To control spending, or not to control spending, that is the question?

Brantford, Ontario City Council has approved the hiring of four new staff at an initial annual cost of $320K to deal with the backlog of needed work on Brantford’s  infrastructure.  While acknowledging the backlog is good, going on a hiring spree raises questions about the city’s commitment to control spending.

That was the going concern during budget talks last year. The city even attempted a hiring freeze to control spending.  Unfortunately, it had little impact because there were too many exceptions.

The argument for hiring, now, is that the past practice of using consultants for infrastructure upgrades is “dear.” How dear is it?  Did the cost of consultants used for the projects the city committed to in 2015 exceed $320K?  We asked the city for 2015 consulting costs.  We received no response.

It appears to us that the hiring spree has something to do with the Brantford-Brant boundary adjustment proposal.  It makes little sense for Brantford to add more land when it cannot manage roads, sewers, etc. within its CURRENT boundary.  Is the city’s hiring spree an attempt to bury this fact by going holus bolus on catching up on CURRENT infrastructure.  It may then appear that Brantford is in control of its infrastructure and can handle more.

Alternatively, if the city would use taxpayers’ dollars in a measured way, its more likely it could commit to control spending.

 

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