© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
City hall is seen this week.
Once again, it’s budget time at city council.
Council received the first two budget estimates for the 2014 operating budget at Monday’s regular meeting. The Moose Jaw Public Library and the Moose Jaw Police Service have submitted their estimates and requests for the upcoming budget year.
Earlier this year, Mayor Deb Higgins said city administration was working to try and get the budget process started sooner than in 2012. This is a good thing in order to get more work done in the coming year as allocated through budget discussions.
Already, signs of that goal being achieved are in place. In 2012, city council received the public library budget estimates at the Dec. 3, 2012 council meeting. This year, the estimates came in approximately a month earlier. In the case of the police service, in 2012 council received budget estimates at the Dec. 17 council meeting. This year, those estimates also came in more than a month in advance.
It is good to see the city set a goal and achieve that goal. Budget committee discussions went late for the year 2013, for operating and capital budgets alike. The 2013 operating budget wasn’t passed until March 11, 2013. The 2013-2017 capital budget wasn’t passed until April 22, 2013. When budgets are passed so late, it leaves less time to get the work done for that scheduled year. This is especially true with infrastructure, where there is so much work desperately needing to get done and not enough money to do all of it.
Our infrastructure is crumbling and we need to utilize every chance we can to fix it and renew it without sacrificing something else of importance. There is a fine line, but a balance must be met.
During the election campaigns last year, all of the councillors who were nominated said infrastructure was the No. 1 issue and they would strive to deal with it. Some work has been done. Oftentimes there has been more work done than we are aware of because what we see is all the work that hasn’t been done.
They set that as a goal. So far, the goal of getting budgets in earlier is being met. But when it comes to crunch time in budget discussions, let’s see the infrastructure goal be met to the best of our elected officials’ responsibilities.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.