Warrnambool City Council's proposed budget for next financial year makes interesting reading.
It is the first since voters swept aside all previous councillors last November and sets out the new team's financial priorities.
Rates are proposed to rise by more than they did this financial year, on average $32 up compared with this year's $23.
Already one councillor, Ben Blain, is not convinced that rise should happen. He is calling for rates to be frozen at this year's level, arguing residents need a break after suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial woes.
"All our neighbours could do it, Moyne did it, Corangamite did it, Warrnambool should have been able to do it as well," he said.
That's how ratepayers will think too.
Mayor Vicki Jellie said freezing rates would be "wonderful" but cautioned "something else has to be compromised and that possibly would be services to the community".
She has a fair point too.
The council is planning to tackle the city's most vexed issue - car parking - by providing one-hour free parking at any time in the off-street CBD lots.
But there's always a catch. Those who park all day in those lots - workers - would be slugged an extra $1 a day. By Melbourne standards, $4 a day is chicken feed but, coupled with the rates rise, it starts to add up.
Those parking on-street will also face higher fees.
The budget also includes a reference to another thorny issue - the future of Warrnambool's saleyards. The yards need between $2m and $3.5m spent on them after a concrete walkway collapsed with people nearby last year. Already $1 million has been spent on a new roof. Can ratepayers afford it? Users strongly argue the yards provide a major economic injection each year but others suggest the council should not be propping up an enterprise that competes with the private sector.
Council is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. But you have an opportunity to have a say. Speak up or forever hold your peace.