I am pretty impressed with how city staff went about ensuring city council genuinely considered the input provided in the two city budget roundtable sessions hosted so far (one more to go). Council's direction was that we wanted to genuinely consider input but staff did the heavy lifting in terms of figuring out how to get us there.
There were about 180 different pieces of input received. Staff compiled them and organized them into categories. The different categories pretty much aligned with different city departments. Then council was sent a survey where we ranked each category of input.So, for example, parks and rec items were ranked separately from public works items. At the council meeting this week, we really focused on the input that was ranked highest by council.
A lot of those items will make their way on to what is called the supplemental budget list (essentially a list of items for council to consider funding over and above the base city budget). I'm pretty sure that ideas and proposals that have come from citizens will be funded. Not all of them, to be sure, but I would venture to guess that we will reflect the community will better by going through the process we have.
Welcome your questions and comments!
I've created a web based sign up form for people who want to keep in touch about advocating for a daily paper in Kamloops. It's great news that Kamloops This Week is ramping up operations and I think we need to work with the folks at This Week and potentially with other interested parties to re-establish a 5 to 6 day newspaper in Kamloops. A lot of people having very forlorn cups of morning coffee since this past Saturday.
2014 promises to be an interesting year in Kamloops!
The very sad news that the 80 year old Kamloops Daily News is ceasing publication shocked me and many others yesterday. Here and here are reactions from former Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger. And here is a blog post from national pundit Warren Kinsella. I know Tim Shoults, publisher of the Daily News, tried very very hard to keep the paper operational. Once the dust settles a little, it would be good to have a conversation on keeping daily print coverage alive in Kamloops.
City hall embarks this year on an exciting new official community plan development process. I'm honoured to be part of the advisory committee and really look forward to talking to citizens all over the community, having robust discussions, and coming up with a really good plan that can strongly shape reality.
A small and mighty group of Kamloopsians is working diligently to start a car share program in Kamloops. We met regularly through the later half of 2013, had a great organizational meeting to end the year, and the first meeting of this year is this friday, 5:30pm, at Red Beard Coffee on Tranquille Rd. You are most welcome to attend!
Other important things: City budget discussions start up again next week, an "increase voter turnout" campaign for this year's civic election and other elections, monitoring the happiness with parking meters downtown, and a whole host of other issues to be sure. City Council is full of a huge array of issues in which to think , discuss, and take action.