I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but nearly two years into a pandemic, this budget counts more than ever.
By Jim Watson
Kids are back in school, people are slowly returning to the office, the mornings are feeling a little bit cooler and we are already looking ahead to Budget 2022! While we continue to fight a global pandemic, there are still many financial unknowns, meaning 2022 will be another lean year for the City of Ottawa.
Staff have been preparing the draft budget over the summer, using the three-per-cent tax cap that Council adopted in July. In the coming months, members of the community can provide input, answer our budget surveys, ask questions, and communicate with me and my Council colleagues with ideas for investments and savings.
Every year, I set up individual meetings with councillors to hear their priorities, determine what the community is telling them and identify priority investments to make in the City budget. I always challenge them to come forward with new investment ideas, ways to reduce costs and save money. Additionally, there are councillor-led, public-consultation sessions for you to share your views with elected officials. Watch for updates to the schedule, and take a moment to ask questions, present your ideas and make your voice heard at City Hall.
The City’s 2022 draft budget will be tabled at a special meeting of Council on Wednesday, November 3 and considered for adoption by Council on Wednesday, December 8. I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but nearly two years into a pandemic, this budget counts more than ever. It’s your city and your budget, so I want to hear from you! Your feedback will be especially important to make sure we’re investing our dollars where they’re needed most.
I want to thank my colleagues at the City of Ottawa for their tireless work, not only over the last year and a half through difficult times, but also in the coming months as they work with my office to put together a balanced budget that meets the needs of residents, taxpayers and our community. With your input, we can do just that.
For more information related to the City budget, please visit ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/budget/understanding-your-city-budget.
P.S. Go get vaccinated!
Jim Watson is mayor of Ottawa.