Wednesday, October 2, 2013

City Budget Deliberations: WHO, WHAT, WHY!

I've had a number of people and organizations ask which projects I would support in the November budget deliberations.  I have not given an outright commitment of funding support to any particular project as I believe budget deliberations need to be looked at holistically, taking into account all the funding requests as well as having a clearer picture of our financial situation as the numbers become available.
With that said, I have developed two sets of questions that I would use to prioritize budget requests should I be elected:

The first set is for core City infrastructure such as roads, bridges, street lights, sidewalks, stormwater management, etc.:
  1. Are there significant community safety concerns that the project would address?
  2. Have the proper engineering reports/traffic impact studies/etc. been carried out?
  3. Does our population warrant the project going ahead at this time?
  4. Will the infrastructure assist the City in attracting industrial development?
The second set of questions are for the social/recreational/cultural projects that are proposed by City admin or community groups:
  1. Will the funding help the city thrive socially or economically?
  2. Is there significant public support for the project in terms of volunteers, general awareness, and private funding?
  3. Are other municipal governments in the region supporting the project? Or is there a willingness to if the City does?
  4. Is there a commitment from other levels of government to fund the project?
  5. Has a sustainable operational plan been developed?
  6. Have similar projects had success (outcomes achieved, financial sustainability, etc.)?
Of course, these are just the broad questions that would guide my decision making.  Every project is different and more detailed questions would have to be asked.

Now's the time for your thoughts.  Which questions would you ask?  Which projects are priorities for you?

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