The launching of the Draft Long Term Plan (2012-2022) and the Annual Plan (2012-2013) by the Dunedin City Council is a continuation of a public process which envelopes the city, its ratepayers and many organisations over the coming months. While the City Council prepares its programme for the coming financial year and beyond, there’s a degree of cynicism over the process when considering that many of the spending priorities are already in place. This begs the question how can the community and organisations like the Society have a realistic say in influencing the Council’s budgetary process? In reality its more a show of hands by those that are prepared to take an interest in what the Council’s actual vision really might be. Which is hardly a convincing majority given the numbers of submissions compared to the ratepayers who actually contribute financially to the Council coffers. This strengthens the view that many of the lines within the Annual Plan’s sand are already drawn. However, while we have a democratic process to participate in, the Society will freely give its opinions to the Councillors sitting at the Annual Plan table. Dunedin’s environmental, heritage and recreational landscape is far too important not to take an interest in. Indeed its economic and social fabric is inextricably linked to all three values.