It is said that democracy is not a spectator sport, when it comes to how taxes are raised and spent by our elected officials, having resident participate and informing them is essential. The 2018 Charlottetown city budget discussion is fast approaching.
At the city council meeting of Nov. 14, Ward 4 Coun. Mitchell Tweel suggested that the city organize a consultation and public information session. Currently only an online electronic survey is set up seeking comments on the budget.
Last year, Coun. Tweel suggested such a public information exercise be held, but unfortunately council did not follow through.
In many towns and villages across Canada such information and consultations sessions are routinely held prior to having the formal budget tabled. Such consultation process with residents is important; it brings understanding. It also allows residents to ask questions on budgetary matters and make their concerns addressed ahead of time.
In Charlottetown, the councillor responsible for the city’s finance, audit and tendering committee delivers the budget address to the whole council. This formal approach is clearly not sufficient if we are to encourage and promote resident’s participation and greater trust in our institutions.