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Thursday, October 6, 2022
Letter: On budget, councillors need to think like owners

Dear editor:

It’s budget season and here we go again.

Float the possibility of a double-digit increase to rile up the residents and then fine-tune the numbers down to a 9.48 per cent “feel good” level hoping we are gullible enough to buy in when it’s subsequently approved.

Hell, it worked in the past, it’s a tried and true political shell game — after all, we are all gullible, right? At least that’s what they think.

I am a retired senior citizen, a former multi-plant international manufacturing owner with corporate business turnaround experience.

Accordingly, having business exposure in six continents, Antarctica excluded, I feel eminently qualified to speak to the budgeting process and all its gamesmanship nuances. At 80 years young, you might say I have seen it all.

My charge or mission statement to all of my former managers, supervisors – in fact, all employees – was simple and direct, namely: “Think like an owner – That dollar you are about to spend is your own.”

Sadly, politicians do not think like that. Rather it is spend, spend, spend, we can always increase taxes.

We presently have seated on council several current and former successful and distinguished business owners.

I would strongly suggest that none of them would approve a 9.48 per cent increase in their own business budgets.

They need to think like owners and remember to treat municipal money as their money.

There are two types of budgets: The business budget (owners and stakeholders) and political budgets. Which one are we getting?

In summation, there is fat and pork in every government budget. Annually, we have numerous interests looking for handouts, we know who they are and every year we accommodate them with ever increasing demands eg. our Chamber of Commerce, which our merchants should be supporting more.

My message to council: Let’s get serious – think like owners – and cut this 9.48 per cent increase in half.

Samuel A. Young