Budget 2013: speak out now, city councillor says

If Alberni residents want a say in how the city spends its municipal tax dollars then they have to make it out to meetings.

If the public wants a say in how the city spends its municipal tax dollars then they have to make it out to meetings, Port Alberni City Coun. Jack McLeman said.

Approximately 30 people — most of them city staffers — showed up to the Capitol Theatre on Monday night for the unveiling of the city’s five-year financial plan.

“There’s not a whole lot of people here tonight,” City Coun. Jack McLeman said to a quiet theatre.

A lot of people have been making a lot of phone calls with inquiries about the budget but the numbers didn’t materialize at the Capitol.

“I’m disappointed that there weren’t more people here,” Coun. Cindy Solda said.

The public will again have a chance to participate in the budget process when the first of several detailed department presentations is made at city hall on Monday, Feb. 4. Administration, human resources, IT, finance and planning make their pitches in the afternoon. Parks and Recreation and the museum are on deck for the evening.

Further departmental presentations are scheduled to take place on Feb. 5-6. A final synopsis of presentations will be held on Feb. 13. Presentation packages will be available on the city’s website at www.portalberni.ca.

The meetings are a chance for the public to listen, but also a chance to question, McLeman said.

“People need to speak their piece about how they would handle things and what they want,” he said. “Speak up and speak your piece. If you don’t, then you definitely won’t get what you want.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews