Time to look at the City’s billon dollar budget, $52 million shortfall. Input sought.

The City has launched its annual budgeting process and is seeking public input. CityHallWatch encourages many people to participate in the process. The city invites public input, but the average person can only really comment on general priorities of the city. To really give have an impact on decision-making, some sharp and independent analysis would be a big help. CityHallWatch invites comments and suggestions on budget items where we should shine a spotlight and seek greater public discussion. Write to citizenYVR [at] gmail.com (we also welcome copies of what you’ve sent to the City, which we could summarize and report on). Below are our summaries of points from the City’s official announcements and links to the official web pages. For more info visit www.vancouver.ca/yoursay.htm and http://talkvancouver.com/budget2012.

“Have your say: 2012 Operating Budget”

  • The city seeks input on public priorities for a balanced operating budget in 2012: (1) attend info session at City Hall (Wed, Jan. 25 7 – 9 pm, (2) visit http://talkvancouver.com/budget2012, (3) participate in annual statistical phone survey, (4) phone 3-1-1, or (5) email budget@vancouver.ca.
  • Operating budget covers essential city services: police, fire, water, waste management, parks, libraries, etc.
  • City of Vancouver has a growing population of over 600,000 people, is in the centre of Canada’s third largest metropolitan area.
  • The City is a $1-billion-a-year “enterprise” that manages an operating budget seeking balance between services and programs to residents, investments, and property taxes.
  • Current estimated budget “pressures” (read “shortfall”) of $52 million, “due to a number of factors related to a decline in revenues and increased costs.” The City is “streamlining key City purchasing processes, looking to reduce fleet of vehicles, fuel consumption and occupancy costs, etc.”
  • Timeline: Staff recommendations on balancing the budget will be brought forward to Council at end of February 2012.

Downloads (http://vancouver.ca/fs/budgetServices/operatingBudget/index.htm):

  • 2012 Operating Budget
  • Budget Basics booklet
  • December 15 Council Report
  • Staff presentation to Council December 15, 2011
  • 2012-2014 Capital Plan
  • 2011 Operating Budget
  • 2010 Operating Budget