Friday, March 2, 2012

Budget information hard to find for the Township of Langley

This morning I went to the Township of Langley’s website and spent a good hour trying to find information on the 2012 proposed budget. I was a bit disappointed at the information available online. All I could find was a 5 page summary of the proposed 2012 budget and a PowerPoint presentation of some of the priorities of the engineering department. I couldn’t actually find overall budget spending. To make matters even more difficult, it appears that last year’s financial plan is nowhere to be found on their website. The latest financial plan is from 2010. Compare this to the City of Langley's website where I can look at the 2012 budget and the last three year's finical plans and I have to wonder why information seems more difficult to find online in the Township. Since open government seems to be a priority these days and since I believe that the financials tell you a lot about government, it seems that more effort should be taken to have this information more readily available.

On a side note, I was trying to find out how much money the Township was spending on cycling. I did find that they budgeted $160,000 for commuter cycling infrastructure which is less than the $176,000 they budgeted in 2010. This is higher than the $0 that the City of Langley spends on dedicated cycling infrastructure. In 2010, the Township's transportation budget was $78.7 million dollars. Of course most new road projects include cycling improvements, but that doesn't help in established areas. More on that later.

1 comment:

T Ian McLeod said...

Hi Nathan - I did a quick and partial survey this week of local government practices around budget consultation - Twp of Langley came out fairly well, with two open houses and an online comment form, albeit in very disappointing company. City of Calgary had far and away the most comprehensive consultation process among the municipalities I looked at.