ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Community members in Elmira came together Thursday evening for a neighborhood meeting. 

4th District Councilmember John Massey hosted the event, which was held at Diven Elementary School. 

Residents discussed the proposed 2018 Elmira City Budget, which calls for a 17% tax increase. Other issues brought up during the meeting included animal control, police force diversity, parking and ticketing and abandoned vehicles left in snow.

City officials say the goal of the event is to engage with residents. 

"We need their input about what's going on in the city. We need that to formulate a reason to do the budget and to keep them abreast of what's going on," 4th District Councilmember John Massey explains. 

Community members who attended the event were glad to have the chance to speak with city leaders. 

"I think that they gave out a lot of information. One good thing, they are continuing to hear what the community has to say and they're willing to continue to try to work some of the issues that we have," says Sheree Massey, who lives in Elmira. 

A representative from the non-partisan, non-profit organization "Reclaim NY" also attended the meeting. 

"It's a beginning but I didn't hear a lot of ideas for how to avoid this tax increase so we certainly have a lot of follow-up work to do. We're going to be trying to talk to citizens in the community to see if there's ways we can support them," says George Phillips, Regional Director of Reclaim NY. 

The public hearing for the proposed budget is set for Tuesday, February 20th at 5:30 p.m. That public hearing will take place on the Second Floor of City Hall.