Ever wonder where all your property tax dollars go?
Sure there’s the water and sewer. And there’s garbage pickup. And snow plows. And the occasional patch of new asphalt on city streets.
But there is a lot more to operating a city than these most visible aspects.
There’s all the business that gets done in the offices down at City Hall, and the people who do it. There’s the people who take care of the water plant, the ones who look after the sewer system, the one who looks after the computer system that connects all the different city functions, and many, many more.
There’s also a whole web of quasi-municipal services that many people may not even know are part of the city’s network of influence. The Civic Centre and its staff. The library. The Coliseum, the Multiplex, the Kin Centres and the pools. The guys who drive the Zamboni, the ones who sweep up after Cougars games, the lifeguards at the pool.
How all these people and places fit together to provide those services we’ve all come to expect is the subject of a trade show-like event in May.
“One of the goals we have is showing how we’re all interconnected and how we all work together to make the community function,” said Kathy Lachman, economic development officer with Initiatives Prince George (yes, they are an arm’s length body under the city’s control, too).
The showcase on May 13 will present all the different departments in the city inside and outside the Civic Centre, and will also offer presentations on the city’s goals and visions. Two sets of presentations will be geared toward school-aged kids and the general public.
Over 150 students are registered to attend already, said Christine Russell, the city’s customer service coordinator. They will hear about the different aspects of what makes a community tick, as well as having the chance to see a fire demonstration (yup, the fire department is another cog in the city wheel) and lifeguard demonstrations at the Four Season’s Pool.
The general public will also have the chance to hear from panels made up of directors of city departments and city councillors. They will be able to hear about how decisions are made, how money is gathered, processed and spent, where our drinking water comes from and how it is distributed, who looks after the parks and roads, and much more.
The ultimate hope, she said, is that lots of people will take advantage of the opportunity to get to know their local government structure a little better.