Jakubeit wants to delay budget

Penticton mayor-elect Andrew Jakubeit is already making plans, starting with delaying the budgeting process.

Though he’s still more than a week away from being sworn in, mayor-elect Andrew Jakubeit is already making plans, starting with delaying the budgeting process.

“I would like to push that to January. December is usually the busiest time of the year for most people in business and also for their families,” he said. “January it slows right down.”

City staff have already been preparing a preliminary budget, but Jakubeit said he would rather not take council, which has four new members, into the detailed budget discussions right away.

“I am interested in looking at the budget too, I just don’t think we need to do it the first week of December,” said Jakubeit. “I think council needs to sort of get their feet wet and getting some overview of who is who.”

Jakubeit said city staff has done some solid work already paring the budget down, and the preliminary estimate is they will start the budget process with a $500,000 shortfall.

“In the past, we have always started out with a $1 million shortfall,” he said. “It looks like they have come a long ways.”

Jakubeit said his first step is to get the new councillors introduced on how city hall and council operate, then start talking about priorities and what the new council wants to see happen.

“We just need to channel that passion and energy,” said Jakubeit. “That’s what we want to do in terms of empowering council. Take that energy that hasn’t been tainted by bureaucracy and channel that into something productive.”

Jakubeit said he wants to develop a plan to accomplish some of the shared goals on the council members platforms, and produce results so four years down the road, they won’t be repeating the same campaign promises. That goes for both long-term goals and more immediate ones.

He said the new council needs to develop short term goals and “get some results for the community to see we are serious.”

“I really want to see our community move forward and not just say the words of being the envy of other communities. We really want to improve our pride and vibrancy of our community,” said Jakubeit.