Public participation in Great Barrington's upcoming budget planning for FY 2022 will be easier than ever, thanks to virtual meeting technology.

As reported in a press release, Great Barrington town officials are encouraging residents to join in upcoming budget meetings in order to be well-informed as Annual Town Meeting season approaches in the spring.

Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski made the following statement:

A great deal of work goes into our town’s financial decision-making, and this year it will be easier than ever to be informed and involved early in the process. With more participation and awareness during our planning work, we can have a more efficient annual meeting in June.

Budget planning happens during joint meetings of the Selectboard and Finance Committee, when the town's elected officials decide on priorities for the upcoming year. Meetings, which are posted on the town website calendar, take place over the course of five nights beginning on Feb. 16, 17, 24 and March 2, at 6:30 p.m.

The final budget hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 30 when the Selectboard and Finance Committee vote on the FY 2022 budget to be presented at the Annual Town Meeting.

Interested participants can visit the calendar on the town website, to view the meeting schedule. Agenda details and online access links are typically updated a week or so before each meeting.

Selectboard Chair Stephen Bannon had the following to say:

There should be no mystery about the town's financial planning and decision-making, and technology is making this even easier. We hope people will join us to ask questions, provide feedback and become informed.

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