At their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, Kingston City Council discussed the concept of an ‘open budget process,’ which would allow for more public input when Council creates the City’s budget.
Moved by Councillor Bridget Doherty and seconded by Councillor Rob Hutchison, the new motion directed City Staff to research and recommend an open budget process that can be implemented in the budget process for the 2021 budget, which will take place in November of this year. The motion pointed to public interest being “best served by a process that embraces transparency, accountability and openness,” as well as that other cities, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Guelph have embraced participatory budgeting.
This concept would mean that Kingstonians would have the opportunity to be move involved in the budget process, and the motion asked City Staff to come up with a recommendation that will include public meetings, online postings that will inform citizens about municipal financial sources, choices and services, and involve an interactive format when possible, as well as a consultation process and feedback from citizens.
The whole motion, which passed with a vote of 11-0-2 (with two councillors absent), is available to read here. The delegation from Open Kingston’s Andrew McCann, as well as the discussion around the horseshoe and the vote are all available for viewing here.
So, what do you think, Kingston? Would you be interested in participating a process that allowed more citizen involvement in the creation of the City budget? Have your say in the poll below, and let us know why in the comments.
Our editor, Tori Stafford, will be on YourTV Kingston’s Council in Action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, discussing this topic, among others. Comments from the public may be discussed on the show, which will be hosted by Hollie Pratt-Campbell, and also include former Kingston mayor, Gary Bennett.