Tax increase still at 3.99%; Mayor wants to keep it there - couple of Councillors seem prepared to let it rise - even if just a bit.

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Meed Ward style

The Mayor is rock solid on holding the budget increase to 3.99% over last year’s 2.99%

It’s still a 3.99% tax increase with the very real chance that it will go up to 4.35% which the Mayor is really, I mean really opposed to – others don’t seem as fussed about something higher than the 3.99%

It’s all about optics, girls and boys – and speaking of optics, why did three council members have something else they just had to get to and excused themselves for a period of time.

Mayor Meed Ward said “Gotta make tough choices – you know where I am coming from.”

Councillor Stolte asked aloud if the lens they were looking at the budget with was a 3.99% or was it the merit of the item that was being debated.

Pedestrian crossg

Spending on upgrading pedestrian crossings to make clear the point that the street and roadways are for people. That item got cut.

Money to be spent on pedestrian cross walks got whittled down from $200,000 to $100,000 and eventually settled at $30,000.

Kearns at podium

Councillor gave up the Chair for an hour but returned.

Sharman hand to head

Councillor Sharman left and didn’t return.

Councillor Kearns scooted out for an hour, Councillor Sharman disappeared at about 1 pm and didn’t return.

Councillor Galbraith said he had to go but managed to hold it. So it was really just two out of the seven,

Budget is the reason they are there – no excuse for having to attend some other “scheduled” event.

Director of Finance Joan Ford pointed out that this Council managed to pass two budgets in the same calendar year – true, and this council worked hard at shaving a thousand or two here and another thousand there.

They adjourned for the day at about 3:30 pm and will be back at it on Monday. A round up of what got approved and what didn’t make the cut will follow later in the day.

There was one motion put on the table – and no one voted for it. Not sure how that happened – doesn’t the mover of the motion have to vote for it?  (No, they don’t – getting it on the table is sometimes the only way to debate its merits.)

The Procedural Bylaw is something Councillors are going to have to spend more time reading; several don’t know the rules and that slows things down.

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6 comments to Tax increase still at 3.99%; Mayor wants to keep it there – couple of Councillors seem prepared to let it rise – even if just a bit.

  • Thanks Jim, I have checked the amendments and they do not affect the audit we have conducted that shows risk to the city in terms of how one of the advisory committee’s is working. We will be doing more of these audits in 2020. Dave amd I had put over 60 hours into the audit and it would have been horrible if it all had to be binned because the city has amended the sections involved in our audit.

  • Jim are you saying 64-2016 is not current as that is the copy I was given as current – hard copy and I was unaware of any updates. In fact when I asked when they would be updated I was told 2020 by Acting Clerk Manton just a few months ago. Thanks

  • Jim Thomson

    Pepper, you need to read the bylaws as well. They are based on Robert’s Rules not Bourinot’s Rules. Laying it on the Table means to postpone for later discussion generally in the same meeting. You don’t Table motions, you just need to make or move motions to have them debated.

  • Bill Carlton

    That 30k wasted on a select few to travel to Japan could have been added to the cross walk budget…….just saying.

    • You read our minds Bill. Cross walks can be dangerous places when in a poor state of repair. Ask the MOH where falls come in terms of leading cause of death. Our council has a duty to consider the well-being of its residents. Safe crosswalks or a trip to Japan is not a difficult decision to make but unfortunately for us the trip to Japan is already over and Council won’t approve the costs to give us safe crosswalks.

      there is no contest.However, our Councillor’s think

  • “The Procedural Bylaw is something Councillors are going to have to spend more time reading; several don’t know the rules and that slows things down.” That was our observation for the last two Council terms as well and they were responsible for debating and approving the last two sets since 2014 so they must have read tjhem. It is much more serious than slowing things down …. one day the first domino of truth will drop and we are predicting a huge fall out, especially if it is a brand new Clerk with no previous ties to City Hall, which is what we need.

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