Hamilton politicians to review ward budgets

News Apr 11, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton politicians will review if their current ward budgets are enough to provide the necessary services to their constituents.

Members of the audit, finance and administration committee at their April 11 meeting balked at a motion introduced by Ward 1 councillor Aidan Johnson to increase his office budget and Ward 2’s office budget by a combined $44,000. The first year councillor said he wanted a “more sustainable level of funding” for each wards’ budget. The extra funding would go towards staff and “consultation” efforts.

The idea would see Ward 1 would get an increase of $19,000, while Ward 2 would receive an extra $25,000, said Johnson.

But Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said he couldn’t support the motion. He said in the past each ward budget has received funding that reflects their respective ward needs.

“We want to make sure it is fair and equitable for all,” said Collins.

Instead, the committee agreed the governance subcommittee would examine all ward budgets. Johnson agreed to the amendment to his motion.

“That doesn’t mean we are going to increase the budgets,” said Collins.  

Ward budgets have historically been a contentious issue between suburban and urban councillors. Councillors on the mountain have fought for more money for their office staff because they represent more people, while urban politicians have usually opposed such an increase.

In addition, each councillor from ward one to eight receives an area-rating fund of about $1.6 million to pay for various local projects.  In 2014 former Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie proposed spending about $200,000 from his area-rating ward budget to build a statue of Frankie “Venom” Kerr in Victoria Park. McHattie eventually pulled back from the idea after the public opposed spending money on the statue.

Hamilton politicians to review ward budgets

News Apr 11, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton politicians will review if their current ward budgets are enough to provide the necessary services to their constituents.

Members of the audit, finance and administration committee at their April 11 meeting balked at a motion introduced by Ward 1 councillor Aidan Johnson to increase his office budget and Ward 2’s office budget by a combined $44,000. The first year councillor said he wanted a “more sustainable level of funding” for each wards’ budget. The extra funding would go towards staff and “consultation” efforts.

The idea would see Ward 1 would get an increase of $19,000, while Ward 2 would receive an extra $25,000, said Johnson.

But Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said he couldn’t support the motion. He said in the past each ward budget has received funding that reflects their respective ward needs.

“We want to make sure it is fair and equitable for all,” said Collins.

Instead, the committee agreed the governance subcommittee would examine all ward budgets. Johnson agreed to the amendment to his motion.

“That doesn’t mean we are going to increase the budgets,” said Collins.  

Ward budgets have historically been a contentious issue between suburban and urban councillors. Councillors on the mountain have fought for more money for their office staff because they represent more people, while urban politicians have usually opposed such an increase.

In addition, each councillor from ward one to eight receives an area-rating fund of about $1.6 million to pay for various local projects.  In 2014 former Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie proposed spending about $200,000 from his area-rating ward budget to build a statue of Frankie “Venom” Kerr in Victoria Park. McHattie eventually pulled back from the idea after the public opposed spending money on the statue.

Hamilton politicians to review ward budgets

News Apr 11, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton politicians will review if their current ward budgets are enough to provide the necessary services to their constituents.

Members of the audit, finance and administration committee at their April 11 meeting balked at a motion introduced by Ward 1 councillor Aidan Johnson to increase his office budget and Ward 2’s office budget by a combined $44,000. The first year councillor said he wanted a “more sustainable level of funding” for each wards’ budget. The extra funding would go towards staff and “consultation” efforts.

The idea would see Ward 1 would get an increase of $19,000, while Ward 2 would receive an extra $25,000, said Johnson.

But Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said he couldn’t support the motion. He said in the past each ward budget has received funding that reflects their respective ward needs.

“We want to make sure it is fair and equitable for all,” said Collins.

Instead, the committee agreed the governance subcommittee would examine all ward budgets. Johnson agreed to the amendment to his motion.

“That doesn’t mean we are going to increase the budgets,” said Collins.  

Ward budgets have historically been a contentious issue between suburban and urban councillors. Councillors on the mountain have fought for more money for their office staff because they represent more people, while urban politicians have usually opposed such an increase.

In addition, each councillor from ward one to eight receives an area-rating fund of about $1.6 million to pay for various local projects.  In 2014 former Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie proposed spending about $200,000 from his area-rating ward budget to build a statue of Frankie “Venom” Kerr in Victoria Park. McHattie eventually pulled back from the idea after the public opposed spending money on the statue.