The Budget Process…

Finances – be they personal, business or municipal – are top of mind for everyone. Residents are concerned about our economic future. And Council, as your representatives, we need to recognize not only the economic challenges that lie ahead but we need to be prepared to meet those challenges.
As Council continues through the budget process, we are making some tough decisions on how we as a Town will move forward. As I stated during the election, there’s only so much we can accomplish with your tax dollars. Big tax increases are not the way to do more, so we need to find even better ways to do more with the same or less. In preparation for our first budget, I have had preliminary discussions about the operational budget with each Councillor as well with each organization and/or partner which has requested funding. In these discussions, I have made clear my belief that this Council should take a pause when it comes to considerations of increased funding requests and that – for this budget cycle – Council should not approve any increase, or additional funding requests. In my discussions with staff and Council there is support for the idea of allowing this Council time to re-evaluate how funding requests are put forward , reviewed and ultimately approved. And most important there is support for the need to develop a policy that provides a clear, consistent – and equitable – funding request model. I think we can all agree that it is our responsibility to ensure that there is value and benefit to every tax payer dollar spent. Council hold staff to a very high standard when we discuss how tax dollars are spent and the same should hold true for anyone or any organization that is requesting taxpayer funding. While I will respect the decision of the majority of Council, I hope that Council collectively will take a pause and utilize this opportunity to create a better funding request policy and ensure more effective funding decisions going forward.

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