Jan 31,2013 Budget Town Hall / Committee of the Whole
Budget Town Hall Meeting (Committee of the Whole meeting)
2.1 2013 Budget
PowerPoint Presentation followed by Public Input
Mayor Clay provided opening remarks and the General Manager of Financial Services made a budget presentation. The City Manager then provided information on some of the current and future budget challenges.
Following the presentations Mayor Clay facilitated comments and questions from the public in attendance.
The following speakers offered comments and asked questions.
Bobby - April Road:
With respect to senior government downloading, to what extent did that happen this year?
Overall the raise in salaries for union people is over CPI for a number of years.
Questioned the commentary in the paper which said you can blame all the unions for the problems we have municipally.
Why are the Police not averaged in with the other salary increases?
Does the 4.30% overall tax increase factor in the Home Owner Grant?
Peter - Parklane:
Wants to see more transparency - he had to go to the internet and look hard to get year over year comparisons which is what most people want to know.
Some information paints the fiscal picture in too favourable a light - have to look at year over year to see the facts.
Page 10, Financial Services of Financial Statements - salaries $99,000 then in budget it says $160,000; also 2012 budget it shows $198,000 - why should he have any confidence that in the future it's going to get better when projections are 5 years out.
Would be nice to see past years presentations to see how well we predicted.
Peter - 2100 block of Clarke Street:
Asked how many employees Port Moody has.
In the 2011 statement of remuneration and expenses, shows the 75 employees earning over $75,000 but how many employees make up the remaining $10 million salary cost?
Asked what the average % assessment increase is so he could determine the impact on his taxes?
Terry - Newport:
He always hears the City looking for other revenue alternatives. Has not seen a real strategy for long term economic development. What initiatives are being taken to attract business?
Taxes have never gone down when growth goes up.
Took exception at the households Cost comparison as she doesn't know what it's for - It is not right that residents have to bear these tax costs
If a 1% increase is $295,000, suggested that it should not be difficult to find this amount somewhere in the budget.
Suggested a 10% allotment for training is too high and could be cut.
Other speakers - names not given:
Commented on the calculation of growth and the impact that may have.
With respect to the comparisons to other services like cable TV, people have a choice. They do not have a choice about paying taxes.
Will regional policing reduce Port Moody's taxes? What is impact of the city no longer participating with the Vancouver Police Department?
Part of the reason for living in Port Moody is the high police service level. Would be concerned that there would be a reduction in service if the province brings in regional policing.
Has there ever been a cost benefit analysis on pay parking in Rocky Point Park and at community centres? Need to get more revenue into the city without raising taxes. Visitors are getting a free ride with parking in our parks and community areas.
Last CUPE 5-year contract was too high and because salaries are the biggest part of the budget that has a big impact.
What is the plan with respect to tax increases for TransLink? Does Port Moody's budget plan anticipate a potential additional property tax for TransLink?
Other speakers - names not given:
Generally Council does a great job. Would like to see more transparency and would like to see year over year comparison next year.
New revenues are good to look at but maybe some of our services are gold plated and not needed, or could be silver or bronze.
Is there a decrease in crime relative to high level of service?