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Attendance up for second 2014 budget meeting
Continued work on the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, cleanliness of Boitanio Park and improved access to council meetings were some of the main themes the public shared during a meeting hosted by the city at the fire hall Monday evening.
“We also heard that people don’t mind paying for services as long as they can see they are being managed responsibly,” Coun. Geoff Bourdon said Tuesday.
Around 10 residents attended the meeting and some suggested council meetings should be recorded and posted on the Internet for better public access.
Bourdon felt the format of council members sitting at tables with members of the public was a good choice.
“Obviously we’d always like to see more people come out to the meetings, but other than that it was much better than just presenting to the public,” he said.
Monday’s meeting was the second in a series of attempts by the city to make the budget process more transparent and to encourage public input.
“I think it was fantastic ten people came out to discuss the budget with council,” chief administrative officer Darrell Garceau said.
People who sat at the table he was at, had lots of good opinions.
“Elected officials would pose a question and the people in attendance would offer their ideas. There was criticism on some aspects and I think the conversations were very good.”
A good number of suggestions were gathered in the evening’s notes that will be considered by council in its next series of meetings as it attempts to nail down the 2014 budget, Garceau added.
The next meeting is slated for Oct. 10, during the day, when the city’s various departments will present business plans.
It will take place during the day because it is a lengthy session, however, Garceau said the public is welcome to observe the process.
There will be followup budget meetings on Oct. 16 and 17, and the provisional budget approval will take place on Nov. 19.