscatine and Zhengding County.

Hopkins described landing in China on this trip as different than his first. In 2012, he and the group from Muscatine landed in Beijing as a light snow dusted the ground. This time, they flew into Shanghai where they were forced to embrace the summer heat.

The first night in Shanghai consisted of dinner at a restaurant in the Bund area with a view across the Yangtze River. After dinner, Mayor and…

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The SAFER Grant and How it Could Lead to the Hire of More Firefighters

City of Muscatine

Fire Department 6Here is Part 2 in a 4 Part Series on the Muscatine Fire Department.

Last week, I wrote about Fire Department staffing and explained that there are times where the Fire Department goes below the required nine personnel on duty. While this can be for a variety of reasons, it is crucial that there be adequate coverage and protection for the people in Muscatine should major structure fires arise. While meeting with Chief Ewers, he expressed faith in Muscatine’s highly trained and dedicated firefighters who are capable of tackling any type of emergency that may arise.

The City of Muscatine and the Fire Department recognize the need for increased staffing and are working to address it. One of the ways we may be able to increase staffing is through being awarded the US Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing For Adequate Fire And Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant.

Fire Department 5The Muscatine Fire Department has applied for this…

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Update on Opening of the Muscatine Center

City of Muscatine

Last week, I wrote about Mayor Hopkins and his trip to China to take part in the opening ceremony of the Muscatine Center in the city of Jinan. In addition to Mayor and Jill Hopkins, five Muscatine area high school students and one teacher chaperone had the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony on July 17.

Students Katy Axel, Marci Clark, Grant Nollette, Zoey Petersen, and Alexa Santaniello and chaperone Angie Curtis are in China to attend Shanghai Camp, which is sponsored by the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The purpose of the summer camp is to bring international students to China to learn about China’s culture and to build relationships with students from other cultures. The five students from Muscatine will be the only students representing the United States at this year’s Shanghai Camp.

The photos of the Muscatine Center’s opening were provided by Marci Clark, who has…

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2014-2015 City of Muscatine Budget

The preparation of the fiscal year 2014/15 budget ( involved an overall team effort by city staff and City Council. With the continued uncertainty that affects financial conditions in the state and the community, the challenge to continue high levels of service is one that city staff and Council must approach together. Decisions on the level of service to be provided throughout the community have generated and will continue to generate much discussion, especially when financial resources are limited and there is demand for services to be maintained at the same level or increased. The city will continue to look toward cooperative efforts between other governmental agencies in order to provide the best overall level of service to the community as a whole. However, it is important to be realistic in the expectations of the level of services as they match against the financial resources needed to provide for them. At some point the city will have to recognize it cannot provide all of the levels of service that are demanded by its citizens unless additional funding sources are identified to fund the cost of these additional services. Faced with this situation, elected representatives are forced to choose and prioritize levels of service in the community. Given that almost every service the city provides has a constituency base, future decisions are sure to draw criticism from those affected groups. It is unfortunate but it is a fiscal reality that this and other cities will have to grapple with well into the future. With strong leadership from the Mayor and City Council and a commitment to improve the quality of life in the community, the city staff looks forward to working with elected representatives and the citizens of Muscatine.

The above link takes you to the complete budget document for 2014/15, but the following are some of the keys statistics pulled from the budget document:

City of Muscatine Organizational Chart City Tax Levy Rate by Type How are the Funds Used? Tax Rate 10 Year History Where Do Your Property Taxes Go? Where Does the Money Come From?



Hello World!

Hello world!  This is my introductory blog post.  I am a city manager with a passion for great cities and related topics such as community engagement, walkability, sustainability, and innovation.  I love Apple products, using Evernote and working to create a digital life.  I am an aspiring writer and I love Hawaii!

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you…


*Please note that posts are my own.