CK Offering Online Tool For Feedback On Municipal Budget

Chatham-Kent residents can have a say on how they would like their tax dollars spent this coming year through an interactive online budget tool offered by the municipality.

Director of Budget and Performance Services Gord Quinton says this is the second year the municipality is offering the virtual survey, but this time it is a different format and quicker to complete. He says the survey will be available online for residents to fill out until January 2, 2018.

Quinton says it is very important to have community consultation on the 2018 budget process.

“We’re looking for any input that any residents want to make into the budget process, so that we have more information to provide to councillors prior to their budget deliberations at the end of January,” says Quinton.

Quinton says residents who use the survey will be asked to share their thoughts on what services they deem important and whether spending should be increased or decreased in various areas.

“It takes about five minutes to do. You’re just putting in your preferences on what services are important to you and ranking the importance of every service that’s provided by the municipality,” he says.

The survey also features an area where residents can provide general comments. All completed surveys will be reviewed by council.

Quinton says the online survey is not meant to take the place of public meetings.

“We still have the traditional budget open houses that we’re holding on January 23, 24, and 25 at various locations in the municipality, but not everyone is able to get out to attend those sessions… so this is a very brief survey and quick to do,” says Quinton.

Community open houses will be held at the following locations and times:

  • Tuesday, January 23 from 4:30pm to 6pm at the Ridgetown municipal office and Tilbury Arena
  • Wednesday, January 24 from 4:30pm to 6pm at the Blenheim high school cafeteria and Wallaceburg municipal office
  • Thursday, January 25 from 4:30pm to 6pm at the Active Lifestyle Centre in Chatham

Quinton adds that citizens are also encouraged to bring budget concerns to their councillors throughout the year, and attend budget meetings in January and February. He says information on the process will be posted online.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, council will host its budget committee information opening night in council chambers, beginning at 6pm.

Council’s budget deliberations will be held from 6pm to 10pm in Civic Centre council chambers starting January 30.