Public invited to city budget sessions
Vernon residents will play a role in developing a financial plan for the coming year.
Two 2012 budget sessions will be held Thursday and Friday at city hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Residents will able to provide input to council at 11:30 a.m. each day.
“This will be an opportunity to express your views on which items in the staff’s initial budget of a 4.31 per cent increase ($1,042,126) can be cut or eliminated and what service level adjustments that will add to this percentage increase should be approved,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.
“Pages 142 to 146 of the budget have $5,208,307 worth of service level adjustments that the council will have to struggle with. Some of these will be for the sewer ratepayers but a large majority will have to be borne by the general taxpayer if approved.”
Council recently established a preliminary tax increase range of zero to 2.3 per cent in 2012.
Mayor Rob Sawatzky hopes residents will attend the sessions and follow the discussions among members of council.
“We have to make some hard choices,” he said. “It’s good for people to know that if we fund something, we may not be able to fund something else,” he said.
Coun. Catherine Lord believes the public’s interests will be front and centre during the sessions.
“I am looking for efficiencies and as little of a tax increase as possible,” she said, adding that she has been reviewing the draft document.
“There are some things in the budget that can be adjusted.”