Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Budget is Coming, the Budget is Coming!

As I mentioned in my last post, council meeting this week was postponed until Wednesday, so that the mayor could go to Ottawa. As we found out late last week, he was making a presentation on forestry to a standing committee of the federal government. If you're interested in reading the mayor's presentation, it's posted on the city web site (www.citypa.ca). I notice that the site has also been updated for contact information about council members. I had asked the city clerk a few weeks ago if my blog address could be added to my contact information, then my wife pointed out that councillors' phone numbers were not listed - just email information. So I suggested that these be added too, and they have. So now you should be able to reach any member of council without too much difficulty.

On Friday I spent the morning with the new city manager, Robert Cotterill. After discussing some general matters relating to council and administration, we were able to drive around Ward Three so that he could see for himself how it differs from some of the other wards. I think that it was a good meeting for both of us.

The budget is to be released at tomorrow's council meeting, and will be available on the city web site on Friday, March 14, or you can pick up a copy at Financial Services in City Hall. I would encourage you to review the budget, and ask questions at the public consultation meeting to be held Wednesday, March 26th, starting at 7 p.m. If you want to make a presentation at this meeting you'll have to move fast - you have to request this before 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, March 18th. To request permission you have to submit a letter as well as your five-minute speaking notes. The public consultation meeting will be followed by the General Fund Capital and Operating Budget Review meetings, set for Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, running from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. However, you won't be allowed to make any presentations at these meetings, and often the review is completed on the first day. This is your chance to check out how the city plans to spend your money this year, and to speak up if you think that poor decisions are being made.

"The trouble with the future is that it usually arrives before we're ready for it" - Arnold H. Glasow

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