The Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) presented some key recommendations on the Town budget process.
Some of the key highlights of the CTA submission:
- In 2015, seniors’ Canada Pension Plan payments increased by only 1.8%. During that same period the Town’s spending (Direct Control Net Expenditures) increased by 5.2% or almost $773,000. If the Town’s spending increase had been held to 1.8%, a savings of over half a million dollars would have been realized.
- Hiring more staff needs to be reviewed in greater detail as it is the single largest cost item in the town budget. It is an expensive obligation not only for the current year but it also creates longer term financial obligations and liabilities.
- Council needs to provide Town staff with a set of guidelines as to a maximum limit on percentage increases in operating expenses (such as no increases or no greater than the current CPI increase), staffing limitations, capital spending priorities/limits and other policies.
- All Councillors need to attend all of the Coordinator Committee Review meetings to be equally well informed so as to be able to make better decisions. Most of these meeting should be held in open session where the public can attend.
- Last year, less than a day was allotted to review over 375 pages of line items in the operating and capital documentation. This is not enough time for Council to adequately review, understand, analyze and debate this huge and complex document. This review should be conducted over a period of several days and include discussion of the public comment received.
Complete details of the submission can be viewed here.
An excellent summary of the meeting can be seen at the Cobourg Internet web site