City Council Warp-Up: Tax Hike Upon Tax Hike But Fewer Cuts Than Feared

Council finally had their meeting where they decided how to cope with the provincial budget cuts. You can click your way through all the twitter action below but here are the highlights in case even a four hour meeting condensed down to a bunch of 140 character chunks is too much reading for you:

Administration’s proposed 2.5% mill rate increase passed. So that’s in addition to the 3.99% mill rate increase already approved at the budget meeting in February. That adds up to a total of 6.49%. This is the highest property tax increase in at least 13 years.

Thanks to an early motion by Mayor Fougere, holiday bus service, the Leslie Lawn Bowling Green, the Regent Park Golf course and the Playescapes program were all saved from the axe. Together that added $294,800 in spending back onto the budget.

Councillor Bresciani put forward a motion to use last year’s surplus to save programs and limit the mill rate increase to 1.5%. That motion failed.

Councillor Stevens put forward a motion to save the summer street sweep; the recycling educational outreach program; and, the leaf & yard and hazardous waste depot and the treecycle. That motion failed.

Councillor Mancinelli put forward a motion to save the condo waste rebate, the landfill hours, the asphalt maintenance budget and the snow fencing. That also failed.

Councillor Flegel put forward a motion to save EVERYTHING by raising the additional property increase to 3.5% (which would have put our total mill rate increase for the year to 7.49%). That motion failed.

Councillor Hawkins put forward a motion to raise parking fines by $10. That motion passed and admin says that increase will offset the cost of the programs Mayor Fougere saved.

Worth noting that there was a lot of debate at the meeting and all the votes were close. There were no unanimous decisions.

And if the 6.49% combined property tax increase for 2017 has you steamed, remember, that’s just the city’s increase. Library and school increases are yet to come. And from what I’ve heard, the school property tax increase will be around 10%. No idea what the libraries will be asking for.

Anyway… here’s all the action from city council…

That’s it for another city council meeting. And there’s another coming right up. On Monday 24 2017 council is sitting for their regular monthly meeting. At this one they’ll be discussing the proposed Coopertown neighbourhood plan, the Regina Exhibition Assn Ltd annual report, the Regina Downtown BID & Regina Warehouse BID budgets, and a fire service agreement with the RM of Edenwold.

If all goes to plan, I’ll be back in Henry Baker Hall live tweeting that meeting as well from @PDCityHall.

Daily Agg: Let’s Pretend I Write This Thing Every Day

Welcome to Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Today’s high is -18 and we’ve got a low of -23, with a windchill of -33. Tomorrow will be colder. The sun rose at 8:56 and sets at 5:15. How was your holiday break? Mine was lovely, thanks. Had some drama with a snooty dog but it was funny, so that’s okay. Here’s a round up of some news that’s a-newsing, brought to you by New Year’s resolutions, good intentions and sad delusions.

1. EITHER 7,900 OR 10,300 JOBS GO “POOF” Saskatchewan’s economy had a rough 2016. Not sure how rough, because I don’t get the apparent contradiction in job numbers in this story. Maybe 10,300 is the December number, and 7,900 is the total for the year? Anyway the public sector is bailing out the economy so I’m sure it won’t get way worse in 2017.

2. SUSPICIOUS = POC According to the Halifax police, the Halifax police stop three times as many black people as they do white people. “It seems like it’s a tax and I keep having to pay,” says one black guy who gets stopped three times a year for being black.

3. TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME You might be suffering from it if you despise Donald Trump, according to some rando right-wing fuckwit with a column.

4. TRUMP IS A LYING JACKASS SYNDROME There is only one person in the world infected with this and his name is Donald Trump.

5. U.S. PLANS TO SAVE POLAR BEARS ARE GARBAGE, SAYS SCIENTIST Details here. I’ll miss polar bears when they go extinct in 20 years.

6. WINTER RETURNS TO WASCANA Regina’s Waskimo Winter Festival is back after a decade-plus hiatus, and the “huzzahs” are mighty. The old photos running with this story are great.

7. LINDY WEST LEAVES TWITTER Okay this is from last week, but it’s a big deal. It can be tough to define the line between free speech and harassment, but more and more professional writers are opting out of accepting feedback thanks to rampant abuse. It’s frustrating. Here’s another piece on this.