Shortly after the razor thin vote of 7-6 in favour of the 2016 Budget, Ward 6 Councillor Mark MacKinnon sent out the above tweet. I decided to ask him to expand on his comment, and although he, like many councillors, was committed to bringing in a lower increase for the next year, that actually wasn’t the crux of where he disagreed with the approved budget.
This is the comment I got back from MacKinnon when I asked him to elaborate:
Tonight’s budget took out value from the budget that I don’t really think had consensus amongst council, regardless of the vote. I believe many who supported service rationalisation on Wednesday took it out on Thursday in the spirit of compromise on other issues that never happened. And many who have long championed propping up residents on the lower end of the economic scale astoundingly voted to increase the affordable bus pass on Thursday compared to where it landed on Wednesday — and I can only assume they really would have preferred that they didn’t feel the need to vote that way. The so-called “compromises” to reduce the budget levy increase from 3.42% to 2.99% created a budget that benefits fewer people and hamstrings the city from looking within to examine its service delivery methods and scope. I believe council took a step back from an untenable budget and created one that is weaker. That’s why I could not support this 2.99% budget because it doesn’t serve the needs of the residents from across the socio and fiscal spectrum.
For more from the 2016 Budget process click here.