2019 Windsor Municipal Budget 101
Between alleys, parks, public dumping / bulk item pickup, arts and culture, outreach services, and the many other investments for Windsor City Council to discuss this coming April 1st and 2nd, it’s a fine balance to land somewhere between investing in programs and services that are needed for strong (safe, clean, and unique) neighbourhoods, and not hit the top of the proposed property tax hike – that’s where you come in.
For the past couple of years the four United Way funded neighbourhood strategies have been working closely with the residents and City Councillors of the Downtown core, the West End, Ford City, and Glengarry / Wyandotte Town Centre – and beyond – to achieve this balance. Look at previous posts on Small Change Windsor, and you will see successful advocacy in action for such things as bulk item garbage collection, a free rodent control program, sharps disposal bins, alley investments, outreach services, a vacant building strategy, etc.
This year is no exception. On Friday, March 22nd, the four neighbourhood strategies will once again be meeting with Windsorites and Ward 2, 3, 4, and 5 Councillors (Costante, Bortolin, Holt, and Sleiman respectively) to achieve three things:
- Pass along some of our learning on being a successful advocate and / or delegate, either through attending budget deliberations or contacting your Mayor and Council – or both. This includes the little details like deadlines, locations, and contact information you may not be aware of.
- Discuss the particulars of the 2019 budget, and strategize with your neighbours about how to prioritize services and investments together.
- Give Windsorites the opportunity to ask Councillors questions to further strengthen their arguments to Council as a whole.
The draft budget has been released by administration and includes a proposed 3.3 percent property tax increase, with a 1.6 increase being given to Agencies, Boards, and Committees. With the Mayor openly stating a goal to get to at or around a 2 percent increase (approximately inflation), the neighbourhood groups want to make sure that priorities that matter to residents are openly discussed and put forward.
This year there are some important points of discussion, including:
- Residential Bulk Item Pick-Up-Reduction from $10 voucher to fully paid for by the City of Windsor
- Minor Alley Maintenance Program and Alley Closing Subsidy Program
- Increase in Outreach Workers (increase from one temporary full-time to 2 permanent full-time positions)
- Parks Investments (Parks Playground Inspection Program, Parks Asset Collection, Neighbourhood Parks Initiative, as well as Community Parks Initiative)
- Traffic Calming Initiatives (Addition of an Operations of Analyst Transportation Engineer)
- Arts and Culture Funding
Come out to the Municipal Budget 101 event on Friday, March 22nd to discuss these points and more. If you can’t make it, contact your local neighbourhood strategy – or your Councillor – to see how you can get involved and let Council know what your neighbourhood priorities are.
** Stay tuned for a Post-Municipal Budget 2019 write-up where you will learn more about how residents will be advocating this year, and more opportunities to get involved. **
Important links and dates
Municipal Budget 101 Meeting
Friday, March 22nd, 2019
635 McEwan Ave (Life After Fifty building across from Adie Knox)
7:00PM to 9:00PM
Click here for the Facebook event.
The budget is out now. Access it here. Note: Hard copies are available at every branch of the Windsor Public Library and at City Hall (Office of the City Clerk and Office of the Chief Financial Officer)
Here are some practical suggestions on being a good delegate.
Advocacy at City Hall Presentation (01-05-2018)
The dates of budget deliberations are as follows:
- Monday, April 1st – 1:00PM – Council Chambers (Delegations will speak on this day starting at 1:00PM)
- Tuesday, April 2nd – 1:00PM – Council Chambers
If you want to speak before Council or submit a written statement, you need to register with Council Services before noon on Friday, March 29, 2019. (519) 255-6432 / firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact your Councilor, or preferably all of Council and Mayor Dilkens via email or phone. Find their contact information here.