Ratepayers challenge Northeast council’s budget meeting reaction

Lack of debate calls into question the validity of the entire process

To the Expositor:

An open statement to NEMI council and NEMI taxpayers regarding the 2015 municipal budget:

On February 17, NEMI council had an opportunity to debate the suggestions that were raised at the public meeting held earlier this month.

The NEMI Taxpayers’ Association is now asking why council did not question, debate, deliberate, nor discuss any of the listed suggestions raised by taxpayers?

These suggestions were included for all members of council as part of the February 17 council meeting, yet not referenced at any point.

This is a significant issue—even if the ideas were not going to pass at the council table, in the end, on February 17, not a single member of council (present) considered the opinions or suggestions raised by taxpayers at the February 5 public meeting. Instead, council moved to pass the municipal budget, without any deliberation or apparent consideration of suggestions raised by taxpayers.

At this point, the NEMI Taxpayers’ Association continues to question the validity of this budget process, as well as the merit of making suggestions in the current public forum—a public process that is setup by council and staff and openly endorsed by council and staff.

In our opinion, the outcome leading up to this final budget was a profound mistake, a missed opportunity and a tremendous insult to those who attended the public meeting.

Mark Volpini

Chairperson and Spokesperson

NEMI Taxpayers’ Association