Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Council takes aim at Regional District Issues as part of their Budget concerns

The always simmering dis-agreements between the City of Prince Rupert and the Regional District of Skeena-Queen Charlotte would appear to be moving to a higher temperature of late, particularly as the City seeks to address its budget concerns.

Monday night the Mayor outlined a string of concerns he has when it comes to the relationship between the Regional District and the City, with the basic takeaway being that the City of Prince Rupert is not happy with the share of the burden that they are expected to take on in the pursuit of Regional issues.

The discussion as part of the Budget discussion, provided the Mayor to again review his desire to see more of a regional approach to such items as Transportation, the Airport and Policing, looking to seek engagement with other communities in the area to pick up some of the cost that the City has for those services.

For Councillor Cunningham, the discussion provided the opportunity to compare the situation between the City and the Regional District to that of the City of the Port, both of which he suggests are leaving the City short changed.

As this year's Budget planning took shape, themes have developed from the Council chamber, with talk  of inadequate PILT payments from the Port to capped taxation levels via the Province.  

And now, after Monday's most recent budget deadlock, we have added the City's concerns over Regional District to the list. 

The situation at the moment, is probably more of a long term discussion topic than of any particular relief to the Budget process. 

With a May deadline starting to stare Council down, adding more to the discussion appears to be taking away from the work that will be required to deliver a budget for this year.

All of the points are valid topics for discussion with the various groups involved, but those discussions perhaps should have taken place well before the deadline approached.

The Budget in the end appears to be a pretty simple thing, you can only put to work the money you have at hand, after that, you have to find a way to make your current financial situation work. 

The background points while important to the discussion, need to be worked on during the summer and fall. That way Council can approach their Spring Budget debate with a bit more focus on the task at hand working with the financial parameters clearly defined.

The Regional District discussion took place as part of the larger Taxation bylaw review of Monday night you can examine the points of concern from the City's Video Archive. The discussion starts at the 57 minute to 1 hour twenty four minute mark.

We have more items on developments at City Hall on our Archive page

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