City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 18 Meeting?

If it’s fall at city council, then that means a lot of people are thinking about the budget. That budget process will be different this year as council moves further along the path of establishing a four-year multiyear budget regimen, but before getting into the nuts and bolts, staff will be holding another workshop with council to get their mind set on deciding what’s important, and what’s affordable with this budget.

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.

2022 City Budget Workshop: Prioritization and Affordability – The 2022-2023 Guelph Budget will be released early next month, but before that council will take part in a workshop to look at a couple of important aspects to this new multi-year budgeting scheme: How to prioritize actions in the Strategic Plan, and how to balance that with affordability at the same time.

Council will be asked to go though a couple of exercises about what council and members of the public that they’re hearing from want to be made priorities in this year’s budget, and they will review the province-wide issues that all municipalities are facing as they prepare their next budget.

Next, they will look again at the Strategic Plan in relation to the budget, council were asked to review whether they thought the City was doing enough on each of the five priority directions, or whether more needed to be done or less. Council will then be asked to analyze the answers for what they might have gotten right, and what they might have missed in their collective rankings.

On the affordability question, council will be asked to look at both overall affordability in Guelph and affordability in this year’s budget specifically. Part of that is a question if the 5.05 per cent that the average Guelph resident pays as a portion of their income to municipal taxes is affordable. In Guelph, this percentage is slightly higher than the municipal average, but slightly lower among Guelph’s comparators.

From there, council will go into budget strategy, how to prioritize the different demands and the various initiatives under the City of Guelph, from the Strategic Plan to the various master and business plans, to performance reporting. Council will go through what core services they current need to deliver, to meeting the needs of a growing community, and finally the needs for strategic community building. They will then look at the current pressures that already exist on the 2022 budget, and look at the leavers available to council to speed up, slow down, or stop various priorities.

The 2022-2023 Guelph Budget will be presented at 9 am on Tuesday September 16, and the public delegation night will be on Thursday November 18.

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