Sunday, October 25, 2020

Chatham-Kent launches 2021 budget survey online

Local residents are being encouraged to make their voices heard through an online survey designed to gather public input on where and how their property tax dollars are spent.

At www.chatham-kent.ca/LetsTalk residents can have their say on the 2021 Chatham-Kent budget through a survey that allows them to express their thoughts on what services they deem important and whether spending should be increased or decreased, Municipal officials say.

There is also a section asking if respondents would support an increase in user fees for municipal services where such fees provide the primary source of revenue.

The survey concludes with opportunity for residents to provide general comments.

The survey results and public comments will be used by administration in the development of the budget and provided to Chatham-Kent Council prior to deliberations, Municipal officials say.

Steve Brown, Chatham-Kent’s director of budget and performance services, said the online survey gives residents the opportunity to provide input at their convenience.

Budget Chair Councillor Brock McGregor echoed that sentiment.

“Using the survey means someone doesn’t have to commit to being online at a particular time to take part in the conversation,” he said in a press release.

“We want to provide everyone with a chance for their voice to be heard.”

McGregor said completing the survey doesn’t preclude residents from voicing their opinions later as well.

“We want to provide everyone with a chance for their voice to be heard,” he said.

“If they complete the survey and want to provide additional information, I’m all for it. The more information we have and the earlier we have it, the better we can understand the needs of the community.”

The online survey will be open until November 3.

Citizens are also encouraged to bring budget concerns to their Councillors at any time through email or by phone.

Throughout the process, information will be posted to https://www.chatham-kent.ca/local-government/financial-information/Budget to inform citizens about the proposed budget and opportunities to participate.

On Wednesday January 13, 2021, Council will host its online Budget Committee Opening Night Meeting beginning at 6 pm.

Community Consultation Meetings will be held as follows:

Tuesday, January 19 at 12 p.m.

Wednesday, January 20 at 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 21 at 6 p.m.

Details on how the public will access the meetings will be provided once the format is finalized.

Budget Committee Deliberations will be held online from 6 p.m. to 10 pm. beginning January 27.

For budget updates or to join the conversation, follow the Municipality of Chatham-Kent on Facebook or Twitter #MunicCK

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