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Marketing plans contentious in Littleton’s 2014 budget

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City Council approves $51 million spending plan

By Ramsey Scott

Littleton’s 2014 budget was approved unanimously by the City Council on Oct. 15, despite some reservations about changes in how the city plans to market itself. 

For 2014, the city is moving its communications staff from the city manager’s office into a separate communications and marketing department. The city will also increase funding for special events by $135,000. 

As part of that move, one of the current staff members would transition into the position of a full-time marketing and events coordinator for the city.

The goal is to increase the role the city itself plays in advertising and marketing of not only Littleton, but of businesses and events as well, said spokeswoman Kelli Narde. The goal would be to find business partners, such as the Alamo Draft House and the future Breckenridge Brewery, to help promote the city.

“There’s been some discussion in the community that this was a high-priced party planner. I think nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think what this position is going to do initially is to look at all the events that go on in the community,” Narde said during the council meeting. “We’re going to look at the events we do now and see if there are partnerships. The ultimate goal is to bring new people into downtown Littleton and into the city of Littleton.”

Several people who spoke out against the new position and funding asked that the city first create a job description for and a way to determine if the extra funding would be successful. 

Council member Peggy Cole had suggested the idea of a marketing and events coordinator position earlier in the budget process. During the meeting though, Cole proposed holding off the vote on the spending until the city had created a job description and a measuring stick to see if the program was successful.  

While her proposal was voted down 6-1 by the council, several other council members voiced their uneasiness with the lack of a job description for the new position and directed the city staff to keep them updated on the progress of the program. 

The proposed operational budget for next year is about $51 million, $2 million more than 2013. Littleton also has about $6 million in capital projects planned for next year, including $1 million in street repairs. 

The city is projecting it will bring in $52.4 million into its general fund through taxes and other fees, an increase of $3.7 million over this year. 

The $4.2 million expected in property-tax revenue is $140,000 more than 2013. The city is also predicting it will see a $782,000 increase in sales-tax revenue over this year.

 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-233, ext. 22.