DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Tuesday night was the first of several special meetings where the Dayton community has a chance to give their input on the 2024 budget.

After the Dayton City Commission passed an emergency ordinance last December to keep the city running with the budget up in the air, Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Jr. told 2 NEWS this would never happen again.

Now, the city is asking the community to weigh in on the 2024 budget.

The community input night was a chance for Dayton residents to share with city workers what they want to see in the budget. The informal night was interactive as residents first learned how the budget process works before deciding how they would allocate the funds.

A survey in 2022 showed most Dayton residents were satisfied with police and fire services, including Simenola Meriner.

“Those two jobs are very high-risk jobs,” Meriner said. “And what we got in there now, I think, needs to be bumped up a little bit budget wise.”

Part of the exercise was seeing how much each of the services take from the budget. Meriner said she thought the planning department was low at nine percent.

“They plan activities for the entire city. You know, and it seem like their budget should be a little bit more,” she said.

Residents also want more to be done about keeping people interested in staying in the Dayton area. It’s still early in the process, but more than 20 people made their voices heard, showcasing its importance.

“The budget is how we make those things come to life,” Monica Jones, Procurement Management and Budget for the city of Dayton, said. “It’s how we actually parcel out the taxpayer dollars and other revenue sources and see services delivered and have a direct positive impact on the community. So, we want to hear from those people that we’re serving. I mean, we’re public servants trying to do good in the community with the resources that we’re given.”

The next community input meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. in the community room of the Dayton Metro Downtown Library.

A full list of meeting dates can be found here.