Letter to the Editor
Council's draft budget public meeting
Council’s “Draft Budget” Public Meeting exercise, presented by the Treasurer, the CAO and the Management Staff, held on Wednesday the ninth of January at the Legion, was well attended and scrutinized by the attending taxpayers. Lots of figures and charts were presented, with a fair number of questions being asked.
Though the Administrative Staff did well in answering many of the questions, there seemed a lot of unanswerable questions. Questions that got a lot of “... we will present that information at our January thirtieth Public Meeting”.
To me, that is 21 days later in this budgetary process. Twenty-one days later? For maybe a very important decision to be made? Or determining which direction Council would choose without any Public feedback on what may be important information for a worthwhile discussion engaging all parties (Citizens taking an interest, Council members and Administrative Staff)?
Council and Staff want this budgetary process done. Are they really going to act on Public responses to information (answers given to questions asked by the Public on January 9th?) on January 30th, three weeks later!??
Seems to me that I heard, at that January 9th meeting, too many “I don’t know... we’ll have the answer on January 30th…” responses. Humph ….. Seems to me that this next meeting, if done properly (thoroughly), ought to be a long one...
Further, you got the feeling in the room that the attending Public wanted to open discussion and extend more time into more debating on many of the topics presented. That’s a tough thing to exercise, especially at a “Draft Budget Meeting”.
So, the question to Council? How to make the process more relevant to the Taxpaying Public so that, in addressing the Public’s concerns, Council in turn makes the best decision.
HOW? By providing relevant and timely information to the Public LONG BEFORE any decision is made.
Michael Quince, concerned citizen