Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sparse attendance; little discussion during Budget Consultation session

Attendance for the City of Prince Rupert budget consultation was almost
at zero on Monday, with only one member of the public on hand
to provide commentary on the city's financial plans

Judging by the sparse turnout (ie: one person and two reporters) for Monday's Budget Consultation opportunity, the City Council that takes over following October's election may wish to give some thought to changing the timeline for consultation as part of the city's budget process.

Holding a Budget consultation during the two week School District 52 Spring break, probably doesn't help when it comes to stirring some interest in civic accomplishments and receiving feedback on the City's financial planning for the year.

If Monday night was an indication, when it comes to a choice between laying on a beach in Mexico, Costa Rica or Hawaii, or staying home to weigh in on budget issues ....  a number of Rupertites are saying "pass the sun tan lotion"

Since it was on the Agenda however, City Council held to their duty and hosted a public consultation for one on the night, with the City's Chief Financial Officer providing for a short overview of the Budget document's key elements, a Coles Notes version of her more expansive presentation of two weeks ago.

Included in Monday's presentation was what has become a common part of the Budget process, that of the  highlight reel of the City's accomplishments from the last year.

Among some of the items of the video tribute was the city's work on Watson Island planning, completion of phase one of the water supply project, renovations at the Civic Centre, work at the RCMP detachment, a new fire truck, as well as the city's paving, sidewalk and gutter work

Also included as part of the review was a look at some of the sewer work, both planned and emergency in nature,  that took place in 2017.

The three minute presentation also paid some tribute to the work of community groups that have delivered the new Mariner's Park play area, as well as the still under construction work of the Rushbrook trail.

Ms. Bomben also brought back a City council favourite, with another showing of the City's Tiny Town Taxation video, which provides background on how the City compiles its taxation rate.

You can review both of those videos below:

As for the public comment period, frequent City Council contributor Larry Golden was the only member of the public in the gallery, and he provided for lengthy path towards observations related to the City's RCMP staffing levels and how the City may be planning to approach the building of a new detachment for the RCMP members in the city.

Framing some of his commentary on his studies related to the city's crime stats, he offered up that topic as a potential subject for discussion by council at some point in the future.

On the subject of the potential for a new RCMP detachment in the city, he also offered some comments as to whether the City as part of their planning for a new building would be considering a larger, or a reduced size of work place to fill the need.

He also provided comment to suggest that the RCMP funding issue should be more of a Regional concern, expressing a belief that if other communities don't wish to share in the funding of the detachment's operations that those communities should be billed by the City for having to provide policing/jailing services for residents of those communities.

With no other members of the public on hand to contribute to the discussion, the consultation period came to an end after but twenty three minutes.

The next Public comment opportunity on the budget will come as part of the March 26th Regular Council session, which will be the last public comment period offered for this years Budget process.

You can review Monday's full Budget overview from start to finish through the City's video archive page, it starts at the beginning of the council session.

For more items related to the Budget preparations for 2018 see our archive page here.

Further background on Monday's City Council session can be found on our Council Timeline feature, while our archive page for the March 12th session is available here.

A wider overview of Council Discussion topics can be found on our Council Discussion page here.

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

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Golden is a bit confused about police services.

    The Prince Rupert detachment has an authorized strength of 36 members (current strength may be less) to provide municipal police services. The City pays 70% of that cost, and Canada pays the rest.

    There are a further 6 members to provide Provincial police services, particularly to small communities and rural areas. The Province and Canada split those costs 70/30. The Province recovers part of its share from a Police Tax on small municipalities and electoral areas, including Port Edward.
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    It's unfortunate that no one set Mr. Golden straight on these issues.