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I’m glad to be writing again! It has been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve had a lot happening personally, including ongoing winter illness, adopting a new rabbit named Sammy (who was originally Samus until we discovered she is a he), following the budget process (but due to writer’s block unable to articulate my thoughts about it), and getting Sammy fixed (vet care at King Animal Clinic was perfect as always, and he’s recovering well). I’m hoping to get back into the regular habit of writing, and posting about a variety of topics in the weeks ahead, although this month will be likely dominated by London budget issues. Speaking of… 

We’re nearing the end of the London 2013 budget process! This is where we are in the cycle:

  • Budget 2013 overview: January 9: COMPLETE
  • Build a Budget public information session: January 12: COMPLETE
  • First public participation meeting: January 14: COMPLETE
  • Operating budget meeting: January 24-25: COMPLETE
  • Operating & Capital budget meeting: February 7-8: ONGOING
  • Special budget meeting: Monday, February 11th (continuing Feb 7-8 meeting), 4pm, Council Chambers
  • Second public participation meeting: Wednesday February 13th, 4pm, Council Chambers
  • Final budget vote: Thursday February 28th, 4pm, Council Chambers

You can continue to voice your opinion in a variety of ways:

  • This handy page is the “Build a Budget” project, where you can select the items you believe should be cut or kept, with the tax increase (starting at 4.3%, and widdled down as you select items to cut) shown live. It also contains the full council contact listing for your convenience, as getting in touch with council is an excellent way to lend your thoughts to the process!
  • The budget finance team is also collecting input through social media, including on the city Facebook page and through twitter, to their handle @CityofLdnOnt and using the hashtag #LdnBudget13. You can also follow the proceedings on Twitter through the variety of people that will be live-tweeting, including me (@BrianGibson13).
  • Seeing the process live! You can check out all of the budget documents (broken down for easy reading by major sections of interest)here, and join in the conversation by coming out to the public participating meeting. See the decisions being made at council meetings today and on the 28th. You can also watch the proceedings from home through the city’s livestream.

This is a terrific opportunity to participate in the city, and learn how your tax dollars are spent. It’s also a great way to come to City Hall for the first time if you haven’t been there before, and watch the 15 people that shape our city on our behalf. It is my hope to stay for the entire February 28th meeting, I’d be very grateful for company if you’ll join me!

Next post: Why Public Transit Matters

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