Last week the staff and I presented City Council with our proposed 2009 City Budget. In many ways the budget is the numbers version of the state of the City address so I thought it was important to share my budget message here for everyone to read. Unfortunately the economic uncertainty that has disrupted the business world has impacted the City as well. I guess it’s a reflection of the unprecented challenges that we’re all facing that perhaps the best I can say about our budget is that things could be worse. Our reserve balance combined with strong support from Kent State University should keep us afloat for another year but the financial clock is ticking and as you’ll read we’ve got to make some decisions soon. If we don’t we risk losing our ability to define the future we want for this community, and instead it will come to define us.