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Editorial: Speak now, Squamish

'Residents are responsible for engaging and providing meaningful feedback while change is possible, not after.'
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Well, now is your chance not to be Aunt Trudy. In addition to the event held on Tuesday night about the budget, council is asking for feedback from locals on the 2023-27 Financial Plan up until its adoption later this month.

You know that moment at weddings when there is that awkward pause when the officiant asks, “Should anyone present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace”?

That is kind of what it is like in Squamish when the District asks for feedback.

Too rarely is that pause filled with constructive replies.

No, the Squamish tradition for many is to wait until the thing is done and then point out all the reasons why it won’t work or shouldn’t have ever happened.

We see this time and again when there is an empty council chamber when a decision is being made but plenty of online furor when the decision is announced.

That is like Aunt Trudy, who waits until after you are married, bought the house and are expecting your second kid before saying she knew your husband was a no-good, rotten cheat before you married him.

Thanks for nothing, Trudy!

Well, now is your chance not to be Aunt Trudy. In addition to the event held on Tuesday night about the budget, council is asking for feedback from locals on the 2023-27 Financial Plan up until its adoption later this month.

Lest you think this rather dry-sounding topic does not impact your life, the draft includes an approximate $139 increase to the average 2022 residential assessment of $1.024 million and represents an approximate $454 increase to the average 2022 business assessment of $1.3 million.

According to a news release from the District, these amounts result from a net 5.9% increase in the property tax revenue required to fund the 2023 budget.

“As the District continues to respond to external growth pressures and aging facilities and infrastructure, the budget pressures are being carefully balanced to accommodate short, medium and long-term needs,” said Mayor Armand Hurford in the release.

Residents can review the whole kit and caboodle at letstalksquamish.ca/budget-2023.

Budget information boards are also available at Brennan Park Recreation Centre, Municipal Hall and The 55 Activity Centre for residents to review. A budget binder will also be available at the Squamish Public Library.

It is the government’s job to set policy, explain things clearly and provide ample opportunities for meaningful consultation with its citizens.

Residents are responsible for engaging and providing meaningful feedback while change is possible, not after.

So speak now or forever hold your peace, Squamish

Feedback can be provided at budgetfeedback@squamish.ca.

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