Zero-based budgeting fell flatter than a helium balloon in a sewing needle factory.


A joint motion put forth yesterday by aldermen Ric McIver and Jim Stevenson to adopt a zero-based approach, forcing all city departments to conduct a yearly expenditure review, lasted less than 30 seconds on the floor before being sunk by mayor Dave Bronconnier — who said it ran directly contrary to the city’s three-year budgeting process adopted April 15.


“They’re not mutually exclusive, your worship, there’s no reconsideration required,” McIver said.
“In my view there is,” Bronconnier rebutted. “The substantive difference with your motion requires that this changes and effectively you move back to annual budget.”


After two failed attempts to resurrect his motion, McIver shook his head and accepted the fate of a move he had hoped would save taxpayers further tax increases.


Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta director Scott Henning, who would like to see all levels of government adopt a zero-based budgeting approach for its absolute need to constantly justify expenses, said it was a “real missed opportunity” on the city’s behalf.