As promised, this month’s Mayor’s Message is going to deal with operational costs over the last three years. It should be noted that the financial data that is being reported here was the result of decisions made by the previous Council and not the Council of today. As well, the costs outlined are operational costs and do not include capital expenditures which, in reality, are the largest costs faced by any municipality these days as they struggle with repairing and replacing obsolete infrastructure.
|Planning & Development||$125,510|
|Planning & Development||$130,211|
|Planning & Development||$145,876|
*Information was gained from audited financial statements*
Occasionally we hear some citizens’ state that Council is spending money in an irresponsible way. I have never witnessed this either when I sat as a Counsellor or since I was elected as the Mayor of Esterhazy last October. Below I will outline the year-over-year changes in percentage terms of the items above to add some context to the actual numbers.
2015 2016 2014-2016 Total Change
General Government + 4.97% + 2.20% + 7.28%
Transportation – 10.41% – 5.09% – 14.97%
Protective Services + 13.79% – 4.87% + 8.24%
Environmental + 20.98% – 10.39% + 8.41%
Planning & Development – 10.74% – 3.61% – 13.96%
Recreation + 1.02% + 5.33% + 6.40%
Utilities + 22.37% – 14.80% + 4.25%
So, as you can see, some categories actually recorded a net decline in costs over the two year time period. The “Protective Services” category is dominated by our contract with the RCMP for policing services. Your Council has no control over that as we are simply price-takers not price-setters. It should come as no surprise in this day and age that the “Environmental” section is on the increase given provincial and federal government mandates in this area. The “Recreation” section is driven by demands by the public for more and better recreational facilities as well as low user fees. There is an old saying and it goes something like this; “The government” doesn’t have any money except for what it takes from its taxpayers”. So the lesson here is be careful what you ask for as it could very well end up costing you more money.
In conclusion, our total operating expenses for the Town of Esterhazy over the last three years are summarized as follows; 2014 – $ 3,817,288.00, 2015—$ 3,958,623.00 and 2016 – $ 3,808,482.00. Operating expenses are not incurred in a linear fashion; some years certain expenses are higher and others are lower. But, here is the bottom line – Over the time period 2014 to 2016 the Town of Esterhazy’s total non-capital operating expenses have actually decreased by $ 8,806.00 or 0.23%!
If you would like any further information over and above what is outlined here please feel free to contact our CAO, Donna Rollie. Donna has a very solid grasp of all things financial and I have a great deal of confidence in her abilities to guide our municipal government in the right direction.
Roy Spence, Mayor of Esterhazy