Time to step forward if you want change

To the Editor:

In reference to questions posed on the 2011 capital budget.

Council spent many hours [four extra meetings] on the budget. Staff also spent significant time bringing the information forward to Council.

Municipal governments are legislated to assure the taxpayers have an opportunity to express their views on the budget.   In January, before budget meetings commenced, Council gives taxpayers the opportunity to speak towards what they see as fiscal issues for 2011, for the village.  We had four citizens show up for this properly advertised meeting.

During the four budget meetings in February and March, the public was encouraged to attend and a question period was available to seek clarification, if needed, on issues discussed at these meetings.  All of these meetings were advertised, and open to the public.  If in attendance, a general working knowledge of capital issues discussed would be acquired. The final opportunity for the public to speak was April 11, when a statutory public input meeting was held.  We did not have one taxpayer attend to review the annual budget before its adoption.

Our democratic process in Canada places responsibility on the individual to play an active role and be up to date on local government issues.  I urge our citizens to attend meetings and become informed.

Keremeos village has municipal elections coming up this November.  I recommend citizens give serious thought as to who you want for council for the next three years and attempt to get candidates who would hopefully meet your expectations. If you are unhappy with your current council or want changes in the next term, It’s up to you!  Don’t complain if you are not putting effort into the local municipal government process and function.

Thank You, Walter Despot, Keremeos