As surely as spring follows winter, the arrival of the New Year also signals the start of City Budget deliberations. The 2019 Budget document was released on January 3rd (www.thunderbay.ca/budget) and will be dissected, debated and discussed throughout the month with final ratification expected on February 4th.
Our advocacy efforts will focus on our member’s concerns regarding the importance of curbing spending increases and finding operational efficiencies to improve the value to taxpayers for city services, as well as improving fiscal transparency and accountability. While we understand that the City’s finances are complex, we also believe that a solid understanding of the real costs of City services will empower Council’s decision making and increase taxpayer buy-in when hard choices must be made.
We applaud Council for their request for a City Services Profile that will allow Councillors to see what services the city offers and their costs, as well as which services are mandated by the Province and which are considered non-essential. We believe that these details will be helpful to Council members and the community and will enhance transparency around spending decisions.
Your Chamber looks forward to being part of the budget discussions as our new Council sets the spending agenda for the year ahead.