City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the May 17 Meeting?

Remember last year when city council had that all-day meeting that started at 9 o’clock in the morning where they had a presentation that covered the entire budget and not just have a series of smaller meetings over several nights? Get used to that because the multi-year budget process is here to stay, and at this special workshop meeting of city council, the horseshoe will hear about how its going to improve this year.

NOTE #1: Since this is a council workshop, there are no public delegations for this meeting even though this is still technically a public meeting of city council.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

Multi-Year Budget Workshop -A couple of years ago, City of Guelph staff had the idea to start multi-year budgeting in 2020, but then there was this global pandemic… Last December, council passed a one-year budget for 2021 and a budget forecast for the next three years, and it’s their intention to take another step towards MYB this year by approving a budget for 2022 and 2023, and a budget forecast for 2024 and 2025.* But is council ready for this latest shift?

The purpose of this workshop comes out of the feedback gathered from council at the end of the 2021 budget process: Is the City ready for this big move especially given the ongoing conditions and uncertainty of the pandemic? Staff believes that they are, and that the benefits are too good to ignore, especially the positive effect on the City’s credit rating since those agencies are looking for the long-term financial planning and predictability that’s afforded by the multi-year budgeting process.

So the goal of this workshop is to acclimate council to the multi-year budget process, how other municipalities have moved to a MYB model successfully, what the various advantages of multi-year budgeting are, how there’s still flexibility in using this model and why it’s not just a set it and forget itexercise. City staff, general manager of finance Tara Baker, and a panel of experts in municipal finances will try and answer all questions and concerns before the night is over.

The meeting will also feature special guest appearances from London City Councillor Josh Morgan, and Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky.

*CORRECTION: The original dates posted were one year off.

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