TBM 2022 Budget and Beyond
As TBM Council approaches the 2022 Town Budget development process, the BMRA wanted to provide our view of the principles and priorities that should be applied to the exercise. Here is a summary of the deputation that the BMRA Budget Subcommittee made to the June 1 Committee of the Whole session.
- Responsible Budget Management
Capture Economies of Scale – Our growth in expenses should be lower than our growth in households and tax revenues. This would decrease the ratio of expenses to revenues, and free up funds to support our many pressing needs. Council and Staff should pursue opportunities for improving efficiencies through leveraging Zero Based Budgeting, among other approaches to streamline operations.
Provide an “All In” View of the 2022 Budget – Projecting a specific % change in department budgets and total Town spending without including the “additions” to the budget requested is meaningless. The additions and reallocation of resources should be presented in the context of each requesting department’s base budgets, and the change in their mandate or deliverables that warrants the increase. This focus on key metrics would also enable the development of Key Performance Indicators that would provide a simple snapshot of the effectiveness of the Town’s budget management.
- Planning for our Future
Long Term HR Planning – Determine the required capabilities, depth of resources and experience to fulfill future mandates, and create an HR plan to ensure they can be delivered. This should include investment in staff skills development. A long term view of HR requirements should also incorporate succession plans for key roles.
Prudent Asset Management – Council and Staff should identify the gaps in our infrastructure, anticipate serious future shortfalls, and confirm the plans to address those issues. The current mess that Collingwood is experiencing with their water supply suggests that Council needs to assure TBM residents that our Town won’t face similar challenges in the future. To most cost effectively meet our growing infrastructure needs, Council and Staff should pursue opportunities to form partnerships and shared working agreements with both Grey County and other towns / municipalities, where appropriate.
Grey County Strategy – It is a given that the future flow of tax levy dollars from TBM to Grey County will only get larger, and that will essentially be beyond our control (the coming new MPAC assessments being a further complicating factor). How will we address the need to maximize support from the County, and receive fair reinvestment of TBM-sourced funding back into our Town? Is there a way that we could possibly create “Win-Win” scenarios, recognizing that in many instances, Grey County attempting to do what is viewed as being best for the County may be contrary to what would be in the best interests of TBM?
Securing a Legacy – It may be helpful to ask what legacy initiatives would our current Council want to drive on behalf of their constituents, that could be looked back on in a decade and be seen to have materially enhanced TBM quality of life. This would represent the synthesis of responsible financial stewardship with the definition of a shared vision for our desired future. One example could be the development of a new community recreation centre.
BMRA Budget Review Committee