Today is about setting priorities as Halifax Regional Council meets to discuss the next fiscal year and the 2013 budget.

“We’ll get a bit of a snapshot of where we are as a municipality finance-wise,” Mayor Mike Savage told Global News Monday. “Then I want to find out from the councillors what their priorities are, so we direct staff to go away and produce a budget.”

This year’s budget-setting process has been pushed back later in the year because of the fall municipal election.

The later election is also affecting some of the topics expected to be discussed during the planning process.

Coun. Jennifer Watts (Peninsula North) said some of her priorities are the issues she heard raised by citizens during her campaign.

“There’s a lot of emphasis around transit and sustainable transportation, bike lanes and good sidewalks,” Watts told Global News. “That really helps people move around on the peninsula and helps them reduce their dependency on a car which then makes housing more affordable.”

Savage campaigned on a platform of boosting the economy and Halifax’s profile, and that continues to be his mandate.

“I’d like to be involved in economic development in this city,” he said. “I’d like to be involved in selling this city, both here and abroad. I want us to be more entrepreneurial. I want us to be more nimble. I want us to be better able to capitalize on opportunities.”

Another issue stemming from the October election that’s expected to influence today’s discussion is electronic voting.

Coun. Waye Mason (Peninsula South) has previously said that the e-vote was too costly considering it didn’t boost voter turnout.

Coun. Russell Walker (Halifax – Bedford Basin West) said the service is still worth keeping for future elections.

“If anything we should have had the pin numbers out earlier so if you were travelling anywhere in Canada or the world you would have been able to vote at that time,” Walker told the Rick Howe Show. “Maybe the election period was too long for e-voting but I still believe we should have e-voting.”

Walker is HRM’s representative at the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities which met Monday. He said the UNSM and the province are also looking at changes to the Elections Act, which could include mandatory declaration of campaign contributions.