Continued protection of our critical infrastructure and assets! Keeping our communities safe and vibrant! Making the environment a top priority! A progressive future for our city and its residents!
That’s how the City of Ottawa’s PR department touts the 2018 draft budget. News outlets like CBC have done a good job at outlining the city-wide, big picture spending items. (You should definitely read Joanne Chianello’s analysis.) But what are the specifics for Stittsville? Continue reading
City councillors are co-hosting a pre-budget consultation on October 5 in Kanata as part of the City of Ottawa’s 2018 budget development process.
The event will be hosted by Allan Hubley (Kanata South), Marianne Wilkinson (Kanata North), Shad Qadri (Stittsville) and Scott Moffatt (Rideau-Goulbourn)
Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 6:30pm.
Kanata Recreation Complex – Hall A
100 Charlie Rogers Place
Kanata, ON K2V 1A2
City Council tabled the draft operating and capital budgets for 2017 earlier this week at City Hall. Councillor Shad Qadri’s office shared this list of infrastructure spending that will benefit Stittsville ward. Note that some of the items listed below cross over multiple wards in the city. The final budget goes to City Council for approval on December 14. Continue reading
(via Councillor Shad Qadri)
On Thursday September 15th my office in conjunction with Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and Councillor Allan Hubley are holding a Budget 2017 public information session. The session will begin at 7:00 p.m. upstairs in the Kanata Recreation Complex 100 Charlie Rogers Place (formerly Walter Baker Place). The purpose of the public session is a part of our ongoing efforts to increase public understanding and engagement around the municipal budget.
The budget is the blueprint that defines how the City resources are collected and allocated. The overall budget comprises two main components – the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget. During development of the operating and capital budgets, Council has some flexibility for reallocating or reprioritizing funds between programs and services to address emerging issues. Given these limits on discretion and the financial realities of limiting tax increases to residents, it is difficult to address all these issues or to implement significant changes from year to year. Therefore it is important that we hear from you so that we may engage as your city representatives in the 2017 budget process going forward.
I do hope that you can make the time to participate and provide your input. Should you be unable to attend the September 15th session and would like to learn more about the budget process you can visit the City website here .
This year there is new tax tool that has been developed for residents to use to figure how a dollar of taxes shifted will and does have implications on the budget. You can visit here for details.
I also welcome you to share your comments and suggestion by sending me an email (Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca).
(Photo: The 2015 draft budget includes $150,000 for two new arena dehumidifiers at the Goulbourn Rec Centre. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Mayor Jim Watson wants us to judge the City budget on how much (or how little) more tax we’ll pay. Limiting the tax increase in 2016 to 2% is a good thing, but putting so much emphasis on this one metric makes me wonder what we’re not being told.
For example, your water and sewer charge will be going up by six percent, adding nearly as much to your yearly household bill as the tax increase will. Watson left that part out of his budget speech. (A 6% water bill increase adds about $49 to the average yearly bill. A 2% tax increase translates to about $72 more in municipal taxes for an urban home assessed at $375,300.)
Here are a few questions I have for Mayor Watson and his finance team:
- The draft budget includes $40,000 per ward for traffic calming, but how many speed bumps or flex-signs does that actually pay for? Is it enough to address the many neighbourhood problems that we have in Stittsville?
- What exactly is being cut? And how will the cuts impact services? Here’s a concern raised by Kitchisippi councillor Jeff Leiper, who says that the draft budget lacks transparency in explaining how “efficiencies” are being found: “We’re going to need a lot of answers between now and when the budgets are debated at committee to understand whether this budget is as advertised: a balance between a low tax increase and no impact to services. I don’t feel comfortable that we have enough information to determine whether we’re putting our future ability to do public works at risk given how much of our reserves we’re spending.”
- Is the budget good for the long-term financial health for our city? Veteran councillor Rick Chiarelli brought this up in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen recently: “We are currently only investing a fraction of what our dedicated public service and outside accountants advise is the optimum level of investment in repair, maintenance and lifecycle replacement to achieve the mid and long range lowest cost to taxpayers. Failure to invest enough in these elements of the budget are false savings… Every dollar we evade spending on these things can create a bill of 10-50 times that amount in avoidable future costs when, instead, we have to reconstruct the asset.”
- Are we getting our fair share in the suburbs? Citizen columnist David Reevely offers a cogent analysis on “assessment growth”, and how tax revenue from new condos and communities gets incorporated into the city budget: “Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who represents Kanata North, has complained for years that new neighbourhoods in her ward have been denied transit service they deserve. Mainly, OC Transpo has stretched its existing service to cover more territory rather than putting more buses on new routes. If you live in Kanata Lakes or Morgan’s Grant (or any of Ottawa’s newer suburbs outside the Greenbelt), and you wonder why the bus isn’t better, the cannibalizing of assessment-growth money is one reason. “
Councillor Shad Qadri told StittsvilleCentral.ca in an email last week that he was generally pleased with the draft budget.
“There are a number of important items for Stittsville and I will continue to work on other items that I also feel require funding in our community,” he said. (Although he wouldn’t elaborate on what those other items may be.)
You can find more information on the budget and how it impacts Stittsville on Qadri’s web site. You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you can fit your comments into 140 characters, tweet them using the hashtag #ottbudget.
TRAFFIC’S KEY FOR MINTO PLAN
City planner Patricia McCann-MacMillan sent out an atypically frank email to residents who submitted comments on Minto’s proposed Potter’s Key development. The email summarized what’s next for Minto and the City. Continue reading
From Councillor Shad Qadri’s weekly newsletter:
On Tuesday September 29th my office in conjunction with Councillor Marianne Wilkinson’s office held a joint pre-buget public consultation. Marian Simulik, City Treasurer was on hand. Ms. Simulik reviewed story boards explaining how the City budget is broken down. This was followed by a question and answer period. Continue reading
City councillors Shad Qadri and Marianne Wilkinson are co-hosting a pre-budget consultation on September 29 at Mlacak Centre.
It’s part of a new consultation approach to the city budget being adopted this year, where councillors have the option of holding pre-budget meetings in their wards to hear from residents. All comments presented at the meeting get forwarded to city staff.
The consultation will happen at 7pm on Tuesday, September 29 at Mlacak Center (Halls C&D), 2500 Campeau Drive in Kanata North.
(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)
Ottawa residents have an opportunity to learn more about the City’s Draft Budget 2015 and ask questions at one of four multi-ward budget consultations occurring February 9 to 14. Continue reading
The City of Ottawa tabled a 2015 draft budget on Wednesday that includes a 2% property tax increase and several improvements to traffic infrastructure in the west end, including Stittsville.
Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri says he’s happy with what he’s seen in the budget so far. Continue reading
(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)
The City of Ottawa has finalized key dates for the 2015 budget timetable and multi-ward public consultations.
2015 tax-supported budget timetable
The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.
City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.
Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation.
- Mayor Jim Watson will launch an online pre-budget public consultation starting in mid-December, asking residents to provide input via email at email@example.com and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.
- Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City, to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget, dates and locations to be announced.
- All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:
- Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
- Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
- Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
- Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
- Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
- Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
- Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
- Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
- Audit Committee – Date to be announced
- IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
- Public Health Board – Date to be announced
- Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced
2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable
The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.