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​Ward’s Budget Series #4

Re: Finding Savings and Efficiencies

In my previous posts, I mentioned that the City has looked inward for efficiencies and costing. The detailed report of the savings and efficiencies – a total of $607M - which is 20% of the budget, is attached to this post.

The savings of $607M doesn’t mean we are finished our job. I’m confident that we can find more savings, though the total dollar amount will get smaller as the City progresses. Now that the Zero Base Review Program* is directed inward of the organization, I look forward to the results in the next year.

Budget Week - November 26-29th, 2018

Councillors refer to November 26-29th Meeting of Council as “budget week” because we dig into the details of the operating and capital budget for 2019-2022 and pass an indicative tax rate. “Budget week” is a misleading moniker because the work that goes into the budget is much longer. This has been a six-month process, with input provided by many types of stakeholders.

A week ago, a councillor suggested to cut the budget by five per cent, but he failed to elaborate on what exactly to cut. I wish it was as easy to say “cut the budget by 5%”. While such statements make great news, it is not how the process works. What to cut from the budget is a serious decision with major consequences for the city. To get up one week before budget debate and say “cut the budget by 5%”, without any research or due diligence, does a great disservice to Calgarians.

Should Council approve the proposed tax increases? I believe there is room for cutting and it is each Councillor’s responsibility to do the work and convince their colleagues it is the right thing to do.  There will be winners and losers in this tight budget, and it is our job to make those decisions. It is also our job at the end of the process, regardless of what we agree or disagree on, to support the overall outcome.

Want to watch “Budget Week” live? On Monday, November 26, 2018 at 9:30 a.m., click here: http://video.isilive.ca/calgary/live.html

*The Zero-Based Review (ZBR) Program complements the City’s other continuous improvement activities by adding a periodic, more thorough review of whether the right services are being provided in the right way.

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Categories: City Finances; Budget; Councillor; Ward update


This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.​