Posted on 14 February 2013 by Keith Lacey
Members of Town of Osoyoos council are urging all citizens who want their voices heard to show up at a public meeting relating to the town’s 2013 operating budget next Monday night in council chambers.
Council decided to cancel a public hearing originally set for Feb. 12 because they didn’t feel enough public notice had been given.
They are hoping anyone with concerns, complaints or good ideas about the budget process will show up on Monday night between 6-8 p.m.
“Allowing the public to come here and speak to us is so important,” said Coun. C.J. Rhodes.
Barry Romanko, the town’s chief administrative officer, said the goal of staff and council is to pass the 2013 operating budget during the regular meeting of council on Monday, March 4.
The reason Town of Osoyoos council attempts to pass its budget in late February or early March is so tenders for construction can be put out and approved as quickly as possible and construction can start in the early spring, said Romanko.
“If we pass the budget March 4, it allows us to get tenders out early so we can capture good pricing … and get started (on construction) as quickly as possible,” he said.
Coun. Michael Ryan said the current members of council all agree that having an open and transparent exchange of dialogue between town staff, members of council and the public at large has been a priority and inviting the public to voice its opinions during the budget process is crucial.
Passing the town budget is one of the most important annual tasks undertaken by senior administration and members of council every year and having public input from concerned citizens is an important part of this process, he said.
The special public meeting set for the evening of Feb. 18 will allow members of the public to speak out on any issue relating to the budget that they consider pertinent. Unlike other council meetings, where delegations must apply in advance to have the opportunity to make a presentation to council, this meeting will allow anyone who has something to say to speak about the budget, said Mayor Stu Wells.