City of Calgary launches Phase 2 engagement process for next four-year budget

The City of Calgary is launching Phase 2 engagement for citizens to provide their thoughts about the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets. Global News

The City of Calgary is launching Phase 2 engagement for citizens to provide their thoughts about its 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets.

Starting Thursday, Calgarians can provide input online through a series of surveys on the city’s website throughout September.

Each survey question is based on five core themes: equity and inclusion, fiscal responsibility, cost reduction, community growth and changes, and social well-being.

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Pop-up events will also be held across Calgary throughout the month, giving Calgarians opportunities to speak directly to city staff.

The engagement process is part of the city’s efforts to develop initiatives, strategies and performance measures on how it delivers services to citizens. It will also help build city council’s strategic direction, which guides the development of initiatives and performance measures.

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“The input we get through public engagement contributes to a data-driven approach to decision making and planning,” said Chris Stewart in a Thursday morning statement. Stewart is the director of corporate planning and performance for the City of Calgary.

“Collecting opinions and getting detailed experiences of how people use city services allows us to understand their needs. And then we’re able to adapt our services to better meet those needs.”

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This comes after the city launched Phase 1 in February and March, where it asked Calgarians to rank what they valued most within 42 public services. Phase 1 also asked citizens about user fees and how supportive they are of the city trying new initiatives.

It also comes after council capped increases to average property tax revenues in July, which is the maximum total budget increase. According to a Thursday morning release, this helps city administration identify risks and monitor benchmarks for future goals.

“We can’t always do all of the things that Calgarians want because our resources are limited and we need to keep taxes affordable,” Stewart said. “So, we look at where improvements can be made while finding efficiencies to save money and we make tough decisions prioritizing the most important things for the next four years.”

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A list of in-person engagement opportunities can be found on the City of Calgary’s website.

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