The City of Calgary wants you. Or at least your input.
With the goal of building the 2015- 2018 Action Plan which aims to balance the level of city services with tax rates, the city is letting Calgarians have their say on what’s most important to them.
“Starting March 3, Action Plan is going to where the people are – attending public spaces like malls, dog parks, recreation facilities, and farmers markets. At least one onthe- ground engagement opportunity is planned for every Ward in Calgary during this period,” said Action Plan Program Manager Sarah Woodgate – indicating that public engagement is just one step in a year-long process.
Public engagement will run until March 21, with the City of Calgary website offering several online tools for Calgarians to share their priorities. In-person public engagements will take place throughout March in each of the 20 City Wards.
The three different areas that citizens will have to chime in include: budget simulator that presents scenarios about city services and spending priorities, city priorities tool allows Calgarians to choose important priorities that should be focused on over the next four years and CityTalk is an open forum for Calgarians to submit ideas, comments and thoughts on city spending priorities, budgets and anything else.
After the month-long public engagement all the information received will be compiled for city council and the city departments to consider as council priorities, business plans and budgets are developed throughout 2014.
The Action Plan includes four key areas of activity which include: council priorities are goals set by city council to establish strategic direction, departmental business plans are when city administration implements what council has decided by creating strategies, actions and targets, budgets which include operating and capital budgets with spending and revenue and citizen engagement which is input from Calgarians to assist in the decisions being made.
The Action Plan started in October 2013 when the planning and budgeting team was decided. Information was prepared for citizens and council, and city staff worked with council to create a process to engage and communicate with citizens.
From February to May citizen and city staff engagement will commence, and in early May council will approve their priorities and set suggested fees, utility and tax rates.
In June to September draft business plans and budgets to align with council’s priorities, and the general managers from each department will approve the draft plans early in September. The drafts will be presented to Standing Policy Committees in September and October.
Mayor Nenshi said, “Your input will help council and my city colleagues know what you value most; what we need to consider when building Action Plan 2015-2018; and your ideas on how to budget for this plan.”
The final proposed document will be released to the public in early November, when citizens will be able to review the plans and budgets. By December 5, 2014 the Action Plan 2015-2018 will be approved.
To provide feedback and follow what stage Action Plan 2015-2018 is in visit www.calgary.ca/actionplan.