Essex Council Supports Rotating Budget Meetings

Essex Councillor Sherry Bondy at the June 20, 2016 regular meeting of council. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

The details still need to be worked out, but Essex town councillors support the idea of holding budget meetings in Harrow, Colchester and McGregor.

“To come all the way to Essex for a meeting is an hour in the car, half an hour here, and a half an hour back,” says Ward Four Councillor Sherry Bondy, who introduced a Notice of Motion calling for the change at a meeting earlier this month. “And the meetings that we hold in Colchester and Harrow are really well attended. So why not get some of those residents out and engage in the budget process.”

Bondy represents residents in Harrow.

In addition to giving those residents greater input, Bondy believes the move will improve transparency. She also believes it will educate residents on just how much discretionary spending council has for projects.

“We have the facilities, so this is no cost to us,” she continues.

While Bondy feels regular council meetings should still be held at the Essex Civic Centre, she thinks other meetings should also be held out in the community.

“If we have an asset management meeting, that meeting could also be easily held in McGregor or Harrow, or Colchester,” she says. “I want to get in the mentality of rotating all of our meetings.”

As for when the change will take place, Bondy admits that is something that councillors still have to work out, but she admits she would like to wait until after the Ward 3 byelection so that councillor is in place. That councillor will represent the area surrounding Harrow from Concession Road 7 to the shores of Lake Erie, including Colchester.