County wants Input for 2022 Budget

The County has already started developing their budget for 2022 and they are now ready to seek citizen input with their online survey (see links below).  This year they are providing an online interactive tool where you can see what happens if you increase or decrease spending or revenue in all the categories.  The tool only allows an increase or decrease and not which aspect of specific services should be affected.  For example, if you want less spending on tourism but just in Cobourg, you have to put that into a comment – although that’s easy to do. One thing that had to be explained to me (thanks Jennifer) was that Capital Projects are included in the relevant department.  So if you want to comment about the Golden Plough project, that would be under Community Health, Long Term Care.

So the good news is:

  • The budget process is well defined and clear (except for how Capital is funded) and has a public schedule
  • Citizens are asked for feedback
  • The impact of changing the budget on taxes is clear
  • For anyone doing the survey, the County budget is clear (Operating only).
  • The Tool provided allows anyone to see how taxes would be affected if any budget category is increased or decreased by 1 or 3%
Glenn Dees
Glenn Dees

In response to a question about the Capital budget, Glenn Dees, Director of Finance/Treasurer, said:

The tool focuses on County base service delivery as funded from the Levy (property tax), Grants and Subsidies and User Fees.  The simulation is meant to be informational to Council on public priorities for core service delivery and; therefore, does not encompass some non-recurring extraordinary capital items that are already underway.  Rather the focus is on the core base recurring services.  Typically large non-recurring projects like the GPL Redevelopment and Elgin Park Redevelopment are financed from specific provincial funding programs, County reserves and debt as opposed to the revenue sources highlighted in the simulation for financing annual base operating and capital budgets.

The message from the County is:

The choices you make in the Budget Simulation Tool will help County Council make informed decisions about the allocation of tax dollars in the 2022 County Budget and over the long-term.

Last year, the County simply asked questions (online) of the public and got 374 responses – maybe the interactive tool will get a better response? Sure is a lot more fun.

In case the “tool” is not your thing, you can also provide feedback by leaving a comment in the “Comments” tab on this page – note that you need to first register OR
Email your comments or questions to Finance@northumberland.ca .

The deadline for feedback is 31 August – that’s when the survey closes as well.

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16 Comments
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Cobourg taxpayer
7 August 2021 8:50 pm

I used the link to the interactive tool for the county budget and it gets quite perturbed when I was running a surplus. The first couple of surpluses were ok but as I continued getting close to $200000 surplus I kept getting kicked out. Apparently every dollar has to be spent because if it isn’t there may be less money the following year. In frustration I finally hit submit but I doubt it went far. What’s the point if a taxpayer can’t try to save the spending of tax dollars. That’s the way we run our household budget. Oh wait I forgot this government and if The feds are an example it’s spend, spend, spend particularly if it buys votes.

Old Sailor
6 August 2021 3:11 pm

Is there a one or two page document written by the County on how their 2022 budget direction has changed from prior years? New assumptions, new priorities, new risks and areas where the Country has planned to decrease spending. It might be easier for us lay people to comment on the direction they are taking versus their working with their interactive budget.

cornbread
6 August 2021 6:12 am

Does county staff and member mayors not know their jobs and now waste time with another survey? Get on with your work and forget the “smoke & mirtors”.

Bryan
Reply to  cornbread
6 August 2021 8:56 am

Cornbread:
Municipal Staffs and Councils are continually beaten up over the lack of public engagement. So County Staff provide an opportunity for the residents to “participate” and provide input, and you berate Staff and Council for doing so.

Council’s primary mandate from the Municipal Act is to “represent the residents” How can Council do this if they don’t “engage” the public”…listen to them?

cornbread
Reply to  Bryan
7 August 2021 10:07 am

Perhaps if County would listen, something might be gained in wiser spending of our tax dollars and perhaps some savings. County taxes have increased (mill rate % and increased assessments) at almost double the rate of Cobourg town taxes over the past 9 years. I have never read a report where County have given credit to a citizen idea or suggestion that resulted in a savings.

Bryan
Reply to  cornbread
7 August 2021 12:11 pm

Cornbread:
Several things:
You wrote: “…Perhaps if County would listen..”. Have you made suggestions to the County…made a delegation to Council?
“Increased assessments” are not the County’s doing. That’s MPAC…a provincial agency.
Lastly, you wrote: “…I have never read a report where County have given credit to a citizen idea…”. Do you know of any citizens that have provided ideas to the County?

I agree with the basic intent of your comment. I just have a problem with the “broad brush generalizations” made without any supporting evidence/analysis.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Diana
5 August 2021 3:53 pm

What about garbage tags that now cost more than 4$? Why??

Peter McLachlan
5 August 2021 11:55 am

Can you find a more ecologically acceptable way of controlling growth alongside county roads than the noxious chemicals (Roundup?) that are currently used?

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Peter McLachlan
5 August 2021 3:04 pm

No, get rid of the noxious weeds and the chemicals in that order, not the reverse. Look at all the weeds along Cobourgs bulivards , a good way to welcome visitors.

Eastender
4 August 2021 5:51 pm

Interesting that NHH is asking County to provide funding. (I think I read that correctly). If so, I think NHH ought to be asking our local MPP for funding, not the County.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Eastender
5 August 2021 9:01 am

I have yet to see where any funding has improved services or shortened the wait in the Emergency wing at this hospital I hear of people waiting between 4 to 6 hrs contiguously over the last 5 yrs How ever payroll has increased dramatically year after year

ben burd
Reply to  Sandpiper
5 August 2021 1:25 pm

So your answer would be to cut the wages and waiting time will also decrease – lots of luck with that!!

Informed
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 August 2021 8:44 am

Perhaps some money should be directed to a campaign thay explains to people what an emergency actually is, what a walk in cliinc is able to offer and when to seek help at the emergency department of a Hospital.Of course there are a host of other reasons people may seek medical help at the Emergency Department but throwing money at it wont help the wait times.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 August 2021 10:43 am

Waiting four to six hours is an improvement. Hospitals have been backlogged in the emerg for decades. Four to six hours is not bad. However, considering lab results, you have to wait. X-rays, you have to wait. Calling for a Porter, you have to wait. Why people think you can enter an emergency department with an illness or injury and you are going to be out in one hour is foolish. A cardiac incident is a minimum four-hour wait anywhere you go. I worked in emergency services for three decades, and having backlogs is as natural as the sun rising in the morning. You are not at a Tim Horton’s drive-thru.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  John Draper
7 August 2021 8:53 am

The last one in line always gets the detention. Go figure.