Updated: Nov 15, 2022
Did you know how the department-level budgets are created in the City of White Rock? Here's the answer from the Director of Finance: "they are just a bunch of excel files and emails, notes, hand written notes from conversations etc that we then compile into a model that allows us to consolidate and present the information ... It’s a very complicated set of excel workbooks and word documents."
What Council reviews is at a very high level. Yes, the City received an award for the "Annual Budget and Five Year Financial Plan", but it was merely for its presentation, not for how your money is tracked.
We do not approve a "budget" until well into the fiscal year! This has been the case for at least 10 years! And, likely longer. It is at a very high level. During one of our "budget" review sessions, I asked for all the programs that the Department of Recreation and Culture offers, along with the number of participants, cost to run the program, and revenue generated for each one. I was told to pick up a copy of the Leisure Guide and count the number of programs myself. If I wanted the additional information, that would take "a while"!
Furthermore, I cannot tell you where we spent the taxpayers' money for previous years as I have yet to see that produced!
As for annual department work plans, they do not exist! I asked for these during a Council meeting where we were reviewing corporate reports that made mention of these, but they could not be produced!
Is this how you want your City by the Sea to be managed?