Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Budget Process

We are now approaching the middle of March and Crowsnest Pass Council has yet to determine our spending for 2009. Seemingly we do have agreement on the capital budget. In the past couple of months we have had 3 meetings set to deal with this year's budget.

The first of the three meetings began quite well with only six of council present. The mayor was absent due to emergency surgery (he is a surgeon). Council made a few cuts with the decisions being made by a show of hands and no debate. Recommendations then came forward to eliminate our budget for marketing and economic development. Further recommendations for savings were tendering of advertising, cuts to non government organizations, and changing the base year for the senior's rebate. I gave council my opinions in opposition to those changes. Council's reaction was; Since we can't make a decision there is no point in continuing and the meeting was adjourned.

Our next budget meeting was even shorter. At the outset I proposed we cut $65,000 from the budget by eliminating a corporate review, with of course, my reasons for that recommendation. The majority of council disagreed. I then presented a proposal to eliminate that $65,000 and then put in the budget a Municipal Development Plan. $25,000 of which would come from this year's budget and $25,000 to come out of next years. This proposal would of saved $40,000 from this years budget and get us started on a new MDP. Giving the people of the Pass the chance to determine the direction the Pass should proceed on. A councilor then stated that since we weren't discussing budget we should end the budget meeting. Then made a motion to go into camera to discuss some legal issues pending. The motion passed effectively bringing to an end that budget meeting.

Last night's meeting was the shortest yet. Upon commencement of the budget portion of last night's committee meeting council only discussed proposed future dates on which we could meet to discuss budget. Dates were set and the meeting adjourned.

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