EDITORIAL: Residents get their say on budget

Now that new Mayor Rob Sawatzky has fulfilled his promise, it’s time for other Vernon residents to do their part.

Now that new Mayor Rob Sawatzky has fulfilled his promise, it’s time for other Vernon residents to do their part.

True to his campaign pledge, the mayor refused a raise the previous council had approved and is saving the city some $3,000.

Obviously not a significant amount of the city’s budget, but a symbolic gesture nonetheless that signifies the mayor gets that every penny out of the taxpayers’ pocket counts for something.

A good first step for Sawatzky out of the gate, plus it also shows he’s a man of his word.

Now comes your turn.

A pair of 2012 budget sessions are being held Thursday and Friday at city hall from 9 a.m to 4 p.m., with residents allowed to provide input daily at 11:30 a.m.

Council recently established a preliminary tax increase range of zero to 2.3 per cent for the coming year.

This is obviously just a guideline. Do your prefer the zero to the 2.3? Do you think any increase in taxes is unjustified? Or do you think the city’s infrastructure is in such sad shape that a larger than 2.3 per cent increase is warranted in 2012?

This is the time to voice your concerns directly to an attentive council at the beginning of the budget process when it counts. And maybe you have some more specific advice about cuts that you think council should be made aware of.

Some difficult choices will obviously have to be made no matter what the outcome of any tax increase or decrease, but one thing is for sure, now is the time for members of the public to step up and speak their mind.

—The Morning Star