WE ASKED: Are you in favour of cutting services in order to prevent a tax increase? If so, what would you cut and why? If not explain if or why a tax increase is necessary.
This is the main job of mayor and council to debate at the annual budget meetings. These are open and the public is invited to offer their thoughts to council. It is not up to one individual to make the decision. It is up to council as a whole. It is important to keep an open mind and listen to all sides of the debate. We should prioritize on Must Do, Should Do, and Nice To Do. You review the must do’s to ensure they are essential and being done efficiently and effectively. Once they have been taken care of then you move to the next level. The difficulty is that approximately 90 per cent of the budget is considered must do’s, (core or essential services like fire, police, sewer, water and others). This means that only 10 per cent is available for all non-essential services, and other demands such as a Seniors Center, Robron Field, and homeless shelters. The cost of doing business is increasing every year. You also have to cover this rising cost meaning that the discretionary funding is actually being reduced every year. Every council everywhere is facing the same challenge. The public wants services and amenities and they all cost money. There is not enough money to do everything that everybody wants. Council must find alternate sources of revenues through grants and other programs (one time funding); consider reducing costs through volunteerism; or generating new annual revenues like those from a community forest. Council has to consider all options and you have to let council know what you want.