Citizen Budget Online Survey
February 10, 2015
For the second year in a row, the City of Courtenay is reaching out to the public to gather feedback on the annual operating budget – and the 2015 Citizen Budget survey includes new and improved interactive tools to give the public even more ways have their say.
2015 Citizen Budget Survey (external link)
Tillie Manthey, the city’s director of financial services and deputy chief administrative officer, said the survey is a user-friendly way for the public to tell Council how they think their tax dollars should be spent.
“The city’s budget is incredibly complex, but essentially everything is a balancing act,” noted Manthey. “The Citizen Budget tool lets people experiment with different scenarios, and then see how that affects the overall budget. For example, increasing transportation funding means either raising taxes, or taking money out of another service.
“The feedback we receive will be reviewed by staff, and also shared with Council to help them gauge public satisfaction with the budget planning process.”
Operating budget categories include Protective Services (police, fire, bylaw enforcement, building inspections, emergency measures), Recreation, Parks and Culture, Water and Sewer Services, Transportation, and Waste Collection.
Respondents can also weigh in with their top five important issues facing the city.
David Allen, chief administrative officer for the city, noted the direct connection between property taxes and service levels. “Determining an appropriate level of service is a constant challenge,” said Allen. “Raising or lowering taxes – essentially the public’s willingness to pay for their municipal services – has a direct impact on the service levels we can provide.
“This includes our need to maintain city assets, such as underground utilities that have reached the end of their serviceable life. This is one of the biggest challenges facing local governments today. This survey will help us gauge the public’s support for these initiatives.”
To see more detailed financial infomation, the full reports are available at courtenay.ca/2015budget.
The survey will be available until March 2, 2015.
To access the survey, go to courtenay.citizenbudget.com
Citizens wishing to provide formal feedback on the city’s 2015 - 2019 proposed financial plan prior to its finalization in late April are encouraged to view the detailed budget documents at courtenay.ca/2015budget . Questions and comments should be sent to Tillie Manthey at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to March 2, 2015.