Financial plan timeline outlined at the qRD financial meeting

The qathet Regional District (qRD) Finance Committee recommends beginning the 2023-2027 financial planning process early.

At a July 13 meeting, Financial Services Manager Linda Greenan said the plan is to present the fourth draft financial plan in time for approval at the February 2023 regional board meeting. The regional unit has until March 31 to submit its five-year budget to the province.

“The plan I’m proposing is that the board will approve the budget in February 2023, similar to what we did in 2022,” Greenan said.

Constituency D Director Sandy McCormick said she was in a rush to plan the budget last year.

“I wanted more time to involve community members in discussions before the budget is approved; I felt it was a very hasty process,” McCormick said. “My question is what happens when we have a new board [after the October municipal election], who may or may not have been sworn in? We’ll probably have new city directors and we’ll have a new constituency A director. If any of the remaining four of us decide not to run or are ousted from office, you will have a brand-new majority on the board.”

McCormick said it wasn’t fair until the new members went through some sort of orientation. She said it will be difficult for her to get a handle on her work and be in a position to think constructively about the budget.

“It’s just too early for the new board to take office,” McCormick said. “It should go back to a pre-2021 process where the budget will be passed in March as per our provincial level requirement. What would head office recommend with a whole new board and budget?”

qRD administrative services manager Michelle Jones said if the board is not ready to approve the budget in February, there is still some leeway to review the budget in March and extend the process.

McCormick said the board would need to consider in November whether the majority could be part of a new regional board.

“Is it really fair to throw them into a budget process in the first few weeks of their term?” McCormick asked. “We should delay by a month, if only for this year, so that the new board can get a feel for things before they have to make a decision as important as the budget. I want it to be postponed.”

Area B director Mark Gisborne said that this term the regional council has begun to start the budget process earlier. He said there may be new board members after the election, but that’s part of the challenge of governance and elections.

“Starting the budget process earlier does not mean that we have to pass the budget earlier,” Gisborne said. “The budget must be presented by the end of March. New directors can be thrown directly into the budget process. I think the earlier start time is fine.

“They get these new board members and they’re starting to get into the process, but there’s still that deadline and they have from their swearing in until the end of March to sort out what’s going on with the budget.”

Table of Contents

learning curve

City manager and finance committee chair George Doubt said he thought the proposed timeline was a good one.

“It starts with the first draft in November and not only sets out the process for the board, but provides four opportunities for public input on the existing plan,” Doubt said. “Additional finance committee meetings or board meetings may be held as we move forward to supplement these considerations. There is an option to extend it if the time needs to be extended.

“It’s important to get new boards on board with county finances as soon as possible, because if they haven’t thought about it before the election, I’m sure they’ll be thinking at their first meeting in November that everything the county is doing.” is somehow related to the budget. It will be a steep learning curve and I know it was a steep learning curve for me when I came on board. That’s the game you’re playing when you run for county representative.”

Regarding public contribution to the budget, Greenan said the plan is to publicize the budget meetings and the public is welcome to come to the meetings and contribute. Questions can also be directed to the qRD finance department.

Zweifel said he hopes people will read the ads.

“It certainly helps if residents or taxpayers come to these meetings and give their opinion on what they would like to see,” Zweifel said. “We generally hear more from people after we’ve completed the process than when we’re working towards it, and I’d really like to see more people involved throughout the process.”

The finance committee recommended that the board approve the planning process for the years 2023 to 2027 as proposed.

Leave a Comment