Monday, March 12, 2018

First public comment period for 2018 City Budget process arrives tonight

Residents of the city looking to share their thoughts with City Council on the 2018 City Budget process have their first of two opportunities to contribute tonight, as City Council hosts a Public Comment session on the Budget prior to this evening's Regular Council Session.

With the School District at the start of the annual two week Spring Break this week, it will be interesting to see what kind of turn out the City's Financial Officer, Mayor and Council members will attract for the public engagement session.

In recent years, the presentation of the budget and opportunity to comment is something which has not drawn large numbers, which is one of the reasons it seems the process was shifted to the cosy confines of City Hall, moving from Lester Centre, which had hosted the forum in the past.

Tonight's session is part of the Regular Council session for March 12th and will take place at the very start of the evening's work at 7PM.

The community engagement forum, one part of what the process of review that takes place before Council votes to adopt its financial plan for the year.

If the past format for the night is followed, the CFO, Corinne Bomben will provide a short overview of the main themes of the Budget document, explaining the challenges and  spending plans for the year ahead, prior to the Mayor opening the floor for comments.

Last week, the City released it's Five year financial plan document, which outlined many of those themes and provided some background to some financial issues that continue to frustrate them.

Issues marked by the relationship between the City and province when it comes to the Port Tax Cap process, as well as the City's ongoing concerns over the nature of the tax revenue split with Port Edward when it comes to the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement.

You can review the full Five Year Plan and an accompanying information slide show from the City's Budget page on the municipal website (see here)

The final opportunity for comment will come with the March 26th Regular Council Session.

Those looking to get a head start on their research for tonight's Budget consultation night can review our notes from Ms. Bomben's presentation, which includes the video of the night's session which featured that presentation.

You can also explore issues related to the Budget preparations through our archive page here.

More items of note from tonight's council session can be reviewed here.

Other notes on topics of discussion from past Council sessions can be found on our Council Discussion Archive page.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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