Coun. Linda Annis is slamming the City of Surrey’s “last-minute” budget consultation ahead of its holiday break.
The City of Surrey is expected to release its Five-Year (2022-2026) Financial Plan Friday (Dec. 17) ahead of a public meeting on Wednesday (Dec. 22) at 11 a.m.
According to a release from the city, “council has provided direction to staff to have the Five Year Financial Plan (2022-2026) finalized before the holiday break. It also requires Council to undertake a process of public consultation regarding the Five-Year Financial Plan before it is adopted.”
In a release from Annis sent Friday, she said holding a final council vote on Christmas Eve is “positively Grinch-like.”
She added that after being “weeks late in getting the 2022 budget together,” Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is “railroading it through a handful of public consultation days as people are getting ready for the holidays, with a council vote planned for Christmas Eve.”
Amber Stowe, the city’s communications and media relations lead, couldn’t confirm if there would be a meeting on Dec. 24. She said council will set the next meeting date on during Wednesday’s finance committee meeting.
The Now-Leader has reached out to the city to confirm the Dec. 24 meeting.
Surrey’s budget is “complex and over $1.2 billion annually,” noted Annis.
“Public advertising to let people in Surrey know what’s going on or how to participate has been largely limited to social media. It’s an absolute sham.
The finance committee meeting will be livestreamed at surrey.ca.
The city’s release notes members of the public will be given an opportunity to provide comments to the finance committee following the staff presentation.
The deadline to submit written comments is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.
CITY OF SURREY BUDGET 2022-2026
To be released December 17.
Public Comment on December 22 at 11:00am – in the middle of a business day and only giving 4 days to review a complex document. NOT GOOD!@CityofSurrey @SBofT @JanetBrown980 @CKNW @SurreyNowLeader @redfmvancouver
— Anita Huberman (@anitahuberman) December 16, 2021
4 days for us to review the budget and an 11am meeting during the workday to voice opinions. Thats it? I know #SurreyBC doesn't have participatory budgeting, but is this really the best we can do? 🤔 https://t.co/WjDotiaG9d
— Amie Johnson (@Amie_R_Johnson) December 16, 2021