Public input sought on Courtenay budget

Online survey gives public a chance to provide input on how tax dollars should be allocated

  • Nov. 25, 2015 6:00 a.m.

How would you balance the City of Courtenay’s budget? The City has begun budget preparations for 2016, and is asking for your feedback.

For the third budget year in a row, the Citizen Budget online survey tool will give the public a chance to provide input on how they think tax dollars should be allocated.

The survey is available starting today (November 25), through the City of Courtenay website and social media channels.

Brian Parschauer, the City’s director of financial services, said the survey is being offered earlier than in previous years.

“It’s been less than a year since the City last offered this opportunity, but launching the survey earlier in the budget process will make it easier to consider the results in the final budget,” he said.

“Public feedback is an important part of the budget process, and the trends from the survey results will help us determine whether we’re on the right track.”

The Citizen Budget tool is a user-friendly, interactive way for the public to show how they think their tax dollars should be spent. The survey focuses on the services supported by general municipal property taxes.

The tool lets users experiment with different scenarios, and see how that affects the overall budget.

Courtenay CAO David Allen highlighted the need for sustainable service delivery. “Our budget process revolves around the need for balance and this year is supported by Council’s adoption of a new Asset Management Policy,” he said. “The idea is to figure out how to provide the services people want or need, at a level they are willing to pay for. This survey is an opportunity for the public to weigh in on this process and tell us their priorities for services.”

Survey results will be reviewed by staff and shared with City Council.

Budget categories include Police Services, Fire Services, Recreation, Parks and Culture, Transportation, General Government, and Water and Sewer Services.

Respondents can also weigh in with their top five important issues facing the City.

The survey will be available until January 10, 2016. For more information, or to access the survey, go to www.courtenay.ca/citizenbudget

 

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