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Editorial: Have your say on City of Weyburn’s 2023 budget

Preliminary review will be an opportunity for anyone who has an opinion to express it and have an impact on the 2023 budget.
City open house-5879
Residents were able to enjoy a barbecue hot dog or hamburger at the City of Weyburn's open house.

WEYBURN - One of the hallmarks of municipal politics is it’s a fine example of democracy in action, with many more opportunities for people to have a say than they might in provincial or federal politics.

A case in point is upcoming for the City of Weyburn, as they will be seeking to get the opinions and thoughts of the public in their budget-making process this fall-winter.

The request for the budgetary proposals from department heads for 2023 is out this week, and then a month from now, the City will have a preliminary budget at the Oct. 24 council meeting.

The floor will be open, so to speak, and the emails will be welcomed, not to mention phone calls or comments to city councillors, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 18, the public will get to have their say on the 2023 budget.

Most years, the public is presented with the details of the budget and it’s voted on, sometimes with a tax increase and occasionally without one. When taxes are hiked, or fees or other charges from the City are increased, there’s lots of grumbling and some people are put into a difficult position where their finances are stretched tighter.

This time, before there are any votes on hiking the taxes or increasing fees for recreation facilities, the public will be able to have a look at what is proposed by each of the city’s departments.

They will get to view the expenses and revenues, and see what plans are in place for the services and facilities operated by the city, and to consider what could or should be passed.

City council will have the final say in the end, as they should as our elected representatives, but before they cast their votes or make their own comments or amendments, they will hear the views and opinions of the citizens.

At least, they will hear from the people who care enough to voice an opinion. There have been opportunities in the past when the views of the public were sought on various issues or proposals, and little or no opinions were brought forward by the citizenry.

As the budget has to do with the facilities and services that impact the lives of every resident of the city, there should be an opinion if a given fee or tax level is too high or is unjustified in their opinion. If you don’t like how much it costs to use the CU Spark Centre, for example, or to go swimming or skating, then tell the city that.

If you think your tax bill is too high for your property, let the city know why you think that.

The other side of the issue is, no one wants to see services cut, or people laid off or staffing reduced at city facilities, so there has to be a balance set.

This is an opportunity for anyone who has an opinion to express it and have an impact on the 2023 budget.

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