The 2017 operating budget and capital budget estimates make up three binders of rather dry reading. But tucked between endless charts that might make your eyes glaze over are key indicators of how our city is doing and reports that give us the clearest indication as to what city departments consider top priorities for the year and years ahead. Budget season is about so much more than money.
What’s important can be easy to miss: jargon-laden in small font. But you need to pay attention. When council meets for daylong deliberations on Friday and Saturday, you should – schedule and resources permitting – be there.
Moose Jaw must make serious decisions about infrastructure and those decisions will have ramifications for other areas of city funding. Not only should you engage to make sure the future city the budget will have a hand in moulding is one you want to live in, but you should be holding your council to account. Listen to what they fight for, pay attention to the words they use during deliberations and the questions they ask, make sure that they are keeping the promises they made for your vote.
Scant few people participated in the city’s online citizen budget form – just 210 out of roughly 33,000 people who live in this city – and that isn’t enough. The time to get engaged is now, before the budget is finalized, with council approval. Use the energy that propelled Moose Javians to push for a referendum on the local improvement program funding model for the cast iron water main repair to ensure you have the budget you want.
This is your city, Moose Jaw.
Moose Jaw Times-Herald