After a year of task forces, strategic planning, creation of policy and procedures.
We learnt just a few weeks back that the municipality has been stream lined from the previous cumbersome structure of four departments each with a director reporting to the CAO for a total administration team of five people.
Down to a thrifty three departments with a team of up to six administrators reporting to a CAO for a total administration team of seven people.
Today I see the next step to the drive to seven is in motion the Director of Planning-Engineering and Operations has been posted. http://www.aamdc.com/classifieds/jobs/guest/detailjob/141-director-of-planning-engineering-and-operations
People keep asking me around town how are they going to pay for all of these positions plus the strategic plan.
I see a number of ways they are going to achieve this.
1. The strategic plan some of those issues are a one time cost so they need to find some easily accessible money. (Back taxes with the big jump in penalties they are anticipating great globs of money to flow in next year prior to those penalties kicking in)
2. Savings from the collective agreement the contract with CUPE is up on January 31st, it was not by accident that Councilor Mitchell was replaced with Councilor Saindon on the bargaining committee I suspect they will probably bring in a high priced lawyer or consultant to assist in this process. There is potentially large savings in the collective agreement the only problem is you have to get the folks sitting on the other side to agree to those changes.
3. The perpetual money generators (more often referred to as taxpayers) the message as already been sent with the increase in franchise fees, ($200,000 per year) and a tax increase last spring of 2% that most people anticipated to be zero.
4. User fees I anticipate that a lot of the fees that people use to pay for various municipal services will be increased.
5. Funding for external groups, many organizations receive funding from the municipality; Museum, Allied arts, Underground mine, Women's Centre etc etc I think you will see less funding for these types of groups.
6. New assessment most people don't realize that every year new assessment increases the tax base by 1-2% which should easily in today's economy cover any cost of living increases the municipality incurs.
It will be interesting six months from now to look back at this list and see how accurate my predictions were!