If elected on October 27th, Mayoral candidate Christian Provenzano is planning to ask city councillors to take on some extra homework. Today, Provenzano announced details of his proposed spending review and the role he foresees council playing.
“I’ve spoken to many residents during this campaign who are concerned about the amount of property taxes they are paying,” says Provenzano. “As I have said repeatedly, taxes and spending go hand in hand. Controlling tax increases means we must first control how the City spends its money. A spending review is the necessary first step of the process.”
The review will focus on 10 city departments. The Mayor and councillors will divide the workload in an agreed-upon fashion and will work alongside City staff to review the spending in each department.
The review will be done in addition to council’s regular duties and extra meetings will be scheduled if necessary. Provenzano is mindful that this will impose an additional workload on both the Mayor and Council. However, he feels that councillors will understand why the extra effort is needed.
Provenzano says, “I would be looking for council’s support on this measure, because I really feel that the Mayor and council need to lead more when it comes to developing the budget. I know how hard City staff work on the budget, but we can’t leave all the legwork to them. Our elected officials need to be bringing forward ideas to create savings and efficiencies.”
The goal of the review is foremost to allow the Mayor and council the opportunity to identify potential savings and improvements. Other goals are to ensure that elected officials and City staff can work together to improve City operations and to ensure that the Mayor and council have a thorough understanding of how tax dollars are spent.
Provenzano concludes, “In order to get our spending and taxes to where we want them to be, we first have to understand how they arrived at where they are. A line-by-line spending review is the most responsible and practical way for the Mayor and council to gain this understanding.”