The $923,500 Meaford 2013 surplus budget makes taxpayers wonder whether or not council and senior staff are acting prudently on behalf of taxpayers. The money was raised from a 7.8% tax increase, which was preceded by four years of double digit increases.
But, there is more money that was raised in the Capital Budget, which ended the year with a $425,640 surplus. Between the operating and capital tax payer support budgets,that's more than $1.3 million of surplus money for 2013. Was a 2% tax increase really necessary?
Some of the money in the capital budget, although budgeted, could not be spent. The IT department budgeted $45,000 for software, but the computers for the software were approved in the 2014. Council should have asked staff why the software was needed, when they had no computers to install it in.
The fire department budgeted $49,000 for equipment, but never spent the money and it was carried over to 2014. However, the fire department is asking for $15,000 from current operating budget surplus for future emergency extrication equipment reserve fund.
If key staff positions identified by council are not filled in a reasonable time, then development of their priorities cannot be moved forward.
I suspect if staff proposed to buy an elephant, council would ask what colour.
Sadly, but sound money management, our money, doesn't seem to be something council accomplish.
Doug Robinson, Leith