Nothing encapsulates the unfathomable tedium of city government quite like a year-end budget meeting.
On Monday the Minneapolis City Council spent more than three hours picking at the mayor's proposed budget in a mostly fruitless attempt to tamp down property taxes. At the end of the meeting a package cutting $620,000 barely passed on a 7-6 vote, saving the city's average homeowner roughly $3 on his or her annual property tax bill.
The package of cuts included a planned civil rights study and clean energy initiative, as well as funding for the Convention Center and a branch of the community relations department.
Altogether that took $500,000 off of the city's $1.2 billion annual budget. Another $120,000 was saved from lower-than-expected health care costs for city employees.
Of course the excitement didn't stop at cutting; shifting funds came into play as well. The biggest shift involved the city diverting an extra $4 million into its affordable housing fund, a pretty big deal for a city with skyrocketing property values.