Play with City of Victoria’s money tonight

Councillor offers unique workshop for residents who want to help balance City Hall's books

Coun. Lisa Helps is hosting a workshop tonight (Aug. 29) at the Fairfield Community Centre (1335 Thurlow St.) to get public input on trimming $6 million from next year’s budget.

“That’s what we need to do if we’re going to keep property taxes at what we’ve promised,” Helps said.

In April, council passed a motion to restrict annual property tax increases to 3.25 per cent until 2015, and to create a three-year budget. The budget process will undergo formal public consultation this fall, once council sets its priorities, but the workshop provides an early chance for dialogue, Helps said.

“What I’m looking for right now are ideas to feed into the process early, to ensure that citizen voices are there at the outset,” she said.

Helps will do a short presentation on where municipal revenue comes from and how it’s spent.

Participants will then be split into groups to brainstorm the possible ways of generating savings, using play money to divy up expenses.

The event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Garry Oak Room.

A similar workshop in James Bay attracted more than 100 people in July.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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