Colwood council is in the middle of its annual service review process, and the public is being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to provide thoughts on what the city does and how it does it.
Two sessions have already been held and four more are scheduled, said Mayor Doug Kobayashi, each scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 19, 24, and 26.
“Basically we are looking at every department and every service the city provides to the citizens,” said Kobayashi. “We review what council’s expectations are… and this new council gets to amend those or put some additional expectations in. Then we look at the number of people each department is currently staffed, the historic numbers and the forecast numbers as we budget for five years in the future.”
The performance of each department and service is reviewed as well. This year, the plan is to add more performance metrics to the process, which will be in effect for 2024’s service review.
During the election, Kobayashi said he planned to take a closer look at the city’s services and spending if elected, and this process is where he intended to do that. While he is certainly taking a keen interest in the review, he emphasized that at the end of the day, it is a council process and any potential changes which come out of the review would be decided on by council as a whole before they feature in the budget discussions which will follow in the months to come.
Having sat through these sessions several times before and during his council career, Kobayashi said the process is constantly improving in Colwood, and so far this year his new council colleagues have impressed with their insightful questions and unique ideas.
The review sessions also provide an opportunity for the public to provide their thoughts on the work the city does, and Kobayashi encourages residents to participate in the public input sessions held at the start of each meeting.
“There have been people who have come out to these reviews already, and we encourage more,” he said.