COMMENTARY: Will Cornwall budget cuts be transparent?

The Cornwall capital works budget will be the focus of the city's budget meeting on Friday Feb. 6, 2015. The plan is to increase the capital to-do list by 3.55 per cent. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. We are entering the fifth Cornwall budget meeting Friday and I have yet to even see the hint of a pair of scissors anywhere. Not one budget cut. If anything, stuff has been added to the budget like the upgrades for Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge. Remember we are looking at a 5.58 per cent budget increase – a proposed increase that never would have flown with the previous administration no matter how ill you speak of them. There has been talk of cuts and talk, as they say, is cheap. Councillors want to move behind closed doors to do the serious cost-cutting because it involves staff. I wonder just how transparent any cuts coming from those in-camera meetings will be. As purely an example, will I know that Coun. Claude McIntosh had put forward the idea to cut a staff member from the parks division? Or, whenever the cuts do come, will it be purely that these are the positions being cut and this is the overall budget now…end of story? I understand that, under the Municipal Act, talking about someone’s position or an identifiable individual is not something that can be done. But when the dust is settled and the pink slips go out, will we know whether the conservatives on council really followed through on their conservatism? But, how foolish of me, I’m speaking out of turn…somebody actually has to cut something first.

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