The preliminary 2017 Operating and Capital budgets will be tabled at a special meeting of Executive Policy Committee on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, and opportunities for residents to be involved in the budget process this year have been enhanced Councillor Marty Morantz, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance announced.
“We want to hear from Winnipeggers what their priorities and preferences are as we work to bring forward preliminary operating and capital budgets that are balanced,” said Councillor Morantz. “I want to encourage all Winnipeggers to find time to provide their input on this year’s budget. This feedback will be used to shape the budget, and assist in determining how best to balance city revenues and expenditures.”
Building on last year’s goal of increasing citizen engagement in the budget process, this year’s budget planning process will be enhanced through the addition of five community-based consultations to be held at locations across Winnipeg. These consultations will be open to all members of the public and community organizations. It will provide residents an opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Winnipeg, and to share their ideas with administrative and elected officials on the upcoming capital and operating budgets.
The dates, locations, and times of the community consultations are as follows:
· Wednesday, Oct. 12: North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility, 90 Sinclair Street, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
· Thursday, Oct. 13: Jonathan Toews Community Centre, 1188 Dakota Street, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
· Thursday, Oct. 27: St. James Civic Centre, 2055 Ness Avenue, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
· Friday, Oct. 28: Millennium Library, 251 Donald Street, 11:30-2:00 p.m.
· Saturday, Oct. 29: Henderson Library, 1050 Henderson Highway, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Additionally, residents will also have the opportunity to provide input and feedback through various online platforms, and a telephone survey will be scheduled in early October. Information on how to provide input and feedback online will be available in the coming weeks.
“Also for this year, our Budget Working Group will be expanded to include three Councillors who together with Executive Policy Committee members will help prepare and bring forward the City’s preliminary budgets,” said Councillor Morantz. “These members include Councillors Jenny Gerbasi, Cindy Gilroy, and Matt Allard. I look forward to working with all three of them as part of this year’s Budget Working Group.”
After the preliminary budgets are tabled in mid-November, a series of public meetings will be held by various Standing Policy Committees. This provides additional opportunities to hear from public delegations as Councillors consider and debate the preliminary operating and capital budgets.
“Over the next few months, I will be listening to the priorities of Winnipeggers and working with all members of Council and our Corporate Finance team to find a path to balance the 2017 budget,” said Councillor Morantz. “Currently, we are facing an immense $52 million deficit in our operating budget, and we need to work collaboratively and creatively to bring the budget back into balance for Council’s consideration in mid-December.”
The schedule of Standing Policy Committee meetings to hear delegations on the preliminary 2017 operating and capital budgets will be released shortly.