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City's annual report reviews 2013

Report outlines accomplishments, financial statements for last year

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 06:00 am

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The city has closed the book on 2013 with council approval of its annual report.

On Monday, city council approved the report, directed it be publicly released and authorized to submit the document for the consideration of an award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

While the report highlights the city’s accomplishments and financial statistics from 2013, it also offered a “future outlook” section.

The future outlook, which is signed by chief financial officer Anita Ho, championed a “continued focus on fiscal sustainability, which includes efforts to attract non-residential investment, foster innovation throughout the organization and secure sufficient and reliable government funding to address civic and infrastructure and operating requirements.”

The report notes funding shortfalls could have an impact on the city’s 10-year capital plan.

The future outlook says city management expects, as economic conditions improve, a corresponding uptick in city revenues.

The future outlook section drew some comments from the mayor.

“I don’t have any issue with the annual report, actually I rather like it … but page 41 seems like an odd fit. It’s a future look dated April 14, 2014 in something that ends Dec. 31,” said mayor Nolan Crouse.

The report offers an extensive look at some of the city’s efforts in 2013, from the opening of the third stage of Ray Gibbon Drive to the new offsite levy bylaw to the installation of grit interceptors.

Council unanimously approved the report, but not without some questions around the details contained in the financial statements from two councillors, Sheena Hughes and Cam MacKay.

“I thought it was a good report,” Hughes said, but asked for some clarifications around reserves and fees.

MacKay was eyeballing staff numbers and the growing salaries, wages and benefits expenses, noting the growth since 2009 of the latter outstrips the growth of staff.

“My question is has there been any significant changes in benefits over this period of time?” MacKay asked. The city manager said it was a detailed question and would need to be taken as an information request to be responded to later.

The report was not available on the annual reports section of the city’s website at press time, but the version discussed by council is available as part of the May 5 council meeting agenda.


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