October 24, 2014 - 2:09 PM
KAMLOOPS - Only about 40 people attended the two early budget meetings this week, quite a bit lower than last year.
This year the city added an additional option to interact with staff during the meetings, online conferencing program TeamSpeak, but even with that and Twitter, Tammy Robertson says participation was still lower this year.
Robertson says a number of factors could have played into the lower turnout but the fact that some larger projects people were advocating for last year were included in the 2014 budget.
“One of the messages we need to do a better job of getting out… is that when you bring ideas forward they are heard,” Robertson says. “Last year specifically we had a number of people with specific projects they were supporting…. Todd Road, the Westsyde Water Park, the performing arts project, those were all included in the budget last year. We found a way to fund those projects.”
Robertson notes the Ottawa shooting was top of mind for many people Wednesday and with the number of public engagement activities the city has held recently, including KamPlan events, the longboard park opening and the election, people may not have been wanting to invest more time into the budget meetings at this point in the process.
“We would’ve liked to see more,” she says. “But it’s been a busy, busy time.”
The two meetings focused on the core budget and service levels and the city spent about $6,000 on the two meetings, including advertising, the rental fees and TeamSpeak. One event was held at Interior Savings Centre during the day and another was held that evening at McArthur Island Sports Centre.
Robertson says staff will now review the feedback they received and will prepare it for presentation to council. The next public consultation for the budget will take place Feb. 24, that meeting will focus on the extra requests.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014