Monday, May 10, 2010

Vancouver Needs YOU-- Participate in the "Horizons" Process Tuesday Night

It's no secret that the City of Vancouver -- like many cities throughout our region and the country -- has been dealing with an ongoing deficit for years. And when the recent recession hit, it made a bad situation even worse. If we made no changes at all, the city's General, Street and Fire operating costs are forecast to exceed operating revenues by an estimated $10 million in 2011, growing to an annual deficit of more than $18 million by 2016.

With that kind of a projection, it's clear that doing nothing simply isn't an option.

But this city belongs to all of us, and we should all have a say in how we move forward. It is clear that we will need to make dramatic changes in how we fund and operate our city. But what does that actually mean? What services and programs should the City provide? At what levels? Asking these kinds of questions, the Horizons process looks to you -- our residents, workers and business owners -- to tell us what are your priorities for our city.

The City has conducted a survey by phone, has posted a similar version of the survey online, and is now asking you to come out an participate in person or online. The "Community Views" meeting will be at 7pm, Tuesday May 11, at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way.

If you can't make it, tune in live on CVTV Channel 23 or stream it from your computer at And you can hook in through your computer or your smartphone, to participate in voting just as if you were there.

At the meeting, participants will get a "clicker" keypad to register their priorities. All of the devices are anonymous, and allow you to give direct, immediate feedback to City staff.

If you want to participate remotely, go to and use the access code "Vancouver". Follow along during the meeting, and your responses will come in just like those of participants on-site.

Community input is incredibly important to me, as the Mayor you elected to represent you. I hope you'll join the discussion tomorrow night, in person or virtually. It's going to be hard work to make this incredibly important move forward -- but working together, we will get through it and make something even better.

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