Setting of the Cobourg Police budget is not interrupted by the Council election so their timetable means that their 2023 budget will be ready for approval in November 2022. On Monday, the Police released a draft budget for public feedback – “draft” because it’s not yet approved. I don’t recall this being done in previous years. It’s only the operating budget but in recent years Capital items have been funded from their Business services. The key thing to note is that “Funding from the Town of Cobourg Tax Levy is currently estimated at $6,913,302, a 3.89% increase from the contributions for 2022.” Most of the Police cost is salaries and that has increased because of “contractual requirements”. It’s an easy guess that the Town’s budget will go up by a similar amount although more is possible since inflation is more than 7%.
You can download the full budget from the links in Resources below but let me provide some highlights.
The General budget increase is from $5,577,104 in 2022 to $5,961,438 for 2023 – a 6.89% increase. But a reduction in Court Security and administration cost brings the increase down to 3.89%. No written detailed explanation is provided except that Payroll Salaries and wages are subject to “Contractual wage increase, 1 New Uniform Recruit”.
Without naming names but simply providing titles, Police wages have been provided, both uniformed and civilian. The sunshine list would provide many of these anyway but it’s a first that these are provided in a budget.
The Police Chief has a salary of $196.321, the Deputy gets $169,000 and others have salaries between there and Constables 4th class who get $74,328. See page #8 of the budget for details. (For comparison, the OPP commissioner got $354,343 in 2021). The highest paid civilian is the CAO (Roger Ramkissoon) at $155,078. See page #10 of the budget for details on Civilian salaries. Publication of salaries is foreign to me but I suppose in a union environment it’s normal.
A lot of detail is provided but with limited explanations as to why a number went up or down. But the good news is that it’s available for public comment. The release of the budget was accompanied by some statements (summarized):
- The Cobourg Police Services Board (the Board) Finance Committee, with the assistance of the Cobourg Police Service Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), created the draft operating budget. Chief Paul VandeGraaf and CAO Roger Ramkissoon presented the draft budget to the Board at a special meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
- Chair Dean Pepper, Cobourg Police Services Board says: “We encourage community members to provide comments and feedback on the draft budget.”
- Note that all 2023 budgeted numbers are estimates only and are subject to change during deliberations.
- Feedback can be summited to CAO Roger Ramkissoon by email at [email protected] until November 11, 2022.
- Community feedback will be shared with the Board for consideration as budget planning continues.
Cobourg Police Board (to end of 2022)
Dean Pepper (Chair); Ronald Kerr (Vice Chair); John Henderson (Mayor); Aaron Burchat (Councillor); Sean Graham (Board Member).
After accepting public input, the Police budget is reviewed and subject to modification by the Police Board who will then approve it. It is then incorporated into the Town’s budget. Council can only approve or reject the entire budget – they cannot make any changes to details.
Addendum 20 October
Police have released the budget with a “revised format”. It’s easier to understand but a whole lot shorter and missing salary information and other details.