Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Online budget input sought

By Darren Handschuh -CASTANET Sep 12, 2016 / 4:42 pm
Vernon residents are being asked to provide input on the 2017 budget process using an interactive online budgeting tool. The Vernon citizen budget will be open for public input from Sept.19 to Oct. 14 and will incorporate an interactive slider that allows residents to provide input on whether they would increase, decrease or maintain spending related to services and programs in Vernon. While the online survey will provide needed input, some councillors are concerned about input from area residents that are not online. Coun. Juliette Cunningham wondered how people that are not computer savvy will add their opinions. Cunningham said she is “a bit skeptical” of getting information completely online and asked if there would be a paper survey for those who are not online. Coun. Scott Anderson called the online survey “an excellent first step as far as public participation” goes, but he too shared concerns about getting input from every demographic of the city. Mayor Akbal Mund pointed out people are invited to attend the budget input sessions to add their two cents. “Every year, we invite Vernon residents to attend budget meetings to speak to our city’s financial plan,” said Mund. “While the feedback we’ve received from the public at these meetings has been helpful in guiding council’s deliberations, we know we can do more. “Our public engagement strategy is to reach as many residents as possible so that we can achieve a deep and broad understanding of the public’s desires — including how their tax dollars are managed. This process not only provides an avenue for Vernon residents to share their thoughts, it offers a higher level of transparency for the process.” Public input meetings will be held in December.
Also see: http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/393189601.html

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