Saturday, December 06, 2008

2009 Township Budget Orientation Shows Previous Council Left Us $11 to $16 Million Deficit! - With Commentary From Kim Richter

MLA Coleman's Event Center $5 million over budget - Will NEW Council fund this cost overrun once again just like the Grandstand financial fiasco?

Commentary on 2009 Budget Orientation by Councillor Kim Richter
The real issue is the economy and prudent/responsible use of taxpayer's dollars as well as a strong financial oversight on the part of Council. This is, I think, the very definite mandate that the taxpayers sent us in this most recent election by their decision to replace the Mayor.

Council had its first budget meeting on Wednesday. At this meeting, Council was informed that the major cost drivers affecting the coming year's budget means that with a 0% tax increase, the Township will be in an $11 Million deficit position - and this is just to maintain the status quo (i.e. no new service additions).

The chickens have finally come home to roost. I'm not surprised. It had to happen. Sooner or later, the free-spending actions of the previous Council had to catch up.

Added to this very dismal financial picture, the federal government has refused to financially support the Langley Events Center. The previous Council was depending on this support and increased the scope of the project. Unfortunately, federal support did not materialize. (So much for photo-ops, Mr. Warawa). Now this project is $5 Million short and guess who will have to pick up the difference if this building is to open on time?

If you guessed the Township, you're right!

An extra $5 Million for this project equals an 8.3% tax increase this year, unless we increase our debt as we have in the past.

So our township financial position will go from an $11 Million deficit to a $16 Million deficit assuming a 0% tax increase this year.

The enemy here is not each other - it's inaction. We need to get on the same page fast or the Township will suffer.

P.S. - LFP Editor comment. Kim Richter's above comments are from the previous postings comments section that she wrote in a comment. It was edited in context with this posting.

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