27 October 2011

2012 Draft Budget Released: Have Your Say

The City of Ottawa's 2012 Draft Operating and Capital Budget was released yesterday and I encourage you to have a closer look at what I consider to be 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 bringing an end to 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, meanwhile 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 the 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, community associations 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. Information on the Budget 2012 public delegation process, meeting times and locations and contact information for Committee Coordinators is available through the following link:

http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/budget/budget_2012/public_delegations_en.html

ou en français:

http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/budget/budget_2012/public_delegations_fr.html


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

Multi-ward consultations

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.

Dates and locations

  • East: Tuesday, November 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre
  • West: Wednesday, November 2 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Cafetorium
  • South: Thursday, November 3 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Rideauview Community Centre, Gymnasium
  • Central: Friday, November 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. City Hall, Andrew Haydon Hall

Highlights

I urge you to check out the budget highlights: http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/budget/budget_2012/ataglance_en.pdf

ou en français: http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/budget/budget_2012/ataglance_fr.pdf

To read the Mayor's speech: http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/mayor_council/mayor/media_room/speeches/budget_2012_en.html

ou en français: http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/mayor_council/mayor/media_room/speeches/budget_2012_fr.html