A behind the scenes look at the budget deliberations at City Hall

Excerpt from Article written by Kawartha 411

Here’s a look at what went on in the final budget deliberations at City Hall.

Even with the addition of 13 new staff, the tax rate came in much lower than the anticipated 4% at the start of the process. The final increase is pegged at 2.85%

CAO Ron Taylor said that the positions are needed due to growth and efficiencies. The Mayor also commented that we need to improve the product we supply.

Highlights of the budget deliberations included motions by Councillor Dunn to put off three positions to 2020. A good discussion ensued on the need for a GIS specialist, a records management clerk and a coach/bus technician.

The position of a bus and coach technician with allow savings in outsourcing services.

Also, the addition of a GPS specialist will make the planning and development services department more efficient allowing developers to access information improving the process. This move will allow the City to become more efficient when dealing with development files.

The records clerk position is mandated by the Province but will also assist historical societies as well as arts, heritage and culture, and the library system.

Dunn’s motions failed and the three positions will remain.

Also, of note, the Mayor brought forward an initiative to allow free yearlong leaf and yard waste up from 150kg to 250kg per year at the landfill. The usual pickups will continue as well. The new program will start April 1st.

There was a motion by Doug Elmslie to increase the Public Art Initiative from $12,500 to$ 25,000 to come the Economic Development reserve. A small part of the money will also go to installation and maintenance.