Mayor Clarke announces CBRM's first-ever public budget consultation tour
Created: Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:54
January 10, 2013
SYDNEY, NS - Residents of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will be invited to attend a meeting in their own district and participate in public opinion surveys about the spending priorities for the region's $137 million budget.
Mayor Cecil Clarke today announced the Municipality will embark on a new budget process as part of the Reorganization Plan for Positive Change. This will include the region's first-ever public budget consultation tour. Clarke also outlined a two-day stakeholder session in Council chambers, budget workshops with CBRM staff and councillors and a consultation with CBRM employees about how they can strengthen their departments and find efficiencies.
Clarke said he will personally attend each of the 12 budget sessions in the 12 council districts in CBRM. He says he will begin each session with a message about the importance of jobs to our communities.
"I want residents to think about their priorities for their tax dollars and consider how those priorities create jobs or develop our economy," said Clarke. "Jobs are the key. Without them, people leave. This shrinks our tax base and shifts more of the tax burden to those who remain."
The meetings will also be attended by key CBRM finance staff including new interim CAO Marie Walsh.
Walsh says she's looking forward to the direct public input.
"I'm looking forward to hearing from residents, in this formal way, about what matters most to them," she said. "I hope people attending the sessions find them to be transparent, educational and informative about where their tax dollars are spent."
Clarke says details of the times and locations of the public sessions will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead as the dates are set. The budget is expected to be finalized and ready for presentation to council by the end of March.