City of Victoria’s 2012 budget a ‘short-term fix’

Finance director says hard choices are ahead for council

Leave the hard discussions for the 2013 budget.

That’s the message from the city’s finance director, Brenda Warner, in the latest of the 2012 budget discussions by city council.

The city must decide which services it can continue to provide and which it can afford to drop, Warner said. These big-order decisions, however, can’t happen on time to meet the current budget deadlines.

The goal, she said, is to “get through 2012.”

‘Getting through’ 2012 means clawing back the city’s planned annual increase to the capital budget, and to its capital reserve fund, to the tune of $1.2 million. It’s a strategy council has used for the past several years to help balance the books, but it’s not sustainable over the long term, Warner said.

“My desire is that we have workshops in 2012 to make decisions that will then take us forward in terms of reducing our operating (budget).”

For now, she suggested some possible areas for cuts to the capital budget, including the city’s bike strategy, parks, and urban forest plans. Most on council agreed with the plan, but Coun. Lisa Helps objected.

“I’m not comfortable with this strategy,” Helps said. “I’m not comfortable with cutting $1.2 million from (the capital budget) when we keep hearing that the operating budget is the thing we need to look at.”

Council needs to start “veering the ship in the right direction now,” she added.

Public presentations on the budget begin in the coming weeks.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Government Street to be transformed into ‘people-priority’ zone

Victoria city council voted to limit traffic in the area by 2022

Central Saanich Fire Dept. now sun powered – good for budget and environment

Over production of power fed back to grid, results in credits over the winter

Concrete beams for McKenzie interchange set for installation this weekend

No lane closures expected during weekend work, says ministry

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read