Next time around, zero will mean zero, but Larry O’Brien is going to need help to make that happen.
O’Brien released his financial plan over the weekend, promising to table a budget plan that shows how the city can freeze taxes for each year of the next term.
The plan includes freezing on the city’s wage envelope for at least two years and imposing hiring restrictions to ensure the wage freeze target is met. He would also freeze the salary and office budget for the mayor and councillors for all of the next term and eliminate severance pay for politicians.
O’Brien would also implement a review of all city programs and services to ensure they are delivering “value for money.”
Under O’Brien’s plan, residents would have a better view of how their money is spent.
All city services would be subject to a comprehensive performance management system, with results posted online in real time. The city’s finances for books would also be more public, and monthly financial reports would be posted on the city’s website with a review and an action plan by the finance committee.
He also wants to alter the budgeting process to give the mayor the authority to bring forward the city’s budget plan for debate.