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Richmond residents voice top concerns for budget

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --The game show concept is what Richmond city leaders are using to make sure the price is right. Residents like Marilyn Milio spent the night selecting and voicing their top priorities for city government.

Most people surveyed listed the maintenance of streets, service to low-income residents and city youth services as their top concerns.

The data collected from the meeting then goes to the mayor, who is trying to close a $30 million budget gap.

“We're not going to raise taxes or cut core services,” says Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones. He says jobs won’t be cut either.

Jones is facing pressure from all sides, including payments for the new jail, new schools and police officers as well as firefighters, who are now demanding more money. 

“If we had the money, I would love to give them a raise because I want them to be competitive and have high morale. But, we have to see how that turns out,” says Jones.

Milio wants to see how it turns out as well. She wants to see fewer abandoned buildings in her neighborhood and more money put toward education.

“I believe the city does listen. It has to listen. We're the residents. We're the voters,” says Milio.

The next public input meeting is on Feb.5 at 6 p.m. at Albert Hill Middle School.