I like giving credit where credit is due.
In this morning’s Waterloo Region Record, Kitchener Councillor Scott Davey had a great column that effectively explains why the cuts to the Kitchener Fire Department and Kitchener Public Library budgets were not really cuts. You can read the same post on his blog.
Here’s his explanation of the decision on the fire department budget.
The total Fire budget for last year was $28,694,877. The final approved budget this year equated to $29,333,721 for a total increased investment in Fire services of $638,844 in 2012 over 2011. This amounts to a 2.2%increase in the Fire budget year over year. Council trimmed$204,000 from the extra $842,844requested. Still, the perception is that of a year over year budget-reduction which couldn’t be further from the truth.
That description is not any different than what Regional Council did when they sent the police budget back to be trimmed–not once but twice.
Given that information, I can fully support Council’s decision to make the tough decisions required to keep the budget increase to an acceptable level. I regret that I did not take the time to dig a little deeper so that I could have said that in my first post on the subject.
I still think that Kitchener residents should not have found out about the decision after the budget was passed. We knew that the budget requested by the police was not going to be passed, the Kitchener Fire Department budget should be equally transparent.