Believe it or not, we are already starting the 2015 budget process at the Town. Administration has been compiling a list of operational and capital items for consideration, and Council has requested that some of last year’s capital expenditures and deferred investments be reintroduced to help us prioritize investments for next year. The provincial and federal governments are also conducting their preliminary budgets discussions and we are preparing our presentations and letters for them.
Here is our tentative 2015 Budget Timeline:
· The week of Oct. 6 – 10: Community Consultations. Please attend and bring your suggestions. If you represent a group or an organization, please bring a Board resolution supporting the position and/or request.
· November 10: Public Council Meeting during which the budget will be presented to the public and accepted in principle.
· November 24: Public Council Meeting to adopt the budget and set the mill rate.
Every year, we hold public budget meetings seeking public input. These are valuable opportunities to hear from our taxpayers and we look forward to the comments and input we receive.
Since being elected almost two years ago, I have been reflecting on why so few people attend these meetings. I think the best explanation I have found so far is from a book titled “Economic Theory of Democracy.” What the author (Down) suggests is that “rational people will ignore a decision when the effort required to get informed about it is greater than the value of getting the decision right.” This could be understood to mean that it is a lot of work to keep abreast of all of the challenges and issues related to making the ‘right’ decision.
Another author suggests that the effort (and outcome) required to make the ‘right’ decision is too great when compared with the effort (and outcome) we need to dedicate to our family, work, and leisure activities (sports, arts/culture, religion, civic groups, etc.) Based on this idea then, without being cynical: We all want competent elected officials at the municipal level and all levels of government in order to make the best decisions possible. (Seymour’s “Birth of a Boom: Saskatchewan’s Dawning Golden Age”)
That is what our Council is trying to do - make the best decision possible with the best information we can reasonably get. So, we have been building our asset management plan, our 10-year infrastructure capacity plan, developing an economic development and culture plan, strategic plan, and more so we have the best information possible to make the best decisions we can.
Please write or phone if you would like me to discuss a particular topic. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at the town office or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out my blog at http://mayorjohn.blogspot.ca/. I appreciate your feedback.