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Winnipeg Budget is Not Inclusive, Collaborative, or Sufficiently Reviewed

Winnipeg City Councillor Kevin Klein serving Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood.

The City of Winnipeg budget is not inclusive, collaborative, or sufficiently reviewed. Mayor Bowman and Councillor Gillingham will have nearly doubled the city's debt from 2014 to the end of this term.

These are the facts, not political jousting, real facts regarding your $1.4 billion budget.

Fact: Not inclusive; it's no secret that Mayor Bowman hand selects nine Councillors to work on the budget each year. The Councillors are members of his Executive Policy Committee, whom each receives additional salary and expenses accounts, as does the Deputy Mayor. This team includes his Acting Deputy Mayor and new this year, the Winnipeg Police Board Chair, both receive additional expense accounts. These Councillors are meeting behind closed doors with the senior executives of the Public Service weekly.

These meetings are not open to the other six members of the Council or the public.

Fact: Not Collaborative; the Mayor and his hand-selected Councillors that make up a majority in City Council will be privy to in-depth briefings from the various department directors and staff. The confidential information received is not shared with other elected officials and will be used only by members of Mayor Bowman's team to decide which items to include and omit in budgets.

The Mayor has virtually eliminated thousands of residents' voices from significant budget decisions. Removing members of a team is not good leadership. I am not supportive of this heavy-handed style of power. If you are confident in your abilities as a leader and your budget, you don't need to bribe others to secure an outcome.

Fact: Sufficiently Reviewed; last year, we discover a multi-million dollar error in the transit budget. We urged the Mayor and his Budget Working majority to consider the risks of losing the Police Pension case (they did, and it cost your millions). We have since pointed out several other mathematical errors.

There is approximately $25 million held in an account called "vacancy management." That is nothing more than a shell game lead by the inexperience of our leadership.

The city's debt grows from approximately $750 million in 2014 to 1. 38 Billion at the end of this leadership term. Who is going to pay for all that?

We discovered an error in the Ambulance Service accounting that was recognized but not change or even discussed because leadership didn't have time.

Tell the Mayor this is not how you want your city run,

These are only a few inconsistencies in the billion-dollar budget. I am renewing my call for a Zero-Based Budget Review of every department. Taxpayers want City Hall cleaned up, and we start by looking in every corner.

Please take a moment and complete the survey online to ensure the Mayor is aware this is wrong, simply click here.

Here is Budget Team Bowman;


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