I believe one of the most important jobs of Council is being good stewards of public funds. Currently, we approve an annual budget that briefly mentions future capital projects, but we have no long-term financial plan. A long-term plan is important because, unlike the budget, it considers future scenarios and helps us navigate challenges – we have the opportunity to be pro-active instead of re-active.
What is a Long-Term Financial Plan? From the Government Finance Officers Association:
- A combination of technical analysis and strategizing. Long-term forecasts and analysis are used to identify long-term imbalances. Then, financial strategies are developed to counteract these imbalances.
- A collaborative and visionary process. A plan does not just forecast the status quo into the future. It considers different possible futures. It also involves other stakeholders. Elected officials, operating departments, and the public can all help identify financial issues, develop consensus strategies, and ensure a successful implementation.
- An anchor of financial sustainability. A plan develops big-picture and long-term thinking among elected and appointed officials.
As Mayor, I’d work to ensure that this plan is completed early in our upcoming term.
Example of a municipal long-term financial plan: https://www.greatersudbury.ca/city-hall/budget-and-finance/financial-reports-and-plans/long-term-financial-plan-2018-27/