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Participatory budgeting gets underway in Masten Distrtict

Masten residents on Monday began a weeklong voting process at sites throughout the district, including at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, liquor store and during an Easter egg hunt.

The aim of the initiative – called participatory budgeting – is to “bring the polls to the people,” making voting more accessible to residents who will be able to directly decide some spending issue in the budget .

A participatory budgeting voting expo also was scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday in Delavan-Grider Community Center, 877 E. Delavan Ave. Volunteers provided information about projects on the ballot. Voting is open to Masten residents and students who are at least 14 and attend school in the Masten District.

Last May, the Common Council and Mayor Byron W. Brown allocated $150,000 for the city’s first-ever participatory budgeting process. The funding, included in the 2015-16 budget, will be spent on infrastructure and programs, including kitchen upgrades at Delavan-Grider Community Center and computer training for senior citizens.