Can the Mayor convince her colleagues to whittle that Staff 3.99% budget increase down to 2.99%?

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 29th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We now know what the Mayor would like to see in the way of a Budget increase for the city residents.

Staff have put forward a budget that would see an increase of 3.99% over what they were taxed last year.

Mayor Meed Ward thinks that can be chiselled down to 2.99%
The City is inviting residents to share their feedback about the spending priorities in the proposed 2019 city budget at two town hall events in February.

Goldring and Carr Cogeco Cable

Mayor Goldring did a Town Hall call in on the budget from the Council Chamber – response was dismal.

Telephone Town Hall
On Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will host a live, call-in telephone town hall where residents can listen in and ask questions about the proposed 2019 budget priorities.

Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by February 5th.

Budget public meeting - empty hall

A Public meeting to review the tax rate was held at Central Arena on Drury Lane. It snowed – the hall was empty but the area next door was packed.

Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-837-8058 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 to join the town hall.
Town Hall – Central Arena
On Monday, Feb. 11 at 2 to 3:30 p.m., Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will host an in-person town hall in the auditorium at Central Arena, located at 519 Drury Ln.  Senior city staff will be at both town hall sessions to help answer questions.

Burlingtonians have opinions - the city manager wants to hear what you think - become part of his Insight panel.

Burlingtonians will show up for public meetings and share their views. The location and the way the event is organized is critical. And letting the citizen make changes would help as well.

Delegate
Members of the public can also register to speak to Burlington City Council as a delegation at one of the following Committee of the Whole meetings. Both meetings take place at City Hall in Council Chambers, located at 426 Brant St. on the second floor:

Feb. 4, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Meeting of Committee of the Whole:
Delegations from the public on capital and operating budgets
Feb. 7, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. Meeting of Committee of the Whole:
Delegations from the public on capital and operating budgets

Mayor Meed Ward

Marianne Meed |Ward standing before the public moments before she was sworn in.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward reminds people that “Public engagement is one of the most important things when it comes to city matters, particularly budget. With engagement, residents can not only see exactly where their tax dollars are going, but also understand how they and Burlington will benefit. It also gives us, their elected representatives, a chance to hear their thoughts and ideas on what’s been proposed for the 2019 budget. Whether you want to attend in person or call-in to listen, I would encourage members of the community to ask questions and join the conversation.”

It is what she ran her election on – will people show up?

Quick Facts
• The City of Burlington provides 38 services to its residents.
• maintaining existing service delivery levels
• planning for infrastructure renewal
• enhancements to transit service.
• The proposed operating budget results in a 3.99% increase to the city’s portion of the tax bill, including:
• 1.97% to maintain services
• 1.25% for infrastructure renewal
• 0.77% for service enhancements.

Councillor Rick Craven, centre, with a copy of the 2013 budget on a memory stick. Craven did a superb job of chairing the budget committee last year. He will have no argument with candidate Henshell over the need for additional shopping facilities in Aldershot - getting themt there has been the challenge.

IN 2013 members of Council were given a copy of the budget on a memory stick that they could manipulate – there was still a significant tax increase.

• Burlington’s Open Budget tool provides users with 2019 budget information broken down into easy-to-understand graphs and charts. Explore the tool at Burlington.ca/budget.

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1 comment to Can the Mayor convince her colleagues to whittle that Staff 3.99% budget increase down to 2.99%?

  • Penny

    Lisa Kearns brought the 2019 Budget Publications to her Ward 2 Update last week. These are not exactly user friendly and for the average person probably not something that one can understand. They in my opinion do not “provide users with 2019 budget information broken down into easy to understand graphs and charts”, unless your are a CPA or the CEO of a major corporation.

    Reducing taxes this year, that could come back to haunt us next year is not the way I would like things to go. Burlington is in the position it is in because of a council that had 0% tax increases 8 years ago.

    I have to wonder if 3.99% is even enough to make up for the shortfall in revenue that is needed by the city. Time to think outside the box – make some of the “must have legacy” projects pay for themselves.

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