In a bid to engage the community in the discussion regarding the City of Greater Geraldton’s range of services, local residents are invited to participate in the upcoming Community Summit.
The two-part Community Summit will engage locals in considering the City’s range of services with the aim of developing a prioritised list within the constraints of the City’s current financial situation.
The City’s financial status has been impacted by several factors and CEO Ken Diehm says it is critical to have the community’s input into the tough decisions facing the City.
“The purpose of the Summit will be to prioritise the non-mandatory services the City delivers within the context of budget constraints,” he said.
“This prioritised list will be a critical piece of information to assist Council in their ultimate decision making about the services that will continue to be delivered and those that won’t.”
The Community Summit comes not long after community consultations that took place in 2014.
“Last year we held community panels which helped us to prioritise capital works and review the City’s range and level of services,” Mr Diehm explained.
“This feedback has been invaluable in the City’s decision making processes.
“Consultation and feedback is an on-going process, a two way conversation, and because there have been some significant changes in the last 12 months we need to reopen that conversation.”
Mr Diehm said the City needed to make some difficult decisions about what services it can continue to offer whilst still being able to maintain assets and pay bills when they fall due.
“The City’s financial situation has been impacted by a huge reduction in State and Federal Government funding, escalating utility costs and a growing backlog of infrastructure renewals,” he said.
“These factors and the need to keep rate increases low, means Council may cut services.”
The Summit will include approximately 40 randomly selected community members, around 20 people who participated in the previous community panel, around 40 self-selected participants and 20 invited stakeholders and partners of the City.
The two-part Summit is scheduled to take place at the QEII Centre on Wednesday March 4 from 5.15pm to 8.30pm and Saturday March 14 from 9.15am to 4pm.
Anyone interested in and available to attend both parts of the Community Summit can contact the City of Greater Geraldton’s Coordinator of Community Engagement, Janell Kopplhuber at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9965 6779.