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Delta councillor wants public to have more engagement on next budget

Public engagement is essential for ensuring transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the municipal decision-making process, the motion states
Kruger’s says the 2025 budget process is an opportunity to enhance public participation and understanding of municipal finances.

Delta Coun. Dylan Kruger says he wants the city to have better public engagement for the next budget process.

Kruger, at the May 27th meeting, submitted a notice of motion for the city to implement expanded public engagement initiatives beginning this fall for the 2025 budget process “to ensure meaningful input from residents.”

To be discussed at council’s next meeting June 3, the motion calls for council to hold public budget workshops, allowing residents to observe discussions and deliberations on budgetary matters, while the city would also expand opportunities to solicit feedback from residents on priorities and spending allocations.

His motion also states, “Council will consider the feedback received from the public during the budget process and strive to incorporate community input into budgetary decisions.”

The city would also promote awareness and participation in public engagement activities related to the 2025 budget process through various communication channels, including social media, local newspapers and the city's website.

His motion also adds that the city is committed to fostering a culture of openness and collaboration between residents and local government.

Council recently gave final approval for a 7.75 per cent property tax increase, which includes 5.75 per cent for city operational services and a two per cent recreation capital investment levy, which is an amount dedicated to improving the city’s recreation and public facilities.

The last budget consultation process drew a mostly negative reaction including how the city first revealed the proposed tax increase and gathering public feedback online from Nov. 22 to 29, 2023. Preliminary approval of the financial plan was given on Dec. 4, 2023.

According to the city at the time, 969 residents participated in the online survey, a 28 per cent increase from the previous year.

The city also noted it maintained a consistent online presence throughout the week including investing in Facebook advertising.