by Jim Bertram
As a follow-up to my article of a few weeks ago which partially discussed the municipal budget, please note the following schedule of budget presentations and opportunities for citizen input:
- Monday, 4 February, 7:00pm.
Single event: To be held at 7:00 p.m. at Maplewood Hall (92 Maplewood Ave., Oxford Mills) to provide an opportunity for taxpayer information and input.
- Wednesday, 13 February, 6:30pm
Single event: This meeting will be to provide an opportunity for groups and/or individuals in the Municipality to present their budget requests. See comments below.
- Wednesday, 20 February, 6:30pm
Single event: This meeting will be to provide an opportunity for Council to make decisions on the requests presented from groups at previous meetings.
- Wednesday, 27 February, 6:30pm
Single event: This meeting will focus on reviewing the operational side of the budget. To be held in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Centre.
- Wednesday, 6 March, 6:30pm
Single event: This meeting in Council Chambers at the Municipal Centre will focus on reviewing the capital expenses in the budget.
- Tuesday, 12 March, 6:30pm
Single event: The final draft budget will be reviewed as part of the regular Committee of the Whole meeting.
- Tuesday, 19 March, 06:30pm
Single event: The final budget to be adopted as part of the regular Council meeting to be held in the Council Chambers.
Here are a few pointers which may be useful to those who choose to participate in these meetings which bear directly on your tax bill:
1. Come to meetings prepared. You may wish to request information before you come to the meeting from the Director of Finance, Marcus Hewitt ([email protected]).
2. If you have a proposal of some kind to make, prepare a brief description before the meeting. You may well wish to discuss it before the meeting with a Councillor, especially if it has reference to a particular department. As a conclusion to your proposal, formulate a motion to be sponsored potentially by a member of Council, perhaps the Councillor with whom you have discussed your proposal. If you need further advice on the process I have described, contact me directly at 613-989-2424. Your participation is important!
A final note: I believe, except where specifically otherwise indicated, the meetings will take place at the Municipal Centre in Kemptville. Before going to any of these meetings though, please check with the municipality to be sure of the meeting location.
And remember – this is YOUR budget. Be active. I know everyone has busy lives, but even the best-intentioned public representatives benefit from active and persistent public inputs. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR money being spent. And don’t forget to supervise your County and school board representatives too. Contact their websites for information about their budget meetings. After all, they significantly affect your tax bill as well. Hope to see you there.