Council and Staff are in agreement on 27 changes to the budget - Stolte doesn't hop on that band wagon - asks for a 10% cut in the Council payroll

budget 2021By Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They are referred to as BAR (Budget Action Request), forms that each Council member can submit asking for an increase or a decrease to the budget brought forward by Staff.

At this point – before there is a serious debate on the budget, the increase is 4.99% over what the city taxes were last year. Mayor Meed Ward told Staff that she wanted them to come back with a budget that had a 3.99% increase over last year – and to include some ideas on how to get to that point.

There was something quite a bit different this year many of the 29 items were submitted by all the members of Council. In previous councils a member would push for an item they wanted to deliver to their ward – re-election for this crowd is just 20 months away, not a lot of time in the world of politics.

The following list of items, requested by Councillors on the BAR forms.

BAR 1 of 4

BAR 2 of 4

BAR 3 of 4

BAR 4 of 4

Are the changes asked for enough to bring the tax increase down to that 3.99% the Mayor wanted – maybe even lower?

Each of these will be debated, with Staff on hand to advise. Note that for many of the items Staff is in agreement with what a majority of the Council members want to do.

Of note is this.  Ward 4 Councilor Shawna Stolte did not join her colleagues on the BAR items they put forward but did put forward three of her own – all were suggesting decreases in salary for the Members of Council.  She wanted members of Council to take a pass on the annual increase they get each year and to take a 10% cut of the salary they currently get for 9 months.

The sum total for the two BAR amounts to $629,000.

There are two situations where Council asked that funds be added to the budget.  Stolte wanted $110,000 added to the Capital Works budget while Kearns, Nisan and Meed Ward wanted $15,000 added to the Heritage Property Tax rebate program.

Look for the Mayor wanting to take a victory lap when the budget is approved in March.

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6 comments to Council and Staff are in agreement on 27 changes to the budget – Stolte doesn’t hop on that band wagon – asks for a 10% cut in the Council payroll

  • Denise W.

    Great idea. Private sector comparisons are overused to justify increases. Why not let it go the other way. Ten percent across the board, sounds like a good average to go with. Thank you Shawna for your initiative and sensitivity.

  • Chris

    Eliminating Sidewalk clearing disproportionalely impacts those persons with mobility challenges- I gladly accept some minor damage, and the costs associated, to make sure those that have more diffuculty getting around at the best of times are not prevented from accessing the great outdoors that the rest of us take for granted.
    As for the leaf pick up reductions- short term gain with the potential for major impacts to our stormwater management capabilities- if you cut the leaf pick up prepare for the eventual impact associated with the increasing severe local rainfall and the resulting localized flooding when the storm sewers are full of leaves.

  • Jim Barnett

    There will be no victory lap for the major if the Burlington share of the budget increase is more than a 2% increase. She hs every reason to reduce spending until Covid is under control.

    • We would say there should be no victory lap for anything more than 0% increase in these times. Also with the law case against Marianne Meed Ward personally why are we paying her legal expenses? People are losing their businesses and homes and we should do all we can to keep taxes way down.

  • Sadly no mention of eliminating sidewalk snow plowing. Alwatys comes days after when most have already done themselves and the machines EVERYTIME rip up peoples lawns or driveway curbs which probably cocts the city(taxpayers) more money.

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