The operating budget will see an increase of $1.2 million, with the majority of that increase due to a negotiated 3.1 per cent wage increase.
“This is the second year in a row I’ve come to the board with no increases in material accounts at all,” Thunder Bay Police Service chief J.P. Levesque.
“At some point, we’re going to have to reconcile those material accounts. You try to budget based on history and experience but there’s a political side to this as well. You have to get the budget passed.”
Levesque said the budget is cut nearly as much as possible without eliminating positions.
This is something I have mentioned before. City of Thunder Bay departmental budgets are calculated to get passed City Council and have no real bearing on what actual costs might be. Later, when the department goes over budget, management comes to council and pleads poverty.
It appears to me that high employee wages are now getting in the way of running our city properly. This is a systemic problem that, I believe, caused the huge infrastructure deficit we are now trying to overcome.
The largest chunk of city taxes goes to run the city. That does not leave much for infrastructure renewal. Police Chief Levesque said so himself. Those pigeons have now come home to roost. The infrastructure is crumbling and the financial cupboard is bare. Unless the high wage issue changes, this city is fucked.