Events Guide: ServiceSJ – Help shape your city’s budget Saint John

SAINT JOHN – After last year’s $9 million cuts to the City’s budget, Saint John has scheduled public meetings, termed ServiceSJ, in its 4 wards to better ascertain spending priorities for the 2013 budget. These public services include emergency services, transit, roads, parks, animal control, by-law enforcement, etc.

While the City does face financial challenges with its pension plan obligations, the meetings offer residents a chance to give voice to what they envision because there may be more cuts on the horizon for 2013. “We all know that there are many more wants than there is capacity to provide for those wants,” Saint John’s Mayor Mel Norton has said.

After the public outrage from last year’s budget cuts resulted in temporarily cutting funding for lifeguards on its beaches, halving animal control services and other cuts to core services like transit, fire & rescue service, ServiceSJ explicitly states:

We want to know: 
What services are most important to you? Are they wants or needs?
What services do you want to see more or less investment in?
Are you willing to pay more for a higher level of service or accept lower levels of service?

The public meetings start today, September 11, and end on September 20. If you are unable to attend, online forms will be made available (sometime?) this week or call the City at 658-2866. For more information on ServiceSJ, click here or here [PDF].

What: ServiceSJ – public meetings on 2013 budget

When & Where:
Ward 1 (West): September 11, 2012 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ St. Mark’s United Church
Ward 2 (North): September 12, 2012 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ Lorne Middle School
Ward 3 (South): September 19, 2012 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ The Boys & Girls Club
Ward 4 (East): September 20, 2012 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ Forest Hills Baptist Church

Image by Number Six