2012 Budget Voting Coming Up SOON!

Your town councillors in approximately one week will begin the process of reviewing the 2012 capital and operating budgets for the Town of Milton.  There will be many things to discuss over the coming weeks from keeping the 1% hospital expansion levy, possible transit funding increases, salary increases, increased parks development, planning for the Main Street underpass, increased operating costs of the Milton Centre for the Arts/Central Library are amongst the topics.

Im sure as the December 12/13 dates for the budget deliberations approach, town councillors eyes will  be bleary with numbers floating in front of their face (and maybe a few cold sweats in the night) but I think we have tried to get more people involved with the budget process this year.

This past summer, myself along with a number of other councillors held a budget information session at Milton Sports Centre to hear from you…not tell you what we think…on what the priorities should be for the coming year and years.

There is another budget information session being held on November 23rd (WEDNESDAY) this week by Regional Councillor Colin Best to review not only the Town of Milton’s information but the Region of Halton as well.  Its also being held at the Milton Sports Centre from 7 to 9pm.  Email colin.best@milton.cato let him know you’re coming.  I have a bit of a conflict that night with another event but Im sure going to try my best to attend.

With that being said, we still need to hear from you.  One big contentious item from last year was the 1% hospital expansion tax levy that was introduced at the budget meeting and voted on with no public consultation.  This was supposed to get the hospital expansion approved by the province.  Several months later, mere days before the official launch of the provincial election campaign, the government made a visit to Milton District Hospital to announce the expansion which is to begin 2015.

Some will try to argue the levy made the difference, but I think the prospect of losing the election had a lot more to do with the announcement than approximately $300,000 in a reserve account.  More can be discussed on that later.

Im asking the residents of ward 6 and of the town of Milton to send myself and your councillor your views on these types of items.  Once the full budget is released to the public, we’ll have a better frame of reference to go by.

I know the levy will be discussed, and as I did last year, I will vote to have it removed from the property tax bill in town and have our wonderful staff in the accounting side of the Town Hall to find us where we can put aside money for the expansion reserve account.  The levy was ill guided then and it remains the same today.  From the comments I received over the last year, I know many of you feel the same way.

So please, send me your comments at mike.cluett@milton.ca or mike@mikecluett.ca or just post them here for everyone to read.

This budget is an ongoing process and we need as much involvement from the community as we can get.  We need to hear from you.

Budget Input Session July 11 2011

Don’t forget to mark your calendar on July 11th starting at 7:00pm for the first of what I hope will be many informal 2012 budget input sessions.

In addition to yours truly, the local councillors from Wards 1, 7, and 8 will be joining me in an informal budget input session for feedback from the community on a number of issues ranging from transit, taxes and the hospital expansion levy.  This will be a time for YOU to tell US what you think.  This is a natural extension from the Town of Milton online survey (which I hope you’ve taken the time to fill out – usually about 5 minutes) and will dive a bit deeper into some the issues raised.

The meeting will be in Room 4 of the Milton Sports Centre on Monday July 1th, 2011 starting at 7:00pm.

We hope to see you there.  If you have any questions, please email me mike@mikecluett.ca

I have also begun to deliver the “Mike Cluett – Ward 6 Report” and hopefully over the course of the next month or so, each household will get a copy (and hopefully personal visit from me 🙂 )  If you cant wait for me to come over, email me your address and I’ll have one dropped off for you.  In order to stay current on Milton news and town council updates, just stay right here 🙂

Budget Input Session July 11th 7pm Milton Sports Centre

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, I feel its important that the community get involved in our budget process.  I cant begin to count the number of times during the last municipal election I heard from residents that they dont know whats going on and want to have a say.

We as a new council wanted to make sure this changed.  The changes started recently with our online survey, which is still active, to get a feeling of what Miltonians want from their local government.

The full budget call report with the summary of comments can be found here.

During the last campaign, I promised to be as open and accountable as possible when it comes to feedback from taxpayers on our budget and along with other councillors in the “Hawthorne Village” area, we have scheduled an informal “Budget Input Session” to hear what YOU have to say.

The date has been finalized and the room has been booked.  Monday July 11th at 7pm at the Milton Sports Centre (Room 4) we will sit down and listen to your opinions on what services you would like to see.  The topics will range from transit, community services, parks, taxes, and the hospital levy that was implemented by council in the 2011 budget.

The online survey gave an overview of what Miltonians were thinking.  A majority of those surveyed felt that council should keep potential tax increases to 1-2%, maintain many services at their current levels and was pretty much split on the hospital levy.  Given the fact the response was down the middle regarding the levy, many of the comments showed that more public input was needed before passing such a measure.

Also, if you have not been able to submit your thoughts through the survey, it is still open at the Milton site for you to complete.  The deadline was for submissions to be included in the Budget Call report, but they will keep the survey online until August 18th.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FNVPFC8

If you have any comments or questions before hand, please email me mike@mikecluett.ca

We look forward to seeing you on the 11th