City Council, Budget Waste and Making Marsupials Legal Again
If you were on City Council, how would you spend the City’s money? What would your spending priorities be? These are questions which were asked through the "Citizen’s Budget".
The Citizen's Budget was an on-line, interactive tool which allowed citizens to make their own budget decisions and have a say at how the money is used.
Moose Jaw’s deteriorating infrastructure has been in the media lots and frequently in council meetings. it was also on the minds of many of the people filling out the Citizen’s Budget.
Of the 210 people who filled out the Citizen's Budget, 181 of them spoke about increased funding for infrastructure; and of those calling for increased infrastructure spending, 64 of them, just over one-third of the total, asked for an increase in taxes to pay for the work. Raising taxes was the number one proposal to finance infrastructure renewal, according to respondents.
Of those who filled out the Citizen’s Budget, most were homeowners; 162, to be exact.
One of the best parts of the Citizen Budget was the comment section. A quiet little online space where residents were given a free hand to add their nickel’s worth of insight about city council.
In the interest of morality, we won't print some of the more risqué comments; neither will we print the ones which directly attacked council members with profane insults. All that aside, here are a few of the more popular ones.
“First of all, there are too many outdoor skating rinks…I'd like to see a bigger, better skatepark.”
“I believe that infrastructure should be a priority…”
“I don't mind paying taxes in almost any amount as long as the money is well spent.”
“I see there are large buses continually traveling around the city with only 1 or 2 passengers aboard very wasteful of taxpayer dollars…”
“…no need of lavish fleets of brand new vehicles and high salaries for pencil pushing photo op chiefs.”
“I'm all for fire services, I just can’t think of any public service employees that get paid to work while they’re sleeping. Maybe clock in and out?”
“Hire someone to get the trees pruned.”
“The snow removal is a joke 90% of the time.”
“Consider altering the bylaw that bans marsupials….”
Here's the thing though. The Citizen's Budget cost $6,900. For those out there who are budget conscious, and without a calculator, that works out to $32.86 for each of the 210 responses.
Should the Citizen's Budget be included in the budget?