City Council Worked on Financial Issues tonight
THUNDER BAY – City Council was asked to put in place direction and assist Administration in setting priorities to trim costs. “We have identified areas where there could be savings,” commented Tim Commisso, City Manager. The effort sought the direction of Council Monday night. This discussion took place during the Committee of the Whole.
This move coming from Administration raised concern from Councillor Angus who said, “This is looking a little clumsy”, commented Angus.
Councillor McKinnon commented that “Personnel costs are up to 85% in some areas”. The full averaged figure is 79% of the total budget. Police services have a larger cost and other departments have lower personnel costs.
Commisso commented that there are legislative requirements, and “To the extent that we are providing most of the major public services, we do what we can”.
Councillor Virdiramo said, “I have a problem with this resolution” , as it states that specific figures are in the resolution.
The issue of cost variance with the budget was raised, Councillor Foulds commented that we are within the target and within half of a percent right now.
Winter road clearing was raised, and Council was told that the reserve funds, and a stabilization fund are in place to assure we can get through winters with large amounts of snow clearing required.
Councillor McKinnon commented on the timing of the reporting, being a calendar year, vs a fiscal year.
Councillor Pugh followed up on issues raised by Councillor Foulds, and complimented Administration on being within such a close figure to the budget target.
Councillor Ruberto stated that “It drives me crazy, that every year for the past seven years we have run a surplus, and yet at the mid way point if we are behind slightly the media reports on it”. Councillor Hebert who was next in the rotation offered a short break for the media to keep up and make notes so they can get it right.
Earlier in the evening the topic of electronic bingo was raised an passed without debate.
Council Meeting Notes:
Councillor Rydholm was serving as acting Mayor.