Letters to the Editor

Zero-based budgeting pays off

I echo Mike Pearce’s congratulations to the mayor, council and department managers in keeping the 2012 budget under control, and understand Mike was a part of that process.

This might not have been possible had the city not switched to zero-based budgeting this year. I am pleased to note the attention paid to suggestions made by citizens — an indication that someone has listened. It is indeed difficult at times to introduce new methods, especially accounting/budgeting procedures, but I am encouraged to note council’s open-mindedness to positive change.

I am absolutely certain that now a standard has been established, future budgets will be much better substantiated by department managers based on costed activity changes and inflation and this will serve our community well. However, one must monitor carefully to determine that no department is spending funds solely to ensure future budget allocations.

I once spoke at a city meeting dealing with electrical rates and voiced my objection to balancing budgets by taking money from reserve funds. This, in my opinion, is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme and shifts current debt loads onto our children and grandchildren. I note the council’s resolve to cease this practice in future budgets and applaud this commitment.

Given the circumstances, I know Mike Pearce has done as good a job as possible with the SOEC and hope he would consider requiring the management company to also implement zero-based budgeting. He might be pleasantly surprised at available options.

Patrick MacDonald

 

Penticton

 

 

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