The City of Surrey is staging a series of open-house meetings to provide residents with an opportunity to tell the politicians how they want their tax dollars used as council’s finance committee prepares a draft budget for 2023.
In a press release issued Thursday, Mayor Brenda Locke said council is delivering on a promise that it would make hearing from residents a “top priority.”
“Engaging the public on the upcoming budget is an exciting step for the City of Surrey and part of Council’s commitment to enhance trust, transparency and citizen participation,” Locke said. “The City’s budget supports important City services that help keep people safe and that make Surrey a great place to live, work and visit. I encourage our residents and business owners to come take part and help shape the priorities for the upcoming City budget.”
Meantime, city hall has yet to hear from provincial Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on his decision whether Surrey will maintain the RCMP as its police department of jurisdiction or continue with the transition to the Surrey Police Service.
“While we wait for the Province of BC to endorse Council’s decision to retain the RCMP as the Police of Jurisdiction in Surrey, our budget process is still underway and no decisions have been finalized yet, including required tax increases needed to balance the budget,” Locke said. “The extent of tax increases within the draft budget will be based on the Province’s decision as well as other external factors like inflation and economic impacts, as well as community engagement findings.”
There will be four open-house meetings, as follows: Saturday, Jan. 14 at Guildford Recreation Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 17 at South Surrey Recreation Centre from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 19 at Newton Recreation Centre from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 21 at North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.