Salmon Arm council’s public input meeting on the 2016 budget provided food for thought.
The normal procedure is for community groups or individuals to come to city council with requests for funding for projects or for organizations. A group of neighbours might lobby for a sidewalk for their street, or an organization might request funding help for a project that will benefit the community.
There were several of these types of requests Monday evening, which council will consider during budget deliberations. But one citizen came for another reason.
He had suggestions – some of them ways the city might save money or possibly be more environmentally friendly. While they weren’t presented as well-laid-out plans and might not have been within the city’s power, the intent was interesting.
Though he was told by the mayor that he was only giving cost-saving measures and not items for the budget, perhaps he was onto something. What about an additional budget meeting where people present cost-saving measures they’ve considered? City departments are always having to cut items in order to make budget; perhaps some broader input from citizens might make the job easier.
Who knows, there might just be an idea or two that no one has thought of before.