EDITORIAL: Budget deserves public input

As of Thursday, only four residents had attended the City of Vernon’s budget information sessions

The City of Vernon will send out property tax notices in a few months, and, not surprisingly, some residents will complain about an increase and what they see as the growing cost of government.

But how many of those residents  were actually proactive and tried to do something about the situation?

As of Thursday, only four residents had attended the city’s budget information sessions and provided council and administration with input on the proposed 2015 budget. That’s peanuts compared to the thousands who call Vernon home.

Of course some will say they are working and can’t get  to meetings during the day. And while that is fair comment, what about all of the retirees who live in Vernon? Where were they? And even if input sessions were held at night or even on a weekend when people have more free time, the majority of people would still find something else to do other than provide their elected officials with some direction.

The bottom line is most people don’t care. They expect taxes to increase and they believe politicians aren’t going to listen to them even when those elected officials are urging residents to come before them.

But everyone should take an interest as the city budget not only impacts your personal bottom line, but outlines the level of services you receive and the community’s long-term ability to handle key issues like infrastructure and economic development. These are your dollars and you should have a say over them.

There is still a chance to attend an input session today at 9 a.m.  and residents can also provide their thoughts through the city website, social media or by calling council members directly.

The city’s business is your business. Get involved.