Twenty-eight positions cut at city hall
Twenty-eight positions have been cut at city hall one day after a report from city manager, Derek Bates, stated $1.7 million in personnel reductions need to be made to help achieve a total of nearly $2 million in reductions and a balanced budget with a 3.12 per cent tax levy.
Of these positions, 19 are vacant, so nine full-time positions currently filled will be cut. The 28 positions are in parks, community policing, the CN Centre, the Civic Centre, development and transportation, long-range planning and park planning as well as communications.
The cuts are expected to save the city $2 million over three years.Mayor Shari Green said that the current council has been in place six weeks, and during that time has considered the realities of the bottom lime and considered the citizen's hard-earned tax money.
"We've asked hard questions and turned our eyes to building the future not mortgaging the future," she said. "It takes willing and courageous leadership to make change happen."
In another bid to save money, the city's contributions to IPG and the library will remain at the 2011 level, Bates said.Green said that at the end of 2011 council was faced with up to an eight per cent tax increase, something they did not find acceptable.
Instead they asked staff to come up with scenarios with an increase between two and four per cent. What was brought back included a labour component. She said the cuts will not, however, impact policing nor the fire department and there will be no reduction in the snow removal budget nor road rehabilitation.
Bates said the next step will be for administration to evaluate the capacity of the remaining staff regarding service standards, and advise council regarding gaps and deficiencies.
Coun. Brian Skakun, who voted against the provisional budget on Jan. 16, said one of the reasons he did so was because he isn't sure the cuts will actually save the city money.
"My main concern is I am not comfortable with the service levels. Will the city be saving money or losing it because they are not able to deliver services?" he asked.
Skakun added he would have liked to see open public discussion about service levels, and said he feels it is unfortunate that didn't happen.
<div class="dipity_embed" style="width:600px"><iframe width="600" height="400" src="http://www.dipity.com/pgfreepress/City-Council/?mode=embed&z=0#tl" style="border:1px solid #CCC;"></iframe><p style="margin:0;font-family:Arial,sans;font-size:13px;text-align:center"><a href="http://www.dipity.com/pgfreepress/City-Council/">City Council</a> on <a href="http://www.dipity.com/" />Dipity</a>.</p></div>