Residents across the city of Grande Prairie are being urged to head online and give their thoughts as part of the first phase of 2020 budget consultations. The 10-15 minute survey will allow residents to, among other things, list off what services in the city they value most.
Mayor Bill Given believes this is the most vital part of public consultation, as it draws a roadmap of wants and needs for councillors and city administration to follow as they roll into the deliberation stage.
“We balance all of those concerns and perspectives with this kind of more formalized input, along with the professional advice from our city administration and requests from specific user groups,” he says.
“All of those things come together to inform the council’s decision making on the budget and this is another avenue we’ve created to formalize the communities opportunity to provide input.”
Coming off a 2018 budget with a 4.1 percent reduction in taxes, Given says the message was loud and clear from members of the public last year but believes a good balance of wants and needs must be found.
“I think city staff and council have demonstrated that we are well aware of the community’s desire for fiscal restraint. But, we are also well aware that there are some central challenges Grande Prairie faces, and that we continue to be a growing community with a young population that needs services. Those are the kinds of things that council considers when we are at the budget table.”
The survey will be available online until October 4th. The city will also be holding a one-night in-person public consultation session on October 8th. The main budget deliberations are set to take place on November 13th-15th.