CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council has chosen to take a closer look at the City’s Operational Budget this year.
In a typical budget year, each department head in city administration will present their Capital Projects budget line-by-line, but the Operational Budget is simply presented in paper form as a report.
The Capital Budget contains items such as building and roadwork projects and the purchase of new equipment, while the Operational Budget contains more regular annual expenses such as salaries and benefits.
Council members rejected a motion to review the City’s Operational Budget alongside the Capital Budget when that motion was made during the budget process in February, with some councillors citing a lack of time, and that information was readily available upon request from administration.
A motion approved by Council last night, Monday, April 12, would see the Operational Budget presented in detail to review on Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18 for a total combined eight-and-a-half hours.
The motion was put forward by Councillor Dean Hollingsworth who said that these meetings would allow Council to review priorities and change objectives in advance of the creation of next year’s budget.
“I know many would have seconded this motion as I did because I think Council is on the same page . . . to Councillor Bergeron’s point, this council wants to have conversations,” said Mayor Bernadette Clement who seconded Councillor Hollingsworth’s motion. “This was not about withholding information or having administration withhold information from council. The point is that you want to do budget at different times of the year. It doesn’t all have to be done in a three or four day window in February. It is most efficient when it is done over a longer period of time.”
Council passed the motion unanimously.
“This is something I’m really looking forward to. As many of us have said, this is the biggest thing that we do,” said Councillor Todd Bennett. “Its the levels of service I think that we need to at least review to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our community.”