Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said the new city council is looking forward to tackling the City of Penticton’s annual budget.
“We have a good starting point with a $315,000 shortfall,” said Jakubeit, noting that is lower than council usually faces at the start of the budget process.
Despite his concerns that jumping into the full budget deliberations right after inaugurating a new council, Jakubeit said city council will be proceeding with the city budget in December as usual.
Jakubeit had thought to delay the budget until January to give the four first-term councillors a chance to become acclimated, but found they were looking forward to it.
“Council seemed eager to start tackling the budget,” said Jakubeit. Four meetings have been scheduled for December, and more will be added in January if needed, he said.
“Not to be rushed into or through the process.”
The public can participate in the discussion as well, either by attending in person and giving their feedback during the time set aside each day to allow citizens and stakeholders to ask questions, provide comments and give suggestions related to that day’s topics, or through social media.
“The city’s budget is a massive undertaking, but a great way for the new council to learn about how the municipality serves residents, embraces innovation and sustains our vibrant community,” said Jakubeit. “Citizens are welcome to be part of the process, as their input helps council with the important decisions to come.”
Annual budget deliberations for the municipality take multiple days to go through, and cover a wide array of spending decisions in both operating and capital budgets. The first meeting is on Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. to review the capital budget. Meetings to discuss the operating budget are scheduled for Dec. 10 and 16 at 8:30 a.m.
All budget meetings are scheduled to take place in council chambers, and will also be streamed live on the City of Penticton’s website at www.penticton.ca/live-video. Budget presentations are available online at www.penticton.ca/budget.
City staff will also be monitoring Twitter on the @cityofpenticton account. Citizens can use the hashtag #penbudget15 to give the city comments, suggestions and questions. Responses will be provided directly back to the original poster as soon as they are available.