Monday, July 4, 2011

Are they serious?

I'm starting to suspect that the proposed budget review by council is another ruse to make taxpayers believe they have done everything possible to limit tax increases. In today's SP (July 4/11) the Mayor states he doesn't expect job cuts. I would be surprised if any of the new capital projects are cancelled. With the Mayor's comments, it is hard to take Council seriously when they say a budget review is in process, that everything is up for grabs, yet continue to spend on new projects without identifying a source of revenue to pay for them.

That can only mean tax increases, more levies and user fees are on the horizon.

Or perhaps the borrowing for the major projects will be delayed until after the next election.

I do know that Council does not want a large tax increase imposed just months before the next civic election.


  1. Just wait for the tax increase that will come when the City announces that we need a new/second water treatment plant.

    I'm guessing an appropriate water treatment plant for the future (using forecasts city used for Police Station) will cost around $450-500 million.

    This is beyond the point of neglect (ahem like we did with Traffic Bridge). If the city is anticipating growing at their current rate they cannot afford to have a similar type situation (ie. where one minor problem puts entire city on a month long water ration). Imagine what would happen if the City had to service an additional 100,000 homes and businesses right now with the current water supply?

    I imagine City will downplay issue until after the next election, but regardless of how this water issue plays out it has become clear that we need another or a larger treatment centre for the future supply of city water.

    This Council has misguided spending priorities and now we are going to start feeling a big pinch as we begin paying for necessary capital projects in addition to the luxury ones we have already committed too.

    I hate to say it, but in order to keep future tax increases closer to 5% than 10% we better start the hiring freeze or job cutting NOW.

    The game of politics for the next year is going to put Saskatoon in a terrible hole, hopefully the current council has the foresight to put the good of the city ahead of their political interests in time being.

  2. This is what happens when you let loose a bunch of Conservatives on council.

    Hopefully some of the Orange Crush candidates from Saskatchewan (Kouri and Wiebe) will now take a run at city council and clean up the Conservative mess.

  3. The only way we won't get a tax increase (again) is if Council runs a severe deficit in order to avoid it. There is no conceivable way they can cut spending enough to push off a tax increase at this point.

    There is going to be a day or reckoning for the current council, and I suspect many see it coming and will not run again.

  4. I suspect you'll see them throw everything and the kitchen sink into the pile of excuses on this budget. They will get the mill rate increase below 3%.

    The question is, will the voting public have a short or long-term memory come October 2012? Especially when it comes to those who promised less than 2% back in the last election (Heidt, Hill, Neault, Penner, Dubois, and Donauer).

    Of course, it isn't a coincidence that the new South Bridge is slated to open in Sept 2012.....

  5. So, if City Council is going to build a new police station, why are repairs starting in 2 weeks.


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