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© 2018 by Mike Britton
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Budget Talk

February 28, 2017

Councillors were presented with the draft budget on Feb. 13 and asked to submit amendments in writing prior to Monday’s meeting. In all, 21 amendments were presented, with 10 alone coming from Coun. Mike Britton.

 

A member of the budget committee, Britton couldn’t find support for his amendments — which ranged from nixing the purchase of new chairs for a city hall committee room to cutting the infrastructure levy and an environmental audit — in the budget committee or around the council horseshoe on Monday night. 

February 28, 2017

Councillors were working off a proposed budget with a 3.06 per cent city tax increase, and that didn’t change after four and a half hours of discussion.

 

Britton, who sat on the budget committee, came armed with several motions, including cutting an energy audit study and reducing the transit budget to inflation and the performing arts centre increase to four per cent, but they were not supported.

February 08, 2017

Budget committee members were working down to the wire Wednesday, discussing 19 items St. George’s Coun. Mike Britton proposed they remove to reduce the budget further.

Britton said the end goal was to try and get the budget down to a 2.1 per cent increase, the rate of inflation. “We did a great job on Monday, but we need to find almost the same again to get to 2.1 per cent,” Britton said.

March 08, 2016

Britton argued as a whole the budget felt like it was “rubber stamped” and residents weren’t in favour of the level of increase the city was proposing.

“The only way to get below the affordable level is to eliminate the infrastructure levy. With one vote we can reduce the tax rate substantially and not affect the level of services in any way,” Britton argued.

March 08, 2016

Britton told council before the vote he wasn’t proud of how the budget sits and was disappointed council didn’t reduce the rate by implementing more of his ideas.

“I haven’t heard from a resident in favour of a five per cent increase.”

March 04, 2016

Give Britton his due — an occasional must for me. He has brought attention to the five per cent figure, which Siscoe and Sendzik have happily buried when discussing this year’s bill.

Britton explained this in a Facebook posting this week and suggested local businesses could suffer mightily with this one per cent bump. More effort should have been made finding this money through internal cost savings, said the budget committee vice-chairman.

February 24, 2016

“We all pay enough taxes. Let the mayor and council know if you don’t want a five per cent tax increase from your city,” Britton posted using colourful graphics.

Britton said the tax hike is too high and he planned to make a motion at council Monday asking the draft be sent back to the budget committee for further revisions but wasn’t allowed.

June 24, 2015

City council is moving forward on a standing budget committee for the term.

 

Councillors approved the appointment of Mat Siscoe, the 2015 budget committee chair, as well as Mike Britton, Carlos Garcia and David Haywood to the new standing committee, a new pilot project to look at budgeting throughout the year.

March 19, 2015

A last-minute cut also included saving $4,000 by eliminating the city council meal budget. Coun. Mike Britton said taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for food, adding it should be invested in other areas, such as the budget to attend the Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference.

“I think residents would rather have their tax dollars spent on well-trained councillors, instead of well-fed councillors,” said Britton.

March 05, 2015

The city’s chief administrative officer is warning budget committee members that staffing levels may be impacted if council wants to bring the 2015 budget increase below 4 per cent.

Both Haywood and Phillips voted against sending the budget back to staff for further cuts, while Siscoe, Mike Britton and Sendzik voted in favour.

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