City recreation facilities are more than cash registers. They are built on a policy that, in part, commits the City to run them in a way that encourages accessibility and participation. They are valuable community hubs. We build them to be safe, welcoming places where everyone can socialize, create, play and be active. What the market might demand, and what growing families, vibrant communities and healthy individuals might demand, are not always the same. The balancing act is some of the work that happens during the Budget process.
The City of Edmonton’s Budget is about work.
It’s the work of translating what we dream about for our community (when we stop to contemplate these things) into what we experience when we’re actually out there in a city built of asphalt, concrete, glass, wood, paint, brick, iron, bark, granite, steel, tile, bronze, polyvinyl chloride, rock, water, dirt and grass.
It’s the work of Councillors who study, debate, argue, resolve, compromise and vote.
It’s the work of administrators who answer questions, advise, provide history and context.
And it’s the work of Edmontonians who follow the discussions, make comments, ask questions and speak in front of City Council.
The Budget is the game plan for how best to spend $3 billion a year for the kinds of things we can’t do ourselves. Paving roads. Fixing curbs. Planting trees. Clearing snow. Staying safe. Growing neighbourhoods. Playing sports. Moving from here to there.
And it’s helped to life by the people who work for the City of Edmonton.
None of this work can happen without your money.
All of this work happens in the knowledge of what your money actually represents.
It represents your own work.
Edmontonians work hard for the money to help build the meaning of their lives here. The portion of that money that goes to City Hall to bring the Budget to life—your taxes—is treated not as an abstract number or an entry in a database. Your money is used to build the common good, but never treated commonly. Your money is treated with care, prudence and respect.
The City Budget is about the work that respects your work.
Starting next month, Edmonton City Council will set its Capital and Operating Budgets for the next four years. These Budgets are big documents. It takes some work to get through it all.
Right now, City of Edmonton employees in every department are pulling together these Budgets and want to help all Edmontonians better understand the hundreds of pages of tables, charts and numbers. As the Budget process unfolds, we want to help Edmontonians make sense of it all and answer your questions.