Each year Council has the difficult job of establishing the City's Financial Plan. In this Council Update you'll learn more about the Financial Plan process and how you can be involved.
What is the Financial Plan?
The City's Financial Plan is a five year budget that must be legally adopted by Council every year.
The Provincial Community Charter requires that a five-year Financial Plan Bylaw be adopted annually before the property tax rate bylaw is adopted in May. This means that every year, the City completes a five-year financial plan, or budget, outlining future spending and revenue sources. Included in this plan are the City's annual operating expenses, as well as things like road work, facility improvements and other significant capital costs.
The challenge faced by Council at this time is to not only be good stewards of taxpayers' money, but also ensure that a high quality of life is maintained in White Rock.
What is the process?
On February 9, 2012, the Senior Management Team met with Council for a preliminary budget workshop. During this meeting, items impacting the budget were reviewed and assessed to address service demands and ensure long term financial sustainability.
The next step in the process is for the 2012 to 2016 draft Financial Plan to go to the Finance and Audit Committee meeting on February 27 at 6:00 p.m. This is the start of public budget deliberations. At this time, the draft Financial Plan will be posted on the City's web site.
This meeting will be followed up with a public meeting to obtain input on the draft plan. This event will take place in March and is an excellent opportunity for residents to become involved and comment on the City's Financial Plan.
After considering all comments and feedback from the public meeting, adjustments may or may not be made to the budget, which will then go forward to a regular Council meeting in the form of a bylaw for approval. It must pass three readings before it is adopted as the 2012 to 2016 Financial Plan Bylaw.
Why get involved?
The Financial Plan process is a very important process that drives the City's priorities and initiatives. It is also the place to find out how your tax dollars will be spent.
The City of White Rock provides facilities and public services to meet residents' needs that are paid for with public funds. If there is not enough revenue to provide for all that is needed, choices must be made. The Financial Plan process provides a mechanism where elected officials can reach out for public feedback, before finalizing spending priorities.
The Financial Plan process allows us to work together for our City by the Sea!