Questions arise as Sooke staff delivers budget amendments

But Sooke mayor says report a step in the right direction

The District of Sooke can do a better job of relaying financial information to local taxpayers, says Mayor Maja Tait.

But, she said, municipal staff took a giant step forward this week when it introduced a bylaw amendment to the district’s five-year financial plan.

“How we communicated the report could be improved going forward,” Tait said.

“You could argue, we could have left it hidden and no one would be upset because no one would know, but that’s not the right thing to do.”

It’s the first time in recent memory that council has seen a budget amendment months before budget deliberation begin. Council usually starts budget planning in January. A final document must be completed by early May.

The budget amendments came to council on a staff initiative and Tait hopes to see them on a more frequent basis.

But local council-watchers Ellen Lewers and Gail Hall questioned that there was not enough time to review the material, calling the bylaw report insufficient.

“There isn’t anything clear here, and I would like answers,” Lewers said.

Finance director Brent Blackhall said the proposed bylaw, which received three readings Monday, is a budget amendment and not a new budget.

“We’ve already done the tax levy. We can’t go back and do a new tax levy,” he said.

“This is really about communicating to the community about what’s going on.”

During the last year, council made several decisions that affect the budget, including cancelling the EPCOR contract, bringing the parks department in-house, hiring a security firm and new equipment for the fire department.

Any new budget expenditures were paid by building permit revenues, which have increased substantially this year.

Coun. Ebony Logins and Kevin Pearson were pleased with the budget update.

“It allows us to work out all the kinks before we get to the actual budget process,” Logins said.

Added Pearson: “It’s timely. We can now start looking at money in real time.”

 

Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Trudeau concludes re-election campaign at Victoria pub

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his final campaign appearance

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

WorkBC Westshore hosts free ‘lunch and learn’ workshop for small businesses

The event takes place on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read