Have Your Say
The City of Ottawa's 2012 Draft Operating and Capital Budget was released this morning. I encourage you to have a closer look at what I consider a very promising document. With this budget, the City of Ottawa just may be at the beginning of a welcome change in direction from business as usual.
The Budget continues last year's theme of fiscal responsibility, with a property tax hike capped at 2.39% for 2012, but it also starts to look ahead at how we can avoid unnecessary spending surprises in the future. The Budget talks about not expanding our seemingly endless road network further until we have taken care of the roads we currently have. It includes several million dollars for cycling infrastructure, new and upgraded sidewalks, and more money for OC Transpo to help fix some of the problems with "network optimization".
It also starts to look ahead at ending some of the redevelopment and planning headaches that have plagued older communities such as those in our ward. In a nutshell, sustainable development projects will see red tape and barriers fall away, while those developers who think they can continue to overbuild in our communities will be reined in by the City.
But that's just some of what's in a budget that I am proud to have helped develop and introduce.
I also want to point out that although this document is the result of input from city staff, the Mayor, all 23 Councillors, our advisory committees and the general public, it is a DRAFT. There is now an opportunity for every citizen to offer comments and suggestions. We are committed to keeping the 2012 property tax hike to 2.39% but wish to hear what you think about the direction, missing items and items you feel could be cut. There are many ways for you to comment, ranging from emailing or calling me or the mayor's office, to attending and speaking at the series of committee and board meetings where the draft budget will be discussed, to attending any of the four multi-ward consultation evenings.
Public delegations at Standing Committees
Residents can register to make a five-minute presentation at the Standing Committee budget review meetings by contacting the respective Committee Coordinator. Click HERE for information on the Budget 2012 public delegation process, meeting times, locations, and contact information for Committee Coordinators. Version française.
Budget 2012 committee and board dates
Public Health Board – Monday, October 17
Finance, Economic Development Committee – Monday, November 7
Planning Committee – Tuesday, November 8
Transportation Committee – Thursday, November 10
Library Board – Monday, November 14
Environment Committee – Tuesday, November 15
Transit Commission – Wednesday, November 16
Community & Protective Services Committee – Thursday, November 17
Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee – Friday, November 18
IT Sub-committee – Monday, November 21
Police Services Board – Monday, November 28
Four bilingual multi-ward budget consultations will be held across the City. These meetings will be located in facilities that allow rural residents to attend with relative ease.
Tuesday, November 1
7 to 9 p.m.
Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre
245 Centrum Boulevard, Orléans
Wednesday, November 2
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Cafetorium
180 Katimavik Road, Kanata
Thursday, November 3
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Rideauview Community Centre, Gymnasium
4310 Shoreline Drive, Riverside South
Friday, November 4
4 to 6 p.m.
City Hall, Andrew Haydon Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa
The City Hall session will include assistive listening devices, simultaneous translation (CART) in English and French and ASL sign language interpretation.
Please call the City's Accessibility Coordinator at 613-580-2424 ext. 26892 if you require any disability related accommodations to participate in any of these sessions.
Download the PDF:
Mayor Jim Watson's Speech
Read the transcript: